DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-1019; Product Identifier 2018-SW-011-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2,
and EC225LP helicopters. This proposed AD would require, depending on
helicopter configuration, installing skived polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
tape or removing skived PTFE tape and replacing the window seals. This
proposed AD is prompted by a report of excessive friction between the
window seal and the helicopter airframe. The actions of this proposed
are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by March
ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to the "Mail" address between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-1019;
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 proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the
economic 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 receipt.
For service information identified in this proposed 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 https://
www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. You may
view the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321,
Fort Worth, TX 76177.
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;
The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting
written comments, data, or views. The FAA also invites comments
relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts
that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The
most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal,
explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting
data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments,
commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if
comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one
The FAA will file in the docket all comments received, as well as a
report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel
concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal,
the FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing
date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the
comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring
expense or delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light of the
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2018-0039, dated February 9,
2018, and corrected on March 7, 2018, to correct an unsafe condition
for Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France,
Aerospatiale) Model AS 332 C, AS 332 C1, AS 332 L, AS 332 L1, AS 332
L2, and EC 225 LP helicopters. EASA advises of an emergency exit window
that required excessive pushing force to jettison. According to EASA,
an investigation revealed the window seal was in good condition with no
indication of paint contamination or of hardening. EASA advises that
the root cause of the incident was excessive friction between the
window seal and the airframe. EASA further advises that helicopters
with VIP jettisonable cabin windows, which corresponds to Modification
(MOD) 332P087140.00, with PTFE skived film (tape) installed, require
greater force to jettison than standard jettisonable cabin windows with
PTFE skived film installed due to the thickness of the VIP jettisonable
EASA states if this condition is not corrected, it could prevent
the window from jettisoning, subsequently affecting the evacuation of
passengers during an emergency situation. To address this unsafe
condition, the EASA AD requires installing PTFE skived film on the
window frames of helicopters with standard jettisonable cabin windows,
and removing PTFE skived film and replacing polychloroprene seals with
silicone seals on the window frames of helicopters with VIP
jettisonable cabin windows.
These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for
operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral
agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA of the
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD
after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that an
unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of
the same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB)
No. AS332-05.01.05 for Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, and
AS332L2 helicopters, and ASB No. EC225-05A046 for Model EC225LP
helicopters, both Revision 1 and dated February 8, 2018. This service
information applies to helicopters without VIP jettisonable cabin
window MOD 332P087140.00 installed. This service information specifies
applying PTFE skived film to the jettisonable cabin window frames.
The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-56.90.13 for
Model AS332L2 helicopters, and ASB No. EC225-56C012 for Model EC225LP
helicopters, both Revision 0 and dated February 2, 2018. This service
information applies to helicopters with VIP jettisonable cabin window
MOD 332P087140.00 installed. This service information specifies
removing the PTFE skived film, if installed between the VIP cabin
window frame and seal, from the VIP jettisonable cabin windows, and
replacing the VIP jettisonable cabin window polychloroprene seals with
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
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Information Notice No. 3012-I-
05, Revision 0, dated March 8, 2016, for Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L,
AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters. This service information
provides additional information pertaining to the jettisonable cabin
window system and the application of PTFE skived film to the
jettisonable window frames. This service information also advises that
VIP jettisonable cabin windows are thicker and stiffer than standard
design windows and are slightly more difficult to jettison than
standard jettisonable cabin windows.
Proposed AD Requirements
Within 110 hours time-in-service (TIS), and thereafter each time a
jettisonable cabin window is installed:
For helicopters without MOD 332P087140.00 installed, this
proposed AD would require installing skived PTFE tape to each
jettisonable cabin window frame.
For helicopters with MOD 332P087140.00 installed, this
proposed AD would require removing the skived PTFE tape, if installed,
from each jettisonable cabin window, and replacing each VIP
jettisonable cabin window polychloroprene seal with a silicone seal.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD allows compliance within 250 hours TIS for helicopters
that do not operate over water. This proposed AD would require
compliance within 110 hours TIS for all helicopters, regardless of
where they operate.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 25 helicopters of
U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85
Depending on your model helicopter and configuration:
Installing skived PTFE tape would take about 8 work-hours
and required materials would cost about $92, for an estimated cost of
$772 per helicopter and $19,300 for the U.S. fleet.
There are no costs of compliance with removing the skived
PTFE tape and replacing the seals because there are no helicopters with
a serial number identified by Airbus Helicopters with MOD 332P087140.00
installed on the U.S. Registry.
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.
The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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, I certify this proposed regulation:
1. Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order
2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that
it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and
3. 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.
The FAA prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to
comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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