DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0300; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01077-R;
Amendment 39-21511; AD 2021-08-17]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), (DOT).
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 helicopters. This AD was prompted by
the discovery of a main gearbox (MGB) with worn ramps and broken roller
cages. This AD requires installing a placard on the pilot instrument
panel and replacing certain MGBs. The FAA is issuing this AD to address
the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective May 12, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of May 12, 2021.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by June 11, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
instructions for sending your comments electronically.
Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For service information identified in this final rule, contact
Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N 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.
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. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0300.
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-
0300; 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 AD, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any
service information that is incorporated by reference, 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: Rao Edupuganti, Aerospace Engineer,
Dynamic Systems Section, Technical Innovation Policy Branch, Policy &
Innovation Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone 817-222-5110; email email@example.com.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, issued EASA AD 2020-0141R1, dated July 30, 2020 (EASA
AD 2020-0141R1) to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters
(formerly Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale) Model AS 332 L2 helicopters.
EASA AD 2020-0141R1 advises that, during an overhaul of a Model EC 225
LP helicopter with an MGB part number (P/N) 332A323001.XX equipped with
main reduction gear module P/N 332A323011.XX in post-modification (mod)
07-53016 configuration, where XX represents any number, wear was
detected on ramps and roller cages. Mod 07-53016 corresponds to free
wheel shaft P/N 332A322191.20. EASA states that an investigation is
currently ongoing to determine the root cause of the occurrence and
that Model AS 332 L2 helicopters could be affected by the same failure
mechanism due to design similarity. According to EASA, this condition,
if not corrected, could lead to reduced capacity to transfer one engine
inoperative (OEI) power by the right engine following an in-flight shut
down of the left engine, resulting in reduced control of the
EASA further states that Airbus Helicopters issued service
information to provide instructions to introduce operational
restrictions regarding training flights involving OEI and replacement
of the affected MGB in order to allow Airbus Helicopters to accomplish
a one-time wear inspection of the free wheel shaft. Consequently, EASA
issued an AD to require an operational limitation for OEI training
flights by installing placards and to require replacing the MGB if it
has a right free wheel shaft P/N 332A322191.20. EASA revised its
original AD and issued EASA AD 2020-0141R1 after Airbus Helicopters
issued a change to its service information to clarify the wording of
the operational limitation in the placard. EASA states that EASA AD
2020-0141R1 is considered an interim action and that further AD action
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 of the
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is issuing this AD
because the agency has determined the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS332-
01.00.95, Revision 1, dated July 29, 2020, which specifies procedures
to create and install a placard to prohibit the use of the ENG1
``TRAINING IDLE'' switch in flight. This service information also
specifies removing the MGB, sending it to the manufacturer, and
replacing it with a serviceable MGB.
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.
This AD applies to Model AS332L2 helicopters with a certain MGB
installed and requires within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS),
installing a placard on the instrument panel to prohibit use of the
ENG1 ``TRAINING IDLE'' switch. The placard may be removed if the MGB is
replaced with a MGB that does not have a certain free wheel shaft
installed. This AD also requires replacing the MGB with an airworthy
MGB before it accumulates 1,000 hours TIS or within 50 hours TIS after
the effective date of the AD, whichever occurs later.
This AD also prohibits installing certain MGBs unless the free
wheel shaft has accumulated less than 1,000 total hours TIS.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires reporting information to Airbus Helicopters
and sending an affected MGB to Airbus Helicopters or an approved repair
center, whereas this AD does not.
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. The
investigation to determine the root cause of this unsafe condition is
on-going. If final action is later identified, the FAA might consider
further rulemaking then.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the
rulemaking. Further, section 553(d) of the APA authorizes agencies to
make rules effective in less than thirty days, upon a finding of good
There are no helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S.
Registry and thus, it is unlikely that the FAA will receive any adverse
comments or useful information about this AD from U.S. operators.
Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are
unnecessary pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, for the
reasons stated above, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to
5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0300; Project Identifier MCAI-
2020-01077-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.
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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Rao
Edupuganti, Aerospace Engineer, Dynamic Systems Section, Technical
Innovation Policy Branch, Policy & Innovation Division, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket
for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment,
RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
There are no costs of compliance with this AD because there are no
helicopters of this type certificate on the U.S. Registry.
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 AD will not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:
1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order
2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA amends 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