[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 175 (Tuesday, September 14, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 51042-51044]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-19614]



[[Page 51042]]

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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0779; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01505-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH 
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 Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model MBB-BK 117 D-2 
helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of chafing marks 
on a wiring harness near the locking washer of the lateral control rod. 
This proposed AD would require an inspection of the wiring harness and 
the routing of the wiring harness and corrective actions if necessary, 
as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, 
which is proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). 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 October 29, 
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 above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For EASA material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact 
EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 
8999 000; email: [email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find the EASA material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. 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. This material is also 
available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0779.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0779; 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 EASA AD, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
Docket Operations is listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacob Fitch, Aerospace Engineer, COS 
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 
76177; phone: (817) 222-4130; 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-2021-0779; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2020-01505-R'' 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 Jacob 
Fitch, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational 
Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood 
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: (817) 222-4130; email: 
[email protected]. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not 
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for 
this rulemaking.

Background

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0246, dated November 10, 2020 
(EASA AD 2020-0246), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus 
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH, formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH 
Model MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report of chafing marks on a 
wiring harness near the locking washer of the lateral control rod. The 
FAA is proposing this AD to address chafing marks on a wiring harness 
near the locking washer of the lateral control rod, which if not 
addressed, could result in in-flight loss of the hoist load and 
possible personal injury, or could generate a burning smell and 
possible need for the flight crew to implement the applicable emergency 
procedure. See EASA AD 2020-0246 for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0246 requires an inspection of the wiring harness and 
the routing of the wiring harness for discrepancies (includes damaged 
wire harnesses and insufficient clearances) and corrective actions 
(includes repair of wire harnesses and re-routing the wire harness) if 
necessary, and an update of the Aircraft Maintenance Programme (AMP) to 
incorporate certain tasks. 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.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for 
operation

[[Page 51043]]

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.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0246, described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this proposed AD and except as discussed under 
``Differences Between this Proposed AD and the EASA AD.''

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation 
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance 
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been 
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the 
FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2020-0246 by reference in the FAA 
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with 
EASA AD 2020-0246 in its entirety through that incorporation, except 
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of 
this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading 
of a particular section in EASA AD 2020-0246 does not mean that 
operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD 
requirement refers to ``all required actions and compliance times,'' 
compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section 
titled ``Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)'' in EASA AD 2020-
0246. Service information required by EASA AD 2020-0246 for compliance 
will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0779 after the FAA final rule is 
published.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    EASA AD 2020-0246 requires revising the ``Aircraft Maintenance 
Programme (AMP),'' whereas this proposed AD would not because not all 
U.S. operators are required to have a maintenance program.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 31 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.

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on  U.S.
               Action                         Labor cost            Parts cost        product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspection.........................  1 work-hour x $85 per hour               $0             $85          $2,635
                                      = $85.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary repairs 
and re-routing that would be required based on the results of the 
proposed inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of 
aircraft that might need these repairs:

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                   Action                                 Labor cost                Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Repairs and re-routing.....................  Up to 1 work-hour x $85 per hour =             $0 *             $85
                                              $85.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates for the on-condition repairs
  specified in this proposed AD.

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 above, 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:

[[Page 51044]]

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:

Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH: Docket No. FAA-2021-0779; 
Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01505-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by October 29, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model 
MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters, certificated in any category, as 
identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-
0246, dated November 10, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0246).

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2597, Equip/
Furnishing System Wiring.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of chafing marks on a wiring 
harness near the locking washer of the lateral control rod. The FAA 
is issuing this AD to address chafing marks on a wiring harness near 
the locking washer of the lateral control rod. The unsafe condition, 
if not addressed, could result in in-flight loss of the hoist load 
and possible personal injury, or could generate a burning smell and 
possible need for the flight crew to implement the applicable 
emergency procedure.

(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 2020-0246.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0246

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0246 requires compliance in terms of 
flight hours, this AD requires using hours time-in-service.
    (2) Where EASA AD 2020-0246 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (3) Where Paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2020-0246 specifies to update 
the Aircraft Maintenance Programme (AMP) with certain tasks included 
in the service information referenced by EASA AD 2020-0246, this AD 
does not include that requirement.
    (4) This AD does not require the ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 
2020-0246.

(i) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 14 CFR 
21.197 and 21.199 to operate the helicopter to a location where the 
actions of this AD can be performed, provided that no debris from 
chafing is visible that would allow jamming or fouling of the flight 
controls, the chafing does not interfere with the flight controls by 
jamming or fouling, and the systems impacted by the wiring harness 
are rendered inoperable by collaring the circuit breaker.

(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)(2) 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

    (1) For EASA AD 2020-0246, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 
50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: 
[email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. 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. This material may be found in the AD docket at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2021-0779.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Jacob Fitch, 
Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational 
Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: (817) 222-4130; email: 
[email protected].

    Issued on September 2, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-19614 Filed 9-13-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P