DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-1139; Product Identifier 2018-SW-056-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA is proposing to adopt a new airworthiness directive
(AD) for certain serial-numbered Leonardo S.p.a. (Leonardo) Model A109S
and AW109SP helicopters. This proposed AD would require installing a
placard in the baggage compartment, revising the existing Rotorcraft
Flight Manual (RFM) for your helicopter, and inspecting the
installation of the terminal lugs. Depending on the outcome of the
inspection, this proposed AD would require restoring the installation
of the terminal lugs. This proposed AD would also require modifying the
helicopter to shim the baggage fairing assy (fwd up) away from the
circuit breaker panel and incorporating protective coverings. This
proposed AD was prompted by reports of several occurrences of fire
ignition and smoke in the baggage compartment. The actions of this
proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by February
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-2020-1139;
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, any
service information that is incorporated by reference, and other
information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
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: Kristin Bradley, Aerospace Engineer,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-
5110; email Kristin.Bradley@faa.gov.
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-2020-1139; Product Identifier
2018-SW-056-AD" 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.regualtions.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
Kristi Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,
Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket
for this rulemaking.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD No. 2018-0120-E, dated May
29, 2018 (EASA AD 2018-0120-E), to correct an unsafe condition for
Leonardo S.p.a. (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A., AgustaWestland S.p.A.,
Agusta S.p.A.) Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters. EASA advises that
an occurrence was reported on an AW109SP helicopter, experiencing fire
ignition and smoke in the baggage compartment. The investigation
determined the event was due to chafing of electrical wiring and
further analysis indicated that due to similarity of design, this event
could also occur on A109S helicopters. Accordingly, the EASA AD
requires modification of the affected baggage fairing assembly (fwd up)
part number (P/N) 109-0344-31-101 and temporarily amending the existing
RFM and installing a placard prohibiting carrying any loads in the
After EASA AD 2018-0120-E was issued, a second occurrence was
reported of fire ignition and smoke in the baggage compartment, and as
a precautionary measure Leonardo Helicopters issued a series of
emergency alert service bulletins, providing instructions to prevent
damage of electrical assemblies in the baggage compartment.
Accordingly, EASA issued, EASA Emergency No. 2018-0149-E, dated July
13, 2018 (EASA AD 2018-0149-E), which retains the requirements of EASA
AD 2018-0120-E, and also requires repetitive inspections of the baggage
compartment electrical assemblies and depending on the inspection
outcomes, repairing or replacing certain parts. Also, EASA AD 2018-
0149-E expands the applicability to include three additional serial-
numbered helicopters, and requires a modification, which acts as a
terminating action for the repetitive inspections. EASA advises, that
this condition, if not corrected, could lead to fire in the baggage
compartment, resulting in loss of control of the helicopter.
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 information and determining the unsafe condition
exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these
same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA has reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service
Bulletin (EASB) No. 109S-079, and Leonardo Helicopters EASB No. 109SP-
120, each Revision A, and each dated June 4, 2018. This service
information specifies instructions for manufacturing a placard for the
baggage compartment door and also specifies instructions for modifying
and inserting a specific cutout into the existing RFM. This service
information also specifies instructions for removing the baggage
fairing assembly (fwd up), and the rubber protections, inspecting the
cable assemblies routing of both circuit breaker panels, and inspecting
the installation of the terminal lugs.
The FAA also reviewed Leonardo Helicopters EASB No. 109SP-122, and
Leonardo Helicopters EASB No. 109S-081, each dated July 5, 2018, which
specify procedures for modifying the helicopter by incorporating
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.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require compliance with certain portions of
the manufacturer's service bulletin as well as, before further flight,
for certain serial-numbered helicopters, installing a placard and
revising the existing RFM for your helicopter. This proposed AD would
also require within 5 hours time-in-service (TIS), for certain model
helicopters, inspecting the installation of the terminal lugs, shimming
the installation of the baggage fairing assembly (fwd up), and
installing a silicon rubber protection over the blind rivets of the
hinge in accordance with certain applicable service information. This
proposed AD would also require within 10 hours TIS and thereafter at
intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS until protective coverings are
installed, removing the baggage fairing assembly (fwd up), removing the
rubber protections, and inspecting the cable assembly routing of both
circuit breaker panels for damage. Depending on the outcome of these
inspections, this proposed AD would require repairing or replacing
certain parts. This proposed AD would also require, within 200 hours
TIS, modifying the helicopter to incorporate a certain protective
coverings, which would provide a terminating action for the repetitive
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD uses compliance times in terms of calendar dates,
whereas this proposed AD uses compliance times terms of in hours TIS.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD would affect 15 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.
Installing a placard and revising the existing RFM for your
helicopter would require about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $85
per helicopter and $1275 for the U.S. fleet.
Inspecting the installation of the terminal lugs, shimming the
baggage fairing assembly (fwd up), and installing a silicon rubber
protection over the blind rivets removing the rubber protections would
require about 3 work-hours for an estimated cost of $255 per
Removing the baggage fairing assembly (fwd up) and performing a
repetitive inspection of the cable assemblies of both circuit breaker
panels for damage would require about 2 work-hours for an estimated
cost of $170 per helicopter per inspection cycle and $2,550 for the
U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
Repairing a cable assembly would require about 4 work-hours and
parts would cost about $340 for an estimated cost of $680 per repair.
Modifying the helicopter by installing protective coverings would
require about 4 work-hours and parts would cost about $20 for an
estimated cost of $360 per helicopter and $5,400 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 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 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