DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2013-0555; Product Identifier 2010-SW-047-AD; Amendment
39-19529; AD 2014-05-06 R1]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held by Eurocopter Deutschland
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are revising Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-05-06
Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Model EC135 and MBB-BK 117C-2 helicopters.
AD 2014-05-06 required repetitive inspections of the flight-control
bearings, replacing any loose bearings with airworthy flight-control
bearings, and installing bushings and washers. This new AD retains the
requirements of AD 2014-05-06 but removes the repetitive inspections.
The actions of this AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on
DATES: This AD is effective January 22, 2019.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of April 14,
2014 (79 FR 13196, March 10, 2014).
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
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 http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-
Support_73.html. You may view this referenced service information at
the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available
on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2013-0555.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.
gov in Docket No. FAA-2013-0555; 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 AD, the European Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-by-reference information, the
economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The
address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket
Operations, 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: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110;
We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR
part 39 to remove AD 2014-05-06, Amendment 39-17779 (79 FR 13196, March
10, 2014) (AD 2014-05-06) and add a new AD. AD 2014-05-06 applied to
certain Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH Model EC135 and MBB-BK 117C-2
helicopters. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on June 1,
2018 (83 FR 25415). AD 2014-05-06 required repetitive inspections of
the flight-control bearings, replacing any loose bearings with
airworthy flight-control bearings, and installing bushings and washers.
The NPRM proposed to retain the requirements of AD 2014-05-06 but
remove the repetitive inspection requirements.
AD 2014-05-06 was prompted by AD No. 2010-0058, dated March 30,
2010 (EASA AD 2010-0058), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent
for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe
condition for Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (now Airbus Helicopters
Deutschland GmbH) Model EC135, EC635, and MBB-BK 117C-2 helicopters.
EASA advises that during an inspection of an MBB-BK117 C-2, ``bearings
were detected which had not been correctly fixed.'' EASA advises that
this condition, if not detected and corrected, may cause the affected
control lever to shift in the axial direction and contact the
helicopter structure, possibly resulting in reduced helicopter control.
As some bearings on the EC135 and MBB-BK 117C-2 helicopter are
installed with the same procedure, they are equally affected by the
possibility of the unsafe condition, EASA advises.
Since we published AD 2014-05-06, EASA issued AD No. 2010-0058R1,
dated April 7, 2017, to remove the repetitive inspections required by
EASA AD 2010-0058. EASA advises that a review of data and feedback from
in-service helicopters determined the Airbus Helicopters modification
removes the need for repetitive inspections. We have made a similar
determination and are issuing this AD to remove the repetitive
inspections previously required by AD 2014-05-06.
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing
this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant
to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, its technical representative,
has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We have
reviewed the relevant information and determined that an unsafe
condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters
of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest
require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
Differences between this AD and the EASA AD are:
The EASA AD is applicable to EC 635-series helicopters,
whereas this AD is not because these model helicopters have no U.S.
The EASA AD requires the modification within the next 12
months after April 13, 2010. This AD requires the modification within
100 hours TIS or at the next annual inspection, whichever occurs first.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
Eurocopter issued Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EC135-67A-019,
Revision 3, dated December 16, 2009, for Model EC135-series
helicopters, and ASB MBB-BK117 C-2-67A-010, Revision 3, dated February
8, 2010, for Model MBB-BK 117C-2 helicopters. This service information
specifies a repetitive inspection of the affected bearings and
retrofitting bushings on the levers to prevent movement of the
This service information 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
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB EC135-67A-019 for Model EC135-
series helicopters and ASB MBB-BK117C-2-67A-010 for Model MBB-BK 117C-2
helicopters, both Revision 4 and both dated April 3, 2017. This service
information removes the repetitive inspections and retains the
procedures for retrofitting the bushings on the levers to prevent
movement of the bearings. Revision 3 of this service information is
attached as an appendix to Revision 4.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 295 Model EC135-series helicopters
and 117 Model MBB-BK 117C-2 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor
costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect
the following costs:
For EC135 helicopters, completing the required
modification requires about 32 work-hours and parts cost about $312,
for a total cost of $3,032 per helicopter and $894,440 for the U.S.
For MBB-BK 117C-2 helicopters, completing the required
modification requires about 32 work-hours and parts cost about $396,
for a total cost of $3,116 per helicopter and $364,572 for the U.S.
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.
We are 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
We have determined that 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
(2) Is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),
(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent
that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and
(4) 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
Adoption of 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
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]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2014-05-06, Amendment 39-17779 (79 FR 13196, March 10, 2014), and
adding the following new AD: