Proposed AD - Failure of Tailboom Attaching Points

FEDERAL REGISTER LINK TO MAKE COMMENTS

Action

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

Summary

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for various helicopters operating under experimental airworthiness certificates and various type certificated restricted category helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by multiple accidents and incidents involving failure of the tail boom attachment structure and bolts. This proposed AD would require revising the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your helicopter to incorporate pre-flight checks; removing paint and sealant, and cleaning; repetitive inspections of structural components that attach the tail boom to the fuselage; and depending on the outcome of the inspections, repairing or replacing components, or re-bonding the structure. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Dates

The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 16, 2019.

Addresses

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

  • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For AST, Inc. service information identified in this NPRM, contact: AST, Inc., 34976 Kamph Drive NE, Albany, OR 97322.

For JJASPP Engineering Services, LLC service information identified in this NPRM, contact: JJASPP Engineering Services, LLC, 511 Harmon Terrace, Arlington, TX 76010; phone: (817) 465-4495; website: www.jjaspp.com.

For Northwest Rotorcraft, LLC service information identified in this NPRM, contact: Northwest Rotorcraft, LLC, 1000 85th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501; phone: (360) 754-7200; website: www.nwhelicopters.com.

For Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc., service information identified in this NPRM, contact: Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc., 1181 Osprey Nest Point, Orange Park, FL 32073.

For Robinson Air Crane, Inc., service information identified in this NPRM, contact: Robinson Air Crane, Inc., 230 Bermuda Beach Drive, Ft Pierce, FL 34949; phone: (305) 302-9696.

For Rotorcraft Development Corporation service information identified in this NPRM, contact: Rotorcraft Development Corporation, P.O. Box 430, Corvallis, MT 59828; phone: (207) 329-2518; email: administration@rotorcraftdevelopment.com.

For San Joaquin Helicopters service information identified in this NPRM, contact: San Joaquin Helicopters, 1407 South Lexington Street, Delano, CA 93215; phone: (661) 725-1898; website: www.sjhelicopters.com.

For Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc. service information identified in this NPRM, contact: Southwest Florida Aviation International, Inc., 28000-A9 Airport Road, Bldg. 101, Punta Gorda, FL 33982-9587.

For Tamarack Helicopters Inc. service information identified in this NPRM, contact: Tamarack Helicopters Inc, 2849 McIntyre Rd, Stevensville, MT 59870; phone: (406) 777-0144; website: www.tamarackhelicopters.com.

You may view this service information 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0759; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs), the supplemental type certificate, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

For Further Information Contact

Richard R. Thomas, Aerospace Engineer, Denver ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 26805 East 68th Ave., Room 214, Denver, CO 80249; phone: (303) 342-1085; fax: (303) 342-1088; email: richard.r.thomas@faa.gov.

Supplementary Information

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2019-0759; Product Identifier 2018-SW-075-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

The FAA will post all comments received, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.

Discussion

The FAA proposes to adopt a new AD for Model EH-1H, EH-1X, HH-1H, HH-1N, UH-1D, UH-1M, UH-1N, and UH-1V helicopters operating under experimental airworthiness certificates; and for restricted category type certificated Model HH-1K, TH-1F, TH-1L, UH-1A, UH-1B without STC No. SR00026DE installed, UH-1E, UH-1F, UH-1H, UH-1L, and UH-1P helicopters. The FAA plans to publish separate rulemaking to address Model UH-1B with STC No. SR00026DE installed.

The type certificate holders for the restricted category models are Arrow Falcon Exporters Inc.; AST, Inc.; Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.; California Department of Forestry; West Coast Fabrications; Global Helicopter Technology, Inc.; Hagglund Helicopters, LLC; International Helicopters, Inc.; JJASPP Engineering Services, LLC; JTBAM, Inc.; Northwest Rotorcraft, LLC; Red Tail Flying Services, LLC; Richards Heavylift Helo, Inc.; Robinson Air Crane, Inc.; Rotorcraft Development Corporation; San Joaqu