DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0309; Product Identifier 2018-SW-014-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for Leonardo S.p.a. (Leonardo) Model AW189 helicopters. This proposed
AD would require inspecting the tail plane installation forward bolts
(bolts) and depending on the results of those inspections, removing
certain parts from service or installing a tail plane retromod. This
proposed AD would also require torqueing certain part-numbered nuts,
inspecting bolts and nuts for wear, and depending on the results of
those inspections, removing parts from service. This proposed AD was
prompted by two reported failures of the bolts. The actions of this
proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by January
ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://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 https://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0309;
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 (now European Union
Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other
information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact
Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness,
Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone
+39-0331-225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or at https://www.leonardocompany.
com/en/home. You may view 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: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety
Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International
Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone 817-222-5889; email email@example.com.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2018-0309; Product Identifier
2018-SW-014-AD" at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend
this proposal because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each
substantive verbal contact received about this proposal.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner.
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is
exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM
contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated
as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or
responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the
submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission
containing CBI as "PROPIN." The FAA will treat such marked
submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed
in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be
sent to Scott Franke, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation &
Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5889; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD No. 2018-0047-E, dated
February 28, 2018, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A.
(formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A., AgustaWestland S.p.A.) Model AW189
helicopters. EASA advises of two reported incidents of failed bolts and
that fretting and wear were identified as the root cause of the
failures. EASA states that this condition, if not detected and
corrected, could lead to reduced control of the helicopter.
According to EASA, Leonardo Helicopters issued Emergency Alert
Service Bulletin No. 189-177, Revision A, dated February 28, 2018 (EASB
189-177), to address this unsafe condition and provide instructions for
inspecting each bolt part number (P/N) 8G5510A06251 and 8G5510A05951
and installing an improved tail plane installation retromod P/N
8G5510P00511 (tail plane retromod). However, EASA advises that because
the tail plane retromod was previously available in production or
through optional Leonardo Service Bulletin No. 189-130, dated January
30, 2017 (SB 189-130), adjustment of the bolt torque is necessary for
some helicopters because an incorrect torque value for installation of
the bolts was specified. Accordingly, the EASA AD requires repetitive
inspections of each bolt, installing a tail plane retromod, adjustment
of the bolt torque for some helicopters that had the tail plane
retromod installed either in production or by following SB 189-130, and
repetitive torque checks of the bolts.
These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for
operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral
agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA of the
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD
after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that an
unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the
same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed EASB 189-177, which contains procedures for
inspecting each bolt and installing the tail plane retromod. This
service information also contains procedures for repetitively verifying
the torque of the associated nut P/N MS17825-7 (nut).
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.
Proposed AD Requirements
For Model AW189 helicopters without a tail plane retromod
installed, this proposed AD would require, before further flight and
thereafter before each flight, inspecting each bolt for a missing bolt
head, breakage, and correct installation. If there is a missing bolt
head, a broken bolt, or an incorrectly installed bolt, this proposed AD
would require, before further flight, removing the bolt from service
and installing the tail plane retromod.
For Model AW189 helicopters with a tail plane retromod installed
with an incorrect torque value (installed either in service in
accordance with SB 189-130 or in production, which this proposed AD
specifies by serial number), this proposed AD would require, within 10
hours time-in-service (TIS), correcting the torque, installing a cotter
pin, and lockwiring each nut on the adjustable rod assembly P/N
Lastly, within 10 hours TIS after installing a tail plane
installation retromod, within 10 hours TIS after correcting an
incorrect torque value, or within 10 hours TIS after the effective date
of this AD, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to
exceed 50 hours TIS, this proposed AD would require determining the
torque of each nut. If the torque is less than 15 Nm (11 ft-lbs) or
more than 20 Nm (14.75 ft-lbs), this proposed AD would require
inspecting the bolt and nut for wear, and removing the bolt and nut
from service if there is any wear.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires repetitive torque checks at progressively
increasing intervals, while this proposed AD would require the
repetitive torque check at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS. Since
there is not enough field data at this time to substantiate
progressively increasing the time between inspections up to 400 hours
TIS, the FAA has determined an interval of 50 hours TIS is necessary.
The FAA may take further rulemaking action to increase this interval
should more data become available.
The FAA considers this proposed AD to be an interim action. If
final action is later identified, the FAA might consider further
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 4 helicopters
of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the
following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs
are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
Inspecting the bolts before each flight would take about 0.25 work-
hour, for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and $84 for the U.S.
fleet per inspection cycle.
If required, installing a tail plane retromod would take about 12
work-hours and parts would cost about $5,500, for an estimated cost of
$6,520 per helicopter.
Inspecting and verifying the torque of the bolts and nuts would
take about 1 work-hour, for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and
$340 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
If required, replacing a bolt and nut would take about 1 work-hour
and parts would cost about $250, for an estimated cost of $335 per
According to Leonardo's service information, some of the costs of
this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact
on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage by
Leonardo. Accordingly, the FAA has included all costs in its cost
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.
The FAA is 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 rulemaking action.
The FAA 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
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) 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
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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