DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-0827; Product Identifier 2019-SW-014-AD; Amendment
39-21120; AD 2020-10-02]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Eurocopter France) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-12-07
for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365C, SA-365C1,
SA-365C2, SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, and SA-366G1
helicopters. AD 2011-12-07 required repetitively inspecting the
adhesive bead between the bushings and the Starflex star (Starflex)
arms and the Starflex arm ends. This new AD retains the requirements of
AD 2011-12-07 while omitting helicopters with an improved Starflex
installed from the applicability. This AD was prompted by the
development of the improved Starflex by Airbus Helicopters. The actions
of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these
DATES: This AD is effective June 15, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of June 15,
ADDRESSES: 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
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. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0827.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
in Docket No. FAA-2019-0827; 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 (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD,
any service information that is incorporated by reference, any comments
received, and other information. The street address for Docket
Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-
30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue
SE, Washington, DC 20590.
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 issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to remove AD 2011-12-07, Amendment 39-16714 (76 FR 35346,
June 17, 2011) (``AD 2011-12-07'') and add a new AD. AD 2011-12-07
applied to Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365C,
SA-365C1, SA-365C2, SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, and SA-
366G1 helicopters and required a repetitive inspection of the adhesive
bead between the bushing and the Starflex arm for a crack, a gap, or
loss of the adhesive bead and the Starflex arm ends for delamination.
AD 2011-12-07 was prompted by three cases of deterioration of a
Starflex arm end. In two of these cases, the deterioration caused high
amplitude vibrations in flight, compelling the pilot to make a
The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 1, 2019 (84
FR 58638). The NPRM proposed to retain the requirements of AD 2011-12-
07 but omit helicopters with an improved Starflex installed from the
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2008-0165R1, dated June 30,
2017 (EASA AD 2008-0165R1), issued by EASA, which is the Technical
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe
condition for Airbus Helicopters Model SA 365 N, SA 365 N1, AS 365 N2,
AS 365 N3, SA 365 C, SA 365 C1, SA 365 C2, SA 365 C3 and SA 366 G1
helicopters, except helicopters with MOD 0762C37 installed in
production. EASA advises that the Airbus Helicopters Starflex
manufactured with improved materials make the 10-hour repetitive
inspections specified in the original issue of its AD, EASA AD No.
2008-0165, dated August 28, 2008 (EASA AD 2008-0165), unnecessary. EASA
AD 2008-0165R1 retains the repetitive inspections from EASA AD 2008-
0165 but does not apply to helicopters with the new Starflex installed.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this AD, but did not receive any comments on the NPRM.
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 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 these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest
require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD uses the word ``check,'' whereas this AD uses the word
``inspect'' instead. In some ADs, the FAA uses the word ``check'' to
designate specific actions that may be performed by the owner/operator
(pilot). An ``inspection'' is a maintenance action that must be performed
certificated person as specified in 14 CFR 43.3.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed one document that co-publishes four Airbus
Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) identification
numbers: No. 05.00.51 for Model 365N-series helicopters, No. 05.35 for
Model 366G1 helicopters, No. 05.28 for Model 365C-series helicopters,
and No. 05.00.21 for non FAA-type certificated military helicopters,
all Revision 4 and dated November 20, 2014. EASB Nos. 05.00.51, 05.35,
and 05.28 are incorporated by reference in this AD. EASB No. 05.00.21
is not incorporated by reference in this AD.
This service information specifies visually inspecting the adhesive
bead on the bushes of the Starflex arm ends for bonding failure of the
bushes and distortion of the Starflex arm ends. This service
information also specifies inspecting the leading edges and the
trailing edges of the Starflex arm ends for delamination.
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 Master Servicing Manual (MSM)
AS 365 N for Model SA-365N helicopters, MSM AS 365 N1 for Model SA-
365N1 helicopters, MSM AS 365 N2 for Model AS-365N2 helicopters, and
MSM AS 365 N3 for Model AS 365 N3 helicopters, all Revision 7 and dated
October 9, 2017. This service information provides a schedule of
maintenance tasks for the helicopters.
The FAA also reviewed one document that co-publishes four
Eurocopter EASB identification numbers: No. 05.00.51 for Model 365N-
series helicopters, No. 05.35 for Model 366G1 helicopters, No. 05.28
for Model 365C-series helicopters, and No. 05.00.21 for non FAA-type
certificated military helicopters, all Revision 3 and dated August 18,
2008. This service information specifies the same Accomplishment
Instructions as Revision 4, which is issued under the name Airbus
Helicopters, although Revision 4 excludes helicopters that have MOD
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 35 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
Inspecting the Starflex takes about 0.25 work-hour for an estimated
cost of $21 per helicopter and $735 for the U.S. fleet per inspection
cycle. Replacing the Starflex takes about 10 work-hours and parts cost
about $65,900 for an estimated cost of $66,750.
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 has 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 above, I certify that this AD:
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
Adoption of the Amendment
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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2011-12-07, Amendment 39-16714 (76 FR 35346, June 17, 2011), and adding
the following new AD: