DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0949; Product Identifier 2018-NE-20-AD; Amendment
39-19484; AD 2018-22-11]
Airworthiness Directives; Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A.,
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A. (Safran Helicopter Engines), ASTAZOU
XIV B and H model engines with certain 3rd-stage turbine wheels
installed. This AD requires initial and repetitive inspections of the
3rd-stage turbine wheels. This AD was prompted by a report that six
3rd-stage turbine wheels were returned to service after a repair that
could result in exceedance of the allowable vibration threshold during
operation. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on
DATES: This AD is effective March 18, 2019.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 18,
We must receive comments on this AD by April 15, 2019.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For Safran Helicopter Engines service information identified in
this final rule, contact Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., 40220 Tarnos,
France; phone: +33 5 59 74 45 15; internet address: https://www.safran-
helicopter-engines.com/services/technical-assistance. You may view this
service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Standards Branch,
1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the
availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also
available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0949.
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-2018-0949;
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 final
rule, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), the
regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information.
The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is
listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Caufield, Aerospace Engineer,
ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone:
781-238-7146; fax: 781-238-7199; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has
issued EASA AD 2018-0085, dated April 13, 2018 (referred to after this
as ``the MCAI''), to address an unsafe condition for the specified
products. The MCAI states:
Safran Helicopter Engines reported that an identified batch of
stage 3 turbine wheels were released to service after repair in
spite of the fact that the natural frequency of the turbine blades
installed on those wheels did not comply with the acceptance
criteria. Excessive turbine blade vibration may lead to progressive
crack initiation on the rear face of the affected turbine wheel.
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to
rupture of a turbine blade and its associated piece of rim, possibly
resulting in an un-commanded engine in-flight shut-down and/or
release of high energy debris, with consequent damage to, and/or
reduced control of, the helicopter.
To address this potentially unsafe condition, Safran Helicopter
Engines issued the MSB to provide inspections instructions.
For the reasons described above, this AD requires repetitive
inspections of the affected parts and, depending on findings,
accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).
You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD
docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for
and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0949.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Safran Helicopter Engines Mandatory Service Bulletin
(MSB) 283 72 0813, Version A, dated February 26, 2018. The MSB
describes procedures for inspecting the rear face of the 3rd-stage
turbine wheel. 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.
This product has been approved by EASA, and is approved for
operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement
with the European Community, EASA has notified us of the unsafe
condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced
above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant
information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition
described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of
the same type design.
This AD requires initial and repetitive inspections of 3rd-stage
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
No domestic operators use this product. 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
This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight
safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public
comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or
arguments about this final rule. Send your comments to an address
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2018-
0949 and Product Identifier 2018-NE-20-AD at the beginning of your
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory,
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this final rule. We will
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this
final rule because of those comments.
We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov,
including any personal information you provide. We
will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we
receive about this final rule.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects zero engines installed on
helicopters of U.S. registry.
We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:
||Cost per product
||Cost on U.S. operators
|Inspect the 3rd-stage turbine
||5 work-hours x $85 per hour
We estimate the following costs to
do any necessary replacements
that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have
no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this
||Cost per product
|Replace the 3rd-stage turbine
||8 work-hours x $85 per hour =
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
This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the
Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by
FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is
normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but
during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the
authority to issue ADs applicable to engines, propellers, and
associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards
Branch, Policy and Innovation Division.
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 this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
(2) Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),
(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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