DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0694; Product Identifier 2016-SW-068-AD; Amendment
39-19564; AD 2019-03-12]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD requires repetitive
inspections of each life raft inflation cylinder percussion system
bellcrank (bellcrank). This AD was prompted by reports of jammed
bellcranks. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective April 11, 2019.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final 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 http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html.
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 76177.
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-
0694; 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, 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: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110;
On August 9, 2018, at 83 FR 39382, 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 Airbus Helicopters
Model EC225 LP helicopters with a life raft installed. The NPRM
proposed to require, before further flight and thereafter at intervals
not exceeding 6 months, cleaning and lubricating each bellcrank and
pivot link. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent a jammed
bellcrank which could result in failure of a life raft to release in an
emergency and subsequent injury to occupants.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2016-0200, dated October 11,
2016 (EASA AD 2016-0200), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent
for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe
condition for Airbus Helicopters Model EC 225 LP helicopters. EASA
advises of a report of the left-hand and right-hand bellcranks becoming
jammed. EASA states an investigation determined the bellcranks were
jammed by the accumulation of a foreign coating material in the
bellcrank hole. EASA further states that investigation of an additional
incident of a jammed bellcrank determined that corrosion in the
bellcrank hole caused the jam. This condition, according to EASA, could
result in failure of the life rafts to release in an emergency and
subsequent injury to occupants during an otherwise survivable accident.
To address this unsafe condition, EASA AD 2016-0200 requires repetitive
cleaning and lubrication of each bellcrank and pivot link.
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing
this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical
representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in
its 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 the same type design
and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements
Related Service Information
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No.
05A050, Revision 0, dated July 22, 2016, which contains procedures for
cleaning and lubricating each bellcrank and pivot link of the life raft
inflation cylinder percussion system and removing any corrosion if
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that This AD affects 5 helicopters of U.S. Registry.
At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, we estimate that
operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this
AD. Cleaning and lubricating both bellcranks and pivot links requires
about 16 work-hours, and required materials costs are minimal, for a
cost of $1,360 per helicopter and $6,800 for the U.S. fleet per
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