DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2016-6436; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-037-AD;
Amendment 39-18869; AD 2017-09-07]
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 (Airbus Helicopters) Model MBB-BK117 C-2
helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the pilot collective wiring
harness and was prompted by a report that the heat-shrinkable sleeve
prevented the twist grip on the collective from being fully engaged
during a flight test. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an
unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective June 14, 2017.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of June 14, 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-2016-6436.
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-
6436; 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: George Schwab, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
On December 7, 2016, at 81 FR 88143, 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 MBB-
BK 117 C-2 helicopters, serial numbers 9004 through 9708. The NPRM
proposed to require visually inspecting the pilot collective wiring
harness for proper installation of the heat-shrinkable and transparent
sleeves. The proposed requirements were intended to detect an
incorrectly installed heat-shrinkable sleeve on the collective lever
wiring harness, which if not corrected, could result in chafing of the
wiring and subsequent failure of the hoist cable cutter or emergency
landing gear flotation systems.
The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2015-0144, dated July 21, 2015,
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-BK117 C-2 helicopters, up to serial number 9708.
EASA advises that, during a flight test, the pilot could not fully
engage a twist grip on a Model MBB-BK117 C-2 helicopter. According to
EASA, further investigation found a transparent sleeve on the
collective lever wiring harness damaged because of incorrect
installation of the heat-shrinkable sleeve. This condition, if not
detected and corrected, could result in chafing of the harness, leading
to the malfunction of the affected systems, EASA advises. EASA
consequently requires a one-time inspection of the heat-shrinkable and
transparent sleeves installed on the collective lever wiring harness.
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 compliance time in the EASA AD is based on whether the
helicopter has an externally mounted hoist or emergency flotation
system. This AD requires compliance within 100 hours time-in-service
for all applicable helicopters.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB MBB-BK117
C-2-88A-010, Revision 1, dated April 16, 2015 (ASB), which specifies a
visual inspection of the heat-shrinkable sleeve for correct position.
If the sleeve's position is incorrect, the ASB specifies shortening the
sleeve. If there is any damage, the ASB calls for replacing the damaged
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 113 helicopters of U.S. Registry
and that labor costs average $85 a work hour.
Inspecting the pilot collective wiring harness for the
correct position of the heat-shrinkable sleeve requires 1.5 work hours.
No parts are required for a total cost of $128 per helicopter and
$14,464 for the U.S. fleet.
Replacing or repairing the sleeves requires 5.5 work
hours, and parts cost $10, for a total cost of $478 per helicopter.
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