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PROPOSED AD LEONARDO S.P.A.: Docket No. FAA-2021-0964; Project Identifier 2018-SW-051-AD.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD)  by
    December 27, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to all Leonardo S.p.a.  Model AB139 and AW139 helicop-
    ters, certificated in any category.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint  Aircraft   Service  Component   (JASC)  Code:   5101,  Aircraft
    Structures; and 6300, Main Rotor Drive Systems.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was  prompted by the  identification of certain  parts needing
    maintenance actions, including life limits and maintenance tasks.  The
    FAA is issuing this AD to address the failure of certain parts,  which
    could result in the loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

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

(g) REQUIRED ACTION

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD,  incorporate  into
    maintenance records  required by 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2) or 135.439(a)(2),
    as applicable  for your rotorcraft,  the  requirements  (airworthiness
    limitations)  specified in paragraph (1)  of  European Aviation Safety
    Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 2018-0132
    dated June 21, 2018 (EASA AD 2018-0132).

(h) PROVISIONS FOR ALTERNATIVE REQUIREMENTS (AIRWORTHINESS LIMITATIONS)

    After the action required by paragraph  (g) of this AD has been  done,
    no alternative  requirements (airworthiness  limitations) are  allowed
    unless they are approved as  specified in the provisions of  the "Ref.
    Publications" section of EASA AD 2018-0132.

(i) 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 (j)(2)  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.

(j) RELATED INFORMATION

(1) For information about EASA AD 2018-0132,  contact  the  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 EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may
    view this material at the FAA,  Office of the Regional Counsel, South-
    west 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.  This material may be found in the AD docket at https:
    //www.regulations.gov  by searching for  and  locating Docket No. FAA-
    2021-0964.

(2) 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.

Issued on November 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 27,
2021.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0964; Project Identifier 2018-SW-051-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64

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 all Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This
proposed AD was prompted by the identification of certain parts needing
maintenance actions, including life limits and maintenance tasks. This
proposed AD would require incorporating into maintenance records
requirements (airworthiness limitations), as specified in a European
Aviation Safety Agency (now 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 these
products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by December
27, 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 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 this material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu.
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-2021-0964; 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: 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-2021-0964; Project Identifier
2018-SW-051-AD'' 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

The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0132, dated June 21, 2018 (EASA
AD 2018-0132) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Leonardo S.p.A. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by the identification of certain
parts needing maintenance actions, including life limits and
maintenance tasks. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the failure
of certain parts, which could result in the loss of control of the
helicopter. See EASA AD 2018-0132 for additional background
information.

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 these same type designs.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA AD 2018-0132 requires certain actions and associated
thresholds and intervals, including life limits and maintenance tasks.
These requirements (airworthiness limitations) include new life limits
for a certain part-numbered main rotor damper, tail gear box center
housing, and tail assembly; and new maintenance tasks (e.g.,
inspections for cracking) for the fuselage structure assembly (STA
5700, RH/LH side), and tail structure assembly (tail/rear fuselage
attachment fittings).

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM


This proposed AD would require incorporating into maintenance
records requirements (airworthiness limitations), which are specified
in EASA AD 2018-0132 described previously, except as discussed under
``Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.''

ADs Mandating Airworthiness Limitations

The FAA has previously mandated airworthiness limitations by
mandating each airworthiness limitation task (e.g., inspections and
replacements (life limits)) as an AD requirement or issuing ADs that
require revising the airworthiness limitations section (ALS) of the
existing maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness
to incorporate new or revised inspections and life limits. This
proposed AD, however, would require operators to incorporate into
maintenance records required by 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2) or 135.439(a)(2),
as applicable for your rotorcraft, the requirements (airworthiness
limitations) specified in an MCAI AD. The FAA does not intend this as a
substantive change. For these ADs, the ALS requirements for operators
are the same but are complied with differently. Requiring the
incorporation of the new ALS requirements into the maintenance records,
rather than requiring individual ALS tasks (e.g., repetitive
inspections and replacements), requires operators to record AD
compliance once after updating the maintenance records, rather than
after every time the ALS task is completed.
In addition, paragraph (h) of the proposed AD allows operators to
incorporate later approved revisions of the ALS document as specified
in the Ref. Publications section of EASA AD 2018-0132 without the need
for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC).

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2018-0132 requires compliance with actions
and associated thresholds and intervals, including life limits and
maintenance tasks, from the effective date of EASA AD 2018-0132.
Paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2018-0132 requires incorporating the actions
and associated thresholds and intervals, including life limits and
maintenance tasks, into the approved maintenance program within 12
months after the effective date of EASA AD 2018-0132. This proposed AD
requires incorporating into maintenance records requirements
(airworthiness limitations) within 30 days after the effective date of
this AD.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 130 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. Incorporating
requirements (airworthiness limitations) into maintenance records would
require about 2 work-hours for a cost of $170 per helicopter and a cost
of $22,100 for the U.S. fleet.

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: