DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0021; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01088-R;
Amendment 39-21994; AD 2021-03-16R1]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of
ACTION: Final rule; removal; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-03-16,
which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2,
AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and
AS355NP helicopters. AD 2021-03-16 required inspecting each sliding
door and replacing the upper rail or front roller or removing the front
roller from service if necessary. Since the FAA issued AD 2021-03-16,
inspection results and further investigation have confirmed that the
in-flight loss of a sliding door, which prompted AD 2021-03-16, was an
isolated case resulting from incorrect operation and maintenance error.
Therefore, the FAA has determined that no unsafe condition is likely to
exist or develop on the sliding doors on other helicopters in the
fleet. Accordingly, AD 2021-03-16 is removed.
DATES: This AD becomes effective March 24, 2022.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by May 9, 2022.
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
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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0021; 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, the
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, 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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section,
Operational Safety Branch, 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 data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0021 and Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-01088-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.
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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Matt
Fuller, AD Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit,
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 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 this rulemaking.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0175-CN, dated September 13,
2021 (EASA AD 2020-0175-CN) to cancel EASA AD 2020-0175, dated August
5, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0175) which was issued to correct an unsafe
condition for all serial-numbered Airbus Helicopters Model AS 350 and
AS 355 helicopters if equipped with a left-hand (LH) and/or right-hand
(RH) sliding door. EASA AD 2020-0175 prompted FAA
AD 2021-03-16, Amendment 39-21419 (86 FR 9433, February 16, 2021)
(AD 2021-03-16). AD 2021-03-16 applied to Airbus Helicopters Model
AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F,
AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters with any sliding door
installed. AD 2021-03-16 required, within 30 hours time-in-service,
inspecting the upper rail of each RH and LH door for parallelism,
deformation, corrosion, and cracking and repairing or replacing the
upper rail before further flight if necessary; and
with each sliding door removed, inspecting the front roller to
determine if it is below the minimum diameter and height, if it has any
corrosion or flat spot, and if it is correctly installed. If the front
roller was below the minimum diameter, below the minimum height, or had
any flat spot or corrosion, AD 2021-03-16 required removing the front
roller from service before further flight. If the front roller was not
correctly installed, AD 2021-03-16 required reinstalling it correctly
before further flight.
Actions Since AD 2021-03-16 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2021-03-16, reported inspection results and
further investigation have confirmed that the in-flight loss of the
sliding door, which prompted EASA AD 2020-0175 and AD 2021-03-16, was
an isolated case resulting from incorrect operation and maintenance
error, and therefore no unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop
on the affected helicopters. The FAA is issuing this AD to remove AD
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
There are currently 965 helicopters of U.S. registry affected by AD
2021-03-16. However, the FAA notes that AD 2021-03-16 required
unnecessary inspections because the identified unsafe condition does
not exist on these helicopters. Therefore, it is unlikely that the FAA
would receive any adverse comments or useful information about this AD
from U.S. operators that would cause a need for public comment prior to
adoption. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment
are unnecessary, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, for
the foregoing reasons, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to
5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30
Upon further consideration, the FAA has determined that AD 2021-03-
16 is not necessary. Accordingly, this AD removes AD 2021-03-16.
Removal of AD 2021-03-16 does not preclude the FAA from issuing another
related action or commit the FAA to any course of action in the future.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Related Costs of Compliance
This AD adds no cost. This AD removes AD 2021-03-16 from 14 CFR
part 39; therefore, operators are no longer required to show compliance
with that AD.
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
The FAA 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 Order
2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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) 2021-03-16, Amendment 39-21419
(86 FR 9433, February 16, 2021), and
b. Adding the following new AD: