[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 224 (Wednesday, November 24, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66934-66937]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-25635]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-1009; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01173-R; 
Amendment 39-21827; AD 2021-24-06]
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 adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC130T2 helicopters. This AD was 
prompted by a report of degradation of the rear transmission shaft 
bearing support and the determination that all of the attachment rivets 
of the transmission shaft bearing support were sheared. This AD 
requires repetitive visual inspections of the rivets on the rear 
transmission shaft bearing support and of the local structure for 
cracking and missing, loose, or sheared rivets and accomplishment of 
applicable corrective actions, as specified in a European Union 
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. 
The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these 
products.

DATES: This AD becomes effective December 9, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 9, 
2021.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by January 10, 2022.

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 incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, 
contact 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 IBR 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. It is also available 
in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1009.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1009; 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 
EASA AD, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for Docket Operations is

[[Page 66935]]

listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after 
receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, 
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 
11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD 2021-0235-E, dated October 
28, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0235-E), to correct an unsafe condition for 
Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) Model EC 130 T2 helicopters, 
all serial numbers, on which Airbus Helicopters Modification 074581 has 
been embodied in production.
    This AD was prompted by a report of degradation of the rear 
transmission shaft bearing support on a Model EC130T2 helicopter and 
the determination that all of the attachment rivets of the transmission 
shaft bearing support were sheared. The investigation is still on-going 
to identify the root cause of this degradation. The FAA is issuing this 
AD to address sheared attachment rivets of the transmission shaft 
bearing support. This condition, if not addressed, could lead to 
failure of the tail rotor drive shaft and subsequent loss of yaw 
control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2021-0235-E for additional 
background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0235-E requires repetitive visual inspections of the 
rivets on the rear transmission shaft bearing support and of the local 
structure for cracking and, if any rivet on the rear transmission 
bearing support is missing, loose, or sheared, or any visible crack is 
present, accomplishment of applicable corrective actions (e.g., 
repair).
    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 the aviation authority of 
another country and are approved for operation in the United States. 
Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with this State of Design 
Authority, it has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in 
its AD. The FAA is issuing this AD after evaluating all pertinent 
information and determining that the unsafe condition exists and is 
likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type 
design.

Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 
2021-0235-E, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except 
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of 
this 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, 
EASA AD 2021-0235-E will be incorporated by reference in this FAA final 
rule. This AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021-
0235-E in its entirety through that incorporation, except for any 
differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. 
Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular 
section in EASA AD 2021-0235-E 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 2021-0235-E. Service information 
referenced in EASA AD 2021-0235-E for compliance will be available at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2021-1009.

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later 
identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.

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. 551 et seq.) 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 providing notice and seeking 
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA 
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days, 
upon a finding of good cause.
    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 sheared attachment rivets of the transmission shaft bearing 
support could lead to failure of the tail rotor drive shaft and 
subsequent loss of yaw control of the helicopter. In addition, the 
compliance time for the required action is shorter than the time 
necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the final 
rule. The initial visual inspection of the rivets on the rear 
transmission shaft bearing support and of the local structure for 
cracking and missing, loose, or sheared rivets must be accomplished 
before next flight or within seven days after the effective date of 
this AD, whichever occurs first. Accordingly, notice and opportunity 
for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to the public 
interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
    In addition, 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, 
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and 
comment.

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments 
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under 
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-1009; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-01173-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.

[[Page 66936]]

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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Andrea 
Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, 
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 
1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-
7330; 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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not 
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt 
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined 
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment, 
RFA analysis is not required.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 64 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD.

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                Cost on U.S.
           Action                  Labor cost         Parts cost       Cost per product          operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspection.................  0.50 work-hour x $85               $0  $42.50 per inspection  $2,720 per inspection
                              per hour = $42.50                      cycle.                 cycle.
                              per inspection cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost 
estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this 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

    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, 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.

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:

2021-24-06 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21827; Docket No. FAA-
2021-1009; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01173-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective December 9, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC130T2 helicopters, 
certificated in any category, as identified in European Union 
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Emergency AD 2021-0235-E, dated 
October 28, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0235-E).

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 5300, Fuselage 
Structure.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of degradation of the rear 
transmission shaft bearing support and the determination that all of 
the attachment rivets of the transmission shaft bearing support were 
sheared. The FAA is issuing this AD to address sheared attachment 
rivets of the transmission shaft bearing support. This condition, if 
not addressed, could lead to failure of the tail rotor drive shaft 
and subsequent loss of yaw control of the helicopter.

(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 2021-0235-E.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0235-E

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0235-E refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0235-E requires doing an 
inspection after each last flight of the day or ``ALF,'' this AD 
requires doing that inspection before each first flight of the day.
    (3) Where paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2021-0235-E requires, if any 
rivet on the rear transmission bearing support is found missing, 
loose or sheared, or any visible crack is present, contacting Airbus 
Helicopters to obtain approved repair instructions and accomplishing 
those instructions, this AD requires doing a repair

[[Page 66937]]

in accordance with an FAA-approved method.
    (4) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0235-E specifies that the inspection can be done by a mechanical 
technician, a pilot with correct training and accreditation, or a 
pilot-owner, this AD requires that the inspection be done by a 
qualified mechanic.
    (5) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ``Remarks'' 
section of EASA AD 2021-0235-E.
    (6) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0235-E requires doing 
inspections of the rivets for presence of cracks, for this AD, 
inspect for visible cracks and missing, loose, or sheared rivets.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0235-E specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, 
this AD does not include that requirement.

(j) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits may be permitted provided that there are 
no passengers on board.

(k) 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 (l) 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.

(l) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Andrea Jimenez, 
Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational 
Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 
Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-
7330; email [email protected].

(m) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference 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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Emergency AD 
2021-0235-E, dated October 28, 2021.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2021-0235-E, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 
3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +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.
    (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 at https://www.regulations.gov by searching 
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1009.
    (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 November 12, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-25635 Filed 11-22-21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P