DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0718; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00601-R;
Amendment 39-21708; AD 2021-18-07]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB412 and AB412 EP helicopters. This AD
was prompted by the results of a fatigue review. This AD requires
establishing a life limit for certain part-numbered high landing gear
aft crosstubes. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective September 20, 2021.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 18, 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.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
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 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)
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0718; 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 Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety
Agency) (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kenneth Cook, Airframe/Structural/
Mechanical Engineer, Certification Section, Fort Worth ACO Branch, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5475;
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0097, dated June 7, 2017 (EASA
AD 2017-0097), to correct an unsafe condition for AgustaWestland S.p.A.
(formerly Agusta S.p.A., Costruzioni Aeronautiche Giovanni Agusta)
Model AB412 and AB412EP helicopters with high skid landing gear
assemblies part number (P/N) 412-050-012-(XXX), 412-050-014-(XXX), 412-
050-050-(XXX), or 412-050-059-(XXX), where `XXX' represents any 3-digit
combination, installed. EASA advises of the determination that a life
limit must be introduced for certain high skid landing gear aft
crosstubes following a fatigue review. Failure to comply with the new
life limit could lead to the failure of the part, possibly resulting in
damage of the helicopter and injuries to passengers.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2017-0097 requires implementation of the new
life limit and revision of the Aircraft Maintenance Program (AMP).
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 is issuing this AD after
evaluating all known relevant information and determining that the
unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on
other helicopters of these same type designs.
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service
Bulletin No. 412-151, Revision A, dated June 5, 2017. This service
information specifies procedures for establishing a
retirement life (life limit) of 10,000 landings for high landing gear
aft crosstube P/Ns 412-050-010-101, 412-050-010-107, 412-050-010-111,
and 412-050-045-107. This service information also specifies procedures
for inspecting a high landing gear aft crosstube that has already
exceeded the new retirement life to defer the initial retirement life
For high landing gear aft crosstube P/Ns 412-050-010-101, 412-050-
010-107, 412-050-010-111, and 412-050-045-107, this AD requires
determining the total number of landings. For purposes of this AD, a
landing is counted anytime a helicopter lifts off into the air and then
lands again regardless of the duration of the landing and regardless of
whether the engine is shutdown. If the total number of landings cannot
be determined, this AD requires multiplying the total hours time-in-
service accumulated by the high landing gear aft crosstube by 4. If the
high landing gear aft crosstube has accumulated or exceeded 10,000
total landings, this AD requires removing the high landing gear aft
crosstube from service. This AD also requires creating a component
history card or equivalent record to establish a life limit of 10,000
total landings, and thereafter, removing any high landing gear aft
crosstube from service before accumulating 10,000 total landings.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2017-0097 allows deferring the first replacement of a high
landing gear aft crosstube that has accumulated 9,900 or more total
landings as of the effective date of its AD by passing certain
inspections, whereas this AD does not allow that deferral. EASA AD
2017-0097 requires revising the AMP and allows revision of the AMP as
terminating action of its AD, whereas this AD does not contain those
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.
There are no helicopters with these type certificates on the U.S.
Registry. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment
are unnecessary, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, for
the foregoing reason(s), the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant
to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0718; Project Identifier MCAI-
2020-00601-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.
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 Kenneth
Cook, Airframe/Structural/Mechanical Engineer, Certification Section,
Fort Worth ACO Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone (817) 222-5475; email email@example.com. Any commentary
that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will
be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (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 prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
There are no costs of compliance with this AD because there are no
helicopters with these type certificates on the U.S. Registry.
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, I certify that this AD:
(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 adding the following new airworthiness