DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0175; Project Identifier 2001-SW-33-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Eurocopter France)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening
of comment period.
SUMMARY: The FAA is revising a SNPRM for all Eurocopter France
Airbus Helicopters) Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, and
SA-366G1 helicopters. The SNPRM retained the proposed requirements in
the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and added recurring
inspections and references to an engineering report that lists approved
U.S. alternative fasteners and materials that may be used in any
required repairs. The FAA is reopening the comment period because a
significant amount of time has elapsed since the SNPRM was published.
This proposed AD would require measuring the 9-degree frame flange
(frame) for the correct edge distance of the four attachment holes for
the stretcher support and inspecting for cracks, and repairing the
frame, if necessary, as specified in two Direction Generale de l'Aviation
Civile (DGAC) ADs, which are proposed for incorporation by reference
(IBR). This action also revises the SNPRM by updating the type certificate
holder's name and estimated cost information. 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 SNPRM, the agency is requesting comments on this SNPRM.
DATES: The comment period for the SNPRM published in the Federal
Register on March 11, 2004 (69 FR 11556), is reopened.
The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM by June 21, 2021.
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 DGAC material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact the
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (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 the DGAC
material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. For American
Eurocopter material, 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 the DGAC and American Eurocopter
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. The DGAC material is also available in the AD docket on the
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2021-0175-AD.
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-
0175; 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 SNPRM, 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: Blaine Williams, Aerospace Engineer,
Cabin Safety & Environmental Systems Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch,
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA
90712; telephone 562-627-5371; 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-2021-0175; Project Identifier
2001-SW-33-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 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 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 Blaine Williams, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety &
Environmental Systems Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712;
telephone 562-627-5371; email email@example.com. Any commentary
that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will
be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The DGAC, which was the Technical Agent for France, issued DGAC AD
2001-061-053(A), dated February 21, 2001 (DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A)) for
certain Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters;
and DGAC AD 2001-283-025(A), dated July 11, 2001 (DGAC AD 2001-283-
025(A)) for all Model SA-366G1 helicopters (also referred to as the
Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to
correct an unsafe condition for those helicopters.
The FAA issued a SNPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that
would apply to all Eurocopter France Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2,
AS 365 N3, and SA-366G1 helicopters. The FAA preceded the SNPRM with an
NPRM that published in the Federal Register on December 18, 2002 (67 FR
77444). The NPRM proposed to require inspecting the frame for the
correct edge distance of the four attachment holes of the stretcher
support and for a crack, and repairing the frame, if necessary. The
NPRM was prompted by a quality control check that revealed some
stretcher attachment holes were improperly located on the frame where
there was insufficient edge distance.
The first SNPRM published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2004
(69 FR 11556). The first SNPRM retained the proposed requirements of
the NPRM and added recurring inspections and references to an
engineering report that lists approved U.S. alternative fasteners and
materials that may be used in any required repairs. Additionally, the
first SNPRM stated that the FAA determined that it is unnecessary to
require installation of a reinforcing angle and instead will require a
550-hour repetitive inspection for those helicopters that have an edge
distance on the frame of less than 5 millimeters (mm), are not cracked,
and have not been repaired.
Actions Since the SNPRM Was Issued
Since the FAA issued the first SNPRM, a significant amount of time
elapsed requiring the FAA to reopen the comment period to allow the
public a chance to comment on the proposed actions.
Additionally, since the FAA issued the first SNPRM, Eurocopter
France has changed its name to Airbus Helicopters. The FAA has revised
references to the manufacturer's name specified throughout this SNPRM
to identify the manufacturer's name as published in the most recent
type certificate data sheet for the affected models and updates the
contact information to obtain service documentation. This SNPRM also
updates the estimated cost information.
Furthermore, since the FAA issued the first SNPRM, EASA has become
the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, which
includes France. EASA is now the State of Design Authority for the
affected helicopter models.
The FAA's Aircraft Certification Service has also changed its
organizational structure. The new structure replaces product
directorates with functional divisions. The FAA revised some of the
office titles and nomenclature throughout this proposed AD to reflect
the new organizational changes. Additional information about the new
structure can be found in the Notice published on July 25, 2017 (82 FR
Clarification of Requirement To Install a Reinforcing Angle
The preamble of the first SNPRM stated that it was unnecessary to
require the installation of a reinforcing angle but that action was
included as a requirement in the body of the first SNPRM. This second
SNPRM retains that installation requirement, which corresponds with the
requirements of the DGAC ADs and addresses the identified unsafe
Docket Number Change
For transparency and as part of the FAA's on-going docket
management consolidation efforts, the FAA is transferring the docket
for this SNPRM to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS). The new
Docket Number (No.) is FAA-2021-0175. The old Docket No., which is
2001-SW-33-AD, became the Project Identifier.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A) and DGAC AD 2001-283-025(A) describe
procedures for measuring the edge distance of the webs at the four attach-
ment holes of the stretcher support on the left and right sides of the
9-degree frame, and additional actions depending on the findings. The
additional actions include repetitively inspecting the frame for cracking,
repair if necessary, and installation of a reinforcement plate (reinforc-
ing angle) on the frame. These documents are distinct since they refer
different helicopter models.
American Eurocopter Engineering Report No. AEC/03R-E-005,
"Addendum ASB 53.00.42 and 53.00.43 AS365", dated January 29, 2003,
specifies U.S. and European rivet equivalent part numbers, U.S. rivet
part numbers with acceptable substitute materials with greater strength
properties, and 5 rivet, 6 rivet, and pin Hi-lok alternatives.
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.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this proposed AD. The FAA received no comments on the first
SNPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country, and are 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 after evaluating all the
relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of these
same type designs.
Certain changes described above expand the scope of the SNPRM. As a
result, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to reopen the
comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to
comment on this SNPRM.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A) and DGAC AD 2001-283-025(A), 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
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. As
mentioned previously, when the SNPRM was published the DGAC was the
Technical Agent for France. Since that time EASA has become the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, which
includes France. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers
and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result,
DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A) and DGAC AD 2001-283-025(A) will be
incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD
would, therefore, require compliance with DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A) and
DGAC AD 2001-283-025(A) in their 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 DGAC ADs does not mean that
operators need comply only with that section. Service information
specified in DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A) and DGAC AD 2001-283-025(A) that
is required for compliance with DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A) and DGAC AD
2001-283-025(A) will be available on the internet at https://www.
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0175 after the FAA final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
The FAA has determined that acceptable U.S. alternatives to the
fasteners and materials needed to perform repairs or modifications are
listed in American Eurocopter Engineering Report No. AEC/03R-E-005
"Addendum ASB 53.00.42 and 53.00.043 AS365", dated January 29, 2003.
Where DGAC AD 2001-061-053(A) exempts helicopters that were
delivered after January 31, 2001, from the applicability, this proposed
AD does not exempt those helicopters.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 31 helicopters of
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
||Cost per product
||Cost on U.S. operators
|3 work-hours 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 Action
||Cost per product
|Up to 8 work-hours x $85 per
hour = $680
||Up to $930
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) 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