DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0994; Product Identifier 2017-SW-002-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2017-14-05 for Airbus Helicopters Model SA330J helicopters. AD 2017-14-
05 requires replacing certain right-hand (RH) hydraulic pumps and is
prompted by reports of broken screws that attach the cover of the
hydraulic pump. This proposed AD would continue to require the same
actions as AD 2017-14-05 but would also require replacing the left-hand
(LH) hydraulic pump. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to
address an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 20, 2019.
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-2018-0994; 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 proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the
economic evaluation, 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
Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052;
telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at
may review this 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 Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110;
The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting
written comments, data, or views. The FAA also invites comments
relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts
that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The
most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal,
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 only one time.
The FAA will file in the docket all comments received, as well as a
report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel
concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal,
the FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing
date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the
comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring
expense or delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light of the
The FAA issued a final rule; request for comment to AD 2017-14-05,
Amendment 39-18949 (82 FR 31899, July 11, 2017) ("AD 2017-14-05") for
Airbus Helicopters Model SA330J helicopters with a LH and RH hydraulic
pump part number (P/N) FR65WEO2005-175A with a serial number 4108,
4141, 4177, 4227, 4241, 4284, 4377, 4422, 4570, 4573, 4574, 4641, 4649,
4668, 4766, 4802, 4821, 4831, 4837, 4888, 4896, 4946, 4985, 5023, 5071,
5304, 5366, 5376, 5409, 5442, 5486, 5599, 5630, 94075/01, or 94048/01
installed. AD 2017-14-05 requires replacing the RH hydraulic pump
within 15 hours time-in-service.
AD 2017-14-05 was prompted by EASA Emergency AD No. 2016-264-E,
dated December 22, 2016 (EASA AD 2016-264-E), issued by EASA, 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 revealed that
hydrogen was introduced into a batch of screws delivered between July
1, 2015, and November 1, 2016, causing the screws to become brittle and
lack sufficient strength. These screws were installed in a batch of
hydraulic pumps, P/N FR65WEO2005-175A, identified by certain serial
numbers, EASA advises. As a result, the EASA AD requires replacing the
The actions of AD 2017-14-05 were intended to prevent 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.
This NPRM would retain the requirements of AD 2017-14-05 but would
also require replacing the LH hydraulic pump within 110 hours TIS.
Because this proposed action would have a longer compliance time, the
FAA is providing the public an opportunity to comment.
After AD 2017-14-05 was published, the FAA received two comments
from Airbus Helicopters.
Airbus Helicopters requested that the FAA clarify the requirement
in AD 2017-14-05 to only replace the RH hydraulic pump, when EASA AD
2016-0264-E requires replacing both the RH and LH hydraulic pumps.
The FAA agrees that the LH hydraulic pump also needs to be
replaced. AD 2017-14-05 was issued as a final rule; request for
comments and was effective in less than 30 days because it required
replacing the RH hydraulic pump within a short time period. When the
FAA issued AD 2017-14-05, the FAA explained that the compliance time
for replacing the LH hydraulic pump allowed enough time to provide
notice and opportunity for prior public comment. This proposed AD would
require replacing both the RH and LH hydraulic pumps.
Airbus Helicopters also requested that the FAA clarify whether the
pumps listed in the Applicability of AD 2017-14-05 by P/N and serial
number are serviceable because EASA AD 2016-264-E allows those pumps to
be installed if repaired in accordance with Mechanics Alert Service
Bulletin No. NM/INGE/16-140, Revision 0, dated December 22, 2016
Airbus Helicopters is correct that the pumps listed by P/N and
serial number in the Applicability section of AD 2017-14-05 are not
serviceable. Paragraph (e)(2) of AD 2017-14-05 prohibits installing
those pumps on any helicopter. One of the instructions in the Nexter
ASB is to re-identify the pump by adding a "V" after the serial
number. If a pump has been repaired in accordance with the Nexter ASB,
this AD will not apply because the pump will have a serial number that
is not listed in the Applicability section of this AD.
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 determined that an
unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the
same type design.
Related Service Information
The FAA 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 RH and 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 ASB. After 6 months or 110 flying hours,
whichever occurs first, the Airbus ASB states the affected hydraulic
pumps are unfit for flight.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require replacing the RH hydraulic pump
within 15 hours TIS and replacing the LH hydraulic pump within 110
hours TIS. This proposed AD would also prohibit installation of an
affected hydraulic pump on any helicopter.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD would affect 24 helicopters and that
labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these estimates, the
FAA expects that replacing two hydraulic pumps would require 4 work-
hours and parts cost $5,000 for a total cost of $5,340 per helicopter
and $128,160 for the U.S. fleet.
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 proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 this proposed regulation:
1. Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866;
2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that
it justifies making a regulatory distinction; 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.
The FAA prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to
comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.
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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2017-14-05, Amendment 39-18949 (82 FR 31899, July 11, 2017), and adding
the following new AD: