DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0135; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01044-R;
Amendment 39-21554; AD 2021-10-21]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2019-07-07
for various Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Airbus Helicopters)
Model MBB-BK117 and Model BO-105 helicopters. AD 2019-07-07 required
removing certain part numbered swashplate bellows (bellows) from
service, cleaning and inspecting certain parts, and depending on the
inspection results removing certain parts from service, applying
torque, and repetitively inspecting the swashplate assembly
(swashplate). This AD retains certain requirements of AD 2019-07-07,
expands the installation prohibition, adds additional inspections, and
updates the applicable service information. The FAA is issuing this AD
to address an unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective July 7, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 7, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N 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 more information on the availability
of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110. It is also available
on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0135.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.
gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0135; 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 AD, the European Aviation
Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD,
any service information that is incorporated by reference, any comments
received, and other information. The street 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: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
Operational Safety Branch, Airworthiness Products Section, General
Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
telephone (817) 222-5110; email Matthew.Fuller@faa.gov.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2019-07-07, Amendment 39-19618 (84 FR
16394, April 19, 2019) (AD 2019-07-07). AD 2019-07-07 applied to Airbus
Helicopters Model BO-105A, BO-105C, BO-105S, BO105LS A-3, MBB-BK 117A-
1, MBB-BK 117A-3, MBB-BK 117A-4, MBB-BK 117B-1, MBB-BK 117B-2, MBB-BK
117C-1, MBB-BK 117C-2, and MBB-BK 117D-2 helicopters. The NPRM
published in the Federal Register on March 10, 2021 (86 FR 13665). The
NPRM proposed to require, within 50 hours time-in-service, removing the
affected bellows from the swashplate, cleaning and inspecting the
support tube for scratches, and depending on the inspection results
reworking the cylindrical area. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting
the clamp for corrosion, damage, and incorrect installation, and
depending on the inspection results, removing the clamp from service or
reinstalling the clamp correctly and applying a torque. The NPRM also
proposed to require inspecting each ball bearing for corrosion, and
depending on the inspection results, removing each ball bearing from
service. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting the deflection ring
for foreign objects by removing the lockwire, screws, and the outer
deflection ring and removing any foreign objects.
Additionally, the NPRM proposed to require, within 400 hours TIS,
inspecting the swashplate for foreign objects and excessive bearing
rolling friction. Finally, the NPRM proposed to prohibit installing a
bellows P/N 105-10113.05, P/N 4619305044, P/N 4638305043, or P/N
B623M20X2240, or a gearbox with a bellows P/N 105-10113.05, P/N
4619305044, or P/N 4638305043 on any helicopter.
EASA AD 2016-0142, dated July 19, 2016, which was revised to EASA
AD 2016-0142R1, dated April 12, 2018, issued by EASA, which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct
an unsafe condition for Model MBB-BK117 A-1, MBB-BK117 A-3, MBB-BK117
A-4, MBB-BK117 B-1, MBB-BK117 B-2, MBB-BK117 C-1, MBB-BK117 C-2, and
MBB-BK117 C-2e helicopters, all serial numbers (S/Ns), and Model BO105
A, BO105 C, BO105 D, BO105 S, and BO105 LS A-3 helicopters, all
variants, all S/Ns. EASA advises of several reports of a lower clamp
found missing from the bellows and damaging the swashplate bearing ring
before becoming detached. EASA states that an investigation showed that
over-torqueing can damage the clamp, which may have caused the clamp to
become loose and detach. EASA further advises that this condition, if
not addressed, could result a detached clamp, which could damage the
swashplate and pitch link or strike the tail rotor, resulting in loss
of control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2016-0142R1 requires removing the bellows, and
performing modifications, inspections, and corrective actions in
accordance with the applicable service information for your helicopter.
EASA AD 2016-0142R1 also prohibits the installation of certain part-
numbered bellows or any gearbox with certain part-numbered bellows on
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or the determination of
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 of the
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA reviewed the relevant
data and determined that air safety requires adopting this AD as
proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these helicopters.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB
(ASB) BO105-40A-107 for Model BO105C-series, D-series and S-series
helicopters; ASB BO105 LS-40A-12 for Model BO-105LS A-3 helicopters;
ASB MBB-BK117-40A-115 for Model MBB-BK 117 A-1, MBB-BK 117 A-3, MBB-BK
117 A-4, MBB-BK 117 B-1, MBB-BK 117 B-2, and MBB-BK 117 C-1
helicopters; and ASB MBB-BK117 C-2-62A-007 for Model MBB-BK 117 C-2
helicopters, each Revision 5 and dated July 25, 2017. The FAA also
reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-62A-003, Revision 3,
dated July 25, 2017, for Model MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters. This service
information specifies removing the bellows and repetitively inspecting
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.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD requires compliance within different time intervals for
some actions than what this AD requires. The EASA AD allows a non-
cumulative tolerance of 10 percent that may be applied to the
compliance times, and this AD does not. This AD applies to Model MBB-BK
117D-2 helicopters while the EASA AD does not. The EASA AD applies to
Model BO-105D helicopters, while this AD does not. The EASA AD requires
reporting corrosion to Airbus Helicopters while this AD does not.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 211 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 the swashplate assembly takes about 3 work-hours for an
estimated cost of $255 per helicopter and $53,805 for the U.S. fleet
per inspection cycle.
Repairing a scratched support tube takes about 3 work-hours for an
estimated cost of $255 per helicopter.
Replacing a corroded or damaged clamp takes about 2 work-hours and
parts cost about $8 for a cost of $178 per helicopter.
Replacing corroded ball bearings takes about 4 work-hours and parts
cost about $3,000 for a cost of $3,340 per helicopter.
Removing foreign objects from the outer deflection ring takes about
2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter.
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
in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority
it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on
products identified in this rulemaking action.
The FAA has determined that 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
Adoption of the Amendment
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) 2019-07-07, Amendment 39-19618
(84 FR 16394, April 19, 2019); and
b. Adding the following new AD: