DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0204; Product Identifier 2018-SW-082-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.A (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Agusta S.p.A) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
2018-07-08, which applies to certain Leonardo S.p.A (type certificate
previously held by Agusta S.p.A) Model A109E, A109K2, A109S, AW109SP,
A119, and AW119 MKII helicopters. AD 2018-07-08 requires reducing the
life limit of the tail rotor blade retention bolt and an inspection of
that bolt for cracking, and replacement of any cracked bolt. Since
issuing AD 2018-07-08, the FAA has determined that repetitive
inspections of the tail rotor blade retention bolt are needed to
address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would continue to
require reducing the life limit of the tail rotor blade retention bolt,
inspecting that bolt for cracking, and replacing any cracked bolt. In
addition, this proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the
tail rotor blade retention bolt for cracking. The FAA is proposing this
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by May
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 https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
instructions 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 NPRM, contact Leonardo
S.p.A. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale
G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-
225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or at https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/
home. 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 about the availability of this
material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
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-2020-0204;
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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (previously
European Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, 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: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5161;
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under the ADDRESSES section. Include "Docket No. FAA-2020-0204;
Product Identifier 2018-SW-082-AD" at the beginning of your comments.
The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory,
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this
NPRM because of those comments.
The FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https://www.
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide.
The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this NPRM.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD, 2016-0173-E, dated August
24, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or "the MCAI"), to correct an unsafe
condition for all Leonardo S.p.A. Model A109E, A109K2, A109LUH, A109S,
A119, AW109SP and AW119 MKII helicopters.
EASA advises that a crack was found in a tail rotor blade retention
bolt having part number (P/N) 709-0160-57-101, during a preflight
inspection of a Model A109E helicopter. Tail rotor blade retention
bolts having that part number are also installed on Model A109K2,
A109LUH, A109S, A119, AW109SP, and AW119 MKII helicopters. A subsequent
investigation did not identify the cause of the crack. EASA also
advises cracked tail rotor blade retention bolts, if not detected and
corrected, could lead to failure of the tail rotor, possibly resulting
in loss of control of the helicopter. As a precautionary measure,
pending the completion of the investigation and to address the unsafe
condition, the MCAI requires reducing the life limit of these tail
rotor blade retention bolts and repetitively inspecting the bolts. The
MCAI is considered an interim action and further AD action may follow.
The FAA issued AD 2018-07-08, Amendment 39-19239 (83 FR 15495,
April 11, 2018) ("AD 2018-07-08"), for certain Model A109E, A109K2,
A109S, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII helicopters. AD 2018-07-08
requires reducing the life limit of and inspecting the tail rotor blade
retention bolts. AD 2018-07-08 resulted from the discovery of a cracked
tail rotor blade retention bolt. The FAA issued AD 2018-07-08 to
address failure of the tail rotor, possibly resulting in loss of
control of the helicopter. AD 2018-07-08 did not require repetitive
inspections of the tail rotor blade retention bolts at intervals not to
exceed 200 flight hours as specified in the MCAI, as this time interval
would allow for sufficient time for notice and comment.
Actions Since AD 2018-07-08 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2018-07-08, the FAA determined that
repetitive inspections of the tail rotor blade retention bolts are
needed to address the unsafe condition.
Also, since the FAA issued AD 2018-07-08, Agusta S.p.A changed its
name to Leonardo S.p.A. This proposed AD reflects that change and
updates the contact information to obtain service documentation.
You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
This proposed AD would require the following service information,
which the Director of the Federal Register approved for incorporation
by reference as of April 26, 2018 (83 FR 15495, April 11, 2018).
Leonardo Helicopters Mandatory Bollettino Tecnico No. 109EP-149, dated
August 19, 2016.
Leonardo Helicopters Mandatory Bollettino Tecnico No. 109K-72, dated
August 19, 2016.
Leonardo Helicopters Mandatory Bollettino Tecnico No. 109S-072, dated
August 19, 2016.
Leonardo Helicopters Mandatory Bollettino Tecnico No. 109SP-105, dated
August 19, 2016.
Leonardo Helicopters Mandatory Bollettino Tecnico No. 119-080, dated
August 19, 2016.
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.
This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant
to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority,
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI
and service information referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD
after evaluating all the relevant information and determining the
unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on
other products of the same type design.
Proposed Requirements of This NPRM
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in the service information described previously, except as discussed
under "Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service
The MCAI does not specify life limits for a tail rotor blade
retention bolt having P/N 709-0160-57-101 that has been interchanged
between model helicopter installations, while this proposed AD does.
The MCAI applies to Model A109LUH helicopters. Model A109LUH
helicopters are not certified by the FAA and are not included on the
U.S. type certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include
those helicopters in the applicability.
The FAA considers this proposed AD to be an interim action. The
design approval holder is currently developing a modification that will
address the unsafe condition identified in this proposed AD. Once this
modification is developed, approved, and available, the FAA might
consider additional rulemaking.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 219 helicopters of
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|Retained actions from AD 2018-07-08
||4 work-hours x $85 per hour =
|New proposed actions
||4 work-hours x $85 per hour =
Estimated Costs of On-Condition
|2 work-hour x $85 per hour =
According to the manufacturer, some
or all of the costs of this
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost
impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty
coverage for affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included
all known costs in the 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.
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 above, I certify this proposed
(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.
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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2018-07-08, Amendment 39-19239 (83 FR 15495, April 11, 2018), and
adding the following new AD: