DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0411; Product Identifier 2018-SW-061-AD; Amendment
39-21254; AD 2020-19-11]
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)
certain Leonardo S.p.a. (Leonardo) Model A119 and AW119 MKII
helicopters. This AD requires repetitive borescope inspections of the
tail rotor gearbox (TGB) and depending on the inspection results,
removing the TGB from service.
This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion on the internal
the 90-degree TGB output shaft. 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 http://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0411.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
0411; 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 U.S.
Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Leonardo Model A119 and
AW119 MKII helicopters with 90-degree TGB part number (P/N) 109-0440-
06-101 or P/N 109-0440-06-105 having serial number 167, 169 through 172
inclusive, 215 through 225 inclusive, 227, 230, 232, 233, AW268, K3,
K16, M47, or L29, installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register
on April 24, 2020 (85 FR 22970). The NPRM proposed to require within 25
hours time-in-service (TIS) or 3 months, whichever comes first, and
thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS or 6 months,
whichever occurs first, borescope inspecting the internal surface of
the 90-degree TGB output shaft for corrosion. Depending on the
inspection results, the NPRM proposed to require removing the TGB from
service before further flight. The proposed requirements were intended
to prevent corrosion on the internal surface of the 90-degree TGB
output shaft, failure of the 90-degree TGB output shaft, and reduced
control of the helicopter.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2018-0156, dated July 24, 2018
(EASA AD 2018-0156), 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 S.p.A.,
AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.; and AgustaWestland Philadelphia
Corporation, formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation) Model A119 and
AW119MKII helicopters with 90-degree TGB P/N 109-0440-06-101 or P/N
109-0440-06-105 having serial number 167, 169 through 172 inclusive,
215 through 225 inclusive, 227, 230, 232, 233, AW268, K3, K16, M47, or
L29, installed. EASA advises of two reported occurrences of corrosion
on the internal surface of the 90-degree TGB shaft installed on Model
A119 helicopters. Further analysis identified a specific batch of parts
that may be susceptible to similar conditions. Due to design
similarity, Model AW119MKII helicopters are also affected.
EASA states that this condition, if not detected and corrected,
could lead to failure of the tail rotor, possibly resulting in reduced
control of the helicopter. Accordingly, the EASA AD requires performing
repetitive endoscope inspections on the internal surface of the 90-
degree TGB output shaft for corrosion and depending on the findings,
replacing the TGB. EASA further states EASA AD 2018-0156 is considered
an interim action and further AD action may follow.
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 except for minor
editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes 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
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
119-090, dated July 23, 2018, for Model A119 and AW119MKII helicopters,
which contains procedures for conducting an endoscope inspection of the
internal surface of the 90-degree TGB output shaft for corrosion. This
service information also specifies replacing the TGB if corrosion is
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 this AD affects 96 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 per work-hour.
Borescope inspecting the 90-degree TGB output shaft takes about 3
work-hours for an estimated cost of $255 per helicopter and $24,480 for
the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
Replacing a (overhauled) TGB takes about 18 work-hours and parts
cost about $49,000 (overhauled) for an estimated cost of $50,530 per
According to Leonardo's service information, some of the costs of
this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the
cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty
coverage by Leonardo. Accordingly, the FAA has included all costs in
the cost estimate.
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
(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