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2024-02-55 BELL TEXTRON CANADA LIMITED:
( e m e r g e n c y )
Project Identifier MCAI-2024-00069-R.

TDATA NOTE: According to Canadian Emergency  AD CF-2024-03  dated  January
            25, 2024,  applicability is to the Bell Textron Canada Limited
            (BTCL) model 505 helicopters,  serial numbers 65011 and subse-
            quent.

(a) EFFECTIVE DATE

    This emergency airworthiness directive (AD) is effective upon receipt.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This  emergency  AD  applies  to Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505
    helicopters certificated in any category,  as identified  in Transport
    Canada Emergency  AD CF-2024-003,  dated  January 25, 2024  (Transport
    Canada AD CF-2024-003).

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5532 Vertical stabilizer
    plates/skin.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This emergency AD was prompted by multiple occurrences of the vertical
    stabilizer top end cap assembly  being found cracked, with some  cases
    including the  departure of  the navigation/very  high frequency  omni
    -directional range  (VOR)/glide slope  antenna and  tuning weight from
    the helicopter during flight.  The FAA is issuing this emergency AD to
    detect cracking on the vertical  stabilizer top end cap assembly.  The
    unsafe condition,  if not  addressed, could  result in  the antenna or
    tuning weight departing from the helicopter and impacting and damaging
    the tail rotor,  resulting in the  loss of directional  control of the
    helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply with  this emergency AD  within the compliance times specified,
    unless already done.

(g) REQUIREMENTS

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this emergency AD: Comply with
    all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accord-
    ance with, Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03.

(h) EXCEPTIONS TO TRANSPORT CANADA CF-2024-03

(1) Where Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03  refers  to  its  effective date,
    this emergency AD  requires using the effective date of this emergency
    AD.

(2) Where Transport Canada  Emergency AD CF-2024-03  refers to "air time,"
    this emergency AD requires replacing  those words with "hours time-in-
    service."

(i) SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMITS

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(j) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, International Validation Branch,  FAA,  has the authority
    to approve AMOCs for this emergency AD,  if requested using the proce-
    dures found in § 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your re-
    quest to your principal inspector  or  local Flight Standards District
    Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager
    of the International Validation Branch,  send  it  to the attention of
    the person identified in paragraph (k)(1)  of this emergency AD  or e-
    mail to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov. If mailing information, also sub-
    mit information by email.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC,  notify your appropriate principal in-
    spector,  or  lacking a principal inspector,  the manager of the local
    flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(k) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

(1) For  more information  about this emergency AD,  contact  Dan McCully,
    Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA,  1600 Stewart Avenue,  Suite 410, West-
    bury, NY 11590; phone (404) 474-5548; email william.mccully@faa.gov.

(2) For Bell service information identified in this emergency AD, contact.
    You may also view this material  at  the  FAA,  Office of the Regional
    Counsel,  Southwest Region,  10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,  Room 6N-321,  Fort
    Worth, TX 76177.  For information on the availability of this material
    at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

(3) The subject of this emergency AD is addressed in Transport Canada Emer
    -gency AD CF2024-03, dated January 25, 2024. For this Transport Canada
    material, contact Transport Canada, Transport Canada National Aircraft
    Certification, 159 Cleopatra Drive, Nepean,  Ontario, K1A 0N5, Canada;
    phone 888–663–3639;  email TC.AirworthinessDirectivesConsignesdenaviga
    bilite.TC@tc.gc.ca; internet tc.canada.ca/en/aviation.  You  may  find
    the Transport Canada material  on the Transport Canada  website at tc.
    canada.ca/en/aviation. You may also view this Transport Canada materi-
    al at the FAA address identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this emergency
    AD.

Issued on January 26, 2024.  Michael Linegang, Acting Director, Compliance
& Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
PREAMBLE 

DATE: January 26, 2024
AD #: 2024-02-55

Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2024-02-55 is sent to owners and operators of Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505 helicopters.

Background

This emergency AD was prompted by reports of cracked vertical stabilizer top end cap assemblies. Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Transport Canada Emergency AD CF-2024-03, dated January 25, 2024 (Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03), to correct an unsafe condition for Bell Textron Canada Limited Model 505 helicopters, serial numbers 65011 and subsequent. Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03 states that there have been multiple occurrences of the vertical stabilizer top end cap assembly being found cracked, with some cases including the departure of the navigation/very high frequency omni-directional range (VOR)/glide slope antenna and tuning weight from the helicopter during flight. Detailed investigation has identified that the stabilizer top end cap assembly was not designed for the full fatigue spectrum. Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03 further states that an investigation determined that if no corrective actions are implemented, there is the potential for the antenna and tuning weight to depart, which could impact and damage the tail rotor, resulting in the loss of directional control of the helicopter. Accordingly, Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03 mandates an initial and recurring inspections of the vertical stabilizer top end cap assembly, and corrective action if a crack is found. Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03 states that the corrective actions are interim actions until a permanent solution can be made available for the fleet.

This emergency AD is intended to detect cracking in the vertical stabilizer top end cap assembly. This condition, if not addressed, could result in the antenna or tuning weight departing from the helicopter and impacting and damaging the tail rotor, resulting in the loss of directional control of the helicopter.

Related Service Information

The FAA reviewed Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03, which requires, within 10 hours air time, accomplishing a one-time detailed visual inspection of the vertical stabilizer top end cap assembly for cracking and accomplishing corrective action if cracking is found. Thereafter at intervals not greater than 25 hours air time following the accomplishment of the 10-hour air time inspection or the corrective action, Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03 requires performing recurring detailed visual inspections of the vertical stabilizer top end cap assembly for cracking.

The FAA also reviewed Bell Alert Service Bulletin 505-24-38, dated January 24, 2024, which specifies procedures for performing a one-time detailed inspection of the top end cap assembly for cracking, provides instructions for replacing a cracked top end cap assembly, and provides instructions for a performing a recurring detailed inspection of the top end cap assembly.

FAA’s Determination

These products have been approved by the aviation authority of another country and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with this State of Design Authority, it has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in its emergency AD described above. The FAA is issuing this emergency AD after determining that the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Emergency AD Requirements

This emergency AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03, described previously, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this emergency AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03 is incorporated by reference in this FAA emergency AD. This emergency AD, therefore, requires compliance with Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03 in its entirety through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this emergency AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section in Transport Canada AD CF2024-03 does not mean that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the emergency AD requirement refers to "all required actions and compliance times," compliance with this emergency AD requirement is not limited to the sections titled "Compliance" and "Corrective Actions" in Transport Canada AD CF-2024-03.

Interim Action

The FAA considers that this emergency AD is an interim action. If final action is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.

Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective Date

Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency, for "good cause," finds that those procedures are "impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest." Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days, upon a finding of good cause.

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this emergency AD to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because cracking of the vertical stabilizer top end cap assembly could result in loss of the antenna and tuning weight during flight and damage to the tail rotor, which is critical for directional control of the helicopter. As the FAA also has no information pertaining to the quantity of cracked vertical stabilizer top end cap assemblies that may currently exist in the U.S. fleet or how quickly the condition may propagate to failure, the inspections required by this emergency AD must be accomplished within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) followed by repetitive actions at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, with corrective action required before further flight. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days, for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and comment.

Authority for this Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority.

The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Presentation of the Actual Emergency Airworthiness Directive

The FAA is issuing this emergency airworthiness directive under 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, and 44701 according to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator.