[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 110 (Thursday, June 10, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 30822-30824]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-12039]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0455; Project Identifier 2018-SW-031-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AW189 helicopters. This proposed AD 
was prompted by fatigue testing and analyses. This proposed AD would 
require establishing a life limit for a certain part-numbered tail 
gearbox fitting. 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 July 26, 
2021.

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 https://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: Deliver to Mail address between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Leonardo 
S.p.A. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale 
G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-
225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or at https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/home. 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 at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0455; 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 European 
Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) 
(EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for Docket Operations is listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Bradley, Program Manager, COS 
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].

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 ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0455; Project Identifier 
2018-SW-031-AD'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposal because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to 
Kristi Bradley, Program Manager, COS Program Management Section, 
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 
email [email protected]. Any commentary that the FAA receives 
which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the 
public docket for this rulemaking.

[[Page 30823]]

Background

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0087, dated April 18, 2018 
(EASA AD 2018-0087), to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A. 
Helicopters (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A., AgustaWestland S.p.A.) Model 
AW189 helicopters. EASA advises of revisions resulting in Leonardo 
AW189 Maintenance Manual, Document 89-A-AMPI-00-P, Chapter IV, 
Airworthiness Limitations, Issue 13 (89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 13), 
which includes new and/or more restrictive airworthiness limitations 
and maintenance tasks since its original issuance. Failure to 
accomplish those airworthiness limitations and maintenance tasks could 
result in an unsafe condition.
    Accordingly, EASA AD 2018-0087 requires accomplishing the actions 
specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 13 and revising the Aircraft 
Maintenance Program (AMP) with the actions specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P 
ALS Issue 13.

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 
the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop 
on other helicopters of the same type design.

Related Service Information

    The FAA reviewed AW189 Air Vehicle Maintenance Planning 
Information, 89-B-AMPI-00-P, Chapter 4, Issue 6, dated July 17, 2018 
(89-B-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 6). 89-B-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 6 specifies 
various airworthiness limitations information including retirement 
lives, mandatory inspections, and certification maintenance 
requirements. 89-B-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 6 is equivalent to 89-A-AMPI-00-
P ALS Issue 13.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require determining the total hours time-in-
service (TIS) and total number of landings of tail gearbox fitting part 
number (P/N) 4F5350A04152. If the total hours TIS and total number of 
landings cannot be determined, this proposed AD would require removing 
the part from service. This proposed AD would establish a life limit 
for tail gearbox fitting P/N 4F5350A04152 and require removing the part 
from service according to the new life limit.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    EASA AD 2018-0087 applies to Model AW189 helicopters, whereas this 
proposed AD would apply to that model helicopter with tail gearbox 
fitting P/N 4F5350A04152 installed instead. EASA AD 2018-0087 requires 
accomplishing the actions specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 13 and 
revising the AMP with the actions specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 
13, whereas this proposed AD would require establishing a life limit 
for tail gearbox fitting P/N 4F5350A04152 and removing that part from 
service accordingly instead.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 4 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 
per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the following 
costs to comply with this proposed AD.
    Replacing a tail gearbox fitting would take about 48 work-hours and 
parts would cost about $30,000 for an estimated cost of $34,080 per 
helicopter and $136,320 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement cycle.

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) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) Would 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 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:

Leonardo S.p.a.: Docket No. FAA-2021-0455; Project Identifier 2018-
SW-031-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by July 26, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model AW189 helicopters, 
certificated in any category, with tail gearbox fitting part number 
(P/N) 4F5350A04152 installed.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6520, Tail Rotor 
Gearbox.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by fatigue testing and analyses. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to prevent parts from remaining in service beyond 
their fatigue life. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could 
result in failure of a part, which could result in loss of control 
of the helicopter.

(f) Compliance

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

[[Page 30824]]

(g) Required Actions

    Before further flight after the effective date of this AD:
    (1) Determine the total hours time-in-service (TIS) and total 
number of landings of tail gearbox fitting P/N 4F5350A04152. For 
purposes of this AD, a landing is counted anytime a helicopter lifts 
off into the air and then lands again regardless of the duration of 
the landing and regardless of whether the engine is shutdown. If the 
total hours TIS and total number of landings cannot be determined, 
before further flight, remove the part from service.
    (2) Remove any part from service that has reached or exceeded 
its life limit as follows. Thereafter, remove any part from service 
on or before reaching its life limit as follows. Tail gearbox 
fitting P/N 4F5350A04152: 14,600 total hours TIS or 57,300 total 
landings, whichever occurs first.

(h) 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 (i)(1) 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.

(i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kristi Bradley, 
Program Manager, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety 
Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood 
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
[email protected].
    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation 
Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 
2018-0087, dated April 18, 2018. You may view the EASA AD on the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0455.

    Issued on June 3, 2021.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-12039 Filed 6-9-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P