[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 110 (Thursday, June 10, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30759-30761]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-12037]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-1183; Project Identifier 2019-SW-008-AD; Amendment 
39-21565; AD 2021-11-03]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC 155B, EC155B1, SA-365N, SA-365N1, 
AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters, as identified in a European 
Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) 
(EASA) AD. This AD was prompted by a report of an in-flight loss of 
engine and main gearbox (MGB) cowlings. This AD requires inspecting the 
MGB fixed cowling front fitting (MGB front fitting), and depending on 
findings, corrective action. This AD also requires a new modification, 
which is a terminating action for the inspection, as specified in an 
EASA AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD 
to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective July 15, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 15, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this 
AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; 
telephone +49 221 8999 000; email [email protected]; internet 
www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this material on the EASA website at 
https://ad.easa.europa.eu. For Airbus Helicopters service information, 
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 view this material 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. It is also available in the 
AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching 
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-1183.

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-2020-
1183; 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, any comments received, and other information. The 
address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

[[Page 30760]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Blaine Williams, Aerospace Engineer, 
Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, 3960 
Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5371; 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0008, dated January 22, 2019 
(EASA AD 2019-0008) to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus 
Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale, 
Model EC 155 B, EC 155 B1, SA 365 N, SA 365 N1, AS 365 N2, and AS 365 
N3 helicopters.
    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Model EC 155 B, 
EC155B1, SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. The 
NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 5, 2021 (86 FR 12862). 
The NPRM was prompted by reports of an in-flight loss of engine and MGB 
cowlings. Subsequent investigations revealed that the MGB cowling 
attachment fittings failed because of mounting stress in the MGB front 
fitting and air intake bulkhead. The NPRM proposed to require 
inspecting and if necessary, replacing the MGB front fitting. The NPRM 
also proposed to require modifying the MGB front fitting, as specified 
in an EASA AD.
    The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of an MGB front 
fitting and subsequent detachment of the MGB or engine cowlings. See 
EASA AD 2019-0008 for additional background information.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in 
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or 
on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

    The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety 
and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2019-0008 requires inspecting the MGB front fittings within 
110 flight hours after April 14, 2017 (the effective date of EASA AD 
2017-0055, dated March 31, 2017). If there is a discrepancy, the EASA 
AD requires applicable corrective action(s) before next flight. EASA AD 
2019-0008 also requires modification of the MGB fixed cowling 
attachments within 660 flight hours or 23 months, whichever occurs 
first, after the effective date described in EASA AD 2019-0008. 
Accomplishing the modification constitutes a terminating action for the 
required inspection.
    The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB 
No. AS365-53.00.62 and ASB No. EC155-53A038, each Revision 0 and dated 
December 20, 2018 (ASB AS365-53.00.62 and ASB EC155-53A038). ASB AS365-
53.00.62 applies to Model AS365-series helicopters. ASB EC155-53A038 
applies to Model EC155-series helicopters. This service information 
specifies replacing the front bracket, inspecting for stress of the MGB 
fixed cowlings on the radiator bulkhead, and installing an additional 
locking system.
    This material 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.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 19 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on 
these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following 
costs in order to comply with this AD.
    Inspecting the MGB front fittings takes about 2 work-hours for an 
estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $3,230 for the U.S. fleet. If 
required, replacing an MGB front fitting takes about 2 work-hours and 
parts cost about $590 for an estimated total cost of $760 per fitting. 
Other repairs will take up to 8 work-hours (excluding drying time) and 
parts will cost a minimal amount for an estimated cost of up to $680 
per helicopter.
    Modifying the MGB fixed cowling attachments takes about 5 work-
hours and parts cost about $630 for an estimated cost of $1,055 per 
helicopter and $20,045 for the U.S. fleet.

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,
    (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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 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:

2021-11-03 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21565; Docket No. FAA-
2020-1183; Project Identifier 2019-SW-008-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective July 15, 2021.

[[Page 30761]]

(b) Affected Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC 155B, EC155B1, 
SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters, certificated 
in any category, as identified in European Aviation Safety Agency 
(now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 2019-0008, 
dated January 22, 2019 (EASA AD 2019-0008).

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 7110, Engine 
Cowling System.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of an in-flight loss of main 
gearbox (MGB) and engine cowlings. The FAA is issuing this AD to 
address a failure of the MGB fixed cowling front fitting, and 
subsequent MGB cowling or engine cowling detachment, which could 
result in damage to the helicopter, loss of helicopter control, and 
possible injury to persons on the ground.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, EASA AD 2019-0008.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0008

    (1) Where EASA AD 2019-0008 refers to April 14, 2017 (the 
effective date of EASA AD 2017-0055, dated March 31, 2017), this AD 
requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where EASA AD 2019-0008 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (3) Where EASA AD 2019-0008 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service.
    (4) Where EASA AD 2019-0008 requires the modification within 660 
flight hours or 23 months, whichever occurs first, this AD requires 
the modification within 660 hours time-in-service instead.
    (5) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2019-
0008 specifies to discard certain parts, this AD requires removing 
those parts from service instead.
    (6) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2019-
0008 specifies to use tooling, equivalent tooling may be used.
    (7) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2019-0008 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (8) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2019-0008 states to, 
``inspect the MGB fixed cowling front fittings in accordance with 
the instructions of paragraph 1.E.2 of the applicable inspection ASB 
or in accordance with the instructions of the applicable 
modification ASB,'' this AD requires determining if Airbus 
Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. 53.00.55, Revision 0, dated 
March 13, 2017, or Revision 1, dated December 20, 2018, has or has 
not been complied with and following the instructions, ``For 
helicopters on which ALERT SERVICE BULLETIN No. 53.00.55 has not 
been complied with'' or ``For helicopters on which ALERT SERVICE 
BULLETIN No. 53.00.55 has been complied with,'' as applicable, in 
paragraph 1.E.2, of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB 
No. AS365-53.00.62 or ASB No. EC155-53A038, each Revision 0 and 
dated December 20, 2018 (ASB AS365-53.00.62 or ASB EC155-53A038), as 
applicable to your model helicopter.
    (9) Where paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2019-0008 states to, 
``accomplish the applicable corrective action(s) in accordance with 
paragraph 1.E.2 of the applicable inspection ASB or in accordance 
with the instructions of the applicable modification ASB,'' this AD 
requires accomplishing the applicable corrective actions by 
following ASB AS365-53.00.62 or ASB EC155-53A038, as applicable to 
your model helicopter.
    (10) Where paragraph 3.B.2.e.3 of the applicable modification 
ASB referenced in EASA AD 2019-0008 refers to paragraph 3.B.e.3, 
this AD requires referring to paragraph 3.B.3 of ASB AS365-53.00.62 
or ASB EC155-53A038, as applicable to your model helicopter.

(i) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 
21.199, are not allowed.

 (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation 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 International Validation Branch, send 
it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k) of 
this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected].
    (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.

(k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Blaine Williams, 
Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 
90712; telephone (562) 627-5227; email [email protected].

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0008, dated 
January 22, 2019.
    (ii) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. AS365-
53.00.62, Revision 0, dated December 20, 2018.
    (iii) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. EC155-
53A038, Revision 0, dated December 20, 2018.
    (3) For EASA AD 2019-0008, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-
Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email 
[email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this 
EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. For Airbus 
Helicopters service information, 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.
    (4) 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. This material may be 
found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-
2020-1183.
    (5) You may view this material that is incorporated by reference 
at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For 
information on the availability of this material at NARA, email 
[email protected], or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on May 11, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-12037 Filed 6-9-21; 8:45 am]
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