DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2017-1124; Product Identifier 2017-SW-073-AD; Amendment
39-19637; AD 2019-09-03]
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 AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters.
This AD requires inspecting the jettisoning mechanism of the left-hand
(LH) and right-hand (RH) cabin sliding plug doors. This AD is prompted
by a report that during a scheduled inspection a cabin door failed to
jettison. The actions of this AD are intended to correct an unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective June 24, 2019.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of June 24, 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. It is also available
on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1124.
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-
1124; 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: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone (817) 222-5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On May 8, 2018, at 83 FR 20751, 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
AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters, with a cabin sliding
plug door installed in accordance with Airbus Helicopters modification
(MOD) 0722338, except helicopters with a plug door jettison system
installed in accordance with MOD 0725366. The NPRM proposed to require
inspecting the jettisoning mechanism of the LH and RH cabin sliding
plug doors. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent the
cabin sliding door from failing to jettison, which could prevent
helicopter occupants from evacuating the helicopter during an
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2017-0022, dated February 8,
2017, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member
States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters (previously Eurocopter) Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and
AS332L1 helicopters equipped with a cabin sliding plug door modified in
accordance with MOD 0722338. Helicopters with Eurocopter MOD 0725366
are exempt from the EASA AD's requirements.
EASA advises that the emergency jettison test of a cabin lateral
sliding plug door failed during a scheduled inspection and test of the
door's jettison mechanism. According to EASA, an investigation revealed
that the jettison handle cable interfered with the cable clamps. EASA
states that this condition could lead to jamming of the door
jettisoning mechanism, preventing jettisoning of the affected door
during an emergency, possibly obstructing evacuation of the occupants.
The EASA AD consequently requires repetitive inspections of the
jettisoning mechanism of the LH and RH door, followed by corrective
actions if needed.
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing
this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM.
Theses helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for
operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement
with the European Union, EASA 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 and that air safety and the public interest require
adopting the AD requirements as proposed.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires that the initial inspection occur during the
next jettisoning test of the doors or within 110 flight hours,
whichever occurs first, and thereafter during certain maintenance
tasks. This AD requires a one-time inspection within 110 hours TIS or
prior to flying over water.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS332-
52.00.56, Revision 0, dated January 30, 2017, which specifies pulling
on the inner jettison handle to determine whether the cables come into
contact with the cable clamps. If there is contact, this service
information specifies changing the position of the cable clamps to
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.
Other Related Service Information
We also reviewed Eurocopter Service Bulletin No. 332-52.00.28,
Revision 1, dated April 29, 1998, which contains procedures to improve
the door jettison system. Eurocopter identifies compliance with this
service information as MOD 0725366.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 19 helicopters of U.S. Registry
and that labor costs average $85 per work-hour. Based on these
estimates, we expect that inspecting the jettisoning mechanism and
changing the orientation of the cable clamps, if necessary, requires 4
work-hours. No parts are required for a total cost of $340 per
helicopter and $6,460 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.
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