DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0375; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01245-R;
Amendment 39-21656 AD 2021-15-09]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by two events of uncommanded emergency flotation system (EFS)
deployment during flight. This AD requires replacing certain part-
numbered EFS control panels and prohibits installing them. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective August 27, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of
Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va)
Italy; telephone +39-0331-225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or at
You may view the referenced 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-2021-0375; 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 Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety
Agency) (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The
street 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: Ronnea Derby, Aerospace Engineer,
Denver ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 26805 E
68th Ave., Mail Stop: Room 214; Denver, CO 80249; telephone (303) 342-
1093; email Ronnea.L.Derby@faa.gov.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Leonardo S.p.a. Model
AB139 and AW139 helicopters with an EFS control panel part number (P/N)
3G9560V00556 (for use with night vision goggle) or 3G9560V00557
(standard) installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May
25, 2021 (86 FR 28040). In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require
replacing EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 with EFS
control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00559 and 3G9560V00558, respectively. The
NPRM also proposed to prohibit installing EFS control panel P/Ns
3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 on any helicopter. The NPRM was prompted
by EASA AD 2015-0172, dated August 21, 2015 (EASA AD 2015-0172), issued
by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for AgustaWestland S.p.A
(formerly Agusta S.p.A.), AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation
(formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation) (now Leonardo S.p.a.) Model
AB139 and AW139 helicopters with an EFS installed. EASA advises of two
events of uncommanded EFS deployment during flight. Subsequent
investigation revealed that these conditions had been caused by
improper design of EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556 (for use with
night vision goggle) and 3G9560V00557 (standard). This condition, if
not addressed, could result in reduced control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2015-0172 requires replacing EFS control panel
P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 with EFS control panel P/Ns
3G9560V00559 and 3G9560V00558, respectively. EASA AD 2015-0172 also
prohibits installing EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and
3G9560V00557 on any helicopter.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
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
The FAA reviewed AgustaWestland Bollettino Tecnico No. 139-374,
dated July 6, 2015. This service information specifies procedures for
replacing EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556 and 3G9560V00557 with EFS
control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00559 and 3G9560V00558, respectively. This
service information also notes that EFS control panel P/Ns 3G9560V00556
and 3G9560V00557 can be upgraded by following Sirio Panel Service
Bulletins 6WS-MI100135 Ed.01 and 6WS-MI100134 Ed.01.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2015-0172 applies to Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with
an EFS installed, whereas this AD applies to those model helicopters
with EFS control panel P/N 3G9560V00556 (for use with night vision
goggle) or 3G9560V00557 (standard) installed instead. EASA AD 2015-0172
specifies replacing an affected EFS control panel within a compliance
time of flight hours or months, whichever occurs first, based on
helicopter configuration, whereas this AD requires that replacement
within a shorter compliance time in hours time-in-service but the same
number of months, based on helicopter configuration instead.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 133 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
Replacing an EFS control panel takes about 1 work-hour and parts
cost about $12,342 for an estimated cost of $12,427 per helicopter and
up to $1,652,791 for the U.S. fleet.
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 helicopters 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 Order 12866,
(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