DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2017-1010; Product Identifier 2016-SW-089-AD; Amendment
39-19191; AD 2018-03-18]
Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AW189 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting
and altering the emergency flotation system (EFS). This AD is prompted
by a report of punctured EFS kits. The actions of this AD are intended
to prevent an unsafe condition on these helicopters.
DATES: This AD is effective April 16, 2018.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of
Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va)
Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins.
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
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-
1010; 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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street
address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department
of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-
5110; email email@example.com.
On November 2, 2017, at 82 FR 50849, 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 Agusta Model AW189
helicopters with certain part-numbered and serial-numbered EFS float
assemblies installed. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting each
float bag for punctures, replacing the pressure relief/topping (PRT)
valve O-ring part number (P/N) P-G10025 with a PRT valve gasket P/N
316683A, and replacing the inflate/deflate protection P/N 304694A with
inflate/deflate protection P/N 304694B. The NPRM also proposed to require
repairing the float bag if there are any cuts, tears, punctures, or abrasion
on a float bag.
The proposed requirements were intended to prevent a punctured EFS
float bag, which could result in loss of buoyancy of an EFS float bag
while being used in an emergency water ditching and subsequent injury
to helicopter occupants.
The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2016-0263-E, dated December 22,
2016 (AD 2016-0263-E), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for
the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition
for Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters (previously Agusta) Model AW189
helicopters. EASA advises that during the first scheduled maintenance
of an EFS kit, float bags were found punctured due to protruding parts
of the pressure relief/topping valves that were not adequately
protected. EASA further states that this condition could result in a
partial loss of buoyancy of the EFS float bags, possibly resulting in
injury to the helicopter's occupants in a ditching event. To prevent
this unsafe condition, EASA AD 2016-0263-E requires a one-time
inspection of the EFS, repair of any discrepancies found, replacing the
pressure relief/topping valve O-ring with a gasket, and replacing the
inflate/deflate protection with a new design inflate/deflate
The FAA is in the process of updating Agusta's name change to
Leonardo Helicopters on its type certificate. Because this name change
is not yet effective, this AD specifies Agusta.
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing
this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
our bilateral agreement with Italy, 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 the same type design and that air
safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires compliance within 15 hours time-in-service
(TIS) or 10 days for helicopters flying overwater above sea state 4 or
within 120 hours or 60 days for helicopters operating overwater up to
sea state 4. This AD requires compliance within 120 hours TIS
regardless of sea state conditions.
Related Service Information
We reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Bollettino Tecnico No. 189-135,
dated December 20, 2016 (BT 189-135), and Aero Sekur Service Bulletin
No. SB-189-25-003, dated November 30, 2016 (SB-189-25-003), which is
attached to BT 189-135 as Annex A. BT 189-135 specifies following the
procedures in SB-189-25-003 to inspect and modify certain EFS kits
installed on Model AW189 helicopters.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects two helicopters of U.S. Registry.
We estimate that operators will incur the following costs in order to
comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
Inspecting each float bag, replacing the PRT valve gasket, and
replacing the inflate/deflate protection require about 40 work-hours,
and required parts cost about $500, for a cost per helicopter of $3,900
and a cost of $7,800 for the U.S. fleet. If required, repairing a float
bag will require about 2 work-hours, and required parts cost about $90,
for a cost per float bag of $260.
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