DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0254; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00481-R;
Amendment 39-21595; AD 2021-12-08]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) Model MBB-BK 117 D-2
helicopters. This AD was prompted by reports of chafing marks on the
wiring harness behind the middle side panels in the area of the front
passenger (PAX) panels. This AD requires inspecting, modifying, and
rerouting the wiring harness, as specified in a European Union Aviation
Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. 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 publications listed in this AD as of July 29,
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this
contact the 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 IBR information on the EASA
website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. 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 http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub.
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 in the AD docket
on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0254.
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-
0254; 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, 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: Blaine Williams, Aerospace Engineer,
Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, 3960
Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712; telephone 562-627-5371; email
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0305, dated December 17, 2019
(EASA AD 2019-0305), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Helicopters
Deutschland GmbH Model MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters. The NPRM published in
the Federal Register on April 2, 2021 (86 FR 17330). The NPRM was
prompted by reports of chafing marks on the wiring harness behind the
middle side panels in the area of the front PAX panels. The NPRM
proposed to require inspecting, modifying, and rerouting the wiring
harness, as specified in the EASA AD.
The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent electrical failure of the
helicopter wiring harness. See the EASA AD for additional background
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
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.
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 2019-0305 specifies inspecting the wiring harness installed
behind the front PAX panel of the left and right hand middle side
panels and depending on the results, repairing or modifying the wiring
harness. For a modified wiring harness, EASA AD 2019-0305 specifies
repetitively inspecting for damage.
The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin
(ASB) MBB-BK117 D-2-88A-003, Revision 1 and dated December 9, 2019 (ASB
MBB-BK117 D-2-88A-003). ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-88A-003 applies to Model MBB-
BK-117 D-2 and D-2m helicopters. This service information specifies
inspecting, repairing, and modifying the wiring harness installed
behind the front PAX panel of the left and right hand middle side
panels. This material 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
Where the EASA AD refers to flight hours, this AD uses hours time-
in-service (TIS) instead. Where the EASA AD allows a tolerance to the
compliance time of certain initial and repetitive inspections, this AD
requires a compliance time of within 440 hours TIS after modification
of an affected part for a certain initial inspection and thereafter at
intervals within 440 hours TIS for certain repetitive inspections
instead. Where the EASA AD requires repetitive inspections in
accordance with paragraph 3.B.8. of ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-88A-003, this AD
requires repetitive inspections in accordance with paragraph 3.B.9. of
ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-88A-003.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 60 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 wiring harness
takes about 6 work-hours for an estimated cost of $510 per helicopter
and $30,600 for the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle. Modification
during the inspection of the wiring harness takes about 6 work-hours
for an estimated cost of $510 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.
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