DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0578; Project Identifier 2018-SW-084-AD; Amendment
39-21741; AD 2021-20-03]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AW169 helicopters. This AD was prompted
by reports of in-flight pilot collective stick oscillation. This AD
requires a one-time measurement of the friction of the pilot collective
stick assembly to verify that it is within the allowable range and,
depending on findings, making an adjustment to restore the acceptable
level of friction, 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 is effective November 22, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 22, 2021.
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD,
contact 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 at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0578.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0578; 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
EASA AD, 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: Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; telephone (516) 228-7323; email Darren.Gassetto@faa.gov.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0203, dated September 12, 2018
(EASA AD 2018-0203) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for Leonardo S.p.A., formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A. and AgustaWestland
S.p.A., Model AW169 helicopters, all serial numbers equipped with pilot
collective stick assemblies having part number (P/N) 6F6711A07832 or P/N
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Leonardo S.p.a.
Model AW169 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on
July 23, 2021 (86 FR 38950). The NPRM was prompted by reports of in-
flight pilot collective stick oscillation. The NPRM proposed to require
a one-time measurement of the friction of the pilot collective stick
assembly to verify that it is within the allowable range and, depending
on findings, making an adjustment to restore the acceptable level of
friction, as specified in EASA AD 2018-0203.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address incorrect adjustment of the
pilot collective stick fixed friction. The unsafe condition, if not
addressed, could result in reduced controllability of the helicopter,
and subsequent damage to the helicopter and injury to occupants. See
EASA AD 2018-0203 for additional background information.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or
on the determination of the cost to the public.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
requires adopting this AD as proposed. Except for minor editorial
changes, this AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM. None of the
changes will increase the economic burden on any operator. Accordingly,
the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2018-0203 requires a one-time measurement of the friction
of the pilot collective stick assembly to verify that it is within the
allowable range specified in the service information (collective up and
collective down directions 9.00/18.00N (Newton) or 2.02/4.05 lbf (pound
force)) and, depending on the findings, accomplishment of the
corrective action. The corrective action is making an adjustment to the
pilot collective stick assembly to restore the acceptable level of
friction. EASA AD 2018-0203 also specifies that after installation of
an affected part, or following maintenance of an affected part that
involves removal from the helicopter and re-installation, before the
next flight after the part installation, the collective fixed friction
must be measured and, depending on the findings, the corrective action
must be accomplished.
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.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 6 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
COST PER PRODUCT
COST ON U.S. OPERATORS
Functional check-friction measurement.
2 work-hours x $85 per hour = $170.
The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary
adjustment that would be required based on the results of the
inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of
helicopters that might need this adjustment:
COST PER PRODUCT
2 work-hours x $85 per hour = $170.
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