DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0026; Product Identifier 2018-SW-052-AD; Amendment
39-21127; AD 2020-11-02]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and
EC225LP helicopters. This AD requires revising the Rotorcraft Flight
Manual (RFM) for your helicopter and either installing placards or
removing the hoist arm. This AD was prompted by a failure of a right-
hand (RH) side lateral sliding plug door (sliding door) to jettison.
The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on
DATES: This AD is effective June 25, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of June 25, 2020.
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 the referenced 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-2020-
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-
0026; 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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristin Bradley, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110;
On February 12, 2020, at 85 FR 7894, the Federal Register published
the FAA's notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend
14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters
Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP
helicopters with a hoist arm and with RH sliding door reinforced
bracket modification (MOD) 0726841 installed. The NPRM proposed to
require revising the RFM for your helicopter by adding emergency and
normal procedures and installing placards to require using the normal
door handle instead of the jettison handle for the RH side sliding
door. Alternatively, the NPRM proposed to allow removing the hoist arm
instead of installing the placards. The proposed requirements were
intended to prevent interference between the hoist arm and the
reinforced bracket, which results in failure of the sliding door to
jettison, and could prevent helicopter occupants from evacuating the
helicopter during an emergency.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2018-0140-E, dated June 29,
2018 (EASA AD 2018-0140-E), issued by EASA, which is the Technical
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe
condition for Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter
France, Aerospatiale) Model AS 332 C, AS 332 C1, AS 332 L, AS 332 L1,
AS 332 L2, and EC 225 LP helicopters. EASA
advises that during a jettison test of the RH side sliding door, the
sliding door became blocked between the hoist, airframe, and access
step. Interference was identified between the hoist arm and the sliding
door median fitting (reinforced bracket). EASA identifies the
reinforced bracket as Airbus Helicopter MOD 0726841, which was required
by EASA AD No. 2015-0167, dated August 12, 2015. EASA states that this
condition could prevent jettisoning of the RH sliding door in an
emergency, subsequently obstructing evacuation, and possibly resulting
in injury to occupants. To correct this unsafe condition, EASA AD 2018-
0140-E requires removing the hoist arm, or alternatively revising the
applicable RFM and installing placards to specify using the normal door
handle instead of the jettison handle for the RH side sliding door.
EASA states that Airbus Helicopters is developing a modification to
eliminate the interference between the hoist arm and the reinforced
bracket. As a result, EASA considers its AD an interim action and
states that further AD action may follow.
After the NPRM was published, the FAA received comments from one
commenter. However, the comments addressed neither the proposed actions
nor the determination of the cost to the public. Therefore, the FAA has
made no changes based on the comments.
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, reviewing the relevant
information, considering the comments received, 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.
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. The design
approval holder is currently developing a modification that will
address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this
modification is developed, approved, and available, the FAA might
consider additional rulemaking.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires either removing the hoist arm or prohibiting
use of the RH sliding door jettison handle by revising the RFM and
installing placards. This AD requires revising the applicable RFM for
your helicopter regardless of whether the hoist arm is removed.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
Airbus Helicopters has co-published as one document Emergency Alert
Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 01.00.89, Revision 1, dated June 28, 2018
(EASB 01.00.89), for Model AS332-series helicopters; EASB No. 04A014,
Revision 1, dated June 28, 2018 (EASB 04A014), for Model EC225
helicopters; and EASB No. 01.00.52, Revision 1, dated June 28, 2018,
for non-FAA type certificated Model AS532 helicopters (EASB 01.00.52).
EASBs 01.00.89 and 04A014 are incorporated by reference in this AD.
EASB 01.00.52 is not incorporated by reference in this AD.
This service information provides pages to add to the emergency and
normal procedures sections of the RFM, and specifies either removing
the hoist arm or installing placards that require using the normal door
handle instead of the jettison handle for the RH side sliding door.
This service information further allows installing the placards during
each installation of the hoist arm and removing the placards with each
removal of the hoist arm.
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
Airbus Helicopters has issued Service Bulletin (SB) No. AS332-
52.00.43 for Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2
helicopters and SB No. EC225-52-008 for Model EC225LP helicopters, both
Revision 0 and dated June 23, 2015. This service information contains
procedures for installing the reinforced bracket identified as MOD
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 36 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on
these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD.
Revising the RFM for your helicopter takes about 1 work-hour for an
estimated cost of $85 per helicopter or $3,060 for the U.S. fleet.
Installing the placards takes about 1 work-hour for an estimated
cost of $85 per helicopter or $3,060 for the U.S. fleet. Alternatively,
removing the hoist arm takes about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of
$85 per helicopter.
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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action.
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
(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 adding the following new airworthiness