DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0195; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00262-R;
Amendment 39-21624; AD 2021-13-19]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-11-02
for Airbus Helicopters Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3
helicopters. AD 2014-11-02 required repetitively inspecting frame
number (No.) 9 for a crack. This AD was prompted by Airbus Helicopters
developing a modification that provides an optional terminating action
for the repetitive inspections required by AD 2014-11-02. This AD
retains the requirements of AD 2014-11-02, provides an optional
terminating action for the repetitive inspections, and reduces the
applicability by excluding certain post-modified helicopters. The FAA
is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective August 17, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 17,
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 North 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.
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. FAA-2021-0195.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.govby
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0195; 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 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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2014-11-02, Amendment 39-17852 (79 FR
33050, June 10, 2014) (AD 2014-11-02). AD 2014-11-02 applied to Airbus
Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) Model SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2,
and AS 365 N3 helicopters.
The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2021 (86 FR
21231). The NPRM proposed to continue to require, for helicopters that
have a No. 9 frame that has had any repair or alteration made, within
10 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of the AD and
at intervals not to exceed 110 hours TIS thereafter, inspecting the LH
and RH frame No. 9 for a crack in the areas of the latch support and
stretcher support with a 10X or higher power magnifying glass. For all
other helicopters, the NPRM proposed to require the inspection within
110 hours TIS after the effective date of the AD and thereafter at
intervals not to exceed 110 hours TIS. If there is a crack, the NPRM
proposed to continue to require, before further flight, repairing the
crack. The NPRM also proposed to provide an optional terminating action
for the repetitive inspections that would consist of installing
Eurocopter modification (MOD) 53C17 or MOD 53D02, or Airbus Helicopters
MOD 07 53D21 or MOD 07 53D22, as applicable to your helicopter.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD 2012-0108R1, dated September 19,
2019 (EASA AD 2012-0108R1), issued by EASA, which is the Technical
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe
condition for certain Airbus Model helicopters except those that have
been modified by Eurocopter MOD 53C17 or MOD 53D02, or Airbus
Helicopters (AH) MOD 07 53D21 or MOD 07 53D22. EASA AD 2012-0108R1
revises EASA AD 2012-0108-E, dated June 15, 2012 (EASA AD 2012-0108-E),
which was issued after a crack was discovered during the ``T''
inspection of an AS365 helicopter. The crack started at a rivet hole of
a doubler that was installed on the frame No. 9 in accordance with
Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin No. 53.00.42, dated January 31, 2001.
EASA stated in EASA AD 2012-0108-E that structural alteration of frame
No. 9 by modifications or repairs can result in fatigue crack
initiation under normal operational loads. According to EASA, this
condition, if not corrected, could lead to crack propagation and
failure of frame No. 9, which would adversely affect the structural
integrity of the helicopter. For these reasons, EASA AD 2012-0108-E
required repetitive inspections of frame No. 9 for a crack in the area
of the doubler or any repair performed in the area of the latch support
and stretcher support. EASA advises in EASA AD 2012-0108R1 that Airbus
Helicopters developed MOD 07 53D21 and MOD 07 53D22. Consequently, EASA
AD 2012-0108R1 was issued to introduce the MODs as optional terminating
action for the repetitive inspections, reduce the applicability by
excluding certain post-MOD helicopters, and make some editorial changes
that do not affect the required actions.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM nor on the determination
of the costs.
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 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
Airbus Helicopters has co-published as one document Emergency Alert
Service Bulletin EASB No. 05.00.63, Revision 2, dated December 20, 2018
(EASB 05.00.63 Rev 2), for Model AS365-series helicopters and EASB No.
05.00.30, Revision 2, dated December 20, 2018 (EASB 05.00.30 Rev 2),
for non-FAA type certificated Model AS565-series helicopters. EASB
05.00.63 Rev 2 is incorporated by reference in this AD; EASB 05.00.30
Rev 2 is not.
EASB 05.00.63 Rev 2 applies to helicopters with a frame No. 9 that
has not been modified by MOD 07 53C17, 07 53D21, 07 53D22, or 07 53D02,
and that has had doublers installed or repairs performed in accordance
with certain service instructions. EASB 05.00.63 Rev 2 describes
procedures for inspecting the frame No. 9 for a crack and specifies
contacting Airbus Helicopters for further procedures if there is a
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 reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin SB No. AS365-
53.00.57, Revision 0, dated December 20, 2018 (SB AS365-53.00.57), for
Model AS365-series helicopters. SB AS365-53.00.57 specifies replacing
the upper section of the No. 9 frame with a reinforced version as an
option to terminate the visual inspections specified in EASB 05.00.63
The FAA also reviewed Eurocopter Emergency Alert Service Bulletin
EASB No. 05.00.63, Revision 1, dated June 18, 2012 (EASB 05.00.63 Rev
1). EASB 05.00.63 Rev 1 specifies the same procedures as EASB 05.00.63
Rev 2; however, EASB 05.00.63 Rev 2 excludes helicopters with certain
MODs installed from its effectivity.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2012-0108R1 requires contacting Airbus Helicopters for
repair instructions if there is a crack; this AD does not. EASA AD
2012-0108R1 applies to Airbus Helicopters Model 365-series helicopters
with a frame No. 9 on which certain doublers or repairs have been
accomplished; this AD applies to those model helicopters regardless of
if those doublers or repairs have been accomplished.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 33 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85
per hour, inspecting the LH and RH frame No. 9 takes about 3 work-
hours, for a cost per helicopter of $255 and a total cost to U.S.
operators of $8,415 per inspection cycle. Repairing a cracked frame No.
9 takes about 20 work-hours, and required parts cost about $15,000, for
a cost per helicopter of $16,700.
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-11-02, Amendment 39-17852
(79 FR 33050, June 10, 2014); and
b. Adding the following new AD: