DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-1018; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01383-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
2018-19-01, which applies to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS-365N2, AS
365 N3, EC 155B, EC155B1, SA-365N1, and SA-366G1 helicopters. AD 2018-
19-01 requires repetitive inspections of the aft fuselage outer skin.
Since the FAA issued AD 2018-19-01, it was determined that Model SA-
365N helicopters are also affected by the unsafe condition. This
proposed AD would continue to require repetitive inspections and would
add Model SA-365N helicopters, as specified in a European Union
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be incorporated by
reference. 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 December
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 material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact
the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49
221 89990 1000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu.
You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.
europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the FAA, Office of
the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-
321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this
material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. It is also available in the AD
docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for
and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-1018.
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-2020-1018;
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 NPRM, 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, Aviation Safety
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 ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2020-1018; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-01383-R" 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 proposal 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 agency will also post a report summarizing each
substantive verbal contact received about this proposal.
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, Aviation Safety 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 that
is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public
docket for this rulemaking.
The FAA issued AD 2018-19-01, Amendment 39-19401 (83 FR 46862,
September 17, 2018) (AD 2018-19-01), which applies to all Airbus
Helicopters Model AS 365N2, AS 365 N3, EC 155B, EC155B1, SA-365N1, and
SA-366G1 helicopters. AD 2018-19-01 requires repetitive inspections of
the aft fuselage outer skin. The FAA issued AD 2018-19-01 to address
disbonding of the aft fuselage (baggage compartment area) outer skin.
This condition could result in loss of aft fuselage structural
integrity and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Actions Since AD 2018-19-01 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2018-19-01, it was determined that Model
SA-365N helicopters are also affected by the unsafe condition. In
addition, it was determined the repetitive inspection interval can be
extended under certain conditions.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0080, dated April 3, 2019 (EASA
AD 2019-0080) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, EC 155B, EC155B1,
SA-365N, and SA-365N1 helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by the determination that Model SA-
365N helicopters are also affected by the unsafe condition. The FAA is
proposing this AD to address disbonding of the aft fuselage outer skin.
This condition could result in loss of aft fuselage structural
integrity and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. See the
MCAI for additional background information.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2019-0080 describes procedures for repetitive inspections
of the aft fuselage outer skin for Model AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, EC 155B,
EC155B1, SA-365N, and SA-365N1 helicopters.
Airbus Helicopters ASB No. SA366-05.48, Revision 1, dated March 27,
2019, describes procedures for repetitive inspections of the aft
fuselage outer skin for Model SA366-G1 helicopters.
This proposed AD would also require Airbus Helicopters ASB No.
SA366-05.48, Revision 0, dated July 21, 2017, which the Director of the
Federal Register approved for incorporation by reference as of October
22, 2018 (83 FR 46862, September 17, 2018).
This material 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.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD
This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant
to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA
has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI
referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA
evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other
products of the same type design.
Explanation of Retained Requirements
Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the
requirements of AD 2018-19-01, this proposed AD would retain all of the
requirements of AD 2018-19-01. Those requirements are referenced in
EASA AD 2019-0080, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of
this proposed AD.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2019-0080 described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under "Differences
Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI."
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2019-0080
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2019-0080 in its
entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.
Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular
section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only with
that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to "all
required actions and compliance times," compliance with this AD require-
ment is not limited to the section titled "Required Action(s) and
Compliance Time(s)" in the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA
AD 2019-0080 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2019-0080 will
be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-1018 after the FAA final rule is
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
The applicability of EASA AD 2019-0080 does not include Airbus
Helicopters Model SA-366G1 helicopters. Those helicopters are no longer
listed on the EASA type certificate data sheet (TCDS); however, they
are still listed on the U.S. TCDS and are affected by the unsafe
condition. Therefore, the FAA has included Airbus Helicopters Model SA-
366G1 helicopters in the applicability of this proposed AD.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 52 helicopters of
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|4 work-hours x $85 per hour =
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary on-
condition actions that would be required based on the results of any
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of
helicopters that might need these on-condition actions:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
|Up to 10 work-hours x $85 per
hour = $850
Up to $20,000
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)
2018-19-01, Amendment 39-19401 (83 FR 46862, September 17, 2018), and
adding the following new AD: