DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0904; Product Identifier 2019-SW-041-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA is revising a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)
that applied to certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters.
This action revises the NPRM by revising the required actions paragraph
such that the required actions apply to all helicopter models specified
in the applicability. The FAA is proposing this airworthiness directive
(AD) to address the unsafe condition on these products. Since these
actions would impose an additional burden over those in the NPRM, the
agency is requesting comments on this SNPRM.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM by June 24,
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.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
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 between 9 a.m. and
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this SNPRM, contact Airbus
Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone
(972) 641-0000 or 800-232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at https://www.
airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. 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 of this material
at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0904; or in person at
Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains the NPRM, this SNPRM,
the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments
received, and other information. The street address for Docket
Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Blyn, Aviation Safety Engineer,
Strategic Policy Emerging Aircraft Section, Policy and Innovation
Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone
(817) 222-5110; 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-2020-0904; Product Identifier
2019-SW-041-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 again
revise 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 proposed AD.
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 SNPRM 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 SNPRM, 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 SNPRM. Submissions containing CBI should
be sent to James Blyn, Aviation Safety Engineer, Strategic Policy
Emerging Aircraft Section, Policy and Innovation Division, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
email@example.com. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for
The FAA issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that
would apply to Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters, with left-
hand side (LH) engine fuel supply (fuel supply) hose part number (P/N)
704A34416087 installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on
October 7, 2020, (85 FR 63235). For helicopters delivered to the first
operator before November 30, 2018, and for helicopters delivered to the
first operator on or after November 30, 2018, that have had the LH fuel
supply hose replaced or reinstalled before May 10, 2019, the NPRM
proposed to require visually inspecting the LH fuel supply hose for
twisting, and if needed, borescope inspecting the entire length of the
inside of the fuel supply hose for twisting. Depending on the
inspection results, the NPRM proposed to require reinstalling or
removing the fuel supply hose from service. Additionally, the NPRM
proposed to prohibit installing a certain part-numbered LH fuel supply
hose on any helicopter unless that LH fuel supply hose is installed by
following certain procedures specified in the manufacturer's service
bulletin. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent a decrease
of the LH engine power when accelerating to a power setting
corresponding to One Engine Inoperative (OEI) power and subsequent
reduced control of the helicopter. The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD
2019-0092, dated April 26, 2019 (EASA AD 2019-0092), issued by EASA,
which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European
Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (formerly
Eurocopter) Model EC 225 LP helicopters, all serial numbers. EASA
advises that an occurrence was reported where during an in-flight
single engine power check, the LH side engine experienced a power loss.
EASA states that a subsequent investigation determined that the fuel
flow to the affected engine was restricted by a twisted fuel supply
hose. EASA states that this condition, if not detected and corrected,
could lead to a decrease of the LH engine power when accelerating to
the power setting corresponding to OEI power, and subsequent reduced
control of the helicopter. Accordingly, the EASA AD requires a one-time
visual inspection of the fuel supply hose and depending on the
inspection results, removing from service or replacing the affected
part. EASA also introduces re-installation requirements for a fuel
supply hose that is being replaced or reinstalled.
Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued
Since the NPRM was issued, the FAA determined that operators may
not have the information required to comply with the required actions
proposed in the NPRM. Operators may not know the date the helicopter
was delivered to the first operator. Additionally, operators may not
know whether the LH fuel supply hose has been previously removed or
reinstalled since the maintenance regulations do not require certain
operators to maintain these records after one year. Accordingly, the
FAA has determined the proposed paragraph (e)(1) of the NPRM must be
revised by deleting the language referring to delivery dates and dates
of LH fuel supply hose replacement or reinstallation. As a result of these
changes, all helicopters specified in the applicability paragraph would
required to comply with the required actions in this proposed AD. Also,
since the NPRM was issued, the FAA has determined that a limit on special
flight permits is required. This SNPRM reflects this change that special
flight permits may be permitted provided that there are no passengers
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
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 about the
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD
after determining the unsafe condition described previously is likely
to exist or develop in other helicopters of these same type designs.
Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a
result, it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide
additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
EC225-71A019, Revision 1, dated February 28, 2019, which specifies
procedures for removing the fuel supply hose from the LH power plant,
visually inspecting the fuel supply hose for twisting, and depending on
inspection results, performing an endoscope inspection on the inside of
the hose. This service information also specifies procedures required
to install a serviceable fuel supply hose.
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.
Proposed AD Requirements in This SNPRM
For helicopters with a certain part-numbered LH fuel supply hose
installed, this proposed AD would require visually inspecting the LH
fuel supply hose for twisting, and if needed, borescope inspecting the
entire length of the inside of the fuel supply hose for twisting.
Depending on the inspection results, this proposed AD would require
reinstalling or removing the fuel supply hose from service.
Additionally, this proposed AD would prohibit installing a certain
part-numbered LH fuel supply hose on any helicopter unless that LH fuel
supply hose is installed by following certain procedures described in
the manufacturer's service bulletin.
Differences Between This SNPRM and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires compliance within 110 flight hours or 6
months, whichever occurs first, while this proposed AD would require
compliance within 110 hours time-in-service after the effective date of
this AD. The EASA AD requires reporting information to Airbus
Helicopters if the LH fuel supply hose is twisted on the inside, while
this proposed AD would not. Additionally, the EASA AD is applicable to
certain aircraft delivered to the first operator prior to 30 Nov 2018,
and also to certain aircraft in which the affected part or LH engine
were not replaced or reinstalled before the effective date of the EASA
AD, whereas this proposed AD would apply to EC225LP helicopters with a
certain LH fuel supply hose installed, because operators might not know
when the helicopter was first delivered or what maintenance was
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 28 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at
$85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the
following costs to comply with this proposed AD.
Visually inspecting the LH fuel supply hose for twisting would take
about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and
$2,380 for the U.S. fleet.
Replacing a LH fuel supply hose would take about 8 work-hours and
parts would cost about $2,278 for an estimated replacement cost of
$2,958 per replacement.
Borescope inspecting the LH fuel supply hose would take about 8
work-hours for an estimated cost of $680 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, I certify this proposed regulation:
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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