DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0239; Product Identifier 2018-SW-073-AD; Amendment
39-21136; AD 2020-12-02]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. This AD was prompted by a
report that a changed manufacturing process for the tail rotor blades
(TRB) was implemented, affecting the structural characteristics of the
blades and generating a new part number for these blades. This AD
requires re-identifying each affected TRB having a certain part number
and serial number and establishing a life limit for the new part
numbers. This AD also prohibits installation of any affected TRB
identified with the old part number on any helicopter. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective July 13, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 13,
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. For information on the availability of this material
at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. It is also available on the internet at
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
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-
0239; 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 final rule, any comments received, and other information. The
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: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5485;
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Helicopters
Model EC120B helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on
March 11, 2020 (85 FR 14178). The NPRM was prompted by a report that a
changed manufacturing process for the TRB was implemented, affecting
the structural characteristics of the blades and generating a new part
number for these blades. The NPRM proposed to require re-identifying
each affected TRB having a certain part number and serial number and
establishing a life limit for the new part numbers. The NPRM also
proposed to prohibit installation of any affected TRB identified with
the old part number on any helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to
ensure the new part number (P/N) TRBs do not exceed their life limit,
which could lead to loss of the TRB and subsequent loss of control of
The European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation
Safety Agency) (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member
States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0183, dated
August 28, 2018 (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe
condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. You may
examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0239.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or
on the determination of the cost to the public.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed,
except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these
Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin EC120-04A008,
Revision 0, dated July 18, 2018 (``ASB EC120-04A008''). This service
information describes procedures for re-identifying a TRB with P/N
C642A0300103 for certain serial numbers as specified in ASB EC120-
04A008. 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.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 94 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions *
|1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
* The FAA has received no definitive
data that would enable providing cost
estimates for the additional applicable maintenance instructions specified
** The FAA has received no definitive data on the parts cost.
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.
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