DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0016; Project Identifier 2019-SW-114-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD)
for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This proposed AD
was prompted by reports of an oil leak from the main gearbox (MGB)
during engine start up. This proposed AD would require modification and
subsequent repetitive functional testing of the MGB emergency
lubrication (EMLUB) system as specified in a European Union Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed for incorporation by
reference (IBR). The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 29, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact the EASA,
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999
000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may
find this material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu.
You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel,
Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX
76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA,
call 817-222-5110. It is also available in the AD docket on the
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2021-0016.
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-2021-
0016; 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 NPRM, any comments received, and other information. The street
address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 470 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC
20024; telephone 202-267-9167; email email@example.com.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2021-0016; Project Identifier
2019-SW-114-AD" at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend
this proposal because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each
substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as "PROPIN." The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Hal
Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 470
L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone 202-267-9167; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2016-0232, dated November 22,
2016 (EASA AD 2016-0232), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters Model EC 225 LP helicopters. EASA later issued EASA AD No.
2016-0232R1, dated December 12, 2019 (EASA AD 2016-0232R1), to revise
EASA AD 2016-0232.
This proposed AD was prompted by reports of oil leaks during engine
starting, originating from the MGB. The FAA is proposing this AD to
address inadvertent opening of the P 2.4 valve of the MGB EMLUB system,
which results from pressurization by compressed air produced by the
engine during starting in response to a signal from the EMLUB
electronic control card. This condition, if not addressed, could result
in loss of the MGB main lubrication system and reduced ability of the
crew to manage adverse operating
conditions. See EASA AD 2016-0232R1 for additional background
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2016-0232R1 requires modifying the electrical control
circuit of the MGB EMLUB system. After modifying, EASA AD 2016-0232R1
requires a repetitive functional test of the MGB EMLUB system, and if
there is a discrepancy, accomplishing corrective action(s).
Accomplishing any corrective action(s) does not constitute terminating
action for the repetitive functional tests.
This material 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.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country, and are approved for operation in the United States.
Pursuant to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority,
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the EASA
AD referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all
the relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2016-0232R1, described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under "Differences
Between this Proposed AD and the EASA AD."
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2016-
0232R1 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This
proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2016-
0232R1 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any
differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this
proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a
particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need
comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement
refers to "all required actions and compliance times," compliance
with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled
"Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)" in the EASA AD. Service
information specified in EASA AD 2016-0232R1 that is required for
compliance with EASA AD 2016-0232R1 will be available on the internet
at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
FAA-2021-0016 after the FAA final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
Where EASA AD 2016-0232R1 refers December 6, 2016 (the effective
date of EASA AD 2016-0232), this proposed AD would require using the
effective date of the final rule. EASA AD 2016-0232R1 allows an
additional interval margin of 225 flight hours (FH), while this
proposed AD does not. Where the service information referenced in the
EASA AD requires contacting Airbus Helicopters for corrective action,
this proposed AD would require accomplishing the corrective action
using a method approved by the Manager, Strategic Policy Rotorcraft
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 24 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 proposed AD.
Modifying the electrical control circuit of the MGB EMLUB system
would take about 22 work-hours and parts would cost about $1,592, for
an estimated cost of $3,462 per helicopter and $83,088 for the U.S. fleet.
Functional testing of the EMLUB system would take about 12 work-
hours for an estimated cost of $1,020 per helicopter and $24,480 for
U.S. fleet, per testing cycle.
If the electrical functional test results in a need to replace the
lubrication printed circuit board, the replacement time would take 2
work-hours and the part would cost $5,150 per helicopter for an
estimated cost of $5,320 per helicopter.
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.
The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 proposed regulation:
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866,
(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
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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