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2021-20-06 AIRBUS HELICOPTERS: Amendment 39-21744; Docket No. FAA-2021-0460; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01620-R.
(a) EFFECTIVE DATE

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective November 22, 2021.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to  Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E,  AS355F, AS355F1,
    and AS355F2 helicopters,  certificated in any  category, with a  Rolls
    -Royce Corporation (formerly Allison) engine Model 250-C20F installed.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 7250, Turbine section.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by multiple fatigue cracks in power turbine  (PT)
    3rd  stage wheels.  The  FAA  is issuing  this AD  to prevent  fatigue
    failure  of  a  PT  3rd stage  wheel.  The  unsafe  condition, if  not
    addressed, could result in loss of engine power, release of debris and
    damage to the helicopter, and loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified,  unless al-
    ready done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

    Within 50 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD:

(1) Revise the existing Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your helicopter
    by inserting the page applicable to your helicopter model and  version
    from Appendix  4.A. through  D., of  Airbus Helicopters  Alert Service
    Bulletin No. AS355-71.00.21, Revision 1, dated November 10, 2020  (ASB
    AS355-71.00.21 Rev 1). Inserting a different document with information
    identical to that in Appendix  4.A. through D., of ASB  AS355-71.00.21
    Rev  1,  as  applicable  to  your  helicopter  model  and  version, is
    acceptable for compliance with the requirement of this paragraph.  The
    action  required   by  this   paragraph  may   be  performed   by  the
    owner/operator (pilot)  holding at  least a  private pilot certificate
    and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance  with
    this  AD in  accordance  with  Sec.  43.9(a)(1)  through (4)  and Sec.
    91.417(a)(2)(v). The  record must  be maintained  as required  by Sec.
    91.417, Sec. 121.380, or Sec. 135.439.

(2) Install a placard in full view of the pilot and co-pilot  by following
    the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B., of ASB AS355-71.00.21
    Rev 1.

Note 1 to paragraph (g)(2):  Airbus Helicopters service information refers
to a placard as a label.

(h) SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMITS

    Special flight permits are permitted  so long as continuous engine op-
    eration between 71 and 95% N2 is avoided.

(i) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, International Validation Branch,  FAA,  has the authority
    to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures  found
    in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to
    your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as
    appropriate. If  sending information  directly to  the manager  of the
    International  Validation  Branch, send  it  to the  attention  of the
    person identified in paragraph (j)(1)  of this AD. Information may  be
    emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC,  notify your appropriate principal in-
    spector, or lacking  a principal inspector,  the manager of  the local
    flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(j) RELATED INFORMATION

(1) For more information about this AD,  contact  Michael Hughlett,  Aero-
    space Engineer,  General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section,  International
    Validation Branch,  FAA,  10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,  Fort Worth, TX 76177;
    telephone (817) 222-5110; email michael.hughlett@faa.gov.

(2) The subject of this AD  is addressed in European Union Aviation Safety
    Agency (EASA) AD 2020-0266,  dated December 8, 2020.  You may view the
    EASA AD on the internet  at https://www.regulations.gov  in Docket No.
    FAA-2021-0460.

(k) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

(1) The Director of the Federal Register  approved  the  incorporation  by
    reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under  5
    U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information  as applicable to do the actions
    required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS355-71.00.21, Revision
    1, dated November 10, 2020.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicop-
    ters, 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.

(4) 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.

(5) You may view this service information  that is incorporated  by refer-
    ence at the National Archives and Records Administration  (NARA).  For
    information on the availability  of this material at NARA,  email: fr.
    inspection@nara.gov,   or   go  to:  https://www.archives.gov/federal-
    register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued on September 15, 2021.  Ross Landes, Deputy Director for Regulatory
Operations,  Compliance & Airworthiness Division,  Aircraft  Certification
Service.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Michael  Hughlett,  Aerospace  Engineer,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section,  International  Validation  Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110;
email michael.hughlett@faa.gov.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0460; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01620-R;
Amendment 39-21744; AD 2021-20-06]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, and AS355F2
helicopters. This AD was prompted by multiple fatigue cracks in power
turbine (PT) 3rd stage wheels. This AD requires revising the existing
Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) for your helicopter and installing a
placard. 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 documents listed in this AD as of November 22,
2021.

ADDRESSES: 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. For Rolls-Royce service information identified
in this final rule, contact Rolls-Royce Corporation, 450 South Meridian
Street, Mail Code NB-01-06, Indianapolis, IN 46225; telephone (317)
230-1667; email: CMSEindyOSD@rolls-royce.com; or at https://www.rolls-
royce.com. 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. Service information
that is incorporated by reference is also available at https://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0460.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0460; 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
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
: Michael Hughlett, Aerospace Engineer,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-
5110; email michael.hughlett@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

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 AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, and AS355F2 helicopters with a Rolls-
Royce Corporation (formerly Allison) engine Model 250-C20F installed.
The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2021 (86 FR
31194). In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require revising the existing
RFM for your helicopter to replace a note with a caution to not allow
rotor speed to stagnate between 279 and 374 revolutions per minute
(RPM). The NPRM also proposed to require installing a placard to avoid
71-95% N2 steady-state speed (avoid operation at 279-374 RPM). The
owner/operator (pilot) may revise the existing RFM for your helicopter
and the owner/operator must enter compliance with the applicable
paragraphs of the AD into the aircraft records in accordance with 14
CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). This is an
exception to the FAA's standard maintenance regulations.
The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD 2020-0266, dated December 8, 2020
(EASA AD 2020-0266), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for
the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition
for Airbus Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France,
Aerospatiale Model AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, and AS 355 F2
helicopters, all serial numbers, if equipped with Rolls-Royce
Corporation (formerly Allison) (RRC) engine Model 250-C20F. EASA
advises of multiple fatigue cracks in PT 3rd stage wheels.
Investigation has revealed that crack initiation at the hub trailing
edge could occur in low-cycle fatigue and progress in high-cycle
fatigue up to separation of the blade. According to EASA, RRC has
determined that detrimental vibrations could occur within a particular
range of turbine speeds, below the normal operating range of this
helicopter, which are a potential contributing factor to these
failures. This condition, if not addressed, could result in fatigue
failure of a PT 3rd stage wheel, and subsequent loss of engine power,
release of debris and damage to the helicopter, and loss of control of
the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2020-0266 requires revising the Normal
Procedures Section of the applicable RFM or RFM supplement, informing
flight crews, and installing a placard in full view of both pilots.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

The FAA received comments from one commenter, Airbus Helicopters,
who asked why the Special Flight Permits paragraph specifies a
different Nr range (71-88%) from the avoidance rate of 71-95% described
in a previous paragraph. The FAA has determined that the difference was
in error and has corrected the avoidance rate in the Special Flights
Permits paragraph of this AD. The correct avoidance rate is between 71-
95% N2.

Conclusion

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, considered the comments received, 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 the correction to the avoidance rate specified in the Special
Flight Permits paragraph, this AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM.
This change will not increase the economic burden on any operator.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No.
AS355-71.00.21, Revision 1, dated November 10, 2020. This service
information specifies replacing a note with a caution in the Flight
Manual to not allow rotor speed to stagnate between 279 and 374 RPM
during engine acceleration. This service information also specifies
procedures for making and installing a label (placard) for the pilot
and co-pilot to avoid 71-95% N2 steady-state speed (avoid operation at
279-374 RPM).
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.

Other Related Service Information

The FAA also reviewed Rolls-Royce Alert Commercial Engine Bulletin
A-1400, Revision 7, dated January 10, 2019. This service information
specifies the speed avoidance range and operating procedures depending
on the PT wheel part number installed.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

EASA AD 2020-0266 requires compliance within 50 flight hours or 30
days, whichever occurs first after the effective date of its AD,
whereas this AD requires compliance within 50 hours time-in-service
after the effective date of this AD instead.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 29 helicopters of U.S.
Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on
these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with
this AD.
Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter will take about 0.25
work-hour for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and $609 for the
U.S. fleet. Installing a placard will take about 0.25 work-hour and
parts cost are a nominal amount, for an estimated cost of $21 per
helicopter and $609 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.

Regulatory Findings

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
Order 12866,
(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
reference, Safety.

The Amendment

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
directive: