DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2017-1081; Product Identifier 2017-SW-090-AD; Amendment
39-19510; AD 2018-24-06]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.A. (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Finmeccanica S.p.A. and AgustaWestland S.p.A.)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Leonardo S.p.A. (Leonardo) Model AW189 helicopters. This AD requires
replacing the tail plane lower fitting with an improved tail plane
lower fitting. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks on the tail
plane fittings of Model AW189 helicopters. The actions of this AD are
intended to correct an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective January 4, 2019.
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-
1081; 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
incorporated-by-reference service information, 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: Kristi Bradley, Aerospace Engineer,
Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email
On May 23, 2018, at 83 FR 23827, 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 AgustaWestland S.p.A. (now
Leonardo) Model AW189 helicopters with a tail plane lower fitting part
number (P/N) 8G5350A07051 installed. The NPRM proposed to require
replacing the tail plane lower fitting with an improved tail plane
lower fitting. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent a
crack on a tail plane fitting, which could result in failure of the
tail plane fitting and loss of helicopter control.
The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2016-0161, dated August 8, 2016
(EASA AD 2016-0161), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for
the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition
for Leonardo Model AW189 helicopters. EASA advises that some cracks
have been reported in-service on the tail plane fitting of AW189
helicopters following an onset of abnormal play. According to EASA,
this condition, if not detected and corrected, could jeopardize
structural integrity of the helicopter. EASA further advises that
Leonardo developed a tail plane lower fitting with an improved design
(P/N 8G0000P00511). Accordingly, EASA AD 2016-0161 requires repetitive
inspections of the tail plane lower fitting assembly until the improved
tail plane lower fitting is installed.
When the NPRM was issued, the FAA was in the process of updating
AgustaWestland's name changes to Finmeccanica S.p.A. and then to
Leonardo Helicopters on its FAA type certificate; therefore the NPRM
specified AgustaWestland as the type certificate holder. Because this
name change is now effective, this AD applies to Leonardo helicopters.
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing
this AD, but we received no 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
Italy and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist
or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air
safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as
proposed except for the name change from AgustaWestland to Leonardo. We
have also updated the estimated costs to reflect that this AD affects
helicopters of U.S. Registry rather than 2 helicopters. These changes
are consistent with the intent of the proposals in the NPRM (83 FR
23827, May 23, 2018) and will not increase the economic burden on any
operator nor increase the scope of this AD.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires inspecting the tail plane lower fitting for
play within 50 flight hours and thereafter at intervals not to exceed
25 flight hours. If a crack or other damage exists, the EASA AD
requires the improved tail plane lower fitting be installed within 10
flight hours. If no crack exists, the EASA AD requires that the
improved tail plane lower fitting be installed within 200 flight hours
or 2 months, whichever occurs first. This AD does not require
inspections and requires installing the improved tail plane lower
fitting within 50 hours time-in-service.
Related Service Information
We reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 189-
038, Revision B, dated October 13, 2016, which specifies repetitively
inspecting the tail plane assembly for a crack.
We also reviewed BT No. 189-070, Revision A, dated October 13,
2016, which provides instructions for replacing the tail plane lower
fitting with the improved tail plane lower fitting retromodification P/
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 4 helicopters of U.S. Registry and
that labor costs average $85 a work-hour. Based on these estimates, we
expect that replacing the tail plane lower fitting with an improved
tail plane lower fitting requires 64 work-hours and parts cost $15,424
for a total cost of $20,864 per helicopter and $83,456 for the U.S.
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