DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2015-3941; Product Identifier 2015-SW-052-AD; Amendment
39-21232; AD 2020-18-11]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Airbus Helicopters) Model MBB-BK
117 A-3, MBB-BK 117 A-4, MBB-BK 117 B-1, MBB-BK 117 B-2, and MBB-BK 117
C-1 helicopters. This AD was prompted by reports that the adhesive seal
prevented the doors from jettisoning properly. This AD requires
removing certain seals, replacing certain seals with newly certified
seals and revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your
helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition
on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective November 10, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of November 10,
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.
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-2015-
3941; 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, 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 FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
Operational Safety Branch, Airworthiness Products Section, General
Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email email@example.com.
The FAA issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM)
to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus
Helicopters Model MBB-BK 117 A-3, MBB-BK 117 A-4, MBB-BK 117 B-1, MBB-
BK 117 B-2, and MBB-BK 117 C-1 helicopters. The SNPRM published in the
Federal Register on April 28, 2020 (85 FR 23492) (``the SNPRM''). The
FAA preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that
published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2016 (81 FR 27057) (``the
NPRM''). The NPRM was prompted by reports that the adhesive seal
prevented the doors from jettisoning properly. The NPRM proposed to
require removing adhesive seal part number (P/N) 117-800201.01 from the
exterior and interior of each sliding door. The NPRM also proposed to
prohibit the installation of this part-numbered adhesive seal on any
helicopter sliding door. The SNPRM proposed to expand the
applicability. The SNPRM also proposed to add requirements to replace
certain seals with newly certified seals and revise the existing RFM
for your helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the presence
of sealant on a sliding door, which could result in the door failing to
jettison and preventing helicopter occupants from exiting the
helicopter during an emergency.
EASA, which is the aviation authority for the Member States of the
European Union, issued EASA AD 2015-0163R1, dated April 27, 2016
(``EASA AD 2015-0163R1'') (referred to after this as the Mandatory
Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an
for Airbus Helicopters Model MBB-BK 117 A-3, MBB-BK 117 A-4, MBB-BK 117
1, MBB-BK 117 B-2, and MBB-BK 117 C-1 helicopters. EASA advised that
difficulties were reported regarding the jettisoning of doors. The
malfunction was caused by the adhesive seal, which hampered the free
movement of the inner handle. According to EASA, a subsequent
investigation showed that the adhesive seal has mechanical and physical
properties that do not meet relevant certification requirements. EASA
stated that this condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead
to a malfunction of the door's jettisoning mechanism, reducing or
preventing the evacuation of the helicopter during an emergency,
possibly resulting in injury to occupants. To address this condition,
EASA AD 2015-0163R1 required inspecting the exterior and interior door
jettisoning system on the left and right sliding doors for adhesive
seal P/N 117-800201.01 and removing those adhesive seals.
You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the SNPRM
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
SNPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the SNPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin MBB-
BK11720A-114, Revision 2, dated March 30, 2016, for Model MBB-BK 117 A-
3, MBB-BK 117 A-4, MBB-BK 117 B-1, MBB-BK 117 B-2, and MBB-BK 117 C-1
helicopters. This service information describes procedures for cleaning
and degreasing the seal installation areas and installing adhesive seal
P/N 117-800201.02. This service information also specifies flight
manual revisions with preflight check information for this new seal.
The FAA also reviewed Section 4--Normal Procedures, of MBB
Helicopters Flight Manual MBB-BK117 A-3, Revision 17.1, MBB Helicopters
Flight Manual MBB-BK117 A-4, Revision 16.1, MBB Helicopters Flight
Manual MBB-BK117 B-1, Revision 20.1, Eurocopter Flight Manual BK117 B-
2, Revision 21.2, and Eurocopter Flight Manual BK117 C-1, Revision
30.1, each dated March 25, 2015. This revision of the service
information adds preflight check procedures for ``Jettisonable sliding
door installed, after ASB-BK117-20A-114'' in Section 4--Normal
Procedures, Preflight Exterior Check, under both ``Fuselage--right
side'' and ``Fuselage--left side'' of the existing RFM for your
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.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD does not mandate the installation of the new adhesive
seals, whereas this AD does. Model MBB-BK 117 B-2 serial number 7203 is
affected by the EASA AD but is not affected by this AD because it is
ineligible for U.S. registration.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 45 helicopters of U.S.
registry. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on
these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
If installed, removing adhesive seals P/N 117-800201.01 would take
about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of about $43 per helicopter.
Installing new seals and revising the existing RFM for your helicopter
would take about 1 work-hour and a set of new seals (4 units) would
cost about $5 for an estimated cost of $90 per helicopter and $4,050
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.
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