DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-1033; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01393-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
2017-17-01, which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2
and EC225LP helicopters. AD 2017-17-01 requires repetitive inspections
of the main rotor blade (MRB) attachment pins. Since issuing AD 2017-
17-01, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to measure the
attachment pin chamfer after corrosion removal, that replacement of an
attachment pin after four corrosion removals is no longer necessary,
and that all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters
are affected by the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would continue
to require the repetitive inspections of the MRB attachment pins, and
would include a new requirement to repetitively measure the attachment
pin chamfer at certain intervals after corrosion removal, as specified
in a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be
incorporated by reference. This proposed AD would also continue to
require replacing the attachment pin if there is corrosion pitting. The
FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by January
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 8999 000; 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-2020-1033.
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-2020-1033;
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: Katherine Venegas, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Cabin Safety, Mechanical and Environmental Systems Section,
Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA
90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5353; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting
written comments, data, or views about this proposal. 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 submit only one copy of the comments. Send your comments to an
address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include "Docket No. FAA
2020-1033; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01393-R" at the beginning of
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, 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 by 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 NPRM because of those
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
Katherine Venegas, Aviation Safety Engineer, Cabin Safety, Mechanical
and Environmental Systems Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960
Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5353;
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 2017-17-01, Amendment 39-18991 (82 FR 39506,
August 21, 2017) (AD 2017-17-01), which applies to certain Airbus
Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. AD 2017-17-01
requires repetitive inspections of the MRB attachment pins and
corrective actions, if necessary. The FAA issued AD 2017-17-01 to
address cracked attachment pins which could result in loss of a MRB and
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Actions Since AD 2017-17-01 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2017-17-01, the FAA has determined that it
is necessary to measure the attachment pin chamfer after corrosion
removal, that replacement of an attachment pin after four corrosion
removals is no longer necessary, and that all Airbus Helicopters Model
AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters are affected by the unsafe condition.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0172, dated August 7, 2018
(EASA AD 2018-0172) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. EASA
AD 2018-0172 superseded EASA AD 2015-0016, dated January 30, 2015
(which corresponds to FAA AD 2017-17-01).
This proposed AD was prompted by a report of three cracked MRB
attachment pins and a determination that additional actions are
necessary since the FAA issued AD 2017-17-01. The FAA is proposing this
AD to address cracked attachment pins which could result in loss of an
MRB 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 2018-0172 describes procedures for repetitive inspections
for corrosion and cracking of the attachment pins and corrective
actions if necessary, and repetitive conditional measurement of the
thickness of the chamfer of the attachment pins at certain intervals
after corrosion removal. Corrective actions include corrosion removal
and replacement of the attachment pins. 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
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 2017-17-01, this proposed AD would retain certain
requirements of AD 2017-17-01. Those requirements are referenced in
EASA AD 2018-0172, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraphs (g),
(h)(4), and (h)(5) of this proposed AD.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2018-0172 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 2018-0172
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2018-0172 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 2018-0172 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2018-0172 will
be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-1033 after the FAA final rule is
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
EASA AD 2018-0172 requires an inspection of the affected part in
accordance with the applicable service information. The service
information for Model AS332L helicopters and the service information
for Model EC225LP helicopters both describe procedures for an
inspection for corrosion and cracking of the attachment pins. However,
the service information for Model AS332L helicopters also describes an
inspection of the protective coating of each attachment pin for
scratches and missing protective coating and sanding if necessary; the
service information for Model EC225LP helicopters does not describe
Although EASA AD 2018-0172 requires corrective actions if there is
corrosion or cracking of the attachment pins, EASA AD 2018-0172 does
not require any corrective actions if there is any scratch or any
missing protective coating.
This proposed AD would require inspecting the protective coating of
each attachment pin for scratches and missing protective coating, and
sanding if there is any scratch or any missing protective coating, for
all affected helicopters.
EASA AD 2018-0172 requires removing corrosion but does not provide
a corrective action if there are corrosion pits. This proposed AD would
require replacing an attachment pin that has any corrosion pitting.
The service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-0172 specifies
to do a non-destructive inspection if in doubt about whether there is
crack; that action is not required by this proposed AD.
The service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-0172 specifies
contacting Airbus Helicopters if any attachment pin with a crack is
found and returning that part to Airbus Helicopters; those actions are
not required by this proposed AD.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 28 helicopters of
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions *
||Cost per product
||Cost on U.S. operators
|Retained actions from AD 2017-17-01
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
$85 per inspection cycle
||$85 per inspection cycle
||$2,380 per inspection cycle
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary on-
condition measurements (new proposed action), corrosion removal, and
replacements that would be required based on the results of any
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of
aircraft that might need these on-condition measurements, corrosion
removal, and replacements:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
||Cost per product
|Up to 11 work-hours x $85 per
hour = Up to $935
||Up to $5,720
||Up to $6,655
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)
2017-17-01, Amendment 39-18991 (82 FR 39506, August 21, 2017), and
adding the following new AD: