DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0449; Project Identifier 2018-SW-001-AD; Amendment
39-21679; AD 2021-16-16]
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, and AS350D helicopters; and Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1,
AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters. This AD was prompted by
reports that the lanyards (bead chain tethers), which hold the quick
release pins to the forward bracket assembly of certain litter kits,
can loop around the directional control pedal stubs, limiting the
movement of the pedals. This AD requires modification of the lanyard
attachment location for certain litter kit installations. 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 a certain document listed in this AD as of October 13,
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
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 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.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0449; 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
Transport Canada 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: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Mail Stop: Room 410,
Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email
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, and
AS350D helicopters; and Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N,
and AS355NP helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on
June 3, 2021 (86 FR 29705). In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require
modification of the lanyard attachment location for certain litter kit
installations. The NPRM was prompted
by Canadian AD CF-2017-37, dated December 19, 2017 (Canadian AD CF-
2017-37), issued by Transport Canada, which is the aviation authority
for Canada, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model
AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 B3, AS 350 D, AS 355
E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355 N, and AS 355 NP helicopters.
Transport Canada advises that there have been reports that the
lanyards, which hold the quick release pins to the forward bracket
assembly of certain litter kits, can loop around the directional
control pedal stubs, limiting the movement of the pedals, which affects
the control of the flight. If this condition exists and is not
corrected during installation, this limitation may not be apparent
until the pedal input is required in flight. This condition, if not
addressed, could result in difficulty controlling the helicopter.
Accordingly, Canadian AD CF-2017-37 requires modification of the
lanyard attachment location for certain litter kit installations.
Canadian AD CF-2017-37 also specifies that installation of an affected
part number litter kit is prohibited unless the installation conforms
to the requirements of Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin SB-AHCA-128,
Revision 0, dated March 24, 2017.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Canada and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
the FAA's bilateral agreement with Canada, Transport Canada, its
technical representative, has notified the FAA of 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. Except for minor editorial changes, this AD is adopted as
proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin SB-AHCA-128,
Revision 0, dated March 24, 2017. This service information specifies
procedures for modifying the bead chain tether attachment locations for
litter kits with certain part numbers. The modification includes
relocating the bead chain tethers by removing the screws and washers
for the pip pins on the forward bracket assembly; filling the empty
holes with rivets; determining the new locations of and drilling new
holes; and securing the bead chain tethers on the top side of the
forward bracket assembly in the new hole locations. 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.
Differences Between This AD and the Transport Canada AD
This AD requires a pre-flight check prior to each flight to
determine if there is interference between the lanyards that hold the
quick release pins to the forward bracket assembly of the litter kit
and the flight controls. This pre-flight check requirement will be
terminated upon completion of the modification of the litter kit
installation. Canadian AD CF-2017-37 does not include a requirement for
the pre-flight check prior to each flight to determine if there is
interference between the lanyards and the flight controls.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 967 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD.
|Pre-flight check for lanyard
||0.5 work-hour x $85 per
hour = $42.50 per inspection
||$42.50 per inspection
||$41,097.50 per inspection
|Modification of lanyard attachment
||1 work-hour x $85 per
hour = $85
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
(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