DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0585; Product Identifier 2019-SW-112-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1
helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of corrosion on
attachment screws and fittings fastening the main gearbox (MGB)
suspension bars to the fuselage. This proposed AD would require
inspecting the affected parts and associated frame bores for
discrepancies, and applicable corrective actions. 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 September
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 Airbus
Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone
972-641-0000 or 800-232-0323; fax 972-641-3775; or at https://www.airbus.
com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. 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.
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-2020-0585;
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 Union 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 receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace
Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA,
2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-
3218; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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-2020-0585;
Product Identifier 2019-SW-112-AD" at the beginning of your comments.
The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal,
explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting
data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date
and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, 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.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as "PROPIN." The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to
Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section,
International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines,
WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218; email
email@example.com. Any commentary that the FAA receives which
is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public
docket for this rulemaking.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0295, dated December 5, 2019
(referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness
Information, or "the MCAI"), to correct an unsafe condition for all
Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1
helicopters. EASA advises that there were reports of corrosion on
attachment screws and fittings fastening the rear MGB suspension bars,
right and left hand sides, to the fuselage, and the attachment screws
and fitting fastening the front MGB suspension bar to the fuselage.
Subsequent investigation determined that during maintenance visits of
an identified batch of helicopters between September 2012 and April
2019, application of compound sealant on MGB suspension bar attachment
screws may not have been accomplished using the approved maintenance
data. The EASA AD requires a one-time inspection of the affected parts,
and depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective
actions. The compliance times vary depending on helicopter
For helicopters identified in Airbus Helicopters Alert Service
Bulletin AS332-53.02.05, Revision 1, dated March 2, 2020, the earliest
inspection compliance time is within 100 flight hours or 6 months after
the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first. For helicopters
identified in Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS332-53.02.07,
Revision 0, dated October 21, 2019, the earliest inspection compliance
time is within 100 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.
For helicopters identified in Airbus Helicopters Alert Service
Bulletin AS332-53.02.05, Revision 1, dated March 2, 2020, the latest
initial inspection compliance time is within 3,800 flight hours or 3
years and 6 months, whichever occurs first, since the last maintenance
action at Airbus Helicopters Marignane. For helicopters identified in
Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS332-53.02.07, Revision 0,
dated October 21, 2019, the latest initial inspection compliance time
is within 3,800 flight hours since last removal.
The FAA is issuing this proposed AD to address corrosion on
attachment fittings and attachment screws for the MGB suspension bars.
This condition, if not addressed, could lead to structural failure of
the MGB attachment screws, resulting in detachment of MGB suspension
bars from the fuselage and subsequent loss of control of the
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
Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin AS332-
53.02.05, Revision 1, dated March 2, 2020; and Alert Service Bulletin
AS332-53.02.07, Revision 0, dated October 21, 2019. The service
information describes procedures for inspecting the attachment fittings
and attachment screws of the MGB suspension bars and their frame bores
for discrepancies and corrective actions. This inspection includes an
inspection of the attachment fittings and attachment screws of the MGB
suspension bars for corrosion and an inspection of the attachment
screws for evidence of sealing compound. The corrective actions include
replacing or repairing corroded parts and replacing screws that have
sealing compound on them. These documents are distinct since they apply
to different helicopter models in different configurations.
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.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS332-
53.02.05, Revision 0, dated April 18, 2019. The service information
describes procedures for inspecting the attachment fittings and
attachment screws of the MGB suspension bars and their frame bores for
discrepancies and corrective actions.
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. This proposed AD also
would require sending certain inspection results to the manufacturer.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 12 helicopters of
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|16 work-hours x $85 per hour
The FAA estimates that it would take
about 1 hour per product to
comply with the on-condition reporting requirement in this proposed AD.
The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA
estimates the cost of reporting the inspection results on U.S.
operators to be $85 per product.
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control
number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD
is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has
been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and
includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and
reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting
associated with this proposed AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the
accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should
be directed to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal
Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-
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 adding the following new airworthiness