DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2017-0432; Project Identifier 2013-SW-074-AD; Amendment
39-21587; AD 2021-11-25]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Eurocopter France) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate previously held by
Eurocopter France) Model AS350B3 and EC130T2 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by a report of failure of an engine digital electronic control
unit (DECU). This AD requires revising the existing Rotorcraft Flight
Manual (RFM) for your helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to address
the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective July 29, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of July 29, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For Airbus Helicopters service information identified
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. For Safran Turbomeca service information
identified in this final rule, contact Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A.,
64511 Bordes, France; phone: +33 (0) 5 59 74 45 11. You may view the
referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional
Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort
Worth, TX 76177. The Airbus Helicopters service information is also
available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2017-0432.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0432; 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, the EASA safety information bulletin (SIB), 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: Jon Jordan, Rotorcraft Flight
Pilot, Southwest Section, Flight Test Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
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
(Type Certificate previously held by Eurocopter France) Model AS350B3
and EC130T2 helicopters with an ARRIEL 2D engine and THALES full
authority digital engine control (FADEC) part number (P/N) C13165DA00
without amendment A or P/N C13165FA00 without amendment B, installed.
The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2021 (86 FR
15140). In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require revising the Emergency
Procedures of the existing RFM for your helicopter by inserting
Appendix 4. of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No.
AS350-01.00.67 or ASB No. EC130-04A004, each Revision 2 and dated
February 17, 2014 (ASB AS350-01.00.67 and ASB EC130-04A004) or a
different document with information identical to that in Appendix 4.,
as applicable to your helicopter model. As an optional terminating
action for the RFM revision, the NPRM proposed to allow installing
amendment A on FADEC P/N C13165DA00 or amendment B on FADEC P/N
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD 2013-0287, dated December 5, 2013
(EASA AD 2013-0287), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for
the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition
for Eurocopter (formerly Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale) Model AS 350
B3 and EC 130 T2 helicopters with an ARRIEL 2D engine and THALES FADEC
P/N C13165DA00 or P/N C13165FA00 installed. EASA advises of a report of
an in-flight event where the pilot noticed that the temporary amber
governor (GOV) light had illuminated, followed by the failure of the
vehicle engine monitoring display (VEMD) screens, and no availability
of the automatic or auxiliary engine back-up control ancillary unit
(EBCAU). Subsequent investigation identified an internal failure of the
engine DECU, which led to loss of fuel flow regulation (frozen fuel
metering unit). This failure was not indicated to the pilot by a red
GOV warning light as expected, but with amber GOV indication and loss
of VEMD display instead. EASA also advises that if this fuel metering
unit is frozen in the open position, it may lead to a rotor overspeed,
and if it is frozen in the closed position, it may lead to
unavailability of engine power. EASA states that this condition, if not
addressed, could result in the pilot identifying the type of failure
condition incorrectly, possibly resulting in an improper response.
Accordingly, and pending the development of a DECU assembly design
improvement, the EASA AD requires incorporating a new procedure into
the Emergency Procedures section of the RFM and informing all flight
crews of the RFM change. EASA considers its AD an interim action and
states that further AD action may follow.
After EASA issued EASA AD 2013-0287, EASA issued SIB No. 2013-23,
dated December 19, 2013, for Eurocopter AS 350 B3 and EC 130 T2
helicopters with a Turbom[eacute]ca ARRIEL 2D engine installed. The SIB
recommends modifying certain electronic engine control units (EECUs).
The FAA received comments from an anonymous commenter. The
commenter stated that the EECU or DECU is an engine component and
requested this be reflected as an engine AD and not an airframe AD. The
commenter further stated that this AD is unnecessary because the flight
manual revision is required as part of the certification of the
aircraft and is already regulatory as the flight manual is an FAA
approved manual. The FAA does not agree; EASA, as the state of design
authority for Airbus Helicopters, determined that the unsafe condition
exists only in the Model AS 350 B3 and EC 130 T2 helicopters.
Additionally, one of the actions mitigating the unsafe condition is
modification of the RFM. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2013-0287 against
the airframe. As the validating authority, the FAA, in accordance with
the bilateral agreement with the European Union, did not find just
cause to change the effectivity for
the FAA AD. Per 14 CFR 21.5, an approved RFM must be presented to the
owner upon delivery of the rotorcraft. Unless required through an
operational certificate or operational specification, the rotorcraft
owner is not required by regulation to adopt flight manual revisions
made after delivery of the rotorcraft. To mandate a change to the RFM
to address the unsafe condition, the FAA must issue an AD.
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 reviewed the relevant
data, considered the comments received, 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 ASB AS350-01.00.67 and ASB
EC130-04A004. ASB AS350-01.00.67 applies to Model AS350B3 helicopters
and ASB EC130-04A004 applies to Model EC130T2 helicopters. This service
information provides a new RFM procedure in the event of illumination
of the amber GOV followed by the loss of the VEMD display.
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.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA also reviewed Safran Turbomeca Mandatory Service Bulletin
No. 292 73 2852, Revision B, dated February 12, 2014. This service
information specifies replacing certain FADEC D EECUs with certain
amended FADEC D EECUs.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The EASA AD applies to Model AS350B3 and EC130T2 helicopters, with
an ARRIEL 2D engine and THALES FADEC P/N C13165DA00 or P/N C13165FA00
installed, whereas this AD applies to those helicopters except not
those with THALES FADEC P/N C13165DA00 with amendment A or P/N
C13165FA00 with amendment B installed. This AD also allows installing
those amendments on the FADEC as an optional terminating action,
whereas the EASA AD does not.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects up to 628 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
Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter takes about 0.25
work-hour for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and up to $13,188
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 helicopters 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 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
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