[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 232 (Tuesday, December 3, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66080-66082]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26079]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 232 / Tuesday, December 3, 2019 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 66080]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2019-0970; Product Identifier 2018-SW-089-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, and 
AS332L2 helicopters. This proposed AD would require removing the drain 
plugs from the fuel tank compartments located under the bottom 
structure. This proposed AD is prompted by the discovery that a 
modification to the fuel tank could lead to fuel accumulating in an 
area containing electrical equipment and subsequent ignition of fuel 
vapors. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 3, 
2020.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address 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 https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0970; 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 proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the 
economic 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 proposed rule, contact 
Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; 
telephone 972-641-0000 or 800-232-0323; fax 972-641-3775; or at https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. 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: Jignesh Patel, Aerospace Engineer, 
Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email 
jignesh.pat[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
written comments, data, or views. The FAA also invites comments 
relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts 
that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The 
most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 
explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting 
data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, 
commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if 
comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one 
time.
    The FAA will file in the docket all comments received, as well as a 
report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel 
concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, 
the FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing 
date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the 
comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring 
expense or delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light of the 
comments received.

Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2018-0209, dated September 21, 
2018 (EASA AD 2018-0209), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus 
Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale) 
Model AS 332 C, AS 332 C1, AS 332 L, AS 332 L1, and AS 332 L2 
helicopters, except those with modification 0726383.
    EASA advises that during production of AS332 helicopters, closure 
of the fuel tank drains with plugs was implemented. EASA states that 
this closure disregards compliance with an airworthiness certification 
requirement and in the event of fuel leakage in flight, a closed fuel 
drain creates the risk of fuel accumulation and/or migration to an 
adjacent area. EASA advises this area may contain electrical equipment 
that could be susceptible to creating a source of ignition. EASA states 
this condition, if not corrected, could result in the ignition of fuel 
vapors, resulting in a fire causing damage to the helicopter or injury 
to the occupants.
    Accordingly, EASA AD 2018-0209 requires modification of the 
draining system of the fuel tank compartments by removing the drain 
plugs from the fuel tank compartments located under the bottom 
structure.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for 
operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral 
agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA about the 
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD 
after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that an 
unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the 
same type designs.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 
AS332-

[[Page 66081]]

53.01.62, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2019 (ASB AS332-53.01.62, Revision 
1), for Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 
helicopters. This service information contains procedures for removing 
the drain plugs from the fuel tank compartments located under the 
bottom structure of the helicopter. This service information also 
specifies that the number of drain plugs varies depending on the 
version of the helicopter.
    This service information is reasonably available because the 
interested parties have access to it through their normal course of 
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Other Related Service Information

    The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-53.01.62, 
Revision 0, dated June 7, 2018 (AS332-53.01.62, Revision 0). AS332-
53.01.62, Revision 0, contains the same procedures as AS332-53.01.62, 
Revision 1. However, AS332-53.01.62, Revision 1, also addresses 
military versions.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require removing the drain plugs from the 
fuel tank compartments.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 11 helicopters 
of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the 
following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are 
estimated at $85 per work-hour.
    Removing the 6 drain plugs installed on Model AS332C and AS332C1 
helicopters would take about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 
per helicopter and $170 for the U.S. fleet size of 1 helicopter.
    Removing the 7 drain plugs installed on Model AS332L, AS332L1, and 
AS332L2 helicopters would take about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost 
of $170 per helicopter and $1,700 for the U.S. fleet size of 10 
helicopters.

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

    The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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, I certify this proposed regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866,
    2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    3. 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.
    The FAA prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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 adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2019-0970; Product Identifier 
2018-SW-089-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, 
AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 helicopters, certificated in any 
category, except those with modification 0726383 installed.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as closure of fuel tank 
drains. This condition could result in fuel accumulating in an area 
containing electrical equipment and ignition of fuel vapors. This 
condition could result in a fire and subsequent damage to the 
helicopter or injury to the occupants.

(c) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments by February 3, 2020.

(d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this 
AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been 
accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

    Within 110 hours time-in-service or during the next scheduled 
maintenance, whichever occurs first:
    (1) For Model AS332C and AS332C1 helicopters, remove the 6 fuel 
tank drain plugs by following the Accomplishment Instructions, 
paragraph 3.B.2. of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. 
AS332-53.01.62, Revision 1, dated May 28, 2019 (ASB AS332-53.01.62), 
except you are not required to place the drain plugs in stock.
    (2) For Model AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 helicopters, remove 
the 7 fuel tank drain plugs by following the Accomplishment 
Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2. of ASB AS332-53.01.62, except you are 
not required to place the drain plugs in stock.

(f) Credit for Previous Actions

    Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD in 
accordance with the procedures specified in Airbus Helicopters Alert 
Service Bulletin No. AS332-53.01.62, Revision 0, dated June 7, 2018, 
are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding 
actions specified in paragraph (e) of this AD.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards 
Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: 
Jignesh Patel, Aerospace Engineer, Safety Management Section, 
Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, 
TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email [email protected].
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, the FAA suggests 
that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal 
inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office 
or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft 
complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(h) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS332-
53.01.62, Revision 0, dated June 7, 2018, which is not incorporated 
by reference, contains additional information about the subject of 
this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact

[[Page 66082]]

Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; 
telephone 972-641-0000 or 800-232-0323; fax 972-641-3775; or at 
https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. 
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.
    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation 
Safety (EASA) AD No. 2018-0209, dated September 21, 2018. You may 
view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in 
the AD Docket.

(i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2810, Fuel 
Storage.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 25, 2019.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-26079 Filed 12-2-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P