DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0753; Product Identifier 2018-SW-033-AD; Amendment
39-21169; AD 2020-15-06]
Airworthiness Directives; PZL Swidnik S.A. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain PZL Swidnik S.A. (PZL) Model W-3A helicopters. This AD requires
repetitive inspections of the main transmission (Main XSMN) case for a
crack, and depending on the inspection outcome, removing the WR-3 Main
XSMN from service before further flight. This AD was prompted by a
report of cracks in a Main XSMN case. The actions of this AD are
intended to address an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective August 11, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of August 11, 2020.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by September 25, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
the 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-2018-
0753; 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 listed above.
For service information identified in this final rule, contact WSK
"PZL- Swidnik" S.A., Al. LotnikOw Polskich 1, 21-045
Swidnik, Poland, telephone +48 664 424 798, or at
www.pzl.swidnik.pl. 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. It is also available
on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0753.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rao Edupuganti, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-
5110; email email@example.com.
This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight
safety, and the FAA did not provide you with notice and an opportunity
to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, the
FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written
comments, data, or views. The FAA also invites comments relating to the
economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that resulted
from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific
portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and
include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain
duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written
comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should
submit them only one time. The FAA will file in the docket all comments
received, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public
contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the
comment period. The FAA will consider all the comments received and may
conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2018-0092-E, dated April 20,
2018, to correct an unsafe condition for Wytwornia Sprzetu
Komunikacyjnego "PZL-Swidnik" Spolka Akcyjna
(WSK "PZL-SWIDNIK" S.A.) Model PZL W-3A and PZL W-3AS
helicopters with a serial number up to 3X.10.12 inclusive. EASA advises
of an occurrence reported of finding cracks on the Main XMSN case
housing. EASA further advises investigation results indicate the
cracking mode has features of fatigue deterioration, but the root cause
has not been determined. Accordingly, the EASA AD requires repetitive
inspections of the Main XMSN case and, based on the inspection results,
replacing certain parts. EASA also requires reporting the inspection
results to PZL-Swidnik S.A. EASA considers its AD an interim
action and further AD action may follow. EASA states this condition, if
not detected and corrected, could lead to structural failure and loss
of load carrying capabilities of the Main XSMN, possibly resulting in
loss of helicopter control.
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 and determining the unsafe
condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters
of the same type design.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed WYTWORNIA Sprzetu KOMUNIKACYJNEGO
"PZL-Swidnik" Spolka Akcyjna Mandatory Bulletin No. BO-
37-18-294, dated April 12, 2018, which specifies using a light source
and mirror to inspect the Main XSMN case for indications of possible
cracks, such as paint coat chipping, surface scratches, and oil leaks.
This service information also specifies reporting certain information
to PZL-Swidnik S.A., performing more in-depth inspections by
performing a ground run test and checking for chalk mark discoloration,
and if a crack exists, replacing the Main XSMN case before further
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.
The AD requires within 5 hours time-in-service (TIS), and
thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 hours TIS, for all PZL Model
PZL W-3A helicopters serial number up to and including 3X.10.12 with
Main XMSN case part number (P/N) 64.21.0105 or P/N 64.22.0161 installed
on WR-3 Main XMSN P/N 64.21.3000 or P/N 64.21.4000, visually inspecting
the Main XMSN case for a crack, a surface scratch, any paint coat
chipping, and any oil leak and removing the Main XMSN from service
before further flight if any of those conditions exist.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD applies to Model PZL W-3AS helicopters, whereas this AD
does not because that model is not FAA type-certificated. The EASA AD
requires reporting certain information to PZL-Swidnik S.A.,
whereas this AD does not.
The FAA considers this proposed AD to be an interim action. If
final action is later identified, the FAA might consider further
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment,
RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
There are no costs of compliance associated with this AD because
there are no helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S. Registry.
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.)
authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for
rules when the agency, for "good cause," finds that those procedures
are "impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest."
Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a
final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking.
There are no helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S.
Registry. Therefore, the FAA finds good cause that notice and
opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, for the reasons stated above, the FAA
finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making
this amendment effective in less than 30 days.
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
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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