DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0374; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00543-R]
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 SA330J, AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1,
AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a
report of a left-hand (LH) side stairway door that inadvertently opened
in flight and tore off from its attachment fittings. This proposed AD
would require inspecting the locking safety mechanism of the LH side
stairway door handle and depending on the results, corrective action.
This proposed AD would also require modifying that locking safety
mechanism as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency
(EASA) AD, which is proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). 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.
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 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-2021-0374.
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-2021-0374;
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: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC
20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; email email@example.com.
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-2021-0374; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-00543-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 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 Hal
Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 950
L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-9167;
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.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0087, dated April 15, 2020
(EASA AD 2020-0087), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus
Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale,
Sud Aviation Model SA330J, AS332C, AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and
EC225LP helicopters, if equipped with a LH side stairway door, except
helicopters modified in accordance with AH modification (MOD) 07 28281
(AS 332, EC 225) or MOD 07 27338 (SA 330). EASA issued EASA AD 2020-
0087 to supersede EASA Emergency AD 2014-0241-E, dated November 4, 2014
(EASA AD 2014-0241-E).
This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a LH side stairway
door that inadvertently opened and tore off from its attachment
fittings during flight. Subsequent investigation revealed that the
affected side stairway door had been recently painted and the paint
impaired the external door handle motion, affecting the correct
operation of the door locking safety mechanism. The FAA is proposing
this AD to address incorrect locking of the LH side stairway door,
which could result in an in-flight opening of the door and subsequent
damage to the helicopter or injury to persons on the ground. See EASA
AD 2020-0087 for additional background information.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2020-0087 requires repetitively inspecting the locking
safety mechanism of the LH side stairway door handle for correct
operation and depending on the results, reconditioning the locking
safety mechanism or contacting the Airbus Helicopters Support and
Services Department. EASA AD 2020-0087 also requires modifying the
locking safety mechanism, which constitutes terminating action for the
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 EASA
AD 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 2020-0087, described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this proposed AD and except as discussed under
"Differences Between this Proposed AD and the EASA 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 2020-0087
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0087 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 2020-0087 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-
0087 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0374 after the FAA
final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
Where EASA AD 2020-0087 refers to the effective date of EASA AD
2014-0214-E or its effective date, this proposed AD would require using
the effective date of this AD. Where EASA AD 2020-0087 refers to Group
1 and 2 helicopters, this proposed AD would not refer to any groups of
helicopters. Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0087 allows the pilot to perform the requirements of the ASB, this
proposed AD would require the requirements to be performed by a
qualified mechanic. Where the service information referenced in EASA AD
2020-0087 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer,
this AD does not include that requirement. Where the service
information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0087 specifies to discard
certain parts, this proposed AD would require removing those parts from
service instead. EASA AD 2020-0087 requires repeating the inspection
before next flight after each application of painting on the LH side
stairway door or its external door handle, whereas this proposed AD
would not. EASA AD 2020-0087 requires contacting the Airbus Helicopters
Support and Services Department if it is impossible to recondition the
locking safety mechanism by moving the door handle, whereas this
proposed AD would require, before further flight, accomplishing
paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2020-0087 or accomplishing corrective action
using a method approved by the Manager, International Validation
Branch, FAA. The Manager's approval letter must specifically refer to
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 37 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on
these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
Inspecting the operation of the locking safety mechanism on the LH
side stairway door handle would take about 0.1 work-hour for an
estimated cost of $9 per helicopter and $333 for the U.S. fleet.
Moving the external door handle from the "Locked" to the
"Unlocked" position to determine if the safety mechanism on the LH
side stairway door handle can lock automatically would take about 0.5
work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter.
Modifying the locking safety mechanism on the LH side stairway door
handle would take about 8 work-hours and parts would cost about $5,000
for an estimated cost of $5,680 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 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