DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0659; Project Identifier 2018-SW-112-AD; Amendment
39-21763; AD 2021-21-03]
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)
certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109A, A109A II, A109C, A109E, A109K2,
A109S, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII helicopters. This AD was prompted
by a report of damage to a rigid connecting link (rod), and loosening
of the nut on the upper rod end. This AD requires a visual inspection
of the affected rods for damage, cracks, or abnormal play, and
corrective actions if necessary, 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 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,
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this
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. 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-2021-0659.
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-
0659; 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: Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; phone: (516) 228-7323; email: email@example.com.
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0280, dated December 17, 2018
(EASA AD 2018-0280) (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., AgustaWestland
S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.; and AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation,
formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation) Model A109A, A109A II, A109C,
A109E, A109K2, A109S, A109LUH, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII
helicopters. Model A109LUH 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 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Leonardo S.p.a.
Model A109A, A109A II, A109C, A109E, A109K2, A109S, AW109SP, A119, and
AW119 MKII helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on
August 13, 2021 (86 FR 44657). The NPRM was prompted by a report of
damage to a rod, and loosening of the nut on the upper rod end. The
NPRM proposed to require a visual inspection of the affected rods for
damage, cracks, or abnormal play, and corrective actions if necessary,
as specified in an EASA AD.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address damage to the rod, and
loosening of the nut on the upper rod end, which could result in
failure of the rod, possibly resulting in reduced control of the
helicopter. See the MCAI 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
and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed,
except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these
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.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2018-0280 requires a visual inspection of the affected rods
for damage, cracks, or evidence of abnormal play, and, depending on
findings, any applicable corrective actions (which include replacing
damaged or cracked connecting links and actions to address abnormal
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.
The FAA considers this AD interim action. The inspection reports
that are required by this AD will enable the manufacturer to obtain
better insight into the nature, cause, and extent of the cracking, and
eventually to develop final action to address the unsafe condition.
Once final action has been identified, the FAA might consider further
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 291 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs *
||Cost per product
||Cost on U.S. operators
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
* Table does not include estimated
costs for reporting.
The FAA estimates that it would take about 1 work-hour per product
to comply with the reporting requirement in this AD. The average labor
rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the
cost of reporting the inspection results on U.S. operators to be
$24,735, or $85 per product.
The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition replacements that would be required based on the results of
the inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of
aircraft that might need these on-condition replacements:
||Cost per product
||3 work-hour x $85 per hour =
||Up to $2,351
||Up to $2,606
The FAA has included all known costs
in its cost estimate.
According to the manufacturer, however, some or all of the costs of
this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact
on affected operators.
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control
number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-
0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in
the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for
reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the
collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with
this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden
and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation
Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.
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
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