DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-1026; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00745-R;
Amendment 39-21418; AD 2021-03-15]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-13-02
for Leonardo S.p.A. (Leonardo) Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters.
AD 2020-13-02 required inspecting for movement and the tightening
torque of the tail rotor (T/R) plug, the installation of the outboard
and inboard faces of the T/R duplex bearing, and the condition of the
T/R duplex bearing, T/R plug threads, and nut threads. Depending on the
inspection results, AD 2020-13-02 required corrective actions and
reporting information. This new AD retains the requirements of AD 2020-
13-02 except the reporting requirement, updates the service
information, and requires repeating the inspection. This AD was
prompted by Leonardo's update to the service information. The actions
of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these
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,
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 referenced 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-2020-1026.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
in Docket No. FAA-2020-1026; 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 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: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Aircraft Systems Section, Technical Innovation Policy 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 to remove AD 2020-13-02, Amendment 39-21147 (85 FR 37551,
June 23, 2020) (AD 2020-13-02), and add a new AD. AD 2020-13-02 applied
to Leonardo Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters with a T/R duplex
bearing part number (P/N) 129-0160-11-103 installed. The NPRM published
in the Federal Register on November 18, 2020 (85 FR 73432). The NPRM
proposed to retain all of the inspection requirements and the
installation prohibition of AD 2020-13-02. The NPRM also proposed to
require repeating the inspection for presence of the P/N and serial
number (S/N) markings of the outboard and inboard faces of T/R duplex
bearing every 200 hours time-in-service (TIS). The NPRM also proposed
to remove the reporting requirements required by AD 2020-13-02.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2020-0128, dated June 4, 2020
(EASA AD 2020-0128), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for
the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition
for Leonardo Model A119 and AW119MKII helicopters, S/N up to 14972
inclusive, except S/Ns 14950, 14957, 14961, 14962, 14964, 14965, 14967,
and 14970. EASA AD 2020-0128 supersedes EASA Emergency AD No. 2019-
0194-E, dated August 9, 2019 (EASA AD 2019-0194-E), which prompted AD
2020-13-02. EASA advises that after EASA AD 2019-0194-E was issued,
Leonardo determined that additional serial-numbered helicopters are
affected by the unsafe condition. EASA also advises that Leonardo
canceled Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 119-100, dated
August 7, 2019 (EASB 119-100) and instead included the repetitive
inspections in the maintenance manual (MM).
FAA AD 2020-13-02 did not require repeating the inspection of the
T/R duplex bearing installation every 200 hours TIS, as there was
sufficient time to allow for notice and comment prior to this long-term
action going into effect. The FAA has determined that repeating the
inspection is needed to address this unsafe condition. Although
Leonardo has added this action to the MM, the FAA must mandate it
through an AD in order to require it for all operators. Accordingly,
the FAA included this long-term requirement in the NPRM.
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 is applicable to certain serial-numbered Model A119 and
AW119MKII helicopters, whereas this AD applies to Model A119 and AW119
MKII helicopters with a T/R duplex bearing P/N 129-0160-11-103
installed instead. The EASA AD requires inspecting the tightening
torque of the T/R plug in the range of 30.5-33.9 Nm, whereas this AD
requires inspecting the tightening torque of the T/R plug to a minimum
of 30.5 Nm instead. This AD requires repeating the inspections for the
presence of the P/N and S/N markings, for rough rotation, brinelling,
spalling, chipping, flaking, evidence of overheated bearing balls, and
damage to the races, and for damaged threads of the T/R plug and nut,
at intervals not to exceed 200 hours TIS, whereas the EASA AD does not
require repeating these inspections. The EASA AD requires inspecting the
of nut P/N MS17825-7 for damage, but does not state what to do if the
have damage. This AD requires inspecting for damage to the threads of
the nut indicated by uneven threads, missing threads, or cross-
threading, and if the nut has any damaged threads, removing the nut
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Leonardo EASB No. 119-105, Revision A, dated June
3. 2020 (EASB 119-105 Rev A), which specifies a one-time inspection of
the tightening torque of T/R plug P/N 129-0160-45-103, and a one-time
inspection for correct installation of the inboard and outboard faces
of T/R duplex bearing P/N 129-0160-11-103, for damage to the threads of
the T/R plug and nut P/N MS17825-7, and of the T/R duplex bearing for
roughness, ease of rotation, and presence of brinelling, spalling,
chipping, and flaking or traces of overheating of bearing balls, and
general damage to races.
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.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA also reviewed EASB 119-100, which specifies the same
procedures as EASB 119-105 Rev A, except EASB 119-100 also specifies
repeating the inspection for correct installation of the inboard and
outboard faces of T/R duplex bearing P/N 129-0160-11-103, for damage to
the threads of the T/R plug and nut P/N MS17825-7, and of the T/R
duplex bearing for roughness, ease of rotation, and presence of
brinelling, spalling, chipping, and flaking or traces of overheating of
bearing balls, and general damage to races in conjunction every 200
hours TIS or at any removal, installation, or disassembly of the T/R
The FAA also reviewed Leonardo Helicopters EASB No. 119-105, dated
May 18, 2020, which contains the same procedures as EASB 119-105 Rev A,
except EASB 119-105 Rev A applies to additional serial-numbered
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 89 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.
Inspecting the tightening torque of the T/R plug takes about 0.5
work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and $3,827 for
the U.S. fleet.
Inspecting for correct installation of the outboard and inboard
faces of the T/R duplex bearing and the condition of the T/R duplex
bearing, T/R plug threads, and nut threads takes about 2 work-hours for
an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $15,130 for the U.S.
fleet, per inspection cycle.
Assembling and installing the T/R duplex bearing assembly takes
about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and
$15,130 for the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle.
If required, the parts for replacing the T/R duplex bearing,
internal spacer, external spacer, bearing liner assembly, and T/R
control rod cost about $4,200, and parts for replacing the T/R plug
cost about $171.
The FAA has included all known costs in this cost estimate.
However, according to Leonardo, some of the costs of this AD may be
covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected
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 has determined that 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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-13-02, Amendment 39-21147
(85 FR 37551, June 23, 2020); and
b. Adding the following new AD: