DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0559; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00079-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede airworthiness directive
2020-24-03 which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B,
AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, and AS355F2
helicopters. AD 2020-24-03 requires testing the UP/DOWN switches of a
certain part-numbered DUNLOP cyclic stick grip, installing a placard,
and revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your
helicopter, or removing the DUNLOP cyclic stick grip. Since the FAA
issued AD 2020-24-03, Airbus Helicopters developed a modification
procedure for the electrical wiring of the hoist control of the DUNLOP
cyclic stick grip. This proposed AD would retain some requirements of
AD 2020-24-03 and would also require incorporating the new
modification, and removing the placard and the RFM amendment installed
previously as required by AD 2020-24-03. The proposed additional
actions would be required 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.
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 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; telephone +49 221 8999
000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may
find this IBR 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
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-
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-2021-0559;
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: Daniel Poblete, Aerospace Engineer,
Systems & Equipment Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712;
telephone (562) 627-5335; 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-2021-0559; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00079-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
Daniel Poblete, Aerospace Engineer, Systems & Equipment Section, Los
Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, 3960 Paramount
Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712; telephone (562) 627-5335; email:
email@example.com. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket
for this rulemaking.
The FAA issued AD 2020-24-03, Amendment 39-21333 (85 FR 76955,
December 1, 2020), (AD 2020-24-03), which applies to Airbus Helicopters
Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F,
AS355F1, and AS355F2 helicopters with DUNLOP cyclic stick grip
manufacturer part number (MP/N) AC66444 with UP/DOWN switches for
rescue hoist control installed. AD 2020-24-03 requires accomplishing a
ground test of the UP/DOWN switches of DUNLOP cyclic stick grip for
proper function before each hoist operation. If there is any
uncommanded hoist action, AD 2020-24-03 requires removing the DUNLOP
cyclic stick grip from service. If DUNLOP cyclic stick grip MP/N
AC66444 is installed, before the next operation, AD 2020-24-03 also
requires installing a placard and revising the existing RFM for your
helicopter to prohibit the use of the UP/DOWN switches of the DUNLOP
cyclic stick grip. Alternatively, AD 2020-24-03 allows removing DUNLOP
cyclic stick grip MP/N AC66444, however before the DUNLOP cyclic stick
grip is re-installed, AD 2020-24-03 requires accomplishing a ground
test of the UP/DOWN switches and installing the placard and revising
the existing RFM for your helicopter. AD 2020-24-03 also prohibits
installing an affected DUNLOP cyclic stick grip unless the ground
testing of the UP/DOWN switches has been accomplished, the placard has
been installed, and the existing RFM for your helicopter has been
revised. The FAA issued AD 2020-24-03 to prevent an inadvertent
activation of the rescue hoist cable cutter and consequent detachment
of an external load or person from the helicopter hoist. This unsafe
condition could result in personal injury or injury to persons on the
Actions Since AD 2020-24-03 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2020-24-03, Airbus Helicopters developed a
modification (MOD) MC20096 and issued service information that provides
instructions for modifying the electrical wiring of the hoist control
on DUNLOP cyclic stick grips.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0023, dated January 19, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0023) to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters Model AS 350 and AS 355 helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by Airbus Helicopters developing MOD
MC20096 and Airbus Helicopters issuing service information for
performing this modification on the DUNLOP cyclic stick. The FAA is
proposing this AD to address inadvertent activation of the rescue hoist
cable cutter function and consequent detachment of an external load or
person from the helicopter hoist, possibly resulting in personal
injury, or injury to persons on the ground. See EASA AD 2021-0023 for
additional background information.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0023 specifies procedures for installing the placard
and revising the Flight Manual to prohibit the use of the UP/DOWN
switches of the DUNLOP cyclic stick MP/N AC66444. EASA AD 2021-0023
also specifies procedures for modifying the electrical wiring of the
DUNLOP cyclic stick and removing both the placard and RFM amendment
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 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 State of Design Authority,
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the EASA
AD referenced above. 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.
Explanation of Retained Requirements
Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the
requirements of AD 2020-24-03, this proposed AD would retain certain
requirements of AD 2020-24-03. Those requirements are referenced in
EASA AD 2021-0023, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of
this proposed AD.
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2021-0023 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 EASA AD 2021-0023."
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 this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result,
EASA AD 2021-0023 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final
rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA
AD 2021-0023 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 EASA AD 2021-0023 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 EASA AD 2021-
0023. Service information specified in EASA AD 2021-0023 that is
required for compliance with it will be available at https://www.
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0559 after the FAA final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and EASA AD 2021-0023
For helicopters with DUNLOP cyclic stick grip MP/N AC66444 with UP/
DOWN switches for rescue hoist control installed, this proposed AD
would require accomplishing a ground test of the UP/DOWN switches for
proper function before each hoist operation, whereas the EASA AD does
not. Where EASA AD 2021-0023 refers to its effective date or the
effective date of EASA Emergency AD 2020-0217-E, dated October 8, 2020,
this proposed AD would require using the effective date of this AD.
Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0023 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 the
service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0023 specifies to
discard certain placards and Flight Manual pages (that were required by
EASA AD 2020-0217-E), this proposed AD would require
removing them instead. EASA AD 2021-0023 requires operators to "inform
all flight crews" and thereafter to "operate the helicopter
accordingly." However, this proposed AD would not require those
actions. Where paragraph (4) of EASA AD 2020-0023 allows modifying a
Group 2 helicopter into a Group 1 helicopter, this proposed AD would
also require accomplishing the requirements of paragraph (g)(1) of this
AD. Finally, the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0023
requires reporting certain information, whereas this proposed AD would
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 390
helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may
incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
Accomplishing a ground test of the UP/DOWN switches for proper
function takes a minimal amount of time for a nominal cost. Replacing
DUNLOP cyclic stick grip, if required, takes about 2.5 work-hours and
parts cost about $2,500 for an estimated cost of $2,713. Installing the
placard and revising the existing RFM for your helicopter would take
about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and
$16,770 for the U.S. fleet.
Modifying the electrical wiring of the DUNLOP cyclic stick would
take up to 4 work-hours and parts would cost $2,147 for an estimated
cost of up to $2,487 per helicopter and $969,930 for the U.S. fleet.
Removing the placard and revising the existing RFM for your helicopter
would take about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per
helicopter and $16,770 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 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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-24-03, Amendment 39-21333
(85 FR 76955, December 1, 2020); and
b. Adding the following new AD: