DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2017-0060; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-090-AD;
Amendment 39-18949; AD 2017-14-05]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Helicopters Model SA330J helicopters. This AD requires replacing
certain hydraulic pumps and is prompted by reports of broken screws
that attach the cover of the hydraulic pump. The actions of this AD are
intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective July 26, 2017.
We must receive comments on this AD by September 11, 2017.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
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-2017-
0060; 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, the
economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The
street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-
5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD
docket shortly after receipt.
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
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.
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
This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight
safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to
provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, we
invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written
comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the
economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted
from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific
portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and
include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain
duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written
comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should
submit them only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that
we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public
contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the
comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may
conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD No. 2016-264-E, dated
December 22, 2016, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters Model SA330J helicopters. EASA advises of reports of broken
screws that attach the cover of the hydraulic pump. A subsequent
investigation identified a batch of screws delivered between July 1,
2015, and November 1, 2016, that have intrinsic embrittlement and
reduced mechanical properties. Hydrogen was introduced into this batch
of screws during production, causing the screws to become brittle and
lack sufficient strength. These screws were installed in a batch of
hydraulic pumps, part number (P/N) FR65WEO2005-175A, identified by
certain serial numbers, EASA advises.
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the
failure of a cover bolt and loss of fluid from the hydraulic pump,
resulting in loss of the hydraulic system and subsequent loss of
helicopter control. As a result, EASA AD No. 2016-264-E requires
replacing the hydraulic pumps.
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
Related Service Information
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No.
SA330-29.12, Revision 0, dated December 22, 2016 (Airbus EASB), for
Model SA330J helicopters and military model SA330L, SA330Jm, SA330S1,
and SA330Sm helicopters. The Airbus EASB specifies removing Nexter
Mechanics hydraulic pumps P/N FR65WEO2005-175A with certain serial
numbers. If both the right-hand (RH) and left-hand (LH) hydraulic pumps
have an affected P/N and serial number, the Airbus EASB specifies
replacing the RH hydraulic pump before further flight and the LH
hydraulic pump within 110 flying hours or 6 months. If only one
hydraulic pump has an affected P/N and serial number, the Airbus EASB
specifies replacing it within 110 flying hours or 6 months. The Airbus
EASB also specifies that, for 6 months after receipt of the Airbus
EASB, before installing an affected hydraulic pump it must be
``returned to conformity'' by complying with Nexter Mechanics Alert
Service Bulletin No. NM/INGE/16-140, Revision 0, dated December 22,
2016 (Nexter ASB). After 6 months or 110 flying hours, whichever occurs
first, the Airbus EASB states the affected hydraulic pumps are unfit
This AD requires, within 15 hours time-in-service (TIS), removing
the RH hydraulic pump if both hydraulic pumps are listed in the
applicability section of this AD. This AD also prohibits installing an
affected hydraulic pump on any helicopter.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires replacing the LH hydraulic pump with a
serviceable part within 110 hours TIS or 6 months, whichever comes
first, if both the LH and RH hydraulic pumps are affected parts. The
EASA AD also requires, if only one hydraulic pump is an affected part,
replacing it with a serviceable part within 110 hours TIS or 6 months,
whichever comes first. This AD makes no such requirements. We are
considering requiring those actions. However, the planned compliance
time for those actions would allow enough time to provide notice and
opportunity for prior public comment. The EASA AD allows a hydraulic
pump to be installed if it has been repaired in accordance with the
Nexter ASB, while this AD does not.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 24 helicopters and that labor
costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect
that replacing a hydraulic pump requires 2 work-hours and parts cost
$2,500 for a total cost of $2,670 per helicopter and $64,080 for the
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
Providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adopting
these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions
needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we find that
the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment
prior to the adoption of this rule because the required corrective
actions must be accomplished within 15 hours TIS, a very short time
period based on the typical utilization rate of these helicopters in
off-shore oil operations.
Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate
adoption of this AD, we determined that notice and opportunity for
prior public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and
contrary to the public interest and that good cause exists to make this
AD effective in less than 30 days.
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
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 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, I certify that this AD:
1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order
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 adding the following new airworthiness