DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0092; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01501-R;
Amendment 39-21528; AD 2021-09-14]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Eurocopter France) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-16-
51, which applied to certain Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters
(Airbus)) Model SA330J helicopters. AD 2010-16-51 required inspecting
for a gap between the main gearbox (MGB) oil cooling fan assembly (fan)
rotor blade and the upper section of the guide vane bearing housing and
depending on the results, replacing the two fan rotor shaft bearings
with two airworthy bearings. This AD retains the requirements of AD
2010-16-51 and also requires installing improved MGB fan rotor shaft
bearings and repetitively inspecting the new improved MGB fan rotor
shaft bearings, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency
(EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. AD 2010-16-51 was
prompted by the separation of a fan rotor blade that caused puncture
holes in the transmission deck. This new AD was prompted by the
development of an improved MGB fan rotor shaft bearing design. The FAA
is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective June 22, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of June 22,
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this
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 this 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 at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0092.
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-
0092; 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 final rule, any comments received, and other information. The
address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation,
Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mahmood Shah, Aerospace Engineer,
Certification Section, Fort Worth ACO Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5538; email
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0171, dated July 28, 2020 (EASA
AD 2020-0171), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus
Helicopters, Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, A[eacute]rospatiale, Sud
Aviation Model SA 330 J helicopters.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2010-16-51, Amendment 39-16410 (75 FR
53857, September 2, 2010) (AD 2010-16-51). AD 2010-16-51 applied to
Eurocopter France (now Airbus) Model SA330J helicopters. The NPRM
published in the Federal Register on February 26, 2021 (86 FR 11657).
The NPRM was prompted by the newly developed MGB fan rotor shaft
bearing design. The NPRM proposed to continue to require the
inspections required by AD 2010-16-51, as specified in EASA AD 2020-
0171. The NPRM also proposed to require installing improved MGB fan
rotor shaft bearings and repetitively inspecting the new improved MGB
fan rotor shaft bearings, as specified in EASA AD 2020-0171.
The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent rotor burst of the MGB fan,
damage to the hydraulic lines and flight controls, and subsequent loss
of control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2020-0171 for additional
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or
on the determination of the cost to the public.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
For MGB fan rotor shaft bearings (both rear and front) part number
(P/N) 704A33651114 (manufacturer P/N (MP/N) 205FFTX74K6-G33) and MGB
fan rotor shaft bearings (both rear and front) P/N 704A33651268 (MP/N
594918), EASA AD 2020-0171 describes procedures for inspecting for play
(a gap) between the MGB fan rotor blade and the upper section of the
guide vane bearing housing. If there is play that does not meet the
minimum requirement, EASA AD 2020-0171 requires replacing the affected
MGB fan rotor shaft bearings with MGB fan rotor shaft bearings (both
rear and front) P/N 704A33651268 (MP/N 594918).
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.
Differences Between This AD and EASA AD 2020-0171
EASA AD 2020-0171 applies to all Model SA 330 J helicopters,
whereas this AD applies to certain Model SA330J helicopters instead.
EASA AD 2020-0171 refers to flight hours, whereas this AD uses hours
time-in-service. EASA AD 2020-0171 requires inspecting for play,
whereas this AD requires inspecting for a gap instead. EASA AD 2020-
0171 requires returning certain parts, whereas this AD requires
removing the parts from service instead. EASA AD 2020-0171 requires
completing a response form, whereas this AD does not.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later
identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 15 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on
these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD.
Inspecting for a gap between the MGB fan rotor blade and the upper
section of the guide vane bearing housing takes about 2 work-hours for
an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $2,550 for the U.S. fleet,
per inspection cycle.
Replacing a set of two bearings takes about 6 work-hours and parts
cost up to about $1,665 for an estimated cost of up to $2,175 per
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.
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 above, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Will 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
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2010-16-51, Amendment 39-16410
(75 FR 53857, September 2, 2010); and
b. Adding the following new AD: