Airworthiness directives: Eurocopter France,

[Federal Register: June 23, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 120)]

[Proposed Rules]

[Page 34135-34136]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr23jn98-10]

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 98-SW-01-AD]

Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model AS 332C, L, L1 and L2 Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY: This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to Eurocopter France Model AS 332C, L, L1, and L2 helicopters. This proposal would require replacing certain circuit breakers. This proposal is prompted by the manufacturer discovering, upon testing a circuit breaker installed in a helicopter, the loss of electrical continuity between the terminals of the installed circuit breaker. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent loss of electrical power caused by improper installation of certain circuit breakers causing deterioration in the operation of the circuit breakers, loss of instrumentation, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 23, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, Attention: Rules Docket No. 98-SW-01-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75053-4005, telephone (972) 641-3460, fax (972) 641- 3527. This information may be examined at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert McCallister, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5121, fax (817) 222-5961.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications should identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report summarizing each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filedin the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this notice must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ``Comments to Docket No. 98-SW-01-AD.'' The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, Attention: Rules Docket No. 98-SW-01-AD, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

Discussion

The Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, recently notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on Eurocopter France Model AS 332C, L, L1, and L2 helicopters. The DGAC advises of the loss of continuity on certain single-pole circuit breakers.

Eurocopter France has issued Service Bulletin No. 01.00-49, dated June 30, 1997, (SB) for Models AS 332C, L, L1, and L2 to inspect Crouzet single-pole circuit breakers, Part Number (P/N) 84 400 028 through 84 400 037, and to replace all circuit breakers that have any loss of electrical continuity. The DGAC classified this SB as mandatory and issued DGAC AD's 97-202-062(AB) and 97-201-007(AB), both dated August 27, 1997, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these helicopters in France.

These helicopter models are manufactured in France and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the DGAC, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other Eurocopter France Model AS 332C, L, L1, and L2 helicopters of the same type design

[[Page 34136]]

registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require inspection of any Crouzet single-pole circuit breakers, P/N 84 400 028 through 84 400 037, and replacement of all circuit breakers that have any loss of electrical continuity. The actions would be required to be accomplished in accordance with the SB described previously.

The FAA estimates that three helicopters of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately three work hours per helicopter to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $5,750 per helicopter. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $17,790.

The regulations proposed herein would not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 12612, it is determined that this proposal would not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed regulation (1) is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A copy of the draft regulatory evaluation prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

  1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

    Sec. 39.13 [Amended]

  2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive to read as follows:

    Eurocopter France: Docket No. 98-SW-01-AD.

    Applicability: Eurocopter France Model AS 332C, L, L1, and L2 Helicopters, with Crouzet circuit breaker, Part Number (P/N) 84 400 028 through 84 400 037, installed, certificated in any category.

    Note 1: This AD applies to each helicopter identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For helicopters that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must use the authority provided in paragraph (d) to request approval from the FAA. This approval may address either no action, if the current configuration eliminates the unsafe condition, or different actions necessary to address the unsafe condition described in this AD. Such a request should include an assessment of the effect of the changed configuration on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD. In no case does the presence of any modification, alteration, or repair remove any helicopter from the applicability of this AD.

    Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

    To prevent loss of electrical power, loss of instrumentation, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

    (a) On or before 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) or within the next 3 calendar months, whichever occurs first,

    (1) For Model AS 332C, L, and L1, inspect the circuit breakers listed in paragraph 1.D.1) of the Planning Information in Eurocopter France Service Bulletin No. 01.00.49, dated June 30, 1997 (SB) according to the operational procedure in paragraph 2.B. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the SB;

    (2) For Model AS 332L2, inspect the circuit breakers fitted to the DC power system, the 20 kVA and 30 kVA AC master box, the emergency flotation gear, and the second battery according to the operational procedure in paragraph 2.B. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the SB.

    (b) On or before 500 hours TIS or 6 calendar months, whichever occurs first, inspect all remaining circuit breakers in accordance with paragraph 2.B. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the SB.

    (c) Except for circuit breaker type 84-402(x), after compliance with paragraph (a) of this AD, any replacement circuit breaker installed, or any circuit breaker removed and reinstalled, must be inspected prior to further flight according to the operational procedure of paragraph 2.B. of the Accomplishment Instructions of the SB. Replacement of all circuit breakers with circuit breaker type 84-402(x) is terminating action for the requirements of this AD.

    (d) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate. Operators shall submit their requests through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may concur or comment and then send it to the Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Staff.

    Note 2: Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Rotorcraft Standards Staff.

    (e) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the helicopter to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

    Note 3: The subject of this AD is addressed in Direction Generale De L'Aviation Civile (France) AD 97-202-062(AB) and 97-201- 007(AB), both dated August 27, 1997.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 16, 1998. Eric Bries, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

    [FR Doc. 98-16613Filed6-22-98; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P