DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0717; Project Identifier AD-2021-00814-R;
Amendment 39-21707; AD 2021-18-06]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-11-
03, which applied to certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC 155B, EC155B1,
SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2021-11-03
required inspecting the main gearbox (MGB) fixed cowling front fitting
(MGB front fitting), and depending on findings, corrective action. This
AD retains the requirements of AD 2021-11-03, and includes service
information that was omitted for Airbus Helicopter Model EC 155B and
EC155B1 helicopters, as specified in a European Aviation Safety Agency
(now 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 10, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of July 15, 2021
30759, June 10, 2021).
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 12, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
for submitting comments.
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 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
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 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. Service information
also available in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0717.
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-
0717; 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, any comments received, and other information. The street
address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email email@example.com.
The FAA issued AD 2021-11-03, Amendment 39-21565 (86 FR 30759, June
10, 2021) (AD 2021-11-03), for certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC
155B, EC155B1, SA-365N, SA-365N1, AS-365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters.
AD 2021-11-03 required inspecting and if necessary, replacing the MGB
front fitting. AD 2021-11-03 also required modifying the MGB front
fitting. AD 2021-11-03 was prompted by EASA AD 2019-0008, dated January
22, 2019 (EASA AD 2019-0008), issued by EASA, which is the Technical
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe
condition for certain Airbus Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter,
Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale, Model EC 155 B, EC 155 B1, SA 365 N,
SA 365 N1, AS 365 N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. EASA advises of
reports of an in-flight loss of engine and MGB cowlings. Subsequent
investigations revealed that the MGB cowling attachment fittings failed
because of mounting stress in the MGB front fitting and air intake
bulkhead. This condition, if not addressed, could result in damage to
the helicopter, loss of helicopter control, and possible injury to
persons on the ground.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2019-0008 requires inspecting the MGB front
fittings and if there is a discrepancy, the EASA AD requires applicable
corrective action(s) before next flight. EASA AD 2019-0008 also
requires modification of the MGB fixed cowling attachments.
Accomplishing the modification constitutes a terminating action for the
Actions Since AD 2021-11-03 Was Issued
Since AD 2021-11-03 was issued, the FAA discovered that paragraph
``(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0008'' of AD 2021-11-03, inadvertently
omitted service information required for Airbus Helicopters Model EC
155B and EC155B1 helicopters. This AD corrects subparagraph (h)(8) to
add Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. 53A035, Revision
0, dated March 13, 2017, and ASB No. 53A035, Revision 1, dated December
20, 2018. This AD also updates the U.S. fleet size in the Costs of
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country, and are approved for operation in the United States.
Pursuant to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority,
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the EASA
AD referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD after evaluating all
the relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of these
same type designs.
Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51
This AD requires EASA AD 2019-0008, dated January 22, 2019, which
the Director of the Federal Register approved for incorporation by
reference as of July 15, 2021 (86 FR 30759, June 10, 2021). EASA AD
2019-0008 requires inspecting the MGB front fittings within 110 flight
hours after April 14, 2017 (the effective date of EASA AD 2017-0055,
dated March 31, 2017). If there is a discrepancy, the EASA AD requires
applicable corrective action(s) before next flight. EASA AD 2019-0008
also requires modification of the MGB fixed cowling attachments within
660 flight hours or 23 months, whichever occurs first, after the
effective date described in EASA AD 2019-0008. Accomplishing the
modification constitutes a terminating action for the required
This AD also requires Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB
No. AS365-53.00.62 and ASB No. EC155-53A038, each Revision 0 and dated
December 20, 2018 (ASB AS365-53.00.62 and ASB EC155-53A038). ASB AS365-
53.00.62 applies to Model AS365-series helicopters. ASB EC155-53A038
applies to Model EC155-series helicopters. The Director of the Federal
Register also approved this service information for incorporation by
reference as of July 15, 2021 (86 FR 30759, June 10, 2021). This
service information specifies replacing the front bracket, inspecting
for stress of the MGB fixed cowlings on the radiator bulkhead, and
installing an additional locking system.
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.
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD
2019-0008 and the service information already described, except for any
differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
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.
AD 2021-11-03 omitted service information required for compliance
for certain Model EC 155B and EC155B1 helicopters. This AD corrects
that error by including Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB
No. 53A035, Revision 0, dated March 13, 2017, and ASB No. 53A035,
Revision 1, dated December 20, 2018 in the regulatory text. The public
was previously provided opportunity for comment on the costs of the AD
and required actions.
Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are
unnecessary pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, 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, for the same reasons the
FAA found good cause to forego notice and comment.
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD
process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the
FAA is incorporating EASA AD 2019-0008 by reference in this FAA final
rule. This AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2019-0008 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 EASA AD 2019-0008 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 EASA AD 2019-0008. Service information
required by EASA AD 2019-0008 for compliance is available at https://www.
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0717.
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-2021-0717; Project Identifier AD-
2021-00814-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 Andrea
Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228-
7330; 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 this rulemaking.
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
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 53 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on
these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following
costs in order to comply with this AD.
Inspecting the MGB front fittings takes about 2 work-hours for an
estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $9,010 for the U.S. fleet. If
required, replacing an MGB front fitting takes about 2 work-hours and
parts cost about $590 for an estimated total cost of $760 per fitting.
Other repairs will take up to 8 work-hours (excluding drying time) and
parts will cost a minimal amount for an estimated cost of up to $680
Modifying the MGB fixed cowling attachments takes about 5 work-
hours and parts cost about $630 for an estimated cost of $1,055 per
helicopter and $55,915 for the U.S. fleet.
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2021-11-03, Amendment 39-21565 (86
FR 30759, June 10, 2021); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: