[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 176 (Wednesday, September 11, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47877-47879]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18704]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2019-0641; Product Identifier 2019-SW-020-AD; Amendment 
39-19720; AD 2019-16-16]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-18-12 
for Airbus Helicopters (Airbus) Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, 
AS350B3, and AS350BA helicopters with a certain part-numbered Pall 
Aerospace Corporation Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) element installed. AD 
2018-18-12 required revising the Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement 
(RFMS) for your helicopter to prohibit operating a helicopter with an 
IBF element in wet weather and drying or replacing the IBF element if 
wet. This AD retains the requirements of AD 2018-18-12 but no longer 
allows reinstallation of a filter after it has been removed. This AD 
also expands the applicability, provides an optional terminating action 
for the RFMS revision for your helicopter, and prohibits installing the 
affected IBFs on any helicopter. This AD was prompted by further review 
of the unsafe condition and the determination that additional part-
numbered IBF elements are affected by the unsafe condition. The actions 
of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these 
products.

DATES: This AD is effective September 26, 2019.
    The FAA must receive any comments on this AD by October 28, 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.

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-
0641; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received and 
other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed 
above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after 
receipt.
    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Pall 
Aerospace Corporation, 10540 Ridge Road, Suite 300, Newport Richey, FL 
34654; telephone 727-514-6491; email [email protected]; website 
www.pall.com/aerospace. You may review the referenced service 
information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest 
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gary Wechsler, Aerospace Engineer, 
Atlanta ACO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1701 
Columbia Ave., College Park, GA, 30337, telephone 404-474-5575, email 
Ga[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety, and the FAA did not provide you with notice and an opportunity 
to provide your comments before it becomes effective. However, the FAA 
invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this 
final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES 
section. Include Docket No. FAA-2019-0641; Product Identifier 2019-SW-
020-AD, at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites 
comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy 
aspects of this final rule. The FAA will consider all comments received 
by the closing date and may amend this final rule because of those 
comments.
    The FAA will post all comments the FAA receives, 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 the FAA receives about this final rule.

Discussion

    The FAA issued AD 2018-18-12, Amendment 39-19391 (83 FR 45545, 
September 10, 2018), (``AD 2018-18-12''), for Airbus Model AS350B, 
AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350BA helicopters with a Pall 
Aerospace IBF element part number (P/N) CE01301F2 or CE01301F2B 
installed. AD 2018-18-12 required, within 30 days, revising the RFMS 
for your helicopter by inserting Appendix A of the AD into the 
limitations section. AD 2018-18-12 resulted from a forced landing after 
an engine flameout. The FAA issued AD 2018-18-12 to prevent ingestion 
of an excessive amount of water by the engine. This condition could 
result in engine flame out and failure, leading to loss of helicopter 
control.

Actions Since AD 2018-18-12 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2018-18-12, Pall Corporation revised its 
Service Information Letter (SIL) CE01301F2SINFOL Revision A, dated July 
15, 2015 (SIL Revision A), to SIL CE01301F2SINFOL Revision B, dated 
October 12, 2018 (SIL Revision B) to notify affected owners of FAA AD 
requirements. Further, a public comment from the European Aviation 
Safety Agency (EASA), and additional in-service incidents and 
information from both Pall Aerospace and Transport Canada, have 
revealed that IBF elements P/N CE01303F2 and CE01303F2B are also 
affected by the unsafe condition. This AD now expands the applicability 
to include those part-numbered IBF elements.
    The FAA has also determined that reinstallation of a filter after 
it has been removed may lead to an unsafe condition; therefore 
reinstallation of a filter after it has been removed is now prohibited. 
Additionally, the FAA has determined that prohibiting the

[[Page 47878]]

installation of IBF element P/N CE01301F2, CE01301F2B, CE01303F2, or 
CE01303F2B on any helicopter is necessary to prevent the unsafe 
condition. Finally, the FAA is providing an optional terminating action 
for the RFMS revision for your helicopter which consists of removing 
the affected IBF element from service. The FAA is currently considering 
removing the IBF element as a requirement rather than an option, 
however, the planned compliance time for that requirement would allow 
enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment 
on the merits of the removal.

Comments to AD 2018-18-12

    After AD 2018-18-12 was published, the FAA received comments from 
two commenters.

Request

    Andrew Greene requested the FAA provide field reports and other 
data used in support of the AD, including any findings from the FAA's 
testing or analysis.
    As described in AD 2018-18-12 and FAA Special Airworthiness 
Information Bulletin SW-17-30, dated October 13, 2017, the first 
reported[thinsp]incident pertaining to this unsafe condition involved 
an Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopter fitted with an IBF. 
Post-incident inspection of the helicopter's turbine engine showed that 
violent water ingestion damaged six axial compressor blades. Pall 
Aerospace conducted an internal assessment proving that water 
accumulation is possible and can be introduced to the engine with a 
Pall Aerospace IBF. Pall Aerospace also confirmed through laboratory 
testing that engine flameout or loss of power is possible due to water 
accumulation in the pleats and water collection downstream of the 
filter at the intake. These conditions can subsequently lead to violent 
water ingestion as the collected water is released by an increase in 
engine power or a nose-down attitude. Other realized associated risks 
include increased pilot workload and phase of flight risks, 
particularly during transient phases at nose down attitudes. During 
investigation of the first incident, two reports of previous incidents 
were received that involved helicopters equipped with IBFs or induction 
filter installations. One incident resulted in difficultly starting the 
helicopter, but once the water was removed from the filter, no further 
problems occurred. The other incident occurred in-flight during heavy 
rain conditions resulting in an amber filter light illuminating, 
indicating a blocked or clogged filter. In this incident, the operator 
opened the bypass door and returned to base. Further, additional 
incidents have occurred since AD 2018-18-12 was issued that support 
that AD action is necessary. An incident was reported with an IBF 
element P/N CE01303F2 installed on a helicopter that was stored outside 
and uncovered during a snowfall. The operator could not start the 
helicopter due to accumulated moisture. Another incident occurred in 
which a helicopter with an IBF element P/N CE01303F2B also experienced 
issues with starting the engine. The filter had been removed for 
routine maintenance and was allowed to dry. After reinstallation, the 
operator attempted two starts that failed. Once the Pall IBF element 
was replaced with a filter from a different manufacturer, the engine 
started successfully.
    Mr. Greene also requested a list of the regulations Pall Aerospace 
was required to address and the method used to demonstrate compliance 
for each approval of the replacement elements.
    Showing compliance to regulations is part of the certification 
process, which generally involves proprietary information. This comment 
does not address whether this AD is necessary or the requirements to 
correct the unsafe condition presented by the affected IBF elements. 
The FAA did not make any changes based on this comment.
    EASA requested AD 2018-18-12 be changed to add Pall Aerospace IBF 
elements P/Ns CE01303F2 and P/N CE01303F2B to the applicability 
paragraph. EASA states it is unclear why Pall Aerospace IBF elements P/
Ns CE01303F2 and P/N CE01303F2B were omitted in AD 2018-18-12 and that 
this omission conflicts with SIL Revision A.
    The FAA agrees and has included P/Ns CE01303F2 and CE01303F2B in 
the applicability paragraph of this AD.

Related Service Information

    The FAA reviewed SIL Revision B, which recommends covering the 
engine inlet if the helicopter is outside while not operating and 
conducting pre-flight inspections to ensure the engine inlet is clear 
of water. SIL Revision B also notifies all affected operators of FAA AD 
requirements.

FAA's Determination

    The FAA is issuing this AD after evaluating all the relevant 
information, considering the comments received to AD 2018-18-12, and 
determining the unsafe condition described previously is likely to 
exist or develop in other products of these same type designs.

AD Requirements

    This AD requires, for Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, 
AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350BA helicopters with an IBF element 
CE01301F2, CE01301F2B, CE01303F2, or CE01303F2B installed, within 30 
days, revising the RFMS for your helicopter by inserting Appendix A of 
this AD into the limitations section. Alternatively, as an optional 
termination action to the RFMS revision for your helicopter, this AD 
allows removing the IBF element from service. This AD also prohibits 
the installation of an affected IBF element on any helicopter.

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

    The service information allows for removing water and reinstalling 
the IBF element if there is standing water on the engine inlet. This AD 
prohibits reinstalling any IBF element after it has been removed.

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.) 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 seeking comment prior to the 
rulemaking.
    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to 
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public 
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule 
because the unsafe condition requires corrective action within 30 days. 
Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are 
impracticable and contrary to public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B). In addition, for the reasons stated above, 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.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 81 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on 
these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this AD.
    Revising the RFMS for your helicopter takes about 1 work-hour for 
an

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estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $6,885 for the U.S. fleet. 
Removing the IBF element takes about 2 work-hours and parts cost about 
$3,995 for an estimated cost of $4,165 per helicopter.

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.

Regulatory Findings

    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,
    and
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation 
Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
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]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2018-18-12, Amendment 39-19391 (83 FR 45545, September 10, 2018) and 
adding the following new AD:

2019-16-16 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-19720; Docket No. FAA-
2019-0641; Product Identifier 2019-SW-020-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 26, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2018-18-12, Amendment 39-19391 (83 FR 45545, 
September 10, 2018).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, 
AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350BA helicopters, certificated in any 
category, with a Pall Aerospace Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) element 
part number (P/N) CE01301F2, CE01301F2B, CE01303F2, or CE01303F2B 
installed.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 7160, Engine Air 
Intake System.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as ingestion of an 
excessive amount of water by the engine. This condition could result 
in engine flame out and failure, leading to loss of helicopter 
control.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

    (1) Within 30 days, revise the Rotorcraft Flight Manual 
Supplement for your helicopter by inserting Appendix A of this AD 
into the limitations section.
    (2) As an optional terminating action to the requirement in 
paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, remove the affected Pall Aerospace IBF 
element from service.
    (3) After the effective date of this AD, do not install IBF 
element P/N CE01301F2, CE01301F2B, CE01303F2, or CE01303F2B on any 
helicopter.

(h) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to 
approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found 
in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request 
to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District 
Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the 
manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the 
person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD.
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.

(j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Gary Wechsler, 
Aerospace Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness 
Division, FAA, 1701 Columbia Ave., College Park, GA 30337, telephone 
404-474-5567, email [email protected].

Appendix A to AD 2019-16-16

Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement

    (1) Helicopter operation is prohibited if the filter is wet or 
when visible moisture (rain/snow/ice/water) is present in the inlet 
or on the filter (inspect filter by hand for wetness). If the filter 
is wet, remove the filter from service prior to operation.
    (2) Helicopter flight is prohibited in visible moisture.
    (3) If the helicopter inadvertently enters precipitation (rain/
snow/ice/water), open bypass doors (if equipped), avoid sudden and 
rapid power transients, and land as soon as practical.
    (4) Inlet covers must be installed when the rotorcraft is not in 
flight to prevent moisture from collecting in the inlet or on the 
filter.
    (5) Inspect inlet and filter for visible moisture accumulation 
prior to flight. If moisture is present, helicopter operation is 
prohibited.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on August 16, 2019.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-18704 Filed 9-10-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P