DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2016-6693; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-033-AD;
Amendment 39-18886; AD 2017-10-12]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and
EC225LP helicopters. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the
intermediate gear box (IGB) fairing. This AD was prompted by separation
of the IGB fairing from the fairing gutter and subsequent interference
with the drive shaft. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an
unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective August 15, 2017.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of August 15, 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-2016-6693.
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-
6693; 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: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5116; email
On January 5, 2017, at 82 FR 1260, 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 AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP
helicopters with an IGB fairing part number (P/N) 332A24-0303-05XX,
332A24-0303-06XX, 332A08-1391-00, or 332A08-1391-01 installed, where
``XX'' is any two alphanumeric characters. The NPRM proposed to require
repetitive inspections of the IGB fairing. The proposed requirements
were intended to prevent the detachment of the angle section of an IGB
and subsequent interference between an IGB fairing and tail rotor
inclined drive shaft. This condition could result in failure of a tail
rotor drive shaft, loss of the tail rotor drive, and subsequent loss of
control of the helicopter.
The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2015-0092, dated May 26, 2015,
issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of
the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for the Airbus Model
AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters with
certain part-numbered IGB fairings installed. EASA advises of
occurrences involving separation of the angle section of the IGB
fairing from the IGB fairing gutter, which caused interference with the
tail rotor (T/R) inclined drive shaft. EASA states that this condition,
if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of the T/R drive
shaft, loss of the T/R drive, and consequent reduced control of the
helicopter. To address this condition, EASA issued a series of ADs,
including AD No. 2015-0092, to require repetitive inspections of the
IGB fairing and its attachment supports and installation of a new IGB
fairing, P/N 332A24-0322-00, as terminating action for the inspections.
An individual commented that he supports the NPRM.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
our bilateral agreement with France, 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 requires replacing the IGB fairing with the composite
fairing within 31 months. This AD requires this replacement within 150
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin
(EASB), Revision 5, dated March 9, 2015, which is one document with
three different identification numbers. EASB No. 53.01.47 is for Model
AS332C, C1, L, L1, L2, and military model B, B1, M, M1, and F1
helicopters. EASB No. 53.00.48 is for military Model AS532-series
helicopters. EASB No. 53A001 is for Model EC225 LP and the military
Model EC725AP helicopter. EASB Nos. 53.01.47 and 53A001 are
incorporated by reference in this AD. EASB No. 53.00.48 is not
incorporated by reference in this AD.
This service information specifies repetitive inspections of the
IGB fairing, attachment supports, and fairing gutter. This service
information also advises that IGB fairing P/Ns 332A24-0303-05XX,
332A24-0303-06XX, 332A08-1391-00, and 332A08-1391-01 are unfit for
flight beginning December 1, 2017, and that these fairings should be
replaced with a new composite fairing P/N 332A24-0322-00.
We also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. AS332-
53.01.78, Revision 0, dated March 9, 2015, for FAA type-certificated
Model AS332C, C1, L, L1, and L2 helicopters and military Model AS332B,
B1, F1, M, and M1 helicopters, and Airbus Helicopter Service Bulletin
No. EC225-53-041, Revision 0, dated March 9, 2015, for the Model
EC225LP helicopter. The service information specifies replacing each
IGB fairing with a newly designed fairing. Airbus Helicopters
identifies replacement of the IGB fairing under these service
instructions as Modification 0726819.
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 EASB No. 53.01.47, Revision 4, for
Model AS332C, C1, L, L1, L2, and military model B, B1, M, M1, and F1
helicopters and EASB No. 53A001, Revision 4, for Model EC225 LP and the
military Model EC725AP helicopters. Both EASBs are part of one document
that is dated September 27, 2011. The EASBs introduce periodic
maintenance on the fairings and on the fairing's attachment angles.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 11 helicopters of U.S. Registry
and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these
estimates, we expect the following costs:
Visually inspecting each IGB fairing and the left- and
right-hand attachment supports for a crack require a 0.5 work-hour for
a total cost of $43 per helicopter and $473 for the U.S. fleet, per
Replacing the IGB fairing requires 2 work hours and parts
cost $2,600, for a total cost of $2,770 per helicopter and $30,470 for
the U.S. fleet.
Replacing the attachment supports requires 2 work hours,
and parts cost $1,100 for a total cost of $1,270 per helicopter.
Visually inspecting for a crack in the fairing gutter
requires 0.5 work hour for a total cost of about $43 per helicopter.
Inspecting for interference and separation of the fairing
gutter requires 0.5 work hour for a total cost of $43 per helicopter.
Replacing the inclined drive shaft tube requires 2 work
hours, and parts cost $18,399, for a total cost of $18,569 per
Replacing a hydraulic pipe requires 2 work hours, and
parts cost $1,322, for a total cost of $1,492 per helicopter.
Repairing the flight control assembly requires 2 work
hours, and parts cost $484, for a total cost of $654 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