DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0452; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00388-R;
Amendment 39-21597; AD 2021-12-10]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a.
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with 3-stretcher kit
part number 139084-501 installed. This AD was prompted by a report of a
design deficiency which affects the primary stretcher unit of the 3-
stretcher kit. This AD requires installing a placard on the primary
stretcher. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition
on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective June 22, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of June 22, 2021.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by July 22, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions 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 service information identified in this final rule, contact
Aerolite AG, Aum[uuml]hlestrasse 10, CH-6373 Ennetb[uuml]rgen,
Switzerland; phone: +41 (0)41 624 58 58; fax: +41 (0)41 624 58 59;
email: email@example.com. 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. Service
information that is incorporated by reference is also available at
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0452; 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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received,
and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Mail Stop: Room 410,
Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; email:
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0095, dated March 31, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0095), to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.a.
Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with 3-stretcher kit part number
139084-501 installed by a certain supplemental type certificate (STC).
EASA advises that a design deficiency was identified, affecting the
primary stretcher unit, part number 002095-502, of the 3-stretcher kit
part number 139084-501. This condition, if not addressed, could lead,
in case of an emergency landing, to failure of the primary stretcher of
the 3-stretcher kit, possibly resulting in injury to helicopter
Accordingly, EASA AD 2021-0095 requires installing a placard on the
primary stretcher stating a limitation of 61 kg (134.5 lbs) for the
maximum allowable weight of the occupant on the primary stretcher. EASA
considers its AD an interim action and states that further AD action
may follow. Although EASA AD 2021-0095 applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model
AB139 and AW139 helicopters with 3-stretcher kit part number 139084-501
installed by a certain STC, this AD applies to helicopters with an
affected part installed instead.
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 issuing 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 these same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Aerolite Alert Service Bulletin ASB-21-006, dated
March 16, 2021. This service information specifies procedures for
installing a weight limit placard on the primary stretcher unit of the
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.
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service
information already described, except as discussed under "Differences
Between the AD and the EASA AD."
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2021-0095 requires operators to "inform all affected
flight crew and medical crew members" of the placard installation on
the primary stretcher. However, this AD would not specifically require
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. If final action
is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective Date
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for "good cause," finds
that those procedures are "impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest." Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because a design deficiency which affects the primary stretcher unit of
the 3-stretcher kit, if not addressed, could lead, in case of an
emergency landing, to failure of the primary stretcher, possibly
resulting in injury to helicopter occupants. Accordingly, notice and
opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to
the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days,
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2021-0452; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-00388-R" at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.
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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. 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., Mail Stop: Room 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone:
(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.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 129 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
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
COST ON U.S.
|1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85
The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate.
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this AD
may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on
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, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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