DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2016-6928; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-018-AD;
Amendment 39-18864; AD 2017-09-02]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters (Airbus Helicopters) Model
MBB-BK 117 C-2 and MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters. This AD requires
installing rivets to the air inlet cover rings (rings). This AD was
prompted by reports of rings detaching. The actions of this AD are
intended to prevent the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective May 31, 2017.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of May 31, 2017.
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 https://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub/FO/scripts/myFO_login.php.
You may review the 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-2016-6928.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-
6928; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and
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 service information, the economic evaluation,
any comments received, and other information. The street address for
the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department
of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, 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 Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
On January 5, 2017, at 82 FR 1252, the Federal Register published
our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters
Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 (including configuration C-2e) helicopters, serial
number 9004 through 9725, and Model MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters, serial
number 20003 through 20045, with an air inlet part number (P/N)
B212M20C1005 installed. The NPRM proposed inspecting each ring and
determining if it is loose, and gluing and installing rivets to the
rings. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent a ring from
detaching, which could then become stuck between the air inlet and the
cyclic stick, restricting movement of the cyclic stick. This condition
could result in loss of helicopter control.
The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2016-0001, dated January 4, 2016,
issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of
the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters Model MBB-BK 117 C-2, Model MBB-BK117 C-2e, Model MBB-BK117
D-2, and MBB-BK117 D-2m helicopters. EASA advises that a ring detached
and got stuck between the air inlet and the cyclic stick on a Model
MBB-BK117 C-2 helicopter and an inspection on another helicopter found
a second loose cover ring. EASA states that this condition, if not
corrected, could affect the cyclic stick's range of movement, possibly
resulting in degraded control of the helicopter. The EASA AD
consequently requires inspections and reinforcement of the rings'
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 are issuing this AD because we evaluated all
information provided by EASA and determined the 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
The EASA AD applies to Model MBB-BK117 D-2m helicopters. This AD
does not because this model does not have an FAA type certificate. The
EASA AD requires compliance for Model MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters within
400 hours time-in-service (TIS), while this AD requires compliance
within 100 hours TIS. The EASA AD requires marking the air inlet with
the applicable alert service bulletin once it is glued and riveted,
while this AD does not.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) MBB-
BK117 C-2-21A-011 for Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 and Model MBB-BK117 C-2e
helicopters and ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-21A-004 for Model MBB-BK 117 D-2 and
Model MBB-BK 117 D-2m helicopters. Both ASBs are Revision 0 and dated
November 16, 2015. This service information introduces an improved
attachment method for the ring using rivets. The ASBs specify
inspecting the air inlet to determine whether the ring is loose, and
then gluing and riveting the ring to the air inlet at different
timeframes, depending on whether it is loose.
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.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 141 helicopters of U.S. Registry
and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these
estimates, we expect the following costs:
Manually inspecting the left and right air inlet cover rings
requires a half work-hour for a labor cost of $43 per helicopter. No
parts are needed, so the U.S. fleet cost totals $6,063.
Riveting the rings requires 2 work-hours for a labor cost of $170
per helicopter. The cost for parts is minimal for a U.S. fleet cost of
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 helicopters identified in this
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.
We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply
with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.
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 adding the following new airworthiness