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2021-11-09 AIRBUS HELICOPTERS DEUTSCHLAND GMBH: Amendment 39-21571; Docket No. FAA-2021-0196; Project Identifier 2018-SW-021-AD.
(a) EFFECTIVE DATE

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective July 12, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD  applies  to  Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH 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,  certificated  in  any  category,
    with an "affected `angle 0' parts"  or  "affected `angle 1' parts" in-
    stalled,  as  identified  in  European  Aviation  Safety  Agency  (now
    European Union  Aviation Safety Agency)  (EASA)  AD  2018-0061,  dated
    March 20, 2018 (EASA AD 2018-0061).

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 6200, Main Rotor System.

(e) REASON

    This AD was prompted by new test results  from a composite analysis of
    the main rotor (M/R) blade loop area, which revealed that certain  M/R
    blade  thimbles  require  reduced  inspection  intervals.  The  FAA is
    issuing this AD to address composite failure of an M/R blade, which if
    not  addressed  could result  in  subsequent loss  of  control of  the
    helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

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

(g) REQUIREMENTS

    Except as specified in paragraph (h)  of this AD:  Comply with all re-
    quired actions and compliance times specified in,  and  in  accordance
    with, EASA AD 2018-0061.

(h) EXCEPTIONS TO EASA AD 2018-0061

(1) Where EASA AD 2018-0061 refers to its effective date, this AD requires
    using the effective date of this AD.

(2) Where EASA AD 2018-0061 refers to flight hours, this AD requires using
    hours time-in-service (TIS).

(3) Where Table 1, Table 2 and Note 2 of EASA AD 2018-0061 specify inspec-
    tion thresholds, intervals,  and a non-cumulative compliance time tol-
    erance of 10% for certain required compliance times,  this AD requires
    accomplishing those requirements, as follows:

(i) For  helicopters  with an "affected `angle 0' parts,"  the  compliance
    time is before accumulating 660 total hours  TIS  on the affected part
    or within 100 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever
    occurs later,  and  without  accumulating 1,600 total hours TIS on the
    affected part.  Thereafter, the compliance time is at intervals not to
    exceed 330 hours TIS.

(ii) For helicopters  with an "affected `angle 1' parts,"  the  compliance
     time is before accumulating 110 total hours TIS on the affected  part
     or within 50 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever
     occurs later,  and without  accumulating 950  total hours  TIS on the
     affected part. Thereafter, the compliance time is at intervals not to
     exceed 110 hours TIS.

(iii) For helicopters specified in paragraph (c)  of  this  AD,  Note 1 of
      EASA AD 2018-0061  specifies  accumulated  FH  as, "Unless otherwise
      specified,  the FH specified in Table 2 of this AD are those accumu-
      lated since the previous M/R blade thimble inspection."  This AD re-
      quires intervals  thereafter to be accumulated  since accomplishment
      of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(4) While paragraph (5) and Note 3  of  EASA AD 2018-0061 specify revising
    the Aircraft Maintenance Program (AMP),  this AD does not require this
    action.

(5) Where the service information  referenced  in EASA AD 2018-0061 speci-
    fies accomplishment of certain corrective action by "ECD"  or an auth-
    orized  service or  repair station,  this AD  requires the  corrective
    actions to be performed by a qualified mechanic.

(6) Where the service information  referenced  in EASA AD 2018-0061 speci-
    fies contacting "ECD" or an authorized service or repair station, this
    AD requires performing  the corrective action  in accordance with  FAA
    -approved procedures.

(7) The "Remarks" section of EASA AD 2018-0061 does not apply to this AD.

(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)  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

    For more information about this AD,  contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aero-
    space  Engineer,  Large  Aircraft  Section,  International  Validation
    Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St, Des Moines, WA; telephone (206) 231-
    3218; email kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov.

(k) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

(1) The Director of the Federal Register  approved  the  incorporation  by
    reference (IBR) of the service information listed  in  this  paragraph
    under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable  to do the actions
    required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2018-0061,  dated  March 20,
    2018.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For EASA AD 2018-0061,  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.

(4) 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.

(5) You may view this service information  that is incorporated  by refer-
    ence at the National Archives and Records Administration  (NARA).  For
    information on the availability  of  this  material  at  NARA,  email:
    fedreg.legal@nara.gov,  or  go  to:  https://www.archives.gov/federal-
    register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued on May 15, 2021. Gaetano A Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic
Initiatives,  Compliance & Airworthiness Division,  Aircraft Certification
Service.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Kathleen Arrigotti,  Aerospace Engineer,
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch,  FAA,  2200 South
216th St.,  Des Moines,  WA;  telephone  (206) 231-3218;  email  kathleen.
arrigotti@faa.gov.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0196; Project Identifier 2018-SW-021-AD; Amendment
39-21571; AD 2021-11-09]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH 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. This AD was prompted by an analysis of the main rotor (M/
R) blade loop area. This AD requires repetitive inspections of certain
M/R blade thimble areas and corrective actions if necessary, as
specified in a European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union
Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference
(IBR). The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on
these products.

DATES: This AD is effective July 12, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 12,
2021.

ADDRESSES: For EASA material 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 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 on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0196.

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-
0196; 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 EASA AD, 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: Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace
Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA,
2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA; telephone (206) 231-3218; email
kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Community, has issued EASA AD 2018-0061, dated March 20, 2018
(EASA AD 2018-0061), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland
GmbH, Eurocopter Hubschrauber GmbH, Messerschmitt-B[ouml]lkow-Blohm
GmbH), Airbus Helicopters Inc. (formerly American Eurocopter LLC) Model
MBB-BK117 A-1, MBB-BK117 A-3, MBB-BK117 A-4, MBB-BK117 B-1, MBB-BK117
B-2, and MBB-BK117 C-1 helicopters, all serial numbers.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters
Deutschland GmbH 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 with an
``affected `angle 0' parts'' or ``affected `angle 1' parts'' installed,
as identified in EASA AD 2018-0061. The NPRM published in the Federal
Register on March 26, 2021 (86 FR 16121). The NPRM was prompted by new
test results from an analysis of the M/R blade loop area, which
revealed that certain M/R blade thimbles require reduced inspection
intervals. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections of
certain M/R blade thimble areas and corrective actions if necessary, as
specified in EASA AD 2018-0061. The FAA is issuing this AD to address
composite failure of the M/R blades, resulting in loss of control of
the helicopter. See EASA AD 2018-0061 for additional background
information.

Comments

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.

Conclusion

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

EASA AD 2018-0061 specifies compliance intervals to repetitively
inspect certain M/R blades, with a blade sweep angle of 1 degree, for
cracks and resin chippings in the area of the greater thimble radius
and corrective actions, if there is a crack or anomaly. EASA AD 2018-
0061 also specifies compliance intervals to repetitively inspect
certain M/R blades, with a blade sweep angle of 0 degrees, for cracks
and bulging in the teflon foil in the area of the greater thimble
radius and corrective actions, if there is a crack or bulge. Corrective
actions include dispatching the M/R blades to an authorized repair
station, as required.
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

EASA AD 2018-0061 applies to Model MBB-BK117 A-1, MBB-BK117 A-3,
MBB-BK117 A-4, MBB-BK117 B-1, MBB-BK117 B-2 and MBB-BK117 C-1
helicopters, whereas this AD applies to 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 with certain M/R blades installed instead. The service
information required by EASA AD 2018-0061 requires accomplishment of
certain corrective action by ``ECD'' or an authorized service or repair
station, whereas this AD requires performing the corrective action in
accordance with FAA-approved procedures instead. EASA AD 2018-0061
requires revising the Aircraft Maintenance Program (AMP), whereas this
AD does not. EASA AD 2018-0061 allows a tolerance to compliance times,
whereas this AD does not.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 216 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 an M/R blade thimble area takes about 1 work-hour for an
estimated cost of about $85 per M/R blade thimble, per inspection
cycle.
Repairing or replacing an M/R blade takes up to about 20 work-hours
and parts cost up to about $23,100 for an estimated cost of up to
$24,800 per blade.

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

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 this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866,
(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
reference, Safety.

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 adding the following new airworthiness
directive: