DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0461; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00156-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 all Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by a report of a short circuit caused by
chafing of the electrical wiring in the overhead panel. This proposed
AD would require an initial detailed inspection inside the overhead
panel for certain helicopters, repetitive detailed inspections inside
the overhead panel for all helicopters, and corrective actions if
necessary, 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.
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; phone: +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. This material is also available at https://www.
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0461.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0461; 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. Comments will be available in the AD
docket shortly after receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacob Fitch, Aerospace Engineer,
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; phone: (817) 222-4130; 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-2021-0461; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00156-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 Jacob
Fitch, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational
Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: (817) 222-4130; 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
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0044, dated February 5, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0044), to correct an unsafe condition for all Leonardo
S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a short circuit caused
by chafing of the electrical wiring in the overhead panel. The FAA is
proposing this AD to address a short circuit caused by chafing of the
electrical wiring in the overhead panel, which could cause damaged
electrical wiring, possible fire in the overhead panel, and loss of
control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2021-0044 for additional background
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0044 requires an initial detailed inspection (for
certain helicopters) inside the overhead panel for chafing of the cable
harnesses and for correct clearance between the anchor nuts/screws and
the cable harnesses, of the screws for correct length, and of the
supports for sound bonding, and corrective actions if necessary;
repetitive detailed inspections (for all helicopters) inside the
overhead panel for the condition of the white protective tape on the
anchor nuts, and for chafing of the cable harnesses and for correct
clearance between the anchor nuts/screws and the cable harnesses, and
corrective actions if necessary. Corrective actions include applying a
white protective tape on the anchor nuts, replacement of incorrect
length screws, replacement of damaged cables and fuses, rerouting of
cable harnesses, replacement of supports, and removal and replacement
of the white protective tape.
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.
These helicopters 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 European Union, EASA, its
technical representative, has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition
described in its AD. 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 on other helicopters of the
same type design.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2021-0044, 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 with other manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, EASA AD
2021-0044 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This
proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021-0044
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 2021-0044 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2021-
0044 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0461 after the FAA
final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
Although EASA AD 2021-0044 and the service information referenced
in EASA AD 2021-0044 specify to submit certain information to the
manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.
The FAA considers this proposed AD interim action. If final action
is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this that this AD, if adopted as proposed,
would affect 128 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates the
following costs to comply with this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|Inspection for chafing, clearance,
screw length, and bonding
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
|Repetitive inspections for chafing,
clearance, and tape condition
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
$85 per inspection cycle
||$0 per inspection cycle
||$85 per inspection cycle
||$10,880 per inspection cycle
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary on-
condition actions that would be required based on the results of any
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of
helicopters that might need these on-condition actions:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
|Replace screws, cables, fuses,
supports, and protective tape; reroute harnesses
||5 work-hours x $85 per hour =
|Apply protective tape
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
|Replace cables, fuses and protective
||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 above, I certify this proposed
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Will 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