DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-1019; Product Identifier 2018-SW-011-AD; Amendment
39-21264; AD 2020-20-08]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and
EC225LP helicopters. This AD requires, depending on helicopter
configuration, installing skived polytetrafluoroethylene tape (PTFE
tape) or removing PTFE tape and replacing window seals. This AD also
prohibits the installation of a jettisonable cabin window unless the
applicable requirements are accomplished. This AD was prompted by a
report of excessive friction between the window seal and the helicopter
airframe. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective December 11, 2020.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of December 11,
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 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-2019-1019.
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-2019-
1019; 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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any
service information that is incorporated by reference, 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: 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 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 Airbus Helicopters
Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP
helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 6,
2020 (85 FR 469). For all of the specified helicopter models without
Modification (MOD) 332P087140.00 installed, the NPRM proposed to
require installing PTFE tape to each jettisonable cabin window frame.
For some of the specified helicopter models with MOD 332P087140.00
installed, the NPRM proposed to require removing the PTFE tape, if
installed, from each jettisonable cabin window and replacing each VIP
jettisonable cabin window polychloroprene seal with a silicone seal.
The NPRM also proposed to prohibit the installation of a jettisonable
cabin window unless the applicable required actions were accomplished.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2018-0039, dated February 9,
2018, and corrected March 7, 2018 (EASA AD 2018-0039), issued by EASA,
which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European
Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (formerly
Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale) Model AS 332 C, AS 332 C1,
AS 332 L, AS 332 L1, AS 332 L2, and EC 225 LP helicopters. EASA advises
of an emergency exit window that required excessive pushing force to
jettison. According to EASA, an investigation revealed the window seal
was in good condition with no indication of paint contamination or of
hardening. EASA advises that the root cause of the incident was
excessive friction between the window seal and the airframe. EASA
further advises that helicopters with VIP jettisonable cabin windows,
which corresponds to MOD 332P087140.00, with PTFE skived film
installed, require greater force to jettison than standard jettisonable
cabin windows with PTFE skived film installed due to the thickness of
the VIP jettisonable cabin windows.
EASA states if this condition is not corrected, it could prevent
the window from jettisoning, subsequently affecting the evacuation of
passengers during an emergency situation. To address this unsafe
condition, EASA AD 2018-0039 requires installing PTFE skived film on
the window frames of helicopters with standard jettisonable cabin
windows, and removing PTFE skived film and replacing polychloroprene
seals with silicone seals on the window frames of helicopters with VIP
jettisonable cabin windows.
Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued
After the NPRM was issued, EASA issued AD No. 2020-0061, dated
March 17, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0061), for Airbus Helicopters Model AS 332
L2 helicopters without MOD 07 28630, 332P087142.00, or 332P087140.00
installed and Model EC 225 LP helicopters without MOD 07 28370,
332P087140.00, 332P087142.00, 332P087142.03, 332P087142.06,
332A087149.00, or 332A087149.03 installed. EASA AD 2020-0061 requires
modifying the window jettisoning system by removing the PTFE skived
film between the window seal and the helicopter airframe and installing
silicone seals. The FAA plans to publish a separate rulemaking to
address the unsafe condition in EASA AD 2020-0061. Further, EASA AD
2020-0061 advises that it is expected that Airbus Helicopters will also
develop similar MODs for helicopters affected by EASA AD 2018-0039,
which is the subject of this AD action. Accordingly, certain
configurations of Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters have been
removed from the applicability and this Final Rule is an interim
Also after the NPRM was issued, EASA issued EASA AD No. 2018-
0039R1, dated September 25, 2020 (EASA AD 2018-0039R1), to revise EASA
AD 2018-0039. EASA AD 2018-0039R1 advises that Airbus Helicopters
developed various modifications and corresponding Alert Service
Bulletins (ASBs) for the window jettison system, which restore the
window jettison system's performance to the approved design standard.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2018-0039R1 excludes certain model helicopters
with the modifications installed from the applicability.
Additionally, after the NPRM was published, Airbus Helicopters
revised the service information listed in the NPRM.
Accordingly, the applicability, required actions, and the related
service information have been updated in this Final Rule to reflect the
updated revisions. These changes are consistent with the intent of the
proposals in NPRM and do not increase the economic burden on any
operator nor increase the scope of this AD.
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 reducing
the applicability, updating the service information, and updating the
Cost of Compliance section due to an increase in the number of
registered helicopters. These changes are consistent with the intent of
the proposals in the NPRM and will neither increase the economic burden
on any operator nor increase the scope of this AD.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. The design approval
holder is currently developing a modification that will address the
unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is
developed, approved, and available, the FAA might consider additional
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD allows compliance within 250 hours time-in-service
(TIS) for helicopters that do not operate over water. This AD requires
compliance within 110 hours TIS for all helicopters, regardless of
where they operate.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-05.01.05 for
Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 helicopters, and
ASB No. EC225-05A046 for Model EC225LP helicopters, both Revision 1 and
dated February 8, 2018. This service information applies to helicopters
without VIP jettisonable cabin window MOD 332P087140.00 installed. This
service information specifies applying PTFE film to the jettisonable
cabin window frames. The FAA also reviewed ASB No. AS332-05.01.05 for
Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, and AS332L2 helicopters, and
ASB No. EC225-05A046 for Model EC225LP helicopters, Revision 2, dated
April 10, 2019, and Revision 3, dated February 10, 2020. Revisions 2
and 3 contain the same procedures as Revision 1, except Revisions 2 and
3 cancel compliance for helicopters with certain modifications. The FAA
reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-05.01.05, Revision 4, dated
September 23, 2020, which contains exceptions for compliance for
certain helicopters with POST MOD 0728630, 332P087142.09, or
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-56.90.13 for
Model AS332L2 helicopters, and ASB No. EC225-56C012 for Model EC225LP
helicopters, both Revision 0 and dated February 2, 2018. This service
information applies to helicopters with VIP jettisonable cabin window
MOD 332P087140.00 installed. This service information specifies
removing the PTFE film, if installed between the VIP cabin window frame
and seal, from the VIP jettisonable cabin windows, and replacing the
VIP jettisonable cabin window polychloroprene seals with silicone
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.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Information Notice No. 3012-I-
05, Revision 0, dated March 8, 2016, for Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L,
AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters. This service information
provides additional information pertaining to the jettisonable window
system and the application of PTFE film to the jettisonable window
frames. This service information also advises that VIP windows are
thicker and stiffer than serial design windows and are subsequently
more difficult to jettison than standard cabin windows.
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-56.90.14,
Revision 0, dated April 10, 2019, Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-
56.00.16, Revision 0, dated February 10, 2020. The FAA also reviewed
Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-56.00.18, Revision 0, Airbus
Helicopters ASB No. AS332-56.00.20, Revision 0, and Airbus Helicopters
ASB No. AS332-56.00.21, Revision 0, all dated September 23, 2020. The
FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-56A013, Revision 1,
Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-56A015, Revision 0, Airbus Helicopters
ASB No. EC225-56A016, Revision 0, and Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-
56A017, Revision 0, all dated February 10, 2020. This service
information provides additional information pertaining to the
jettisonable window system and the application of PTFE film to the
jettisonable window frames.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects approximately 39 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.
Depending on your model helicopter and configuration, installing
PTFE tape takes about 8 work-hours and parts cost about $92, for an
estimated cost of $772 per helicopter and approximately $30,108 for the
There are no costs of compliance with removing the PTFE tape and
replacing the seals because there are no helicopters with a serial
number identified by Airbus Helicopters with MOD 332P087140.00
installed on the U.S. Registry.
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 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