DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2017-0432; Project Identifier 2013-SW-074-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Eurocopter France) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for certain Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate previously held by
Eurocopter France) Model AS350B3 and EC130T2 helicopters. This proposed
AD was prompted by a report of failure of an engine digital electronic
control unit (DECU). This proposed AD would require revising the
existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your helicopter. This
proposed AD would also allow the option of modifying the electronic
engine control unit (EECU) as terminating action for the RFM revision.
The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by April
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
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 Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this NPRM,
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 https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html.
For Safran Turbomeca service information identified in this NPRM,
contact Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., 64511 Bordes,
France; phone: +33 (0) 5 59 74 45 11. 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)
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0432; 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, the EASA safety information bulletin (SIB), any comments
received, and other information. The street address for Docket
Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Jordan, Rotorcraft Flight
Pilot, Southwest Section, Flight Test Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
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-2017-0432; Project Identifier
2013-SW-074-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 Jon
Jordan, Rotorcraft Flight Test Pilot, Southwest Section, Flight Test
Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone
(817) 222-5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA
receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in
the public docket for this rulemaking.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2013-0287, dated December 5, 2013
(EASA AD 2013-0287), to correct an unsafe condition for Eurocopter
(formerly Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale) Model AS 350 B3 and EC 130
T2 helicopters with an ARRIEL 2D engine and THALES full authority
digital engine control (FADEC) part number (P/N) C13165DA00 or P/N
C13165FA00 installed. The EASA advises of a report of an in-flight
event where the pilot noticed that the temporary amber governor (GOV)
light had illuminated, followed by the failure of the vehicle engine
monitoring display (VEMD) screens, and no availability of the automatic
or auxiliary engine back-up control ancillary unit (EBCAU). Subsequent
investigation identified an internal failure of the engine DECU, which
led to loss of fuel flow regulation (frozen fuel metering unit). This
failure was not indicated to the pilot by a red GOV warning light as
expected, but with amber GOV indication and loss of VEMD display
instead. EASA also advises that if this fuel metering unit is frozen in
the open position, it may lead to a rotor overspeed, and if it is
frozen in the closed position, it may lead to unavailability of engine
power. EASA states that this condition, if not addressed, could result
in the pilot identifying the type of failure condition incorrectly,
possibly resulting in an improper response.
Accordingly, and pending the development of a DECU assembly design
improvement, the EASA AD requires incorporating a new procedure into
the Emergency Procedures section of the RFM and informing all flight
crews of the RFM change. EASA considers its AD an interim action and
states that further AD action may follow.
After EASA issued EASA AD 2013-0287, EASA issued SIB No. 2013-23,
dated December 19, 2013, for Eurocopter AS 350 B3 and EC 130 T2
helicopters with a Turbom[eacute]ca ARRIEL 2D engine installed. The SIB
recommends modifying certain EECUs.
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 designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB)
No. AS350-01.00.67 and ASB No. EC130-04A004, each Revision 2 and dated
February 17, 2014 (ASB AS350-01.00.67 and ASB EC130-04A004). ASB AS350-
01.00.67 applies to Model AS350B3 helicopters and ASB EC130-04A004
applies to Model EC130T2 helicopters. This service information provides
a new RFM procedure in the event of illumination of the amber GOV
followed by the loss of the VEMD display.
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
The FAA reviewed Safran Turbomeca Mandatory Service Bulletin No.
292 73 2852, Revision B, dated February 12, 2014. This service
information specifies replacing certain FADEC D EECUs with certain
amended FADEC D EECUs.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require revising the Emergency Procedures of
the existing RFM for your helicopter by inserting Appendix 4. of ASB
AS350-01.00.67 or ASB EC130-04A004, or a different document with
information identical to that in Appendix 4., as applicable to your
As an optional terminating action for the RFM revision, this
proposed AD would allow installing amendment A on FADEC P/N C13165DA00
or amendment B on FADEC P/N C13165FA00.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD applies to Model AS350B3 and EC130T2 helicopters, with
an ARRIEL 2D engine and THALES FADEC P/N C13165DA00 or P/N C13165FA00
installed, whereas this proposed AD would apply to those helicopters
except not those with THALES FADEC P/N C13165DA00 with amendment A or
P/N C13165FA00 with amendment B installed. This proposed AD would also
allow installing those amendments on the FADEC as an optional
termination action, whereas the EASA AD does not.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect up to 628 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.
Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter would take about 0.25
work-hour for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and up to $13,188
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.
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
(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
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
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 adding the following new airworthiness