DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0611; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00038-R;
Amendment 39-21761; AD 2021-21-01]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2019-05-
06, which applied to certain Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model
EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and
EC135T3 helicopters. AD 2019-05-06 required replacing the retaining
ring, inspecting the hoist cable hook assembly, and, if necessary,
replacing the elastomeric energy absorber. This AD continues to require
the actions specified in AD 2019-05-06, and also requires a
modification or replacement of the hoist cable hook assembly that would
terminate the repetitive inspections and retaining ring replacements,
as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD,
which is incorporated by reference. This AD was prompted by a report
that a hook detached from the hoist cable. The FAA is issuing this AD
to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective December 10, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 10,
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of April
17, 2019 (84 FR 8961, March 13, 2019).
ADDRESSES: For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in
AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany;
phone: +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 service information identified in this
AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX
75052; phone: (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax: (972) 641-3775; or
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 on the
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2021-0611.
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-
0611; 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, 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: Jacob Fitch, Aerospace Engineer,
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; phone: (817) 222-4130; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0011, dated January 12, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0011) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) (formerly Eurocopter
Deutschland GmbH, Eurocopter Espa[ntilde]a S.A.) Model EC135P1,
EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, EC135T3,
EC635P2+, EC635P3, EC635T1, EC635T2+, and EC635T3 helicopters, all
serial numbers up to 1276 inclusive. Model EC635P2+, EC635P3, EC635T1,
EC635T2+, and EC635T3 helicopters are not certificated by the FAA and
are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; this AD
therefore does not include those helicopters in the applicability.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2019-05-06, Amendment 39-19588 (84 FR 8961,
March 13, 2019) (AD 2019-05-06). AD 2019-05-06 applied to certain
Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+,
EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters. The NPRM
published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2021 (86 FR 41791). The
NPRM was prompted by a report that a hook detached from the hoist
cable. The NPRM proposed to continue to require the actions specified
in AD 2019-05-06, as specified in an EASA AD. The NPRM also proposed to
require a modification or replacement of the hoist cable hook assembly
that would terminate the repetitive inspections and retaining ring
replacements, as specified in an EASA AD.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address detachment of a hook from a
hoist cable resulting in inflight failure of the hoist, which could
result in injury to persons being lifted. See the MCAI for additional
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.
Change to This Final Rule
The FAA has revised the format of paragraph (i)(5) of this AD.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
and the public interest require adopting this final rule with the
change described previously and minor editorial changes. The FAA has
determined that these minor changes:
Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the NPRM.
The FAA also determined that these changes will not increase the
economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0011 specifies procedures for replacing the retaining
ring; inspecting the hoist cable hook assembly; replacing the
elastomeric energy absorber; and modifying the hoist cable hook
assembly or replacing an affected hoist with a serviceable hoist, which
terminates the repetitive inspections and replacements.
This AD also requires Goodrich Service Bulletin No. 44301-10-17,
Revision 4, dated July 26, 2017, which the Director of the Federal
Register approved for incorporation by reference as of April 17, 2019
(84 FR 8961, March 13, 2019).
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.
Other Related Service Information
Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB EC135-
85A-069, Revision 0, dated August 2, 2017. The service information
describes procedures for inspecting each affected hook assembly,
replacing the retaining ring, and replacing the elastomeric energy
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 341 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
||Cost per product
||Cost on U.S. operators
|Retained inspections and replacements
of the retaining ring from AD 2019-05-06
||0.5 work-hour x $85
per hour = $42.50 per inspection
||$42.50 per inspection
||$14,492.50 per inspection
||1 work-hour x $85 per
hour = $85
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary on-
condition replacement of the elastomeric energy absorber that would be
required based on the results of any required inspections. The FAA has
no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this on-
||Cost per product
|Replacement of the elastomeric
||0.5 work-hour x $85 per hour
According to the manufacturer, some
or all of the costs of this AD
may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on
affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for
affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs
in the cost estimate.
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2019-05-06, Amendment 39-19588
(84 FR 8961, March 13, 2019); and
b. Adding the following new AD: