DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0797; Product Identifier 2018-SW-081-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters (Type
Certificate Previously Held by Agusta S.p.A.)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
2017-23-08 for Agusta S.p.A. (now Leonardo S.p.a.) Model AB139 and
AW139 helicopters. AD 2017-23-08 requires repetitively inspecting the
main rotor (M/R) rotating scissors, removing certain lower half scissor
spherical bearings (bearings) from service, replacing the removed
bearings with a new bearing, and installing a special nut. Since the
FAA issued AD 2017-23-08, investigation results determined that a
quality control issue may have affected the production of the affected
bearings. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2017-23-
08 and require replacing each affected bearing with a certain part-
numbered bearing. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to
address an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by October
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-2020-0797;
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 Aviation Safety Agency (now 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
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, AD Program Manager,
Continued Operational Safety Branch, Airworthiness Products Section,
General Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth,
TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email Matthew.Fuller@faa.gov.
The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting
written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference
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 time.
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 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 comments received.
Confidential Business Information
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 Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager, Continued
Operational Safety Branch, Airworthiness Products Section, General
Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email Matthew.Fuller@faa.gov. Any
commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated
as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The FAA issued AD 2017-23-08, Amendment 39-19102 (82 FR 55752,
November 24, 2017) ("AD 2017-23-08") for Agusta S.p.A. (now Leonardo
S.p.a.) Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. AD 2017-23-08 requires
repetitively inspecting the M/R rotating scissors, removing certain
bearings from service, installing a special nut and requires replacing
the removed bearings with certain part-numbered bearings.
AD 2017-23-08 was prompted by EASA Emergency AD (EAD) No. 2017-
0028-E, dated February 15, 2017 (EASA EAD 2017-0028-E) issued by EASA,
which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European
Union. EASA advised of a report of a dislodged bearing on an M/R
rotating scissor equipped with a certain special nut. EASA EAD 2017-
0028-E requires repetitive inspections of certain M/R rotating scissor
bearings, and depending on the findings, replacement of the bearing and
affected M/R parts. The EASA AD also requires replacement of certain
bearings as a terminating action for the repetitive inspections.
According to EASA, this condition, could result in failure of the M/R
rotating scissor bearing and subsequent loss of control of the
Actions Since AD 2017-23-08 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2017-23-08, investigation results by the
supplier of the bearings determined that a quality control issue may
have affected the production of bearing part number (P/N) 3G6230V00654.
Accordingly, this proposed AD retains the requirements of AD 2017-23-08
and proposes replacing bearing P/N 3G6230V00654 with P/N 3G6230V00655.
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 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 design.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD specifies some compliance times using calendar time,
whereas this proposed AD does not. The EASA AD requires reporting
information to Leonardo S.p.a. Product Support Engineering, whereas
this proposed AD does not.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Bollettino Tecnico No.
139-392, Revision A, dated February 14, 2017. This service information
specifies repetitively inspecting the M/R rotating scissors to monitor
the bearings and replacing the bearing with a new part-numbered
bearing. This service info also specifies installing a special nut in
case of lower scissor bearing dislodging.
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 Leonardo Helicopters AW139 IETP Document Code AMP-
39-A-62-31-00-00A-31AC-A, Rotating control installation--Fixed
swashplate and rotating scissors--Detailed inspection, Issue 29, dated
July 31, 2017, which describes procedures for a detailed inspection of
the fixed swashplate and rotating scissors.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would retain the repetitive inspection
requirements of AD 2017-23-08, and continue to require replacing the
bearing with an improved bearing, replacing the rotating scissor
attachment flange with a certain part-numbered rotating scissor
attachment flange, and replacing the nut with a certain part-numbered
special nut. This proposed AD would also require removing each bearing
P/N 3G6230V00654 from service and replacing it with bearing P/N
3G6230V00655 within 100 hours TIS.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 102
helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may
incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
Inspecting for bearing liner wear, seat movement, and play would
take about 1 work-hour for a cost of $85 per helicopter and $8,670 for
the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
Replacing a bearing would take about 2 work-hours and parts would
cost about $950 for a cost of $1,120 per bearing.
Replacing a rotating scissor attachment flange would take about
0.25 work-hours and parts would cost about $25,629 for a cost of
$25,650 per flange.
Installing two special nuts would take about 1 work-hour and parts
would cost about $755 for a cost of $840 per helicopter and $85,680 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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-23-08, Amendment 39-19102
(82 FR 55752, November 24, 2017); and
b. Adding the following new AD: