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PROPOSED AD AIRBUS HELICOPTERS DEUTSCHLAND GMBH: Docket No. FAA-2021-0797; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00218-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD)  by
    November 8, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model  EC135P1,
    EC135P2, EC135P2+,  EC135P3, EC135T1,  EC135T2, EC135T2+,  and EC135T3
    helicopters, certificated in any category, with tail rotor (TR)  blade
    part   number   (P/N)   L642A2002101,   L642A2002103,    L642A2002104,
    L642A2002111 or L642A2002112 installed.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6410, Tail rotor blades.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted  by a notification of certain parts needing a re-
    duced life limit when installed on certain model helicopters. The  FAA
    is issuing  this AD  to prevent  certain part-numbered  TR blades from
    remaining in service beyond their fatigue life. The unsafe  condition,
    if not addressed, could  result in fatigue and  failure of a TR  blade
    and loss of helicopter control.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply  with this  AD within  the compliance  times specified,  unless
    already done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) For all model helicopters identified  in  paragraph (c)  of  this  AD,
    within 350  hours time-in-service  (TIS) after  the effective  date of
    this  AD,  determine  the  total  hours  TIS  of  each  TR  blade  P/N
    L642A2002101 or P/N L642A2002111 in accordance with paragraph 3.B.2 of
    the Accomplishment  Instructions of  Airbus Helicopters  Alert Service
    Bulletin ASB EC135H-04A-002, Revision 1, dated December 21, 2020  (ASB
    EC135H-04A-002) or paragraph 3.B.2 (version A) or 3.B.4 (version B) of
    the Accomplishment  Instructions of  Airbus Helicopters  Alert Service
    Bulletin ASB EC135-04A-014, Revision  1, dated December 21,  2020 (ASB
    EC135-04A-014) as  applicable to  your model  helicopter. Remove  from
    service any  TR blade  that has  accumulated or  exceeded 6,800  total
    hours TIS.  For each  TR blade  that has  accumulated less  than 6,800
    total hours TIS do the following:

(i) Create a component history card  or  equivalent record  to establish a
    life limit of 6,800 total hours TIS.

(ii) Re-identify each TR blade P/N L642A2002101 as P/N L642A2002104 and re
     -identify  each T/R  blade P/N  L642A2002111 as  P/N L642A2002112  by
     following paragraph 3.B.5 of  the Accomplishment Instructions of  ASB
     EC135H-04A-002, or paragraph 3.B.7 of the Accomplishment Instructions
     of ASB EC135-04A-014 as applicable to your model helicopter.

(iii) Thereafter, remove from service any TR blade P/N L642A2002104 or P/N
      L642A2002112 before it accumulates 6,800 total hours TIS.

(2) For Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2,  and  EC135T2+
    helicopters with TR  blade P/N L642A2002103  that has previously  been
    installed on Model  EC135P3 or EC135T3  helicopters, within 350  hours
    TIS after the effective date of this AD, determine the total hours TIS
    of the TR blade in accordance  with a method approved by the  Manager,
    General  Aviation  and  Rotorcraft  Section,  International Validation
    Branch,  FAA;  or European  Union  Aviation Safety  Agency  (EASA); or
    Airbus  Helicopters'  EASA  Design  Organization  Approval  (DOA).  If
    approved  by the  DOA, the  approval must  include the  DOA-authorized
    signature.

(3) For  Model EC135P3 and EC135T3 helicopters  within 350 hours TIS after
    the effective date of this AD,  remove  from  service any TR blade P/N
    L642A2002103 before exceeding 6,800 total hours TIS.

(4) For Model EC135P3 and EC135T3 helicopters, as of the effective date of
    this AD do not install any TR blade P/N L642A2002101, P/N L642A2002103
    or P/N L642A2002111 on any helicopter.

(5) For  Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and
    EC635T2+ helicopters,  as of  the effective  date of  this AD,  do not
    install  any  TR  blade  P/N  L642A2002101  or  L642A2002111  that has
    accumulated or exceeded 500 total hours TIS while installed on a Model
    EC135P3 or EC135T3 helicopter.

(h) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, International Validation Branch,  FAA,  has the authority
    to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures  found
    in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to
    your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as
    appropriate. If  sending information  directly to  the manager  of the
    International  Validation  Branch, send  it  to the  attention  of the
    person identified in paragraph (i)(1)  of this AD. Information may  be
    emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC,  notify your appropriate principal in-
    spector, or lacking  a principal inspector,  the manager of  the local
    flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(i) RELATED INFORMATION

(1) For more information about this AD,  contact Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace
    Engineer,  COS Program Management Section,  Operational Safety Branch,
    Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave, Suite 410,
    Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email andrea.jimenez@faa
    .gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicop-
    ters, 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
    this 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.

(3) The subject of this AD is addressed in EASA AD 2021-0050, dated Febru-
    ary 23, 2021. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.
    regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0797.

Issued on September 15, 2021.  Gaetano A. Sciortino,  Deputy Director  for
Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,  Aircraft Cer-
tification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments  on this proposed AD  by  November 8,
2021.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0797; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00218-R]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD)
for certain Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P1, EC135P2,
EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by reduced life limits being established
for certain part-numbered tail rotor (TR) blades. This proposed AD
would require determining the total hours time-in-service (TIS) of
certain part-numbered TR blades, establishing a life limit for certain
part-numbered TR blades, removing from service any TR blade that has
reached or exceeded its life limit, creating a component history card,
re-identifying certain part-numbered TR blades, and removing any TR
blade from service before reaching its retirement life. This proposed
AD would also prohibit installing certain TR blades on certain model
helicopters. 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 November 8,
2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
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 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-2021-0797 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
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: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email andrea.jimenez@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited


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-2021-0797; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00218-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 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
Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-
7330; email andrea.jimenez@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA
receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in
the public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0050, dated February 23, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0050), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD), formerly Eurocopter Deutschland
GmbH, Eurocopter Espa[ntilde]a S.A., Model EC135 P1, EC135 P2, EC135
P2+, EC135 P3, EC135 T1, EC135 T2, EC135 T2+, EC135 T3, EC635 P2+,
EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters, all variants,
and all serial numbers. EASA advises that a reduced life limit has been
established for certain part-numbered TR blades due to higher loads
experienced in service. This condition, if not addressed, could result
in fatigue and failure of a TR blade and loss of control of the
helicopter.

Accordingly, EASA AD 2021-0050 requires determining the total hours
TIS for certain part-numbered TR blades, recalculating the TIS for
affected parts, and implementing a reduced life limit. EASA AD 2021-
0050 also prohibits installing certain part-numbered TR blades and TR
head assemblies and provides conditions for re-installation of certain
TR blades.

FAA's Determination

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
EC135H-04A-002 and Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB EC135-
04A-014, both Revision 1, and both dated December 21, 2020. This
service information specifies procedures to determine the total hours
TIS of certain TR blades and provides instructions to re-identify
certain part-numbered TR blades.

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 350 hours time-in-service
(TIS), determining the total hours TIS of certain part-numbered TR
blades and removing from service certain part-numbered TR blades that
have accumulated or exceeded 6,800 total hours TIS. This proposed AD
would also require for certain part-numbered TR blades with less than
6,800 total hours TIS, creating a component history card or equivalent
record to establish a life limit of 6,800 total hours TIS, and removing
these TR blades from service before accumulating 6,800 total hours TIS.
This proposed AD would require for certain model helicopters re-
identifying certain part-numbered TR blades with new part numbers and
removing those newly re-identified TR blades from service before
exceeding 6,800 total hours TIS.

This proposed AD would also require for certain model helicopters
with certain part-numbered TR blades installed that have been
previously installed on certain model helicopters determining the total
hours TIS of the TR blade in accordance with a method approved by the
FAA or EASA. Finally, for certain model helicopters this proposed AD
would prohibit installing certain part-numbered TR blades and for
certain model helicopters this proposed AD would prohibit installing
certain part-numbered TR blades that have exceeded or accumulated 500
total hours TIS while previously installed on certain model
helicopters.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and EASA AD 2021-0050


EASA AD 2021-0050 requires compliance using calendar time, whereas
this proposed AD would require compliance using hours TIS instead. EASA
AD 2021-0050 applies to Model EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+,
and EC635 T3 helicopters, which 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 EC635 T2+
helicopter having serial number 0858 was converted from Model EC635 T2+
to Model EC135 T2+. This proposed AD, therefore, does not include Model
EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters in
the applicability. EASA AD 2021-0050 specifies contacting Airbus
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH to determine the total hours TIS
accumulated by certain TR blades whereas this proposed AD would require
determining the total hours TIS accumulated by the TR blade in
accordance with a method approved by the FAA or EASA. EASA AD 2021-0050
prohibits installing certain part-numbered TR head assemblies as
defined in its AD, whereas this AD would not contain this prohibition.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 341 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.

Determining the total hours TIS of each TR blade, updating the
helicopter records and re-identifying each TR blade would take about 10
work-hours for each TR blade, for an estimated cost of $850 per TR
blade.

Replacing each TR blade would take about 10 work-hours and parts
would cost about $4,400 for an estimated cost of $5,250 per TR blade
replacement.

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.

Regulatory Findings


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
Order 12866,

(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
reference, Safety.

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
directive: