DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0449; Project Identifier 2018-SW-001-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; and Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N,
AS355NP helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that the
lanyards (bead chain tethers), which hold the quick release pins to the
forward bracket assembly of certain litter kits, can loop around the
directional control pedal stubs, limiting the movement of the pedals.
This proposed AD would require modification of the lanyard attachment
location for certain litter kit installations. 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 Airbus
Helicopters, 2701 North Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone
(972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at https://www.
airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. 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-2021-0449; 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
Transport Canada AD, any comments received, and other information. The
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Mail Stop: Room 410,
Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; 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-2021-0449; Project Identifier
2018-SW-001-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
Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
1600 Stewart Ave., Mail Stop: Room 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone
(516) 228-7330; 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.
Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority for Canada, has
issued Canadian AD CF-2017-37, dated December 19, 2017 (Canadian AD CF-
2017-37), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model
AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, 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.
Transport Canada advises that there have been reports that the
lanyards, which hold the quick release pins to the forward bracket
assembly of certain litter kits, can loop around the directional
control pedal stubs, limiting the movement of the pedals, which affects
the control of the flight. If this condition exists and is not
corrected during installation, this limitation may not be apparent
until the pedal input is required in flight. This condition, if not
addressed, could result in difficulty controlling the helicopter.
Accordingly, Canadian AD CF-2017-37 requires modification of the
lanyard attachment location for certain litter kit installations.
Canadian AD CF-2017-37 also specifies that installation of an affected
part number litter kit is prohibited unless the installation conforms
to the requirements of Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin SB-AHCA-128,
Revision 0, dated March 24, 2017.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Canada and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
the FAA's bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its
technical representative, has notified the FAA of 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 Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin SB-AHCA-128,
Revision 0, dated March 24, 2017. This service information specifies
procedures for modifying the bead chain tether attachment locations for
litter kits with certain part numbers. The modification includes
relocating the bead chain tethers by removing the screws and washers
for the pip pins on the forward bracket assembly; filling the empty
holes with rivets; determining the new locations of and drilling new
holes; and securing the bead chain tethers on the top side of the
forward bracket assembly in the new hole locations.
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 require accomplishing the actions specified
in the service information already described, except as discussed under
"Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD."
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Transport Canada AD
This proposed AD would require a pre-flight check prior to each
flight to determine if there is interference between the lanyards that
hold the quick release pins to the forward bracket assembly of the
litter kit and the flight controls. This pre-flight check requirement
would be terminated upon completion of the modification of the litter
kit installation. Canadian AD CF-2017-37 does not include a requirement
for the pre-flight check prior to each flight to determine if there is
interference between the lanyards and the flight controls.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 967 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates the
following costs to comply with this proposed AD.
||Cost per product
||Cost on U.S. operators
|Pre-flight check for lanyard
||0.5 work-hour x $85 per hour
= $42.50 per inspection cycle
||$42.50 per inspection cycle
||$41,097.50 per inspection cycle
|Modification of lanyard attachment
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
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