DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0834; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00298-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. 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 Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by the discovery that rubber protection of
certain electrical wiring had not been installed in the baggage
avionics bay during production. This proposed AD would require
installing protective rubber borders on the edge of the baggage
avionics bay frames, 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
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 15, 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 above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For EASA 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 the EASA material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu.
For Leonardo Helicopters service information
identified in this NPRM, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Emanuele
Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di
Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or
at https://customerportal.leonardocompany.com/en-US/. 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. The EASA material is also available at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0834.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0834; 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 EASA AD,
any comments received, and other information. The street address for
Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; telephone (202) 267-
9167; email email@example.com.
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-2021-0834; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00298-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 Hal
Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC
20024; telephone (202) 267-9167; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any
commentary that the FAA receives that 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 2021-0065, dated March 8, 2021 (EASA
AD 2021-0065), to correct an unsafe condition for certain serial-
numbered Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A.,
AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A., Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by the discovery that rubber
protection of certain electrical wiring had not been installed in the baggage
avionics bay during production. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent
chafing of electrical wiring, which could result in fire ignition and
smoke in the baggage compartment and subsequent loss of control of the
helicopter. See EASA AD 2021-0065 for additional background
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0065 requires installing rubber protections on the
electrical wiring in the baggage/avionics compartment.
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.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB)
No. 109S-100, dated February 2, 2021, for Model A109S helicopters, and
Leonardo Helicopters ASB No. 109SP-142, also dated February 2, 2021,
for Model AW109SP helicopters. This service information specifies
procedures for installing protective rubber borders on the edge of the
baggage avionics bay frames.
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.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2021-0065, described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this proposed AD.
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 some 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, the
FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2021-0065 by reference in the FAA
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with
EASA AD 2021-0065 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 2021-0065 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-
0065. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0065 for
compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0834 after the FAA final
rule is published.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 3 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.
Installing protective rubber borders on the edge of the baggage
avionics bay frames would take about 2 work-hours and parts would cost
about $24 for an estimated cost of $194 per helicopter and $582 for the
The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate.
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost
impact on affected operators.
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 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
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