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PROPOSED AD LEONARDO S.P.A. (TYPE CERTIFICATE PREVIOUSLY HELD BY AGUSTA S.P.A.): Docket No. FAA-2021-0948; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00394-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD)  by
    December 13, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to Leonardo S.p.a (type certificate previously held by
    Agusta S.p.A.). Model A109A and A109A II helicopters,  certificated in
    any category,  with a main rotor (M/R)  blade part number 109-0103-01-
    115 installed.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6210, Main Rotor Blades.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by a report of internal corrosion of the spar  of
    an M/R blade. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of an  M/R
    blade due to corrosion on the internal surface of the spar. The unsafe
    condition, if not  addressed, could result  in loss of  control of the
    helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

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

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

    For each M/R blade identified in paragraph (c) of this AD:

(1) Within 50 hours time-in-service or  3 months  after the effective date
    of this  AD, whichever  occurs first,  unless already  done within the
    last 24 months for the M/R blade, and thereafter, at intervals not  to
    exceed 24 months for the M/R blade, inspect the M/R blade by following
    the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 1. through 5., of Leonardo
    Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. 109-155, dated March 13, 2020.

(2) Before  further  flight, send the film for analysis and accomplish re-
    pair in  accordance with  a method  approved by  the Manager,  General
    Aviation & Rotorcraft  Section, International Validation  Branch, FAA;
    or  EASA;  or  Leonardo S.p.a  Helicopters'  EASA  Design Organization
    Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include  the
    DOA-authorized signature.

(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  Kristi Bradley,  Program
    Manager, COS Program Management Section,  Operational  Safety  Branch,
    Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,  10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,  Fort
    Worth, TX 76177;  telephone (817) 222-5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.
    gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, 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 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 2020-0065 dated March 20, 2020. You may view the EASA
    AD at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0948.

Issued on October 22, 2021. Lance T Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworth-
iness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments  on this proposed AD  by December 13,
2021.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0948; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00394-R]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Agusta 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 (type certificate previously held by
Agusta S.p.A.) A109A and A109A II helicopters. This proposed AD was
prompted by a report of internal corrosion on a main rotor (M/R) blade.
This proposed AD would require repetitively inspecting affected M/R
blades and accomplishing film analysis and repair in accordance with
certain approved methods. 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
13, 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 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 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-2021-0948; 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: Kristi Bradley, Program Manager, COS
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email kristin.bradley@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-2021-0948; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-00394-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
Kristi Bradley, Program Manager, COS Program Management Section,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110;
email kristin.bradley@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 2020-0065, dated March 20, 2020
(EASA AD 2020-0065), to correct an unsafe condition for all Leonardo
S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A., Costruzioni Aeronautiche Giovanni Agusta Model
A109A and A109AII helicopters. EASA advises of a report of internal
corrosion on an M/R blade. Leonardo Helicopters advises that the
corrosion was on the spar near the inertia weights between STA1250 and
STA1630. Leonardo Helicopters further advises that the issue is related
to design and production processes of the M/R blades. This condition,
if not addressed, could result in failure of an M/R blade and
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2020-0065 requires inspecting M/R blades with
part number (P/N) 109-0103-01-115 and depending on the results,
corrective action. EASA AD 2020-0065 also prohibits installation of an
affected M/R blade unless it passed the required
inspection within 24 months prior to installation on a helicopter.

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 design.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
109-155, dated March 13, 2020 (ASB 109-155), for Leonardo S.p.a Model
A109A and A109AII helicopters. This service information specifies
procedures for X-ray inspecting M/R blades P/N 109-0103-01-115 and
sending the films to Leonardo Helicopters S.p.a. for analysis.
Depending on the outcome, ASB 109-155 specifies procedures for re-
identifying the M/R 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

For each affected M/R blade, this proposed AD would require within
50 hours time-in-service or 3 months after the effective date of this
AD, whichever occurs first, unless already done within the last 24
months for the M/R blade, and thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 24
months for the M/R blade, radiographic inspecting the M/R blade and
accomplishing film analysis and repair in accordance with certain
approved methods.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

The compliance time in EASA AD 2020-0065 is time-in-service of the
airframe, whereas the compliance time in this proposed AD would be
time-in-service of the affected M/R blade as installed on the airframe.
EASA AD 2020-0065 requires sending developed films to Leonardo
Helicopters S.p.a. for analysis and contacting Leonardo for approved
corrective action(s) instructions, whereas this proposed AD would
require film analysis and repair of an affected blade in accordance
with a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo
S.p.a Helicopters' EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved
by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

Interim Action

The FAA considers this proposed AD interim action. The design
approval holder is currently developing a modification that will
address the unsafe condition identified in this proposed AD. Once this
modification is developed, approved, and available, the FAA might
consider additional rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 28 helicopter 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.
Inspecting the M/R blades would take about 10 work-hours for an
estimated cost of $850 per helicopter and $23,800 for the U.S. fleet,
per inspection cycle. Sending the film for analysis, which is
considered a reporting requirement in this proposed AD, would take
about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and
$2,380 for the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle.
The FAA has no way of determining the costs pertaining to the film
analysis or any necessary repairs.

Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB
Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public
reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be
approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the
collection of information. All responses to this collection of
information are mandatory. Send comments regarding this burden estimate
or any other aspect of this collection of information, including
suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Information Collection
Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood
Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

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: