DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0375; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01245-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 adopt a new airworthiness directive
for certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by two events of uncommanded emergency
flotation system (EFS) deployment during flight. This proposed AD would
require replacing certain part-numbered EFS control panels and prohibit
installing them. 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 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-2021-0375; 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
Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency)
(EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street
address for Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ronnea Derby, Aerospace Engineer,
Denver ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 26805 E
68th Ave., Mail Stop: Room 214; Denver, CO 80249; telephone (303) 342-
1093; email Ronnea.L.Derby@faa.gov.
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-2021-0375; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-01245-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
Ronnea Derby, Aerospace Engineer, Denver ACO Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 26805 E 68th Ave., Mail Stop: Room 214;
Denver, CO 80249; telephone (303) 342-1093; email Ronnea.L.Derby@faa.gov.
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 2015-0172, dated August 21, 2015
(EASA AD 2015-0172), to correct an unsafe condition for AgustaWestland
S.p.A (formerly Agusta S.p.A.), AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation
(formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation) (now Leonardo S.p.a.) Model
AB139 and AW139 helicopters with an EFS installed. EASA advises of two
events of uncommanded EFS deployment during flight. Subsequent
investigation revealed that these conditions had been caused by
improper design of the EFS control panel part numbers (P/Ns)
3G9560V00556 (for use with night vision goggle) and 3G9560V00557
(standard). This condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced
control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2015-0172 requires replacing EFS control panel
P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 with EFS control panel P/Ns
3G9560V00559 and 3G9560V00558, respectively. EASA AD 2015-0172 also
prohibits installing EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and
3G9560V00557 on any helicopter.
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 helicopters of these same type designs.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed AgustaWestland Bollettino Tecnico No. 139-374,
dated July 6, 2015. This service information specifies procedures for
replacing EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 with EFS
control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00559 and 3G9560V00558, respectively. This
service information also notes that EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556
and 3G9560V00557 can be upgraded by following Sirio Panel Service
Bulletin 6WS-MI100135 Ed.01 and 6WS-MI100134 Ed.01.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require replacing EFS control panel P/Ns
3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 with EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00559
and 3G9560V00558, respectively. This proposed AD would also prohibit
installing EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 on any
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2015-0172 applies to Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with
an EFS installed, whereas this proposed AD would apply to those model
helicopters with EFS control panel P/N 3G9560V00556 (for use with night
vision goggle) or 3G9560V00557 (standard) installed instead. EASA AD
2015-0172 specifies replacing an affected EFS control panel within a
compliance time of flight hours or months, whichever occurs first,
based on helicopter configuration, whereas this proposed AD would
require that replacement within a shorter compliance time in hours
time-in-service but the same number of months, based on helicopter
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect up to 133 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are
estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA
estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD.
Replacing an EFS control panel would take about 1 work-hour and
parts would cost about $12,342 for an estimated cost of $12,427 per
helicopter and up to $1,652,791 for the U.S. fleet.
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 adding the following new airworthiness