DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-500; Project Identifier 2017-SW-069-AD; Amendment
39-21720; AD 2021-19-02]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Model EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by a report of a jammed pilot collective pitch lever
(collective). This AD requires inspecting the collective for proper
engagement of the locking pin. The FAA is issuing this AD to address
the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective November 1, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of November 1,
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 the referenced 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-2021-500.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-500; 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 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: Anthony Kenward, Aviation Safety
Engineer, Fort Worth ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-
5152; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters
Model EC130B4 and Model EC130T2 helicopters. The NPRM published in the
Federal Register on July 7, 2021 (86 FR 35695). In the NPRM, the FAA
proposed to require, within 90 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the
effective date of the AD, or before the next autorotation training
flight, whichever occurs first, removing the protective boot along the
collective and measuring the clearance between the collective tab hook
(hook) and low pitch locking pin (pin). If the clearance is less than
mm (0.196 in), adjusting the clearance between the hook and the pin to
prevent interference was proposed. The NPRM then proposed to require
re-installing the protective boot in accordance with the manufacturer's
service information. The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD 2017-0062, dated
April 11, 2017 (EASA AD 2017-0062), issued by EASA, which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct
an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model EC130B4 and EC130T2
helicopters. EASA states that during an autorotation test conducted
during an acceptance flight, the pilot felt a jamming sensation when
pushing the collective to the low pitch position, and he subsequently
was able to free the collective by pulling on it. According to EASA, an
analysis determined that the hook and the pin were extremely close, and
that a fold in the control lever boot may have become caught between
the two components. EASA states that this condition, if not detected
and corrected, could result in an untimely locking of the collective
and subsequent reduced control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2017-0062 requires inspecting and adjusting,
if necessary, the clearance between the hook and the pin while in the
low pitch position.
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 Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No.
EC130-67A019, Revision 0, dated February 23, 2016, which specifies
inspecting and adjusting the clearance between the hook and pin.
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 EASA AD
The EASA AD requires compliance within 165 hours TIS or 3 months,
whichever occurs first. Since the unsafe condition occurred at a
collective position commanded during an autorotation, this AD requires
compliance within 90 hours TIS after
the effective date of this AD or before the next autorotation training
flight, whichever occurs first. Based on the average fleet usage, 90
hours TIS corresponds with the 3-month compliance requirement of the
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 214 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, the FAA
estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to
comply with this AD. Removing the protective boot will require about 2
work-hours for a cost of $170 per helicopter and a cost of $36,380 for
the U.S. fleet. Determining the clearance between the hook and pin will
require about 0.5 work-hour, for a cost of $43 per helicopter and a
cost of $9,202 for the U.S. fleet. If required, adjusting the clearance
will take about 2 work-hours for a cost of $170 per helicopter. Re-
installing the protective boot will require about 2 work-hours, for a
cost of $170 per helicopter and a cost of $36,380 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 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