DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0379; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00068-R;
Amendment 39-21667; AD 2021-16-05]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-12-
51, which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and Model
EC225LP helicopters. AD 2016-12-51 prohibited all further flight of
Model AS332L2 and Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD requires replacing
certain second stage planet gear assemblies, removing certain epicyclic
modules, installing a full flow magnetic plug (FFMP), revising the
existing rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) for your helicopter, repetitively
inspecting the main gearbox (MGB) particle detectors, repetitively
inspecting the MGB oil filter and oil cooler, and corrective action if
necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency
(EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The actions specified in
this AD terminate the flight prohibition. The FAA is issuing this AD to
address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective October 13, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 13,
ADDRESSES: For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in
AD, 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. For Airbus Helicopters service information,
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 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. FAA-2021-0379.
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-
0379; 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: Mahmood Shah, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Fort Worth ACO Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth,
TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5538; email email@example.com.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0134R2, dated April 16, 2020
(EASA AD 2017-0134R2) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2016-12-51, Amendment 39-18578 (81 FR
43479, July 5, 2016) (AD 2016-12-51). AD 2016-12-51 applied to all
Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. The NPRM
published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2021 (86 FR 29212). The
NPRM was prompted by an accident involving an Airbus Helicopters Model
EC225LP helicopter in which the main rotor hub detached from the MGB.
The Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 helicopter has a similar design to
the affected Model EC225LP helicopter, therefore, this model may be
subject to the unsafe condition revealed on the Model EC225LP
helicopter. The NPRM proposed to require replacing certain second stage
planet gear assemblies, removing certain epicyclic modules, installing
an FFMP, revising the existing RFM for your helicopter, repetitively
inspecting the MGB particle detectors, repetitively inspecting the MGB
oil filter and oil cooler, and corrective action if necessary, as
specified in EASA AD 2017-0134R2. The NPRM also proposed to provide
terminating action for certain repetitive inspections.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of the main rotor
system, which would result in loss of control of the helicopter. See
the MCAI for additional background information.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or
on the determination of the cost to the public.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed,
except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these
Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2017-0134R2 references procedures for replacing certain
second stage planet gear assemblies with serviceable parts; removing
certain epicyclic modules from service; modifying the helicopter by
installing an FFMP; revising the RFM to prohibit MGB particle burning
in-flight; repetitively inspecting the FFMP and MGB particle detectors
for metal particles, analyzing any metal particles that are found, and
corrective action; and repetitively inspecting the MGB oil filter and
oil cooler for particles and corrective action. The corrective actions
include replacing an affected MGB with a serviceable MGB. EASA AD 2017-
0134R2 also provides terminating action for certain repetitive
Airbus Helicopters has issued Emergency Alert Service Bulletin
05A049, Revision 6, dated July 25, 2017, for Model EC225 helicopters;
and Emergency Alert Service Bulletin 05.01.07, Revision 6, dated July
27, 2017, for Model AS332 helicopters. The service information
specifies procedures for, among other things, replacing the MGB.
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 MCAI
Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2017-0134R2
specifies to return affected planetary gear assemblies to the
manufacturer for module overhaul, this AD does not include that
Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2017-0134R2
specifies that retrofit of the planet gear of the MGB can only be done
by Airbus Helicopters or Airbus Helicopters approved repair centers,
this AD does not include that requirement.
EASA AD 2017-0134R2 requires operators to ``inform all flight
crews'' of revisions to the RFM, and thereafter to ``operate the
helicopter accordingly.'' However, this AD does not specifically
require those actions. FAA regulations mandate compliance with only the
operating limitations section of the flight manual. The flight manual
changes required by this AD apply to the emergency procedures section
of the existing RFM for your helicopter. Furthermore, compliance with
such requirements in an AD is impracticable to demonstrate or track on
ongoing basis; therefore, a requirement to operate the aircraft in such
a manner is unenforceable. Nonetheless, the FAA recommends that flight
crews of the helicopters listed in the applicability operate in
accordance with the revised emergency procedures mandated by this AD.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later
identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 28 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions *
||Up to 6 work-hours x $85 per
hour = $510
Up to $510
Up to $14,280
* Table does not include estimated
costs for reporting.
The FAA estimates that it will take about 1 work-hour per product
to comply with the reporting requirement in this AD. The average labor
rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the
cost of reporting the inspection results on U.S. operators to be
$2,380, or $85 per product.
The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions that will be required based on the results of any
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of
helicopters that might need these on-condition actions:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
|40 work-hours x $85 per hour
According to the manufacturer, some
or all of the costs of this AD
may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on
affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for
affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs
in the cost estimate.
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control
number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-
0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in
the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for
reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the
collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with
this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden
and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation
Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.
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 2016-12-51, Amendment 39-18578 (81
FR 43479, July 5, 2016); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: