DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0383; Project Identifier 2018-SW-005-AD]
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 AW189 helicopters. This proposed AD
was prompted by corrosion on the inlet check valve banjo fitting of
emergency flotation system (EFS) float assemblies. This proposed AD
would require visually inspecting each banjo fitting installed on an
affected EFS float assembly, and depending on the results, removing the
banjo fitting from service. This proposed AD would also require
applying corrosion inhibiting compound to each banjo fitting installed
on an affected EFS float assembly and prohibit installing an affected
EFS float assembly unless the banjo fitting inspection, banjo fitting
replacement, and corrosion inhibiting compound application requirements
have been accomplished as specified in a European Aviation Safety
Agency (now 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 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 EASA material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact
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 IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.
eu. For Aero Sekur and Leonardo Helicopters 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 the Aero Sekur, EASA, and Leonardo Helicopters 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 the Aero Sekur, EASA, and Leonardo Helicopters material
at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110. The EASA material is also available at
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0383; 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 EASA AD,
any comments received, and other information. The street address for
Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Bradley, Aerospace Engineer,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-
5110; 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-2021-0383; Project Identifier
2018-SW-005-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 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
Kristi Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,
Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 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 a series of ADs, the most recent being EASA
AD 2018-0006, dated January 10, 2018 (EASA AD 2018-0006), to correct an
unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters (formerly Finmeccanica
S.p.A., AgustaWestland S.p.A.) Model AW189 helicopters with certain
part-numbered and serial-numbered Aero Sekur EFS float assemblies
installed, except those float assemblies marked with SB-189-25-004.
EASA initially issued EASA AD 2017-0256, dated December 22, 2017 (EASA
AD 2017-0256), to address the unsafe condition. EASA issued EASA AD
2018-0006 to supersede EASA AD 2017-0256 to revise the compliance time
based on the EFS float assembly condition.
This proposed AD was prompted by corrosion on the inlet check valve
banjo fitting of EFS float assemblies. The FAA is proposing this AD to
prevent reduced inflation of an EFS float, which if not addressed,
could affect the helicopter's buoyancy during an emergency landing on
water. See EASA AD 2018-0006 for additional background information.
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 the same type design.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2018-0006 requires visually inspecting the banjo fittings
installed on an affected EFS float assembly. If there is corrosion on
banjo fitting, EASA AD 2018-0006 requires replacing the banjo fitting.
EASA AD 2018-0006 also requires applying corrosion inhibiting compound
to each banjo fitting installed on an affected EFS float assembly. EASA
AD 2018-0006 prohibits installing an affected EFS float assembly unless
the banjo fitting inspection, banjo fitting replacement, and corrosion
inhibiting compound application requirements have been accomplished.
EASA AD 2018-0006 also allows credit for actions accomplished
previously with a prior revision of the Leonardo Helicopters service
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.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
189-174, original issue, dated December 22, 2017 (ASB 189-174 original
issue), and Revision A, dated January 5, 2018 (ASB 189-174 Rev A). The
FAA also reviewed Aero Sekur Service Bulletin SB-189-25-004, original
issue, dated November 22, 2017 (SB-189-25-004), which is attached as
Annex A to ASB 189-174 original issue and ASB 189-174 Rev A.
ASB 189-174 Rev A and ASB 189-174 original issue specify the same
procedures, except the compliance time specified by ASB 189-174 Rev A
has been revised by adding affected EFS float assemblies that have been
inspected by procedures in the maintenance manual within the previous
12 months. ASB 189-174 original issue and ASB 189-174 Rev A specify
accomplishing the Visual Inspection and Corrosion Prevention, and
Record Instruction procedures specified in SB-189-25-004. ASB 189-174
original issue and ASB 189-174 Rev A also specify emailing
photographical evidence of each corroded banjo fitting to Leonardo
Helicopters PSE Division and returning replaced banjo fittings to
Leonardo Helicopters Customer Support Division.
SB-189-25-004 specifies procedures for cleaning and visually
inspecting each banjo fitting for evidence of corrosion. If there is
corrosion, SB-189-25-004 specifies procedures for discarding the banjo
fitting and its O-rings, and installing a new banjo fitting. SB-189-25-
004 also specifies procedures for applying corrosion inhibiting
compound (JC5A or Mastinox 6856) on all banjo fittings. When SB-189-25-
004 is accomplished, SB-189-25-004 specifies procedures for marking the
identification label of the EFS float assembly.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2018-0006, 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 developed a process to use certain civil aviation
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result,
EASA AD 2018-0006 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final
rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA
AD 2018-0006 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 EASA AD 2018-0006 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 EASA AD 2018-
0006. Service information specified in EASA AD 2018-0006 that is
required for compliance with it will be available at https://www.
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0383 after the FAA final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2018-0006 requires returning and discarding certain parts,
whereas this proposed AD would require removing those parts from
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 4 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.
Inspecting the banjo fittings would take about 8.5 work-hours for
an estimated cost of $723 per helicopter and $2,892 for the U.S. fleet.
Applying corrosion inhibiting compound would take about 1.5 work-hours
for an estimated cost of $128 per helicopter and $512 for the U.S.
fleet. If required, replacing a banjo fitting would take a minimal
additional amount of time after inspecting it and parts would cost
about $550 for an estimated cost of $550 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