DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0188; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00642-R]
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
for certain Airbus Helicopters Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and
AS 365 N3 helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that
damage (scorch marks) was found on an internal life raft installation
that contained a half rescue kit. This proposed AD would require
identifying the part number and serial number of each half rescue kit
located in the internal life raft installation and, depending on the
findings, inspecting the life raft for damage, inspecting the condition
of the flashlight battery, testing the flashlight battery, and
replacing the life raft or flashlight battery (including the leak test)
as applicable, as specified in a European Aviation Safety Agency (now
European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, which is proposed for
incorporation by reference. 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 May
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
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 will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in this
AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany;
telephone +49 221 8999 0000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet
www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR 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-2021-0188.
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-2021-0188;
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: Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager,
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200
South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax (206) 231-
3218; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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-2021-0188; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-00642-R" 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 proposal.
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
Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager, Large Aircraft Section,
International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines,
WA 98198; telephone and fax (206) 231-3218; email kathleen.arrigotti@faa.
gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically
designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The EASA (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency), which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued
EASA AD 2016-0028, dated February 15, 2016 (EASA AD 2016-0028) (also
referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or
the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus
Helicopters Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3
This proposed AD was prompted by a report that damage (scorch
marks) was found on an internal life raft installation that contained
half rescue kit. Investigation revealed that the damage was caused by
an unsuitable folding process for the life raft, which led to
compression of the flashlight battery in the half rescue kit. This
compression caused an electrolyte leakage, followed by a short-circuit
that damaged the internal life raft. The FAA is proposing this AD to
address leakage of the flashlight battery in a half rescue kit, which
could result in damage to the internal life raft, and subsequent
failure of the internal life raft to deploy (for example after a
ditching), which could impede or prevent safe evacuation of the
occupants from the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background
Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2016-0028 describes procedures for identifying the part
number and serial number of each half rescue kit located in the
internal life raft installation, inspecting the life raft for damage
(scorch marks), inspecting the condition of the flashlight battery
(including cracks, impacts, swelling, damage, distorted case, and the
connecting wire), testing the flashlight battery (turning on the
flashlight), and replacing the life raft or flashlight battery
(including the leak test). 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
This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another
country, and is 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 MCAI
referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA
evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other
products of the same type design.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2016-0028 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 MCAI."
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 2016-0028
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2016-0028 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 2016-0028 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2016-
0028 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0188 after the FAA
final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2016-0028
specifies to return damaged life rafts to the manufacturer, this AD
does not include that requirement.
Where EASA AD 2016-0028 refers to its effective date or to January
7, 2016 (the effective date of EASA AD 2015-0242), this AD requires
compliance within 3 months after the effective date of this AD.
Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2016-0028
specifies that trained and authorized Zodiac Aerospace personnel must
do the inspection of the half rescue kit, this AD does not require that
Zodiac Aerospace personnel do the inspection.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 30 helicopters of
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary on-
condition actions that would be required based on the results of any
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of
helicopters that might need these on-condition actions:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
|7.5 work-hours x $85 per hour
According to Zodiac Aerospace, some
or all of the costs of this
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost
impact on affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty
coverage for affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all
known 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 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
(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
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