DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0980; Product Identifier 2017-SW-123-AD; Amendment
39-19669; AD 2019-12-14]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Airbus Helicopters) Model MBB-BK 117 C-2
helicopters. This AD requires establishing or reducing the life limit
of various parts. This AD was prompted by recalculations. The actions
of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these
DATES: This AD is effective August 2, 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 a copy of 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-
0980; 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 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;
On November 19, 2018 at 83 FR 58191, 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 MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters with certain parts installed. The NPRM
proposed to require establishing and reducing the life limit of the
following parts: Main rotor head--nut, upper and lower quadruple nut,
bolts, and inner sleeve; swash plate control ring assembly; rotor
flight control collective bellcrank-K; cyclic control rod tube; and
upper control forked lever. The proposed requirements were intended to
prevent a part remaining in service beyond its fatigue life, which
could result in failure of a part and loss of control of the
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2017-0174, dated September 12,
2017 (EASA AD 2017-0174), 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 MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. EASA
advises that recalculation by Airbus Helicopters has resulted in new or
reduced life limits for certain parts. EASA AD 2017-0174 states the
life limits are mandatory for continued airworthiness and failing to
replace life-limited parts as specified could result in an unsafe
condition. To address this condition, EASA AD 2017-0174 requires
replacing the affected parts before exceeding their new or reduced life
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 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 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 products of the same type
designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting
the AD requirements as proposed except for minor editorial changes.
``Bellcrank-K (collective) (4)'' was listed in Table 1 to paragraph (e)
of this AD, but should have been ``Bellcrank-K (collective)'' instead.
The cost of the parts listed in the Costs of Compliance section have
also been updated to reflect current market prices. The updated costs
are considered non-substantial. These minor editorial changes are
consistent with the intent of the proposals in the NPRM and will not
increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of
Related Service Information
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB MBB-BK117
C-2-04A-008, Revision 0, dated April 27, 2017, for Model MBB-BK 117 C-2
and C-2e helicopters. This service information specifies entering into
the helicopter records the reduced and new airworthiness life limits
for certain part-numbered main rotor head, swash plate, rotor flight
controls, cyclic controls, and upper controls parts.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 128 helicopters of U.S. Registry.
We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to
comply with this AD. Labor costs average $85 per work-hour.
Replacing a nut takes about 5 work-hours and parts cost about
$3,736 for an estimated replacement cost of $4,161.
Replacing a quadruple nut upper takes about 5 work-hours and parts
cost about $3,682 for an estimated replacement cost of $4,107.
Replacing a quadruple nut lower takes about 5 work-hours and parts
cost about $3,819 for an estimated replacement cost of $4,244.
Replacing a bolt takes about 2 work-hours and parts cost about $418
for an estimated replacement cost of $588.
Replacing an inner sleeve takes about 2 work-hours and parts cost
about $20,826 for an estimated replacement cost of $20,996.
Replacing a control ring assembly takes about 5 work-hours and
parts cost about $11,500 for an estimated replacement cost of $11,925.
Replacing a bellcrank-K (collective) takes about 4 work-hours and
parts cost about $3,400 for an estimated replacement cost of $3,740.
Replacing a control rod tube takes about 4 work-hours and parts
cost about $1,197 for an estimated replacement cost of $1,537.
Replacing a forked lever takes about 3 work-hours and parts cost
about $6,138 for an estimated replacement cost of $6,393.
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) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.
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