DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0256; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00480-R;
Amendment 39-21596; AD 2021-12-09]
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 a short circuit in a yaw trim
actuator connector that occurred during production electrical tests.
This AD requires replacing certain wire harness trim connector
backshells (backshells), 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 a certain publication 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
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 in the AD docket on the internet at
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
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-
0256; 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: Katherine Venegas, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,
FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712; telephone (562) 627-
5353; email email@example.com.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0198, dated August 15, 2019
(EASA AD 2019-0198), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD), formerly Eurocopter 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 Airbus Helicopters
Deutschland GmbH Model MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters. The NPRM published
in the Federal Register on April 2, 2021 (86 FR 17322). The NPRM was
prompted by a short circuit in a yaw trim actuator connector that
occurred during production electrical tests. Subsequent investigations
determined that a sharp edge in the backshell damaged the wiring
insulation. The NPRM proposed to require replacing certain backshells,
as specified in an EASA AD.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address an unsafe condition that
could result in yaw or pitch trim runaway and subsequent loss of
control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2019-0198 for additional
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received comments from one
commenter; however, none of the comments requested a change to the
requirements proposed by the NPRM or the determination of the cost to
The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments
received, 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 2019-0198 specifies replacing backshells part number (P/N)
M85049/90-13W02 if manufactured by AMPHENOL or if the manufacturer is
unknown (affected part) with backshells P/N M85049/90-13W02 not
manufactured by AMPHENOL (serviceable part). EASA AD 2019-0198 also
prohibits the (re-)installation of an affected part.
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
EASA AD 2019-0198 applies to all Model MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters,
whereas this AD applies to that model helicopter with an affected part
installed instead. EASA AD 2019-0198 requires replacing each affected
part with a serviceable part within 9 months, whereas this AD requires
that replacement within 30 hours time-in-service instead.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 30 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.
Replacing each backshell takes about 8 work-hours and parts cost
$220, for an estimated cost of $900 per backshell.
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