Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM (77 FR 30232, May 22, 2012).
We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.
We reviewed Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 412-11-148 and ASB No. 412CF-11-47, both Revision A, and both dated December 12, 2011, which describe procedures for repetitively inspecting the collective lever with a magnifying glass and a strong light source and, if necessary, a fluorescent penetrant inspection. If there is a crack, the ASBs require replacing the collective lever.
The BHT ASBs require compliance within 100 hours of flight time for the initial inspection; this AD requires compliance within 25 hours TIS or 30 days, whichever occurs first. If there is a crack, the BHT ASBs require reporting the defect to Bell Product Support Engineering; this AD does not. The BHT ASBs allow a portion of the collective lever to be inspected by a mirror and light only without a magnifying glass; this AD requires using a 10X or higher power magnifying glass for the entire inspection.
We estimate that this AD will affect 83 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Inspecting the collective lever requires one work-hour at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, for a cost per helicopter of $85 and a total cost to the U.S. operator fleet of $7,055 per inspection cycle. Replacing a cracked collective lever requires 10 work-hours at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour and required parts will cost $12,883, for a total cost of $13,733 per helicopter.
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.
We are 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.
This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect 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.
For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866;
(2) Is not a "significant rule" under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and
(4) 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.
We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of December 20, 2012.
Examining the AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at