DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0455; Project Identifier 2018-SW-031-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 fatigue testing and analyses. This proposed AD would
require establishing a life limit for a certain part-numbered tail
gearbox fitting. 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-2021-0455; 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: Kristi Bradley, Program Manager,
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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-2021-0455; Project Identifier
2018-SW-031-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, Program Manager, COS Program Management Section,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 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.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0087, dated April 18, 2018
(EASA AD 2018-0087), to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A.
Helicopters (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A., AgustaWestland S.p.A.) Model
AW189 helicopters. EASA advises of revisions resulting in Leonardo
AW189 Maintenance Manual, Document 89-A-AMPI-00-P, Chapter IV,
Airworthiness Limitations, Issue 13 (89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 13),
which includes new and/or more restrictive airworthiness limitations
and maintenance tasks since its original issuance. Failure to
accomplish those airworthiness limitations and maintenance tasks could
result in an unsafe condition.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2018-0087 requires accomplishing the actions
specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 13 and revising the Aircraft
Maintenance Program (AMP) with the actions specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P
ALS Issue 13.
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
The FAA reviewed AW189 Air Vehicle Maintenance Planning
Information, 89-B-AMPI-00-P, Chapter 4, Issue 6, dated July 17, 2018
(89-B-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 6). 89-B-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 6 specifies
various airworthiness limitations information including retirement
lives, mandatory inspections, and certification maintenance
requirements. 89-B-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 6 is equivalent to 89-A-AMPI-00-
P ALS Issue 13.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require determining the total hours time-in-
service (TIS) and total number of landings of tail gearbox fitting part
number (P/N) 4F5350A04152. If the total hours TIS and total number of
landings cannot be determined, this proposed AD would require removing
the part from service. This proposed AD would establish a life limit
for tail gearbox fitting P/N 4F5350A04152 and require removing the part
from service according to the new life limit.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2018-0087 applies to Model AW189 helicopters, whereas this
proposed AD would apply to that model helicopter with tail gearbox
fitting P/N 4F5350A04152 installed instead. EASA AD 2018-0087 requires
accomplishing the actions specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue 13 and
revising the AMP with the actions specified in 89-A-AMPI-00-P ALS Issue
13, whereas this proposed AD would require establishing a life limit
for tail gearbox fitting P/N 4F5350A04152 and removing that part from
service accordingly instead.
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.
Replacing a tail gearbox fitting would take about 48 work-hours and
parts would cost about $30,000 for an estimated cost of $34,080 per
helicopter and $136,320 for the U.S. fleet, per replacement cycle.
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