DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-1003; Product Identifier 2018-SW-086-AD; Amendment
39-21294; AD 2020-21-21]
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. (Leonardo) Model A109E, A109S, A119, AW109SP, and
AW119MKII helicopters. This AD requires removing certain main rotor (M/
R) floating ring assemblies from service. This AD also prohibits
replacing any washer on any M/R floating ring assembly. This AD was
prompted by a report of a washer debonding from the M/R floating ring
assembly. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective November 24, 2020.
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.
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-
1003; 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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristin Bradley, Aerospace Engineer,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-
5110; email Kristin.Bradley@faa.gov.
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 A109E,
A109S, A119, AW109SP, and AW119MKII helicopters, with a M/R floating
ring assembly part number (P/N) 109-0111-09-101 or P/N 109-0111-09-103
installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 9,
2019 (84 FR 67251). The NPRM proposed to require removing from service
any M/R floating ring assembly P/N 109-0111-09-101 or P/N 109-0111-09-
103 with serial number (S/N) DA53295148-1, F86782, G130924, J31213,
L99, L104, L107, L117, L127, L130, M215, P411, R687, R735, R769, R772,
or V71. The NPRM also proposed to prohibit installing the affected M/R
floating ring assemblies on any helicopter. Lastly, the NPRM proposed
to prohibit replacing any washer P/N 109-0111-23-101 on any M/R
floating ring assembly installed on any helicopter. The proposed
requirements were intended to prevent failure of the M/R floating ring
assembly and significant increase of the pilot workload and subsequent
loss of control of the helicopter.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2018-0205, dated September 14,
2018, 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. (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A., AgustaWestland S.p.A.,
Agusta S.p.A.; and AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation, formerly
Agusta Aerospace Corporation) Model A109E, A109S, A119, A109LUH,
AW109SP, and AW119MKII helicopters with certain part-numbered M/R
floating ring assemblies installed. EASA advises of a report of a
washer P/N 109-0111-23-101 that debonded from the M/R floating ring
assembly on a Model A109E helicopter. Investigation results revealed
that the M/R floating ring assembly had been improperly repaired, and
identified a batch of M/R floating ring assemblies that could also be
affected. Due to design similarity, some of those M/R floating ring
assemblies may be installed on other A109/A119 helicopter models.
EASA further advises that this condition, if not detected and
corrected, could lead to failure of an affected M/R floating ring
assembly and significant increase of the pilot workload, possibly
resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. Accordingly, the EASA
AD requires inspecting the M/R floating ring assembly to identify its
S/N and depending on findings, replacing affected serial-numbered M/R
floating ring assemblies. The EASA AD also prohibits installing those
serial-numbered M/R floating ring assemblies on any helicopter and
prohibits replacing washer P/N 109-0111-23-101 on an M/R floating ring
assembly installed on a helicopter.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule, but the FAA did not receive any comments on
the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.
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 of the 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 applies to Model A109LUH helicopters, whereas this AD
does not because that model is not FAA type-certificated.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB)
No. 109EP-163 for Model A109E helicopters; ASB No. 109S-084 for Model
A109S helicopters; ASB No. 109SP-125 for Model AW109SP helicopters; and
ASB No. 119-092 for Model A119 and AW119MKll helicopters, all Revision
A and dated September 13, 2018. This service information contains
procedures to identify the S/N of the M/R floating ring assembly and
provides instructions for replacing the floating ring assembly if
necessary. This service information also specifies replacing certain
serial-numbered M/R floating ring assemblies and reporting certain
information to Leonardo Helicopters.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 210 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
Inspecting the M/R floating ring assembly takes about 1 work-hour
for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $17,850 for the U.S.
fleet. Replacing an M/R floating ring assembly takes about 8 work-hours
and parts cost about $5,500 for an estimated cost of $6,180 per
floating ring assembly.
According to Leonardo Helicopters, some of the costs of this AD may
be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected
individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage by Leonardo
Helicopters. Accordingly, the FAA has included all costs in the cost
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