DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0369; Project Identifier 2019-SW-033-AD]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2,
AS350B3, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP
helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of reduced yaw
control, during an approach for landing, that resulted from rupture of
the tail rotor gearbox (TGB) actuating rod and uncoupling of the steel
sleeve from inside the external aluminum tube. This proposed AD would
require dye penetrant inspecting certain TGB actuating rods for a
crack, and depending on the inspection results, replacing the TGB
actuating rod, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency
(EASA) AD, which is proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). This
proposed AD would also require marking each TGB actuating rod,
reporting information, and, for certain helicopters, ensuring the
correct interface between certain TGB actuating rods and bearings. The
FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by July
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 material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact the 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 this material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu.
You may view this 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. It is also available in the AD docket on the
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2021-0369.
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-2021-0369;
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 NPRM, 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: Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager,
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA
98198; telephone and fax (206) 231-3218; email
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-2021-0369; Project Identifier
2019-SW-033-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 NPRM 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 NPRM, 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 NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to
Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager, Large Aircraft Section,
International Validation Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,
FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax
(206) 231-3218; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that
the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be
placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0060, dated March 20, 2019
(EASA AD 2019-0060) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350
B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 B3, AS 350 D, AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS
355 F2, AS 355 N and AS 355 NP helicopters. Model AS 350 BB helicopters
are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type
certificate data sheet; this proposed AD therefore does not include
those helicopters in the applicability. Although EASA AD 2019-0060
applies to all helicopters identified in EASA AD 2019-0060, this
proposed AD applies to helicopters with an affected part installed
This proposed AD was prompted by a report of reduced yaw control,
during an approach for landing of an AS 350 helicopter, that resulted
from rupture of the TGB actuating rod and uncoupling of the steel
sleeve from inside the external aluminum tube. Model AS355E, AS355F,
AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters are affected due to
design similarity of installed TGB actuating rods. The FAA is proposing
this AD to address failure of a TGB actuating rod, which could result
in loss of yaw control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2019-0060 describes procedures for dye penetrant inspecting
certain TGB actuating rods for a crack, and depending on the inspection
results, replacing the TGB actuating rod. EASA AD 2019-0060 also
describes procedures for marking each TGB actuating rod, reporting
information, and for certain helicopters, ensuring the correct interface
between certain TGB actuating rods and bearings.
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.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD
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.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2019-0060, described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this proposed AD.
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. The FAA has
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2019-0060
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2019-0060 in its
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 EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only
with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to
"all required actions and compliance times," compliance with this AD
requirement is not limited to the section titled "Required Action(s)
and Compliance Time(s)" in the EASA AD. Service information specified
in EASA AD 2019-0060 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2019-
0060 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0369 after the FAA
final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
EASA AD 2019-0060 specifies "AS350 SB [service bulletin] No. 67.10
Revision 1" and "AS355 SB No. 67.09 Revision 2" as Airbus
Helicopters (AH) service bulletins; however this proposed AD identifies
those service bulletins as Aerospatiale service bulletins.
EASA AD 2019-0060 specifies the date for "AS355 SB No. 67.09
Revision 2," as "March 28, 1989;" however, this proposed AD
identifies the date as "October 1989."
Part Marking Clarification
Where paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2019-0060 specifies "mark each
affected part (all rods, regardless of the status with respect to the
dye penetrant inspection)," this proposed AD would require marking TGB
actuating rods identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (9) of this
proposed AD regardless of their manufacturing date. The manufacturing
dates in Table 1 of EASA AD 2019-0060 are used only to indicate the
parts on which the dye penetrant inspection specified in paragraph (1)
of EASA AD 2019-0060 is done; the manufacturing dates do not impact the
parts on which the marking specified in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2019-
006 must be done.
The FAA considers this proposed AD interim action. If final action
is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 950 helicopters of
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions *
|6 work-hours x $85 per hour =
* Table does not include estimated
costs for reporting.
The FAA estimates that it would take about 1 hour per product to
comply with the proposed reporting requirement in this proposed AD. The
average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA
estimates the cost of reporting the inspection results on U.S.
operators to be $80,750, or $85 per product.
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 Actions
|Up to 16 work-hours X $85 per
hour = $1,360
Up to $3,950
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required
to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to
comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of
Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays
current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection
information required by this proposed AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost
associated with this proposed AD has been detailed in the Costs of
Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing in-
structions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of informa-
tion. Therefore, all reporting associated with this proposed AD is manda-
tory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions
reducing the burden should be directed to Information Collection Clearance
Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort
Worth, TX 76177-1524.
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