DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0258; Product Identifier 2018-SW-002-AD; Amendment
39-21250; AD 2020-19-07]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Leonardo S.p.a. Model AW169 helicopters. This AD requires modifying the
weight on wheels (WoW) support installation on the main landing gear
(MLG). This AD was prompted by a report that an inappropriately
tightened WoW support could result in a rotation of the support and
improper WoW switch performance. The actions of this AD are intended to
address an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective October 27, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of October 27,
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final 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. It is
also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0258.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
in Docket No. FAA-2020-0258; 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 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 20590.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
Continued Operational Safety Branch, Airworthiness Products Section,
General Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth,
TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email email@example.com.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Leonardo S.p.A. Model
AW169 helicopters with left-hand (LH) main landing gear (MLG) assembly,
part number (P/N) 6F3210V00132 or P/N 6F3210V00133, with serial number
(S/N) MN01 through MN84 inclusive, or right-hand (RH) MLG assembly, P/N
6F3210V00232 or P/N 6F3210V00233, with S/N MN01 to MN81, installed. The
NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2020 (85 FR 14807).
The NPRM proposed to require within 60 hours time-in-service (TIS),
modifying the WoW support installation by:
Performing a short circuit connection between pin 26 of
connector J343 and pin N of connector J319.
Cutting lockwire and disconnecting the WoW microswitch
from the WoW support, removing from service nuts and bolts, and
removing the WoW support from the MLG.
Removing any paint, cleaning areas, and applying Alodine
1132 on cleaned surfaces.
Applying a 10 mm wide strip of structural glue EA934 on
the WoW support, reinstalling the WoW support on the MLG, adding a
specified torque to the nut, and cleaning off excess glue.
Curing the glue on the structures, performing a
microswitch adjustment inspection for correct operation of the
microswitch, and marking the MLG nameplate by adding the letter ``B''
at the end of the S/N. The NPRM also proposed prohibiting installing an
affected LH or RH MLG assembly on any helicopter unless it has been
modified in accordance with the proposed AD requirements.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2017-0255, dated December 22,
2017, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member
States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for
Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters (formerly Finmeccanica Helicopter Division,
AgustaWestland) Model AW169 helicopters, with LH MLG assembly P/N
6F3210V00132 or P/N 6F3210V00133 and S/N MN01 to MN84 inclusive, and/or
a RH MLG assembly P/N 6F3210V00232 or P/N 6F3210V00233 with S/N MN01 to
MN81 inclusive installed, except those with an MLG modified per
Magnaghi Aeronautica S.p.a. Service Bulletin SB-07-2017-AW169.
EASA advises that an in-service event revealed that an
inappropriately tightened WoW support could result in a rotation of
this support and improper WoW switch performance. EASA advises this
condition, if not corrected, could result in degraded attitude
stabilization, possibly resulting in reduced control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, the EASA AD requires modification of the WoW support
installation by introducing structural glue between the WoW support and
the main fitting of the MLG.
Additionally, the FAA updated the name Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters
to Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters in this final rule and updated the
contact information to obtain service documentation.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this AD, but the FAA did not receive any comments on the
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 these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest
require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires compliance within 60 hours TIS or 3 months,
whichever occurs first, while this AD requires compliance within 60
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
169-047, Revision A, dated February 19, 2018, for Model AW169
helicopters. This service information specifies a WoW support bonding
procedure on in-service helicopters by introducing structural glue
between the WoW support P/N G1019/20-91 and the main fitting P/N G1019/
20-MF 105 to prevent a potential rotation of the support.
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 3 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85
Performing the short circuit connection, removing the WoW support
from the MLG, removing any paint and cleaning areas, applying Alodine
and a 10mm strip of structural glue, curing the glue, torqueing the
nut, performing a microswitch adjustment, and marking the MLG nameplate
takes about 8 work-hours and parts cost about $10 for an estimated cost
of $690 per helicopter and $2,070 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 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 Order
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 *COM007*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