DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0496; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00393-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters and Airbus
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for Airbus Helicopters Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS350B,
AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1,
AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, AS-365N2, AS 365 N3, EC120B, EC130B4,
EC130T2, EC 155B, EC155B1, SA-365N, and SA-365N1 helicopters; and
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) Model EC135P1, EC135P2,
EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, EC135T3, MBB-BK117 C-2,
and MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by failure
of an Emergency Flotation System (EFS) float compartment to inflate
during maintenance of the EFS. This proposed AD would require
inspecting certain EFSs and depending on the results, marking certain
parts or removing certain parts from service, 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 products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by August
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 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 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. It is also available in the AD docket on the
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2021-0496.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0496;
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, 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: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
Airframe and Propulsion Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart
Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7330; fax 516-
794-5531; 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-2021-0496; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-00393-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
Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Section,
FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; telephone 516-228-7330; fax 516-794-5531; email 9-avs-nyaco-cos@faa
.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not specifically desig-
nated 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 2020-0064, dated March 19, 2020
(EASA AD 2020-0064), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale
Model EC 120 B, EC 175 B, AS 332 C, AS 332 C1, AS 332 L, AS 332 L1, AS
350 B, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B3, AS 350 D,
EC 130 B4, EC 130 T2, AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355
N, AS 355 NP, SA 365 N, SA 365 N1, AS 365 N2, AS 365 N3, EC 155 B, and
EC 155 B1 helicopters. EASA AD 2020-0064 also corrects an unsafe
condition for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD), formerly
Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH; and Airbus Helicopters Inc., formerly
American Eurocopter LLC, Eurocopter Espa[ntilde]a S.A. Model MBB-BK117
C-2, MBB-BK117 D-2, EC 135 P1, EC 135 P2, EC 135 P2+, EC 135 P3, EC 135
T1, EC 135 T2, EC 135 T2+, EC 135 T3, EC 635 P2+, EC 635 P3, EC 635 T1,
EC 635 T2+, and EC 635 T3 helicopters. Model EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635
T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters are not certificated by the FAA
and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet except
where the U.S. type certificate data sheet explains that the
Model EC635T2+ helicopter having serial number 0858 was converted from
Model EC635T2+ to Model EC135T2+; this proposed AD therefore does not
include Model EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3
helicopters in the applicability.
This proposed AD was prompted by failure of an EFS float
compartment to inflate during maintenance of the EFS. The FAA is
proposing this AD to address a blocked float supply hose. The unsafe
condition, if not addressed, could result in partial inflation of an
EFS float during an emergency landing on water and subsequently
preventing a timely egress from the helicopter, which could result in
injury to helicopter occupants. See EASA AD 2020-0064 for additional
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51
EASA AD 2020-0064 specifies inspecting certain EFSs and depending
on the results, marking a float supply hose with a green dot with
indelible ink if the float supply hose passes an inspection, replacing
the float supply hose with a serviceable float supply hose, or
replacing an affected EFS with a serviceable EFS. EASA AD 2020-0064
also prohibits installing a float supply hose unless it passes the
inspection and is marked.
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.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD
These products 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 State of Design Authority,
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in EASA AD
2020-0064. 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 in other products of these
same type designs.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2020-0064, 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 initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-0064
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0064 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 2020-0064 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-
0064 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0496 after the FAA
final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2020-0064 applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B,
EC175B, AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L, AS332L1, AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2,
AS350BA, AS350BB, AS350B3, AS350D, EC130B4, EC130T2, AS355E, AS355F,
AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, AS 365
N3, EC155 B, and EC155B1 helicopters and Airbus Helicopters Deutschland
GmbH Model MBB-BK 117 C-2, MBB-BK 117 D-2, EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+,
EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, EC135T3, EC635 P2+, EC635P3,
EC635T1, EC635T2+, and EC635T3 helicopters, whereas this proposed AD
would not include Model AS350BB, EC175B, EC635P2+, EC635P3, EC635T1,
EC635T2+, and EC635T3 helicopters because these models are not FAA
type-certificated. Where the service information referenced in EASA AD
2020-0064 requires certain compliance times depending on whether the
helicopter is operated over water, this proposed AD would require
compliance within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) instead. Where the
service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0064 specifies "work
must be performed on the helicopter by the operator," this proposed AD
would require that the work be accomplished by a mechanic that meets
the requirements of 14 CFR part 65 subpart D. Where some of the service
information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0064 specifies replacing or
removing an affected hose that fails the inspection, this proposed AD
would require removing the hose from service instead. Where some of the
service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0064 specifies to
discard certain parts, this proposed AD would require removing those
parts from service instead. Where some of the service information
referenced in EASA AD 2020-0064 specifies to return the EFS to the
Safran Aerosystems network or clogged hoses to Safran Aerosystems
Services, this proposed AD would not include those requirements. Where
the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0064 specifies to
submit certain information to the manufacturer, this proposed AD does
not include that requirement.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 1,900 helicopters
of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based
on these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the
following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
Inspecting the EFS would take up to about 8 work-hours for an
estimated cost of up to $680 per helicopter and $1,292,000 for the U.S.
Replacing an EFS hose would take about 1 work-hour and parts cost
between $500 and $2,000 per hose, and up to $11,000 for a set of float
supply hoses, for an estimated cost of up to $11,085 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
civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices,
methods and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in
commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because
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