DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-0643; Product Identifier 2019-SW-013-AD; Amendment
39-19719; AD 2019-10-51]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is publishing a new airworthiness directive (AD)
all Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters (Airbus) Model MBB-
BK 117 C-2 helicopters. Emergency AD 2019-10-51 was sent previously to
all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. This AD
requires, for certain helicopters, inspecting the fuselage frame and
providing certain information to the FAA. This AD also prohibits
installing certain components as part of Supplemental Type Certificate
(STC) SR00592DE on any helicopter. This AD was prompted by reports of
fatigue cracks in the fuselage frame. The FAA is issuing this AD to
address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective September 19, 2019 to all persons except
those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD
2019-10-51, issued on May 16, 2019, which contained the requirements of
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication identified in this AD as of
September 19, 2019.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 21, 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
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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this final rule, contact Air
Methods Corporation, 5500 South Quebec Street, Suite 300, Greenwood
Village, CO 80111; telephone 303-792-7557 or at http://www.unitedrotorcraft.com/.
You may view this service information at the
FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood
Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the
availability of this material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. It is also
available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0643.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0643; 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 regulatory 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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Bradley, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Denver ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
26805 East 68th Ave., Room 214, Denver, CO 80249; telephone (303) 342-
1082; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On May 16, 2019, the FAA issued Emergency AD 2019-10-51, which
requires for certain serial-numbered helicopters, inspecting the
fuselage frame before further flight and providing certain information
to the FAA within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the required
inspections. This AD also prohibits installing certain components as
part of STC SR00592DE on any helicopter. Emergency AD 2019-10-51 was
sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these
helicopters. This action was prompted by reports of fatigue cracks in
the fuselage frame, through the left-hand door frame webs and frame cap
at station 4135. These cracks occurred on certain serial numbered
helicopters with STC SR00592DE installed. The cracks initiated under
the doubler that reinforces the door frame where recessed medical wall
fittings are attached. In one case, the crack under the doubler
propagated through the inboard frame cap and onto the inboard web. This
condition, if not corrected, could result in excessive vibration, an
in-flight breakup, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Although the exact cause of this unsafe condition is still being
investigated, the FAA has determined that the cracks are a result of
the recessed medical wall rack installation.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Air Methods Alert Service Bulletin ASB19-03,
Revision IR, dated May 6, 2019 (ASB). The ASB requires removing the
recessed medical wall rack and describes procedures for inspecting the
door frame at the forward medical wall rack doubler for cracks. If
cracks are discovered, the ASB specifies that the aircraft is grounded
until repairs are made. 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
The FAA is issuing this AD after evaluating all the relevant
information and determining the unsafe condition described previously
is likely to exist or develop in other products of this same type
This AD requires the following for certain serial-numbered
Before further flight, removing the recessed medical wall
rack, inspecting the fuselage frame box beam structure for cracks and
loose rivets, and making repairs if necessary or reinstalling the
inboard web of the box beam and the cabin interior panels with the
medical wall rack to remain removed and
Within 10 hours TIS after the required inspections,
providing the inspection results, photographs of inspected areas, total
helicopter hours TIS since installation of STC SR00592DE, and the
helicopter serial number to the FAA.
This AD also prohibits installing on any helicopter recessed
medical wall assembly part number (P/N) 778-1400-001, wall mount
fittings P/N 900-9959-001, aft medical wall doubler P/N 900-9989, and
medical wall long doubler P/N 900-6021 at stations 4135 and 4963.19 as
part of STC SR00592DE.
Differences Between This AD and the Service Information
This AD requires the inspections before further flight, whereas the
ASB specifies within 10 flight hours. This AD requires a single
inspection before further flight, whereas the ASB specifies repetitive
inspections every 200 hours TIS following the initial inspection. This
AD does not require contacting Air Methods for disposition on the
discovery of cracks, whereas the ASB does.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. The inspection reports
that are required by this AD will enable the FAA to obtain better
insight into the cause of the cracking and eventually to develop final
action to address the unsafe condition. Once final action has been
identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking. Also, the FAA is
currently considering requiring repetitive inspections of the frame.
However, the planned compliance time for those inspections would allow
enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment
on the merits of the repetitive inspections.
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment
procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds that
those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the
public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the
An unsafe condition exists that required the immediate adoption of
Emergency AD 2019-10-51, issued on May 16, 2019, to all known U.S.
owners and operators of these helicopters. The FAA found that the risk
to the flying public justified waiving notice and comment prior to
adoption of this rule because an unsafe condition existed which
required corrective actions before further flight. These conditions
still exist and the AD is hereby published in the Federal Register as
an amendment to section 39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14
CFR 39.13) to make it effective to all persons. Accordingly, notice and
opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to
public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, for the
reason stated above, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.
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, the FAA invites 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-2019-
0643 and Product Identifier 2019-SW-013-AD at the beginning of your
comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall
regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this final
rule. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date
and may amend this final rule because of those comments.
The FAA will post all comments received, without change, to http://www.
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide.
The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this final rule.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 10 helicopters of U.S.
registry and estimates the following costs to comply with this AD.
Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Removing the recessed
medical wall rack takes about 0.25 work-hour, inspecting for cracks and
loose rivets takes about 8 work-hours, and reporting the required
information takes about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $786 per
helicopter and $7,860 for the affected U.S. fleet. Thirty-three blind
rivets at about $1.50 each are required to reinstall the inboard web if
there are no cracks for a total cost of $50. Loose fitting/doubler rivets
about $1.50 each. The FAA has no way of estimating the cost to repair
any cracked structure.
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB
Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public
reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be
approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and
maintaining the data needed, completing and reviewing the collection of
information. All responses to this collection of information are
mandatory. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other
aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for
reducing this burden to: Information Collection Clearance Officer,
Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX
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.
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
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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