DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-500; Project Identifier 2017-SW-069-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 all Airbus Helicopters Model EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by a report of a jammed pilot collective pitch
lever (collective). This proposed AD would require inspecting the
collective for proper engagement of the locking pin. 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.
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 the referenced 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-2021-500; 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: Anthony Kenward, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Fort Worth ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-
5152; 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-2021-500; Project Identifier
2017-SW-069-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
Anthony Kenward, Aviation Safety Engineer, Fort Worth ACO Branch,
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort
Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5152; 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 2017-0062, dated April 11, 2017
(EASA AD 2017-0062), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters Model EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters. EASA states that
during an autorotation test conducted during an acceptance flight, the
pilot felt a jamming sensation when pushing the collective to the low
pitch position, and he subsequently was able to free the collective by
pulling on it. According to EASA, an analysis determined that the
locking tab hook (hook) and the low pitch locking pin (pin) were
extremely close, and that a fold in the control lever boot may have
become caught between the two components. EASA states that this
condition, if not detected and corrected, could result in an untimely
locking of the collective and subsequent reduced control of the
Accordingly, EASA AD 2017-0062 requires inspecting and adjusting,
if necessary, the clearance between the hook and the pin while in the
low pitch position.
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 these same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No.
EC130-67A019, Revision 0, dated February 23, 2016, which specifies
inspecting and adjusting the clearance between the hook and pin.
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, within 90 hours time-in-service
(TIS) after the effective date of the AD, or before the next
autorotation training flight, whichever occurs first, removing the
protective boot along the collective and measuring the clearance
between the hook and pin. If the clearance is less than 5 mm (0.196
in), adjusting the clearance between the hook and the pin to prevent
interference would be required. This proposed AD would then require re-
installing the protective boot in accordance with the manufacturer's
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires compliance within 165 hours TIS or 3 months,
whichever occurs first. Since the unsafe condition occurred at a
collective position commanded during an autorotation, this proposed AD
would require compliance within 90 hours TIS after the effective date
of this AD or before the next autorotation training flight, whichever
occurs first. Based on the average fleet usage, 90 hours TIS would
correspond with the 3-month compliance requirement of the EASA AD.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 214
helicopters of U.S. Registry. At an average labor rate of $85 per work-
hour, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in
order to comply with this proposed AD. Removing the protective boot
would require about 2 work-hours for a cost of $170 per helicopter and
a cost of $36,380 for the U.S. fleet. Determining the clearance between
the hook and pin would require about 0.5 work-hour, for a cost of $43
per helicopter and a cost of $9,202 for the U.S. fleet. If required,
adjusting the clearance would take about 2 work-hours for a cost of
$170 per helicopter. Re-installing the protective boot would require
about 2 work-hours, for a cost of $170 per helicopter and a cost of
$36,380 for the U.S. fleet.
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