DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-0738; Product Identifier 2019-SW-017-AD; Amendment
39-19749; AD 2019-19-13]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD requires
determining the total hours time-in-service (TIS) of the free wheel
shafts of certain main rotor gearboxes (MGBs), replacing the MGB or
right-hand side (RH) free wheel shaft, installing placard(s), and
revising the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your helicopter. This
AD was prompted by a report of wear of the ramps of the RH free wheel
shaft. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective November 5, 2019. The FAA must receive
comments on this AD by December 20, 2019.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow
the 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 http://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0738; 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 listed above. Comments will be
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
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
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rao Edupuganti, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-
5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight
safety, and the FAA did not provide you with notice and an opportunity
to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, 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 resulted
from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific
portion of the AD, 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 them only one time. 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 rulemaking during the
comment period. The FAA will consider all the comments received and may
conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2019-0152-E, dated June 28,
2019, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (AH),
formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, Model EC 225 LP helicopters
with MGB part number (P/N) 332A325001.XX, P/N 332A325002.XX, or P/N
332A325003.XX equipped with main reduction gear module P/N
332A325011.XX, P/N 332A325012.XX, or P/N 332A325013.XX in post-mod 07-
53016 configuration installed, where XX represents any dash number, and
with RH free wheel shaft P/N 332A322191.20 (16-roller free wheel)
installed. EASA advises of a report of wear of the ramps and a broken
roller cage of the RH free wheel shaft that were discovered during
overhaul of an MGB. EASA states an investigation to determine the root
cause of the occurrence is ongoing. EASA advises that this condition,
if not corrected, could lead to reduced capacity to transfer one engine
inoperative (OEI) power delivered by the right side engine following an
event of in-flight shut down of the left side engine, resulting in
reduced control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, the EASA AD requires repetitive replacement of the
affected MGBs, installing placards that specify an operational
limitation for OEI training flights, and introduces conditions for
installing a replacement MGB. EASA states its AD is considered an
interim action and further AD action may follow.
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 the EASA AD. The FAA is issuing this AD
after evaluating all information provided by EASA and determining the
unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other
helicopters of the same type design.
Related Service Information
Airbus Helicopters has issued Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No.
04A016, Revision 1, dated June 28, 2019, which specifies procedures to
determine the total hours TIS of the free wheel shafts, a life limit
schedule and instructions to replace the MGB or RH free wheel shaft,
and instructions to install one or two labels (placards) in view of
both pilots about OEI training procedures.
This AD requires determining the total hours TIS of each free wheel
shaft. For the purpose of this AD, if the total hours TIS of the RH and
LH free wheel shafts are different, the greater number of total hours
TIS will be considered as the RH free wheel shaft total hours TIS. If
the RH free wheel shaft has accumulated 1,000 or more total hours TIS,
or before the RH free wheel shaft exceeds 1,000 total hours TIS, this
AD requires replacing the MGB with an airworthy MGB or replacing the RH
free wheel shaft. This AD also requires installing placard(s) in full
view of both pilots and revising the RFM for your helicopter with OEI
training procedures pertaining to the "TRAINING IDLE" switches. As an
option, this AD specifies installing alternate MGB configurations that
would constitute terminating action for the requirements of this AD.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires repetitive replacement of the MGB, whereas
this AD requires an initial replacement of the MGB instead. The FAA
plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to give the public an
opportunity to comment on this longer-term requirement. This AD
requires revising the RFM for your helicopter, whereas the EASA AD does not.
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. Repetitively
replacing the MGB at a longer interval is also necessary. However, the
planned compliance time for the repetitive replacement would allow
enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment
on the merits of the replacement.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 23 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
Determining the hours TIS of each free wheel shaft takes about 0.25
work-hour, for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and $483 for the
U.S. fleet. Installing placard(s) and revising the RFM for your
helicopter takes about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per
helicopter and $989 for the U.S. fleet. Replacing an MGB takes about 40
work-hours and parts cost about $850,000 (overhauled), for an estimated
cost of $853,400.
Justification for Immediate Adoption 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 requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because the required corrective actions must be completed within 10
hours TIS. Therefore, 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(s) stated above, the FAA
finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making
this amendment effective in less than 30 days.
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 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, 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.
The FAA 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
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