DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0181; Product Identifier 2017-SW-085-AD; Amendment
39-19219; AD 2018-05-10]
Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AB412 and AB412 EP helicopters. This AD requires
removing each shoulder harness seat belt comfort clip (comfort clip)
and inspecting the seat belt shoulder harness. This AD is prompted by
report of a comfort clip interfering with the seat belt inertia reel.
The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on
DATES: This AD becomes effective March 27, 2018.
We must receive comments on this AD by May 11, 2018.
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-2018-0181;
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, any comments
received, and other information. The street address for Docket
Operations (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
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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110;
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 AD No. 2016-0054, dated March 14, 2016, to
correct an unsafe condition for Finmeccanica S.p.A. (previously Agusta)
Model AB412 and AB412 EP helicopters. EASA advises that a design review
resulted in the determination that some passenger seat installations
allow the use of comfort clips on flight crew and passenger shoulder
harness seat belts to increase comfort to the occupant by locking the
seat belt position. These comfort clips could prevent the seat belt
inertia reel from retracting the shoulder harness during an emergency
landing. The EASA AD further advises that this could result in injury
to the seat occupant. To prevent this unsafe condition, the EASA AD
requires removal of all comfort clips from service and inspecting the
seat belt for wear from the comfort clip.
The FAA is in the process of updating Agusta's name change to
Finmeccanica, and then to Leonardo Helicopters, on its FAA type
certificate. Because this name change is not yet effective, this AD
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 these same type designs.
Related Service Information
Finmeccanica has issued Bollettino Tecnico No. 412-145, dated March
8, 2016, which specifies procedures for removing each comfort clip from
the crew and passenger shoulder harness seat belts and for inspecting
the seat belts for wear.
This AD requires, within 50 hours time-in-service, removing from
service any comfort clip installed on a crew or passenger shoulder
harness seat belt and inspecting the shoulder harness seat belt for
rips or abrasions. If there is a rip or any abrasion, the AD requires
replacing the seat belt. This AD also prohibits installing a comfort
clip on any shoulder harness seat belt.
Costs of Compliance
There are no costs of compliance with this AD because there are no
helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S. Registry.
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
There are no helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S.
Registry. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for
prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason
stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment
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