[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 183 (Thursday, September 22, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57814-57817]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-20542]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2022-0805; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00951-R; 
Amendment 39-22182; AD 2022-19-13]
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 all 
Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N,

[[Page 57815]]

and AS355NP helicopters. This AD was prompted by the identification of 
certain parts needing maintenance actions, including life limits and 
maintenance tasks. This AD requires incorporating into existing 
maintenance records requirements (airworthiness limitations), 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 is effective October 27, 2022.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of October 27, 
2022.

ADDRESSES: For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this 
final rule, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, 
Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email [email protected]; internet 
easa.europa.eu. You may find the EASA material on the EASA website at 
ad.easa.europa.eu. For Airbus Helicopters service information 
identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 North 
Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 
232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at 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. Service information that 
is IBRed is also available in the AD docket at regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0805.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov by searching for 
and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0805; 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 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.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0193, dated August 20, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0193) to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus 
Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, and 
Aerospatiale, Model AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355 N, 
and AS 355 NP helicopters, all serial numbers. EASA AD 2021-0193 
requires accomplishment of the actions in the applicable Airworthiness 
Limitations Section (ALS) as defined in EASA AD 2021-0193.
    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Helicopters 
Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP 
helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 30, 
2022 (87 FR 39019). The NPRM was prompted by the identification of 
certain parts needing maintenance actions, including life limits and 
maintenance tasks. The NPRM proposed to require incorporating into 
maintenance records requirements (airworthiness limitations), as 
specified in EASA AD 2021-0193.

Relationship Between This AD and Other Relevant Rulemaking

    EASA AD 2021-0193 states that it takes over the requirements for 
Model AS 355 helicopters from EASA AD 2010-0006, dated January 7, 2010 
(EASA AD 2010-0006) (which prompted FAA AD 2011-22-05 R1, Amendment 39-
17765 (79 FR 14169, March 13, 2014) (AD 2011-22-05 R1)) and EASA AD 
2015-0094, dated May 29, 2015 (EASA AD 2015-0094) (which prompted FAA 
AD 2016-25-20, Amendment 39-18746 (81 FR 94954, December 27, 2016) (AD 
2016-25-20)). EASA AD 2021-0193 also notes that the requirements of 
EASA AD 2010-0006 and EASA AD 2015-0094 have been incorporated into the 
applicable ALS specified in EASA AD 2021-0193.
    Accordingly, this final rule does not supersede AD 2011-22-05 R1 or 
AD 2016-25-20. Rather, the FAA has determined that a stand-alone AD is 
more appropriate to address the changes in EASA AD 2021-0193. 
Therefore, this AD requires incorporating into existing maintenance 
records requirements (airworthiness limitations), as specified in the 
applicable ALS, as defined in EASA AD 2021-0193. Accomplishment of the 
required actions terminates all of the requirements of AD 2011-22-05 R1 
and AD 2016-25-20 for Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, 
and AS355NP helicopters only.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

    The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of 
the costs.

Conclusion

    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 reviewed the relevant 
data and determined that air safety requires adopting this AD as 
proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe 
condition on these helicopters. This AD is adopted as proposed in the 
NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0193 requires certain actions and associated 
thresholds and intervals, including life limits and maintenance 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.

Other Related Service Information

    The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters AS 355 E Chapter 04 ALS 
Revision 010, dated September 14, 2020; Airbus Helicopters AS 355 F 
Chapter 04 ALS Revision 010, dated September 14, 2020; Airbus 
Helicopters AS 355 F1 Chapter 04 ALS Revision 010, dated September 14, 
2020; Airbus Helicopters AS 355 F2 Chapter 04 ALS Revision 011, dated 
September 14, 2020; Airbus Helicopters AS 355 N Chapter 04 ALS, 
Revision 010, dated September 14, 2020; and Airbus Helicopters AS 355 
NP Chapter 04 ALS Revision 009, dated February 4, 2019. This service 
information specifies procedures for mandatory actions for continued 
airworthiness.

ADs Mandating Airworthiness Limitations

    The FAA has previously mandated airworthiness limitations by 
mandating each airworthiness limitation task (e.g., inspections and 
replacements (life limits)) as an AD requirement or issuing ADs that 
require revising the ALS of the existing maintenance manual or 
instructions for continued airworthiness

[[Page 57816]]

to incorporate new or revised inspections and life limits. This AD, 
however, requires operators to incorporate into maintenance records 
required by 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2) or 135.439(a)(2), as applicable for 
your helicopter, the requirements (airworthiness limitations) specified 
in a civil aviation authority AD. The FAA does not intend this as a 
substantive change. For these ADs, the ALS requirements for operators 
are the same but are complied with differently. Requiring the 
incorporation of the new ALS requirements into the existing maintenance 
records, rather than requiring individual ALS tasks (e.g., repetitive 
inspections and replacements), requires operators to record AD 
compliance once after updating the maintenance records, rather than 
after every time the ALS task is completed.
    In addition, paragraph (h) of this AD allows operators to 
incorporate later approved revisions of the ALS document as specified 
in the Ref. Publications section of EASA AD 2021-0193 without the need 
for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC).

Differences Between This AD and EASA AD 2021-0193

    Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0193 requires compliance with actions 
and associated thresholds and intervals, including life limits and 
maintenance tasks, from the effective date of EASA AD 2021-0193. 
Paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2021-0193 requires incorporating the actions 
and associated thresholds and intervals, including life limits and 
maintenance tasks, into the approved maintenance program within 12 
months after the effective date of EASA AD 2021-0193. This AD requires 
incorporating into existing maintenance records requirements 
(airworthiness limitations) within 30 days after the effective date of 
this AD.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 45 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 AD.
    Incorporating into existing maintenance records, requirements 
(airworthiness limitations) takes about 2 work-hours for an estimated 
cost of $170 per helicopter and $7,650 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:

2022-19-13 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-22182; Docket No. FAA-
2022-0805; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00951-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective October 27, 2022.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD affects AD 2011-22-05 R1, Amendment 39-17765 (79 FR 
14169, March 13, 2014) (AD 2011-22-05 R1); and AD 2016-25-20, 
Amendment 39-18746 (81 FR 94954, December 27, 2016) (AD 2016-25-20).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, 
AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters, certificated in 
any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6410, Tail Rotor 
Blades.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by the identification of certain parts 
needing maintenance actions, including life limits and maintenance 
tasks. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the failure of certain 
parts, which could result in the loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Action

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, incorporate 
into maintenance records required by 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2) or 
135.439(a)(2), as applicable for your rotorcraft, the requirements 
(airworthiness limitations) specified in paragraph (1) of European 
Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0193, dated August 20, 
2021 (EASA AD 2021-0193).

(h) Provisions for Alternative Requirements (Airworthiness Limitations)

    After the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD have been 
done, no alternative requirements (airworthiness limitations) are 
allowed unless they are approved as specified in the provisions of 
the ``Ref. Publications'' section of EASA AD 2021-0193.

(i) Terminating Action for ADs 2011-22-05 R1 and 2016-25-20

    (1) Accomplishing the actions required by this AD terminates all 
requirements of AD 2011-22-05 R1 for Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, 
AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters only.
    (2) Accomplishing the actions required by this AD terminates all 
requirements of AD 2016-25-20 for Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, 
AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters only.

(j) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits in accordance with 14 CFR 21.197 and 
21.199, are prohibited.

(k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the 
authority to approve

[[Page 57817]]

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 Kristi Bradley, 
Program Manager, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety 
Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood 
Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 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) AD 2021-0193, 
dated August 20, 2021.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2021-0193, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 
50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email 
[email protected]; internet easa.europa.eu. You may find the EASA 
material on the EASA website at 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 regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0805.
    (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: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on September 9, 2022.
Christina Underwood,
Acting Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft 
Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-20542 Filed 9-21-22; 8:45 am]
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