DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0258; Product Identifier 2018-SW-002-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for Leonardo S.p.A. Model AW169 helicopters. This proposed AD would
require modifying the weight on wheels (WoW) support installation on
the main landing gear (MLG). This proposed AD is prompted by a report
that an inappropriately tightened WoW support could result in a
rotation of the support and improper WoW switch performance. The
actions of this proposed AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition
on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by May
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-2020-0258;
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 service information identified in this proposed rule, 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 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. 2017-0255, dated December 22,
2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A Helicopters
(formerly Finmeccanica Helicopter Division, AgustaWestland) Model AW169
helicopters, with left-hand (LH) MLG assembly part number (P/N)
6F3210V00132 or P/N 6F3210V00133 and serial number (S/N) MN01 to MN84
inclusive, and/or a right-hand (RH) MLG assembly P/N 6F3210V00232 or P/
N 6F3210V00233 with S/N MN01 to MN81 inclusive installed, except those
with an MLG modified per Magnaghi Aeronautica S.p.A. Service Bulletin
EASA advises that an in-service event revealed that an
inappropriately tightened WoW support could result in a rotation of
this support and improper WoW switch performance. EASA advises this
condition, if not corrected, could result in degraded attitude
stabilization, possibly resulting in reduced control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, the EASA AD requires modification of the WoW support
installation by introducing structural glue between the WoW support and
the main fitting of the MLG.
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 about 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 Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
169-047, Revision A, dated February 19, 2018, for Model AW169
helicopters. This service information specifies a WoW support bonding
procedure on in-service helicopters by introducing structural glue
between the WoW support P/N G1019/20-91 and the main fitting P/N G1019/
20-MF 105 to prevent a potential rotation of the support.
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.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require, within 60 hours time-in-service
(TIS), modifying the WoW support installation by:
Performing a short circuit connection between pin 26 of
connector J343 and pin N of connector J319.
Cutting lockwire and disconnecting the WoW microswitch
from the WoW support, removing from service nuts and bolts, and
removing the WoW support from the MLG.
Removing any paint, cleaning areas, and applying Alodine
1132 on cleaned surfaces.
Applying a 10 mm wide strip of structural glue EA934 on
the WoW support, reinstalling the WoW support on the MLG, adding a
specified torque to the nut, and cleaning off excess glue.
Curing the glue on the structures, performing a
microswitch adjustment inspection for correct operation of the
microswitch, and marking the MLG nameplate by adding the letter "B"
at the end of the S/N.
After the effective date of the proposed AD, installing an affected
LH or RH MLG assembly on any helicopter would be prohibited unless it
has been modified in accordance with the proposed AD requirements.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires compliance within 60 hours TIS or 3 months,
whichever occurs first, while this proposed AD would require compliance
within 60 hours TIS.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 3 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
Performing the short circuit connection, removing the WoW support
from the MLG, removing any paint and cleaning areas, applying Alodine
and a 10mm strip of structural glue, curing the glue, torqueing the
nut, performing a microswitch adjustment, and marking the MLG nameplate
would take about 8 work-hours and parts would cost about $10 for an
estimated cost of $690 per helicopter and $2,070 for the U.S. fleet.
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; 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 adding the following new airworthiness