DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0369; Project Identifier 2019-SW-033-AD; Amendment
39-21673; AD 2021-16-11]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2,
AS350B3, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP
helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report of reduced yaw control,
during an approach for landing, that resulted from rupture of the tail
rotor gearbox (TGB) actuating rod and uncoupling of the steel sleeve
from inside the external aluminum tube. This AD requires dye penetrant
inspecting certain TGB actuating rods for a crack, and depending on the
inspection results, replacing the TGB actuating rod, 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 is effective October 6, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of October 6,
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this
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. 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-2021-0369.
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-
0369; 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: Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager,
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA
98198; telephone and fax (206) 231-3218; email
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0060, dated March 20, 2019
(EASA AD 2019-0060) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS350 B, AS350 BA, AS350 BB, AS350 B1,
AS350 B2, AS350 B3, AS350 D, AS355 E, AS355 F, AS355 F1, AS355 F2,
AS355 N and AS355 NP helicopters. Model AS350 BB helicopters are not
certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type
certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include those
helicopters in the applicability. Although EASA AD 2019-0060 applies to
all helicopters identified in EASA AD 2019-0060, this AD applies to
helicopters with an affected part installed instead.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus
Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350D,
AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters. The
NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2021 (86 FR 26857).
The NPRM was prompted by a report of reduced yaw control, during an
approach for landing, that resulted from rupture of the TGB actuating
rod and uncoupling of the steel sleeve from inside the external
aluminum tube. The NPRM proposed to require dye penetrant inspecting
certain TGB actuating rods for a crack, and depending on the inspection
results, replacing the TGB actuating rod, as specified in an EASA AD.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of a TGB actuating
rod, which could result in loss of yaw 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 following presents the comment received
on the NPRM and the FAA's response to the comment.
Request To Not Refer to Other Sources for Approved Data
A commenter requested that the proposed AD not reference a European
AD or service bulletin as approved data. The commenter stated the
proposed AD should contain all the data required to perform the
inspection in its entirety so that an inspector does not have to
research data from other sources.
The FAA does not agree with the commenter because the approved data
is available to inspectors. EASA AD 2019-0060 is incorporated by
reference. Incorporation by reference (IBR) allows Federal agencies to
comply with the requirement to publish rules in the Federal Register by
referring to materials already published elsewhere. The legal effect of
IBR is that the material is treated as if it were published in the
Federal Register. This material, like any other properly issued rule,
has the force and effect of law. Congress authorized IBR in the Freedom
of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), in part, to reduce the volume of
material published in the Federal Register and the Code of Federal
After an FAA final rule is published, the required service
information is then posted to https://www.regulations.gov. EASA AD
2019-0060 and the service information specified in EASA AD 2019-0060
that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2019-0060 can be found on
the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA 2021-0369. The FAA has not changed this AD in
The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment
received, 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 minor changes:
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 2019-0060 describes procedures for dye penetrant inspecting
certain TGB actuating rods for a crack, and depending on the inspection
results, replacing the TGB actuating rod. EASA AD 2019-0060 also
describes procedures for marking each TGB actuating rod, reporting
information, and for certain helicopters, ensuring the correct
interface between certain TGB actuating rods and bearings.
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
EASA AD 2019-0060 specifies ``AS350 SB [service bulletin] No. 67.10
Revision 1'' and ``AS355 SB No. 67.09 Revision 2'' as Airbus
Helicopters (AH) service bulletins; however this AD identifies those
service bulletins as Aerospatiale service bulletins.
EASA AD 2019-0060 specifies the date for ``AS355 SB No. 67.09
Revision 2,'' as ``March 28, 1989;'' however, this AD identifies the
date as ``October 1989.''
Part Marking Clarification
Where paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2019-0060 specifies ``mark each
affected part (all rods, regardless of the status with respect to the
dye penetrant inspection),'' this AD requires marking TGB actuating
rods identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (9) of this AD regardless
of their manufacturing date. The manufacturing dates in Table 1 of EASA
AD 2019-0060 are used only to indicate the parts on which the dye
penetrant inspection specified in paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2019-0060 is
done; the manufacturing dates do not impact the parts on which the
marking specified in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2019-006 must be done.
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 950 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions *
|6 work-hours x $85 per hour =
* Table does not include estimated
costs for reporting.
The FAA estimates that it would take about 1 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
$80,750, or $85 per product.
The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions that would 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
||Cost per product
|Up to 16 work-hours x $85 per
hour = $1,360
||Up to $3,950
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 adding the following new airworthiness