DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0344; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00381-R;
Amendment 39-21534; AD 2021-10-01]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AW169 helicopters. This AD was prompted
by false simultaneous in-flight disengagement of automatic flight
control system (AFCS) channels 1 and 2. This AD requires temporarily
revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your
helicopter. This AD also requires installing an AFCS software upgrade
and concurrently removing that RFM revision. The FAA is issuing this AD
to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective June 2, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of June 2, 2021.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by July 2, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
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 final rule, 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://www.leonardocompany.
com/en/home. 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. It
is also available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0344.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0344; 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, the
European Aviation Safety Agency (now 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: 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.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0156, dated August 24, 2017
(EASA AD 2017-0156), to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A.
(formerly Finmeccanica Helicopter Division, AgustaWestland) Model AW169
helicopters, all serial numbers, except those equipped with AFCS
software part number (P/N) 6F2210AS0103 or later. EASA advises of false
simultaneous in-flight disengagement of AFCS channels 1 and 2 that
resulted from the activation of specific AFCS modes combined with the
unavailability of hybrid ground speed data at take-off. Accordingly,
EASA AD 2017-0156 requires temporarily amending the Limitations Section
of the RFM, informing all flight crews, and thereafter, operating the
helicopter accordingly. EASA AD 2017-0156 also requires installing AFCS
software P/N 6F2210AS0103 and removing the temporary RFM revision. This
condition, if not addressed, could result in temporary loss of control
of the helicopter, possibly resulting in damage to the helicopter or
injury to occupants.
EASA initially issued EASA AD 2017-0112 dated June 26, 2017 (EASA
AD 2017-0112), to address this unsafe condition. EASA issued AD 2017-
0156 to supersede EASA AD 2017-0112 to require installing the newly-
developed AFCS software upgrade and removal of the temporary RFM
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 issuing 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.
169-064, dated August 9, 2017. This service information specifies
procedures for installing the new release of flight control computer
software P/N 6F2210AS0103.
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.
This AD requires temporarily revising the Limitations Section of
the existing RFM for your helicopter to add AFCS mode limitations. This
AD also requires installing an AFCS software upgrade and concurrently
removing that RFM revision.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2017-0156 applies to Model AW169 helicopters, except those
with AFCS software P/N 6F2210AS0103 or later installed; whereas this AD
applies to Model AW169 helicopters with AFCS software P/N 6F2210AS0102
or previous versions installed instead. EASA AD 2017-0156 requires
installing AFCS software P/N 6F2210AS0103 and removing the temporary
RFM revision within 100 flight hours or 3 months, whichever occurs
first after its effective date, whereas this AD requires those actions
within 100 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause. There are currently no helicopters with
this type certificate affected by this AD on the U.S. Registry.
Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are
unnecessary, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
In addition, for the foregoing reason(s), the FAA finds that good
cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment
effective in less than 30 days.
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0344; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-00381-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.
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.
your comments responsive to this AD 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 AD, 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 AD.
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 which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in
the public docket for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
There are no costs of compliance with this AD because there are
currently no helicopters with this type certificate affected by this AD
on the U.S. Registry.
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, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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 adding the following new airworthiness