DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2018-0309; Project Identifier 2018-SW-014-AD; Amendment
39-21456; AD 2021-05-13]
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)
Leonardo S.p.a. (Leonardo) Model AW189 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by two reported failures of the tail plane installation
forward bolts (bolts). This AD requires inspecting the bolts and
depending on the results of those inspections, removing certain parts
from service or installing a tail plane retromod. This AD also requires
torqueing certain part-numbered nuts, inspecting bolts and nuts for
wear, and depending on the results of those inspections, removing parts
from service. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective April 21, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 21,
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. For information on the availability
this material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0309; 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.
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: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety
Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International
Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone 817-222-5178; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation
Safety Agency) (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member
States of the European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD 2018-0047-E,
dated February 28, 2018 (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Leonardo S.p.A. (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A., AgustaWestland
S.p.A.) Model AW189 helicopters. You may examine the MCAI in the AD
docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for
and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0309.
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
AW189 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on
December 15, 2020 (85 FR 81160). The NPRM was prompted by two reported
failures of the bolts. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting the
bolts and depending on the results of those inspections, removing
certain parts from service or installing a tail plane retromod. The
NPRM also proposed to require torqueing certain part-numbered nuts,
inspecting bolts and nuts for wear, and depending on the results of
those inspections, removing parts from service.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address the failure of a bolt. This
condition could result in reduced 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
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service
Bulletin No. 189-177, Revision A, dated February 28, 2018, which
contains procedures for inspecting each bolt and installing the tail
plane retromod. This service information also contains procedures for
repetitively verifying the torque of the associated nut part number (P/
N) MS17825-7 (nut).
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
Leonardo Helicopters Service Bulletin No. 189-130, dated January
30, 2017, contains additional information about the subject of this AD.
Differences Between This AD and the MCAI
The EASA AD requires repetitive torque checks at progressively
increasing intervals, while this AD requires the repetitive torque
check at intervals not to exceed 50 hours time-in-service (TIS). Since
there is not enough field data at this time to substantiate
progressively increasing the time between inspections up to 400 hours
TIS, the FAA has determined an interval of 50 hours TIS is necessary.
The FAA may take further rulemaking action to increase this interval
should more data become available.
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. If final action
is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 4 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85
Inspecting the bolts before each flight takes about 0.25 work-hour,
for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and $84 for the U.S. fleet
per inspection cycle.
If required, installing a tail plane retromod would take about 12
work-hours and parts would cost about $5,500, for an estimated cost of
$6,520 per helicopter.
Inspecting and verifying the torque of the bolts and nuts takes
about 1 work-hour, for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $340
for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
If required, replacing a bolt and nut would take about 1 work-hour
and parts would cost about $250, for an estimated cost of $335 per
According to Leonardo's service information, some of the costs of
this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact
on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage by
Leonardo. Accordingly, the FAA has included all costs in its cost
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
(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