DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0696; Product Identifier 2017-SW-101-AD; Amendment
39-19650; AD 2019-11-04]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Airbus Helicopters) Model MBB-BK
117 D-2 helicopters. This AD requires replacing the rescue hoist cable
cut pushbutton flip guard (flip guard). This AD was prompted by reports
of unintended lifting of several flip guards.
We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: This AD is effective July 12, 2019.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX
75052; phone: (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax: (972) 641-3775; or
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-
0696; 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the
regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information.
The address for Docket Operations 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: Clark Davenport, Flight Test Engineer,
Flight Test Branch, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: 817-222-5151; email:
We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Helicopters
Model MBB BK 117 D 2 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal
Register on August 27, 2018 (83 FR 43559). The NPRM was prompted by
reports of unintended lifting of several flip guards. The NPRM proposed
to require replacing the flip guard with flip guard part number (P/N)
79553511 on the collective lever switch unit.
We are issuing this AD to address unintended lifting of a flip
guard. This condition could result in inadvertent cutting of the rescue
hoist cable and subsequent personal injury.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, issued EASA AD No. 2017-0038, dated February 22, 2017
(EASA AD No. 2017-0038), to correct an unsafe condition for certain
Airbus Helicopters Models MBB-BK 117 D-2 and MBB-BK 117 D-2m
helicopters. EASA advises that multiple events were reported of
unintended lifting of the flip guard and that the flip guard has two
stable positions, open and closed. EASA AD No. 2017-0038 states that if
the unintended lifting is not detected, the requirement for dual action
when activating the rescue hoist cable cut is not guaranteed. According
to EASA, this condition, if not corrected, could result in inadvertent
cutting of the rescue hoist cable and subsequent personal injury.
EASA further advises that Airbus Helicopters has developed an
improved mono-stable (closed) flip guard, and EASA AD No. 2017-0038
requires installing the new flip guard and re-identifying the
collective lever switch unit.
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing
this final rule, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM.
These 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 applies to Airbus Helicopters Model MBB-BK 117 D-2m
helicopters, whereas this AD does not since these models are not type
certificated in the U.S. Also, the EASA AD requires compliance within
440 hours time in service (TIS), however, this AD requires compliance
before the next hoist operation or within 440 hours TIS, whichever
occurs first. Finally, the EASA AD requires identifying the collective
lever switch unit with the service information number; this AD does
Related Service Information
Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. MBB-BK117
D-2-67A-002, Revision 0, dated January 23, 2017. This service
information contains procedures for replacing flip guard P/N 79552176
with improved flip guard P/N 79553511 and for identifying the
collective lever switch unit with the alert service bulletin number.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 21 helicopters of U.S. Registry.
At an average labor rate of $85 per hour, we estimate that operators
may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD.
Replacing the flip guard requires about 14 hours, and required
parts cost $735, for a cost per helicopter of $1,925 and a cost of
$40,425 to the U.S. fleet.
According to Airbus Helicopter's service information, some of the
costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the
cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty
coverage by Airbus Helicopters. Accordingly, we have included all costs
in our cost estimate.
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 products 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 the DOT Regulatory Policies
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),
(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.
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