DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-1166; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00952-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Eurocopter France) Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
2021-11-25, which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters (type
certificate previously held by Eurocopter France) Model AS350B3 and
EC130T2 helicopters. AD 2021-11-25 requires revising the existing
rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) for your helicopter by inserting a new
procedure (temporary). Since the FAA issued AD 2021-11-25, the
manufacturer has identified an additional affected full authority
digital engine control (FADEC) part number and developed an optional
modification for the affected FADECs. This proposed AD would require
revising the existing RFM for your helicopter by inserting a new
procedure (temporary). This proposed AD would also require, for
helicopters on which an optional terminating action (installation of
serviceable FADECs) is done, removing the applicable temporary
procedure from the existing RFM for your helicopter. In addition, this
proposed AD would also add helicopters to the applicability.
Furthermore, this proposed AD would prohibit the installation of an
affected FADEC. 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 February
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 Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this NPRM,
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 NPRM contact Safran Helicopter Engines, S.A., 64511 Bordes,
France; phone: +33 (0) 5 59 74 45 11. 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)
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1166; 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 European
Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received, and
other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email email@example.com.
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-2021-1166; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00952-R'' 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
Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-
7330; 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.
The FAA issued AD 2021-11-25, Amendment 39-21587 (86 FR 33097, June
24, 2021), (AD 2021-11-25), for Airbus Helicopters (type certificate
previously held by Eurocopter France) Model AS350B3 and EC130T2
helicopters with an ARRIEL 2D engine and THALES FADEC part number (P/N)
C13165DA00 without amendment A or P/N C13165FA00 without amendment B,
installed. AD 2021-11-25 requires 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 or ASB EC130-04A004), as applicable to your helicopter. AD
2021-11-25 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
EC 130 T2 helicopters with an ARRIEL 2D engine and THALES FADEC P/N C13165DA00
or P/N C13165FA00 installed. EASA advised that there was a report of an
event where the pilot noticed that the temporary amber governor (GOV)
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 digital
electronic control unit (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 advised 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 stated that this
condition, if not addressed, could result in the pilot identifying the
type of failure condition incorrectly, possibly resulting in an
Accordingly, and pending the development of a DECU assembly design
improvement, EASA AD 2013-0287 required incorporating a new procedure
into the Emergency Procedures section of the RFM and informing all
flight crews of the RFM change. EASA considered its AD an interim
action and stated that further AD action may follow.
After EASA issued EASA AD 2013-0287, EASA issued safety information
bulletin (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 recommended modifying certain electronic
engine control units (EECUs).
Actions Since AD 2021-11-25 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2021-11-25, EASA issued AD 2021-0195, dated
August 20, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0195), which supersedes EASA AD 2013-
0287. EASA advises that after EASA AD 2013-0287 was issued, Airbus
Helicopters revised ASB AS350-01.00.67 and ASB EC130-04A004 to include
an additional affected part number as part of the same rectification
campaign. Additionally, EASA advises that in parallel, SAFRAN (formerly
Turbom[eacute]ca) developed a modification of the affected part, which
mitigates the risk of rotor speed fluctuations, loss of power or
uncommanded in-flight shutdown, and issued Service Bulletin 292 73 2852
providing FADEC replacement instructions. Consequently, Airbus
Helicopters issued the applicable ASBs, providing instructions to
remove the temporary procedure from the RFM Emergency Procedures
section for helicopters with a modified FADEC. Accordingly, EASA AD
2021-0195 retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0287 and requires
removing the temporary revision from the Emergency Procedures section
of the RFM for helicopters with a modified FADEC installed. EASA AD
2021-0195 also prohibits the installation of an affected part after
installation of a modified FADEC. Furthermore, EASA AD 2021-0195
specifies to ``inform all flight crews'' of revisions to the RFM, and
thereafter to ``operate the helicopter accordingly.''
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 the same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
AS350-01.00.67, Revision 2, dated February 17, 2014; and Alert Service
Bulletin No. EC130-04A004, Revision 2, dated February 17, 2014; which
the Director of the Federal Register approved for incorporation by
reference as of July 29, 2021.
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 C, dated June 6, 2016. This service
information specifies replacing certain FADEC D EECUs with certain
amended FADEC D EECUs.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would retain all of the requirements of AD 2021-
11-25. This proposed AD would also expand the applicability by adding
helicopters that have a FADEC, P/N C13165DA00PC00 without amendment A,
installed. This proposed AD would also require, for the added
helicopters, revising the existing RFM for your helicopter by inserting
a new procedure (temporary) into the Emergency Procedures section. This
proposed AD would also provide an optional terminating action
(installation of serviceable FADECs). This proposed AD would also
require, for helicopters on which the terminating action is done,
removing the applicable procedure (temporary) from the Emergency
Procedures section of the existing RFM for your helicopter.
Furthermore, this proposed AD would prohibit the installation of an
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2021-0195 requires operators to ``inform all flight crews''
of revisions to the RFM, and thereafter to ``operate the helicopter
accordingly.'' However, this proposed AD would not specifically require
FAA regulations mandate compliance with only the operating
limitations section of the flight manual. The flight manual changes
that would be required by this proposed AD would apply to the emergency
procedures section of the existing RFM for your helicopter.
Furthermore, compliance with such requirements in an AD is
impracticable to demonstrate or track on an ongoing basis; therefore,
requirement to operate the aircraft in such a manner is unenforceable.
Nonetheless, the FAA recommends that flight crews of the helicopters
listed in the applicability operate in accordance with the revised
emergency procedures specified in this proposed AD.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 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 this proposed AD.
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.
Accomplishing the optional terminating action, if done, takes about
1 work-hour, with a parts costs of $5,000, for an estimated cost of
$5,085 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 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.
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
(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
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2021-11-25, Amendment 39-21587 (86
FR 33097, June 24, 2021); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: