DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0468; Product Identifier 2018-SW-046-AD; Amendment
39-21365; AD 2020-26-10]
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) for all
Leonardo S.p.a. (Leonardo) Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters. This
AD requires revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for
your helicopter and installing a placard to prohibit intentional entry
into autorotation. This AD would also allow replacement of an affected
fuel control unit (FCU) as an optional terminating action for the RFM
revision and placard installation. This AD was prompted by reports that
certain FCUs may not have been calibrated to specification during
overhaul. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective February 1, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of February 1,
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 this 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-2020-0468.
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-2020-
0468 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: Mitch Soth, Flight Test Engineer,
Southwest Section, Flight Test Branch, FAA, 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 all Leonardo Model A119
and AW119 MKII helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register
on June 11, 2020 (85 FR 35602). The NPRM proposed to require revising
the Limitations Section of the existing RFM for your helicopter and
installing a placard to prohibit intentional entry into autorotation.
The NPRM also proposed to allow replacing affected FCUs with non-
affected FCUs as an optional terminating action for the RFM revision
and placard installation. The proposed requirements were intended to
address certain FCUs that may not have been calibrated to specification
during overhaul, which can lead to N1 fluctuations, hung engine starts,
and the inability to recover power during autorotation training, and
possibly result in reduced control of the helicopter.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD 2018-0124, dated June 5, 2018,
issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of
the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for all Leonardo
Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters. EASA advises that certain FCUs
may not have been calibrated to specification during overhaul, and that
this condition, if not corrected, can lead to N1 fluctuations, hung
engine starts, and the inability to recover power during autorotation
training, possibly resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. To
address this unsafe condition, the EASA AD requires amendment of the
applicable RFM and installation of a placard to prohibit intentional
entry into autorotation. The EASA AD also allows removal of the RFM
limitation and placard after replacement of an affected FCU.
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 the same type design and that air safety and the public
interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later
identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
Leonardo has issued Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service
Bulletin 119-089, Revision A, dated June 5, 2018. This service
information describes procedures for revising the RFM and installing a
placard in the cockpit.
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 64 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on
these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD.
Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter and installing a
placard takes about 2 work-hours and parts cost about $50, for an
estimated cost of $220 per helicopter and $14,080 for the U.S. fleet.
The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable it to
provide cost estimates for the optional terminating action specified in
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