DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0373; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01352-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
2020-19-11 for certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model A119 and AW119 MKII
helicopters. AD 2020-19-11 requires repetitive borescope inspections of
the 90-degree tail rotor gearbox (TGB) and depending on the inspection
results, removing the TGB from service. Since the FAA issued AD 2020-
19-11, it was determined that additional parts may be susceptible to
the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would retain the inspection
requirements of AD 2020-19-11, and revise the compliance time and
applicability. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
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.
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 above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this NPRM, 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 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-2021-0373; 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, the European
Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received, and
other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rao Edupuganti, Aerospace Engineer,
Dynamic Systems Section, Technical Innovation Policy Branch, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 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-2021-0373; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-01352-R" 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 NPRM.
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 Rao
Edupuganti, Aerospace Engineer, Dynamic Systems Section, Technical
Innovation Policy Branch, 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.
The FAA issued AD 2020-19-11, Amendment 39-21254 (85 FR 59404,
September 22, 2020) (AD 2020-19-11) for Leonardo Model A119 and AW119
MKII helicopters with TGB part number (P/N) 109-0440-06- 101 or P/N
109-0440-06-105 having serial number (S/N) 167, 169 through 172
inclusive, 215 through 225 inclusive, 227, 230, 232, 233, AW268, K3,
K16, M47, or L29, installed. AD 2020-19-11 requires within 25 hours
time-in-service (TIS) or 3 months, whichever occurs first, and
thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS or 6 months,
whichever occurs first, borescope inspecting the internal surface of
the TGB output shaft for corrosion and depending on the inspection
results, removing the TGB from service before further flight.
AD 2020-19-11 was prompted by EASA AD 2018-0156, dated July 24,
2018 (EASA AD 2018-0156), issued by the EASA, which is the Technical
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe
condition for Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters (formerly Finmeccanica
S.p.A., AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.; and AgustaWestland
Philadelphia Corporation, formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation) Model
A119 and AW119MKII helicopters with TGB P/N 109-0440-06-101 or P/N 109-
0440-06-105 having serial number 167, 169 through 172 inclusive, 215
through 225 inclusive, 227, 230, 232, 233, AW268, K3, K16, M47, or L29,
installed. EASA AD 2018-0156 advised of two reported occurrences of
corrosion on the internal surface of the TGB shaft installed on Model
A119 helicopters. Further analysis identified a specific batch of parts
that may be susceptible to similar conditions. Due to design similarity
Model AW119MKII helicopters are also affected. This condition, if not
addressed, could result in failure of the tail rotor, possibly
resulting in reduced control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, the EASA AD required performing repetitive endoscope
inspections on the internal surface of the TGB output shaft for
corrosion and depending onthe findings, replacing the
TGB. EASA considered its AD an interim action and stated that further
AD action may follow.
Actions Since AD 2020-19-11 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2020-19-11, EASA issued EASA AD 2020-0206,
dated September 30, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0206), which supersedes EASA AD
2018-0156. EASA advises that additional parts may be susceptible to
similar occurrences and some TGB shafts could have been reinstalled on
a TGB other than the one on which they were initially installed.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2020-0206 retains the inspection requirements of
EASA AD 2018-0156 for certain part numbered TGB shafts and revises the
definition of an affected part by adding certain serial-numbered TGB
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 evaluating all known relevant information and determining that
the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop
on other products of the same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB)
No. 119-090, Revision A, dated September 14, 2020. This service
information specifies procedures for conducting an endoscope inspection
of the internal surface of the TGB output shaft for corrosion. This
service information also specifies replacing the TGB if corrosion is
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 NPRM
This proposed AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2020-19-
11. This proposed AD would revise the compliance time for the
repetitive inspections from intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS or 6
months to only intervals not to exceed 6 months. This proposed AD would
also revise the applicability paragraph by adding certain serial-
numbered TGB shafts.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD uses flight hours to describe one compliance time,
whereas this proposed AD would use hours TIS. The EASA AD requires
using an endoscope for inspection, whereas this proposed AD would
require inspecting with a borescope. The EASA AD defines the affected
part as the 90-degree TGB shaft installed on TGB P/N 109-0440-06-01-
101, whereas the applicability paragraph of this proposed AD would
include TGB P/N 109-0440-06-101 instead.
The FAA considers this proposed AD an interim action.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 134
helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may
incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
Borescope inspecting the TGB output shaft would take about 3 work-
hours for an estimated cost of $255 per helicopter and $34,170 for the
U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
Replacing a TGB would take about 18 work-hours and parts would cost
about $49,000 (overhauled TGB) for an estimated cost of $50,530 per
The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate.
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost
impact on affected operators.
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-19-11, Amendment 39-21254
(85 FR 59404, September 22, 2020); and
b. Adding the following new AD: