DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0373; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01352-R;
Amendment 39-21668; AD 2021-16-06]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-19-11
for certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters. AD
2020-19-11 required repetitive borescope inspections of the 90-degree
tail rotor gearbox (TGB) and depending on the inspection results,
removing the TGB from service. This AD was prompted by the
determination that additional parts may be susceptible to the unsafe
condition. This AD retains
the inspection requirements of AD 2020-19-11, and revises the
compliance time and applicability. The FAA is issuing this AD to
address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective September 27, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September
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
https://customerportal.leonardocompany.com/en-US/. 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. It is also available at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0373.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0373; 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: Rao Edupuganti, Aerospace Engineer,
Dynamic Systems Section, Technical Innovation Policy Branch, Policy &
Innovation Division, 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 2020-19-11, Amendment 39-21254 (85 FR
59404, September 22, 2020) (AD 2020-19-11). AD 2020-19-11 applied to
Leonardo S.p.a. Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters with TGB part
number (P/N) 109-0440-06-101 or P/N 109-0440-06-105 having serial
number (S/N) 167, 169 through 172 inclusive, 215 through 225 inclusive,
227, 230, 232, 233, AW268, K3, K16, M47, or L29, installed. The NPRM
published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2021 (86 FR 27538). In the
NPRM, the FAA proposed to retain certain requirements of AD 2020-19-11,
revise the compliance time for the repetitive inspections from
intervals not to exceed 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 6 months to
only intervals not to exceed 6 months, and revise the applicability
paragraph by adding certain serial-numbered TGB shafts. The NPRM was
prompted by EASA AD 2020-0206, dated September 30, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-
0206), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member
States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for
Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A.,
AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.; and AgustaWestland Philadelphia
Corporation, formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation. EASA advises that
additional parts may be susceptible to similar occurrences and some TGB
shafts could have been reinstalled on a TGB other than the one on which
they were initially installed. This condition, if not addressed, could
result in failure of the tail rotor, possibly resulting in reduced
control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2020-0206 retains the inspection requirements
of EASA AD 2018-0156, dated July 24, 2018, which prompted AD 2020-19-
11, for certain part-numbered TGB shafts and revises the definition of
an affected part by adding certain serial-numbered TGB shafts.
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 Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
119-090, Revision A, dated September 14, 2020. This service information
specifies procedures for conducting an endoscope inspection of the
internal surface of the TGB output shaft for corrosion. This service
information also specifies replacing the TGB if corrosion is found.
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.
The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2020-0206 uses flight hours to describe one compliance
time, whereas this AD uses hours TIS. EASA AD 2020-0206 requires using
an endoscope for inspection, whereas this AD requires inspecting with a
borescope. EASA AD 2020-0206 defines the affected part as the 90-degree
TGB shaft installed on TGB P/N 109-0440-06-01-101, whereas the
applicability paragraph of this AD includes TGB P/N 109-0440-06-101
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 134 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
Borescope inspecting the TGB output shaft takes about 3 work-hours
for an estimated cost of $255 per helicopter and $34,170 for the U.S.
fleet per inspection cycle.
Replacing a TGB takes about 18 work-hours and parts cost about
$49,000 (overhauled TGB) for an estimated cost of $50,530 per
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 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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2020-19-11, Amendment 39-21254 (85
FR 59404, September 22, 2020); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: