DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0983; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00542-R;
Amendment 39-21404; AD 2021-03-01]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-05-
09, which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1,
AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters. AD 2018-05-09 required inspecting the
tail rotor (T/R) flapping hinge link (hinge) and reporting the results.
This AD requires repetitive inspections of the spindle bolts and the
inner ring and needle bearings of each flapping hinge, corrective
actions if necessary, and repetitive replacements of affected flapping
hinge components, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety
Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. Replacement of
all affected flapping hinge components on each flapping hinge is
terminating action for the repetitive inspections. This AD also expands
the applicability. This AD was prompted by a report of a damaged
flapping hinge on a T/R blade. The FAA is issuing this AD to address
the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective April 1, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 1, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (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-2020-0983.
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-
0983; 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 final rule, 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: Daniel Moore, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Denver ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
26805 E 68th Ave., Denver, CO 80249; telephone 303-342-1095; email
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0086, dated April 14, 2020
(EASA AD 2020-0086) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, and
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2018-05-09, Amendment 39-19218 (83 FR
10360, March 9, 2018) (AD 2018-05-09). AD 2018-05-09 applied to all
Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, and AS332L1
helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 4,
2020 (85 FR 70087). The NPRM was prompted by report of a damaged
flapping hinge on a T/R blade. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive
inspections of the spindle bolts and the inner ring and needle bearings
of each flapping hinge, corrective actions if necessary, and repetitive
replacements of affected flapping hinge components, as specified in an
EASA AD. Replacement of all affected flapping hinge components on each
flapping hinge is terminating action for the repetitive inspections.
The NPRM also proposed to expand the applicability.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of a T/R flapping
hinge. This condition could result in unbalance of the T/R, detachment
of the T/R gearbox and hub, and subsequent loss of control of the
helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or
on the determination of the cost to the public.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed,
except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these
Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2020-0086 describes procedures for repetitive replacement
of the flapping hinge components and repetitive inspections of the
spindle bolts, inner ring, and needle bearings of each flapping hinge,
and corrective action. The inspection procedures include repetitive
inspections of the spindle bolts for cracking; repetitive inspections
of the inner ring for spalling, brinelling, and cracking; and
repetitive inspections of the needle bearings for spalling. The
corrective actions include replacement of any affected component with a
serviceable part. 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.
Differences Between This AD and the MCAI
Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0086
specifies to return affected parts and submit a form to the
manufacturer, this AD does not include those requirements.
Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0086 refers to a compliance
time of "within 25 flight hours or during the next scheduled 50 FH
inspection, whichever occurs later . . . ," for the initial
replacement, this AD requires completion within 25 hours time-in-
service after the effective date of this AD.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 26 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
COST PER PRODUCT
COST ON U.S. OPERATORS
|8 work-hours x $85 per hour = $680
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 that this AD:
(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
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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2018-05-09, Amendment 39-19218 (83 FR 10360, March 9, 2018), and adding
the following new AD: