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PROPOSED AD AIRBUS HELICOPTERS: Docket No. FAA-2021-0873; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00336-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA  must receive comments  on  this  airworthiness directive (AD)
    action by December 6, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    This AD replaces AD 2018-11-01,  Amendment 39-19289 (83 FR 23778,  May
    23, 2018) (AD 2018-11-01).

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and Model  EC225LP
    helicopters, certificated in any category, as specified in  paragraphs
    (c)(1) and (2) of this AD.

(1) Model AS332L2 helicopters  equipped  with extended aluminum splices on
    frame 5295 installed in accordance  with Airbus Helicopters (AH) Modi-
    fication (MOD) 0726517,  Eurocopter  (EC)  AS332 Service Bulletin (SB)
    53.01.52,  or AH repair design 332-53-507-06, 332-53-21-07, or 332-53-
    82-06; except helicopters embodying AH MOD 0728463, AH SB AS 332-53.01
    .97, or repair design 332-53-409-12, 332-53-1284-13, 332-53-1079-16 or
    332-53-1358-16.

Note 1 to paragraph (c)(1):  As referenced in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of
this AD, helicopters with AH MOD 0728463 installed have replaced the alum-
inum splices with steel splices.

(2) Model EC225LP helicopters  equipped  with extended aluminum splices on
    frame 5295 installed in accordance with AH MOD 0726517, or EC EC225 SB
    53-003 (pre AH MOD 0726493 and post AH MOD 0726517) except helicopters
    embodying AH MOD 0728463, or SB EC225-53-061.

Note 2 to paragraph (c)(2): Helicopters with AH MOD 0726493 have installed
steel splice kit part number 332A08-2649-3072.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5300, Fuselage Structure

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This  AD  was prompted  by  reports of  cracks  on frame  5295  and on
    aluminum splices installed to prevent those cracks. The FAA is issuing
    this AD to address cracking on frame 5295 and on the inner skins.  The
    unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in loss of structural
    integrity of the  helicopter frame and  subsequent loss of  control of
    the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified,  unless al-
    ready done.

(g) RETAINED INSTALLATION AND INSPECTIONS WITH NEW SERVICE INFORMATION AND
    CORRECTIVE ACTIONS (MODIFICATION)

    This paragraph retains the requirements of paragraph (e) of AD 2018-11
    -01,  with new service information  and  corrective actions (modifica-
    tion).

(1) Before a splice reaches 1,700 hours time-in-service  (TIS),  within 50
    hours TIS,  or before the helicopter reaches 11,950 hours TIS,  which-
    ever occurs latest, do the following.

(i) Install the rail support cut-out and identify  the left-hand (LH)  and
    right-hand (RH) junction profile,  in accordance  with the Accomplish-
    ment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2., of Airbus Helicopters Alert Serv-
    ice Bulletin (ASB) No. EC225-05A038 Revision 1, dated February 9, 2021
    (Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-05A038, Revision 1); or Airbus Heli-
    copters ASB No. AS332-05.00.97,  Revision  1,  dated  February 9, 2021
    (Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-05.00.97, Revision 1);  whichever is
    applicable to your helicopter.

(ii) Inspect each splice  for  a  crack  in the area depicted as Area Y in
     Figure 3 of Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-05A038,  Revision 1;  or
     Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS332-05.00.97,  Revision 1;  whichever is
     applicable to your helicopter.  If a crack exists,  do the applicable
     action required by paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(A) or (B) of this AD.

(A) For any cracking found before the effective date of this AD: Repair or
    replace the splice before further flight.

(B) For any cracking found on  or after the effective date of this AD: Be-
    fore further flight,  modify the helicopter  in accordance  with para-
    graph 3.B.2. of the Accomplishment Instructions  of Airbus Helicopters
    Service Bulletin (SB) No. AS332-53.01.97,  Revision 0,  dated February
    9, 2021  (Airbus Helicopters  SB No. AS332-53.01.97,  Revision 0);  or
    Service Bulletin No. EC225-53-061, Revision 0,  dated February 9, 2021
    (Airbus Helicopters SB No. EC225-53-061, Revision 0); as applicable to
    your helicopter; except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(2) Thereafter at intervals  not  to  exceed 110 hours TIS,  inspect  each
    splice for a crack in the area depicted as Area Y  in Figure 3 of Air-
    bus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-05A038, Revision 1 or Airbus Helicopters
    ASB No. AS332-05.00.97,  Revision 1;  whichever is applicable  to your
    helicopter.  If a crack exists,  do the applicable actions required by
    paragraph (g)(2)(i) or (ii) of this AD. Accomplishing the modification
    specified in paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(B) and (g)(2)(ii)  of this AD termi-
    nates the inspections required by this paragraph.

(i) For any cracking found before the effective date of this AD: Repair or
    replace the splice before further flight.

(ii) For any cracking found on or after the effective date of this AD: Be-
     fore further flight,  modify the helicopter  in accordance with para-
     graph 3.B.2. of the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Helicopters
     SB No. AS332-53.01.97, Revision 0 or Airbus Helicopters SB No. EC 225
     -53-061, Revision 0; as applicable to your helicopter; except as spec
     -ified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(h) SERVICE INFORMATION EXCEPTIONS

(1) Where Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-05A038, Revision 1; Airbus Hel-
    icopters ASB No. AS332-05.00.97, Revision 1; Airbus Helicopters SB No.
    AS332-53.01.97, Revision 0 and Airbus Helicopters SB No. EC 225-53-061
    Revision 0; specify to perform dye-penetrant inspections "if in doubt"
    or "if any doubt," this AD requires performing a dye-penetrant inspec-
    tion during inspections done  on  or  after the effective date of this
    AD.

(2) Where Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS332-53.01.97, Revision 0; and Airbus
    Helicopters SB No. EC 225-53-061 Revision 0; specify discarding parts,
    this AD requires removing those parts from service.

(3) Where Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS332-53.01.97, Revision 0; and Airbus
    Helicopters SB No. EC 225-53-061 Revision 0, specify contacting Airbus
    Helicopter for corrective action  or  further procedures,  this AD re-
    quires repair done in accordance with a method approved by the Manager
    General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch
    FAA; or EASA; or Airbus Helicoptersí EASA Design Organization Approval
    (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-auth-
    orized signature.

(4) Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS332-53.01.97, Revision 0; and Airbus Heli-
    copters SB No. EC 225-53-061,  Revision 0,  specify a visual check and
    dye penetrant inspection for cracks on the inside and outside of frame
    5295. For this AD, if any cracking is found during any visual check or
    dye penetrant inspection  on the inside and outside of frame 5295, be-
    fore further flight,  repair in accordance  with a method  approved by
    the Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Val-
    idation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus Helicoptersí EASA Design Organ
    -ization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must in-
    clude the DOA-authorized signature.

(i) REPORTING NOT REQUIRED

    Although Airbus Helicopters SB No. AS332-53.01.97, Revision 0 and Air-
    bus Helicopters SB No. EC 225-53-061, Revision 0;  specify  to  submit
    certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that
    requirement.

(j) CREDIT FOR PREVIOUS ACTIONS

(1) This paragraph provides credit  for the installation  of the rail sup-
    port cut-out required  by  paragraph (g)(1)(i)  of  this  AD,  if that
    action was performed  before  June 27, 2018  (the effective date of AD
    2018-11-01) using Airbus Helicopters MOD 0728090 or Airbus Helicopters
    SB No. 05-019, Revision 4, dated September 22, 2014.

(2) This paragraph provides credit  for the actions required by paragraphs
    (g)(1) and (2) of this AD,  if the actions were performed  before  the
    effective date  of  this  AD  using  Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-
    05A038, Revision 0,  dated April 15, 2014;  or  Airbus Helicopters ASB
    No. AS332-05.00.97, Revision 0, dated April 15, 2014.

(k) SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMITS

    Special flight permits may be issued in accordance  with 14 CFR 21.197
    and 21.199 to operate the helicopter  to a location  where the actions
    can be performed, provided no passengers are onboard.

(l) 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 In-
    ternational Validation Branch,  send it to the attention of the person
    identified in paragraph (m)(1) of this AD.  Information may be emailed
    to: 9-AVS-AIR730-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.

(m) 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 European Union Aviation Safety
    Agency (EASA)  AD 2021-0075,  dated  March 16, 2021.  You may view the
    EASA AD on the Internet at https://www.regulations.gov  in  Docket No.
    FAA-2021-0873.

Issued on October 4, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworth-
iness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments  on this proposed AD  by  December 6,
2021.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39


[Docket No. FAA-2021-0873; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00336-R]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2018-11-01, which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2
and EC225LP helicopters. AD 2018-11-01 requires installing a cut-out
for the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) rail support junction
profiles and repetitively inspecting splices, frame 5295, and related
equipment for a crack. Since the FAA issued AD 2018-11-01, the
manufacturer has developed a modification for in-service helicopters
for replacing aluminum splices with steel splices on frame 5295. This
proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2018-11-01 and require
a modification for replacing aluminum splices with steel splices on
frame 5295 if cracking is found. This proposed AD would also provide
terminating action for the repetitive inspections. 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 December 6,
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 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-2021-0873; 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-2021-0873; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00336-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

The FAA issued AD 2018-11-01, Amendment 39-19289 (83 FR 23778, May
23, 2018), (AD 2018-11-01), for Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and
EC225LP helicopters with an extended aluminum splice installed on frame
5295, except helicopters with steel splice kit part number 332A08-2649-
3072 installed. AD 2018-11-01 requires installing a cut-out for the LH
and RH rail support junction profiles and repetitively inspecting
splices, frame 5295, and related equipment for a crack. AD 2018-11-01
was prompted by reports of cracks on frame 5295 and on splices
installed to prevent those cracks. The FAA issued AD 2018-11-01 to
address a crack in frame 5295, which if not detected and corrected,
could lead to loss of structural integrity of the helicopter frame and
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Actions Since AD 2018-11-01 Was Issued

Since the FAA issued AD 2018-11-01, EASA issued AD 2021-0075, dated
March 16, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0075), which supersedes EASA Emergency AD
2014-0098-E, dated April 25, 2014 (EASA Emergency AD 2014-0098-E). EASA
advises that since EASA Emergency AD 2014-0098-E was issued, Airbus
Helicopters developed MOD 0728463, available for helicopters in service
through the applicable modification service bulletin, providing
instructions to replace aluminum splices with steel splices on frame
5295. Airbus Helicopters also issued the applicable inspection alert
service bulletins, as defined in EASA AD 2021-0075. Accordingly, EASA
AD 2021-0075 retains the requirements of EASA Emergency AD 2014-0098-E,
which is superseded, and requires a modification, replacing aluminum
splices with steel splices on helicopters on which any cracked aluminum
splice has been detected. EASA AD 2021-0075 also advises that the
modification is terminating action for the repetitive inspections.

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 the same type designs.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed the following Airbus Helicopters service
information.
Alert Service Bulletins Nos. AS332-05.00.97, Revision 1;
and EC225-05A038, Revision 1; both dated February 9, 2021; which
specify procedures for, among other actions, installing a cut-out for
the LH and RH rail support junction profiles and inspecting splices,
frame 5295, and related equipment for a crack. These documents are
distinct since they apply to different helicopter models.
Service Bulletins Nos. AS332-53.01.97, Revision 0; and
EC225-53-061, Revision 0; both dated February 9, 2021; which specify
procedures for modifying the helicopter by replacing the aluminum LH
and RH splices with steel splices under the plates and the brackets of
the main gear box (MGB) bars. The modification includes taking
reference readings of the brackets of the MGB bars, removing the MGB
brackets and plates, removing the aluminum splices and inspecting the
joggling areas for scratches or other damage, inspecting frame 5295 for
cracking (including a dye penetrant inspection if the inspection
results are not conclusive), identifying the current measurements
(values) of the rivet and attachment plate holes for installation of
the steel splice (including determining the values of the rivet holes
and attachment plate holes on frame 5295 with a calibrated pad and
determining the elongations of the holes and the lengths of the
straps), modifying the door hinge rail brackets on the LH and RH sides,
and installing the steel splices. These documents are distinct since
they apply to different helicopter models.
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.

Other Related Service Information


The FAA reviewed Eurocopter Helicopters (now Airbus Helicopters)
Service Bulletin No. 53-003, Revision 4, for Model EC225LP helicopters
and Service Bulletin No. 53.01.52, Revision 5, for Model AS332L2
helicopters, both dated July 23, 2010. The service bulletins specify
procedures to reinforce frame 5295 by installing a new titanium plate
underneath the fitting and a new widened aluminum splice below the
upper corner of the door.
The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. 05-
019, Revision 4, dated September 22, 2014, for Model EC225 LP
helicopters. This service information specifies procedures for cutting
out the junction profiles.
The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletins
Nos. AS332-05.00.97, Revision 0; and EC225-05A038, Revision 0; both
dated April 15, 2014; which specify procedures for, among other
actions, installing a cut-out for the LH and RH rail support junction
profiles and inspecting splices, frame 5295, and related equipment for
a crack.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 2018-11-01 and
require a modification for replacing aluminum splices with steel
splices on frame 5295. This proposed AD would also provide terminating
action for the repetitive inspections required by AD 2018-11-01. This
proposed AD would also require accomplishing the actions specified in
the service information already described, except as discussed under
``Differences Between this AD and the EASA AD.''

Redesignation of AD 2018-11-01 Paragraph Identifier

Since AD 2018-11-01 was issued, the AD format has been revised, and
certain paragraphs have been rearranged. As a result, the corresponding
paragraph identifiers have been redesignated in this proposed AD, as listed in
the following table:

Revised Paragraph Identifier

Requirement in AD 2018-11-01 Corresponding requirement in this proposed AD
paragraph (e) paragraph (g)
paragraph (f) paragraph (j)(1)

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD 2021-0075

EASA AD 2021-0075 requires contacting Airbus Helicopters for
approved repair instructions if any crack is found during an
inspection. This proposed AD would not require that action.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 38 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following
costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators
Retained installation of cut-outs on frame 5295 from AD 2018-11-01 40 work-hours X $85 per hour = $3,400 $5,000 $8,400 $319,200
Retained inspection of frame 5295 from AD 2018-11-01 2 work-hours X $85 per hour = $170, per inspection cycle $0 $170, per inspection cycle $6,460, per inspection cycle

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary repairs
that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection.
The agency has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might
need these repairs:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions

Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product
Repair 40 work-hours X $85 per hour = $3,400 $5,000 $8,400
New proposed modification (replacement of aluminum splices with steel splices) 830 work-hours X $85 per hour = $70,550 $35,000 $105,550

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:

a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2018-11-01, Amendment 39-19289 (83
FR 23778, May 23, 2018); and

b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: