DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0607; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01249-R;
Amendment 39-21666; AD 2021-16-04]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all
Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB412 and AB412 EP helicopters. This AD was
prompted by a report of the failure of both inverters in-flight,
leading to an autopilot disconnection. This AD requires a one-time
inspection of the clearance between a certain protective grommet
installed in the emergency bus interlock compartment and the cable
assemblies passing through it, and depending on the finding, applicable
corrective actions, 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 becomes effective September 23, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 23, 2021.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 25, 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 EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD,
contact 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 material on the EASA website
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view the EASA 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 the EASA material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110. The
EASA material is also available at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket FAA-2021-0607.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0607; 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 AD, the EASA AD,
any comments received, and other information. The street address for
Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacob Fitch, Aerospace Engineer, COS
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-4130; email email@example.com.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0192, dated September 4, 2020
(EASA AD 2020-0192) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for Leonardo S.p.a. (formerly AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A., and
Costruzioni Aeronautiche Giovanni Agusta) Model AB412 and AB412 EP
helicopters, all serial numbers.
This AD was prompted by a report of the failure of both inverters
in-flight, leading to an autopilot disconnection. Subsequent inspection
identified chafing of a wire in the alternating current (AC) power system cable
assembly, due to a protective grommet incorrectly installed in the
emergency bus interlock compartment. Insufficient clearance between a
protective grommet and the cable assemblies that pass through it could
result in chafing of the cable assemblies. The FAA is issuing this AD
to address incorrect installation of a protective grommet in the
emergency bus interlock compartment and chafed wiring in the AC power
system cable assembly. Chafed wiring in the AC power system cable
assembly, if not addressed, could lead to a short in the AC power
system, resulting in autopilot failure, possibly the loss of other
avionics systems, increased pilot workload, and reduced control of the
Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2020-0192 specifies procedures for a one-time inspection of
the clearance between a protective grommet installed in the emergency
bus interlock compartment and the cable assemblies passing through it,
and corrective actions. The corrective actions include replacing the
existing grommet with a new grommet, inspecting the cable assemblies
for damage (including chafing) and replacing affected cable assemblies,
and reworking the bulkhead in the emergency bus interlock compartment.
The rework of the bulkhead includes removing paint and primer,
reworking the lightening hole, deburring the hole, applying chemical
film protection, and priming all bare metal surfaces.
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.
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country, and are approved for operation in the United States.
Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design
Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described
in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD after
evaluating all pertinent information and determining that the unsafe
condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of
these same type designs.
Requirements of This AD
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD
2020-0192, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-0192
is incorporated by reference in this FAA final rule. This AD therefore,
requires compliance with EASA AD 2020-0192 in its entirety, through
that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions
in the regulatory text of this AD. Using common terms that are the same
as the heading of a particular section in the EASA AD does not mean
that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where
the AD requirement refers to "all required actions and compliance
times," compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the
section titled "Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)" in the
EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2020-0192 that is
required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0192 is available on the
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2021-0607.
FAA's Justification 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.
There are currently no domestic operators of these products.
Therefore, the FAA finds that notice and opportunity for prior public
comment are unnecessary pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition,
for the foregoing reason, 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.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2021-0607; Project Identifier MCAI-
2020-01249-R" at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the AD, 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
AD 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 AD.
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 Jacob
Fitch, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational
Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-4130; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
The requirements of the 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 notice and comment, RFA
analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
There are no costs of compliance with this AD because there are no
helicopters with this type certificate on the U.S. Registry.
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.
The FAA determined that 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 this regulation:
(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