DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0885; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00966-R;
Amendment 39-21786; AD 2021-22-13]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by the determination that the requirement to accomplish a
rated load check (RTC) on certain hoist assemblies may have been
inadvertently left out of some aircraft maintenance publications
(AMPs). This AD requires performing an RTC on certain part-numbered
hoist assemblies with certain part-numbered hoist cables installed and
corrective actions if any discrepancies are found as specified in a
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 becomes effective November 17, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 17,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by December 17, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
for submitting comments.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD,
contact the 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 IBR material on the EASA website
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. For Leonardo S.p.a. service information
identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Emanuele
Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di
Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or
at https://customerportal.leonardocompany.com/en-US/. 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. Service information is also available at https://www.regulations.gov
searching for and locating Docket FAA-2021-0885.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0885; 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 AD, the EASA AD,
any comments received, and other information. The street address for
Docket Operations is listed above.
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 2021-0186R1, dated August 18, 2021
and corrected August 23, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0186R1), to correct an
unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, formerly Finmeccanica
S.p.A, AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta
S.p.A.; and AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation, formerly Agusta
Aerospace Corporation, Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters.
EASA advises that a review of an AW139 AMP manual determined that
the requirement to accomplish an RTC on a Breeze hoist assembly was not
introduced until AMP issue 39, dated June 7, 2021. EASA advises the RTC
is intended to verify the integrity of the hoist assembly and the
efficiency of the hoist system operation. EASA further advises that the
RTC is included in the hoist manufacturer's Flight Line Operation and
Maintenance Manual and is required whenever the hoist cable is replaced
or a hoist is stored for more than 12 months. EASA further advises
since the RTC has been recently published in the AW139 AMP it may not
have been accomplished on all affected hoist assemblies. This
condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of the
hoist assembly, possibly resulting in loss of external human cargo
during hoist operations. Accordingly, EASA AD 2021-0186R1 requires
accomplishing an RTC of certain hoist assemblies, and if during the RTC
any discrepancy is detected, before next hoist operation, contacting
Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters for approved corrective action. See the
EASA AD for additional background information.
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country, and are approved for operation in the United States.
Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design
Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described
in EASA AD 2021-0186R1 referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD
after evaluating all pertinent information and determining that the
unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other
products of these same type designs.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0186R1 specifies procedures for accomplishing an RTC
of the rescue hoist system in accordance with the instructions in the
manufacturer's service information.
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.
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD
2021-0186R1, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of
this AD and except as discussed under ``Differences Between this AD and
Differences Between This AD and EASA AD 2021-0186R1
EASA AD 2021-0186R1 applies to all serial-numbered Model AB139 and
AW139 helicopters, whereas this AD only applies to Model AB139 and
AW139 helicopters equipped with certain parts that have not completed
an RTC in accordance with certain service information following either
replacement of certain hoist cables or installation of a hoist assembly
that has been in storage for more than 12 consecutive months. Paragraph
(2) of EASA AD 2021-0186R1 requires contacting Leonardo S.p.a.
Helicopters for approved corrective actions if any discrepancies are
found, whereas this AD requires accomplishing the corrective actions
using a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo
S.p.a. Helicopters' EASA Design Organization Approval.
Explanation of Applicability Paragraph
This AD applies to certain Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139
helicopters, equipped with certain part-numbered Breeze external hoist
assemblies that have not passed an RTC in accordance with certain
maintenance manuals, maintenance instructions, or alert service
bulletins after certain maintenance actions have been performed.
Although EASA specifies that EASA AD 2021-0186R1 is applicable to all
Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters, this AD specifies the applicable
maintenance manuals, maintenance instructions, and alert service
bulletins, along with the maintenance actions, in the Applicability
paragraph to ensure all owners and operators comply with passing the
RTC prior to the next hoist operation, as required by this AD.
Explanation of Required Compliance Information
In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation
authorities to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2021-0186R1 is
incorporated by reference in this AD. This AD therefore, requires
compliance with EASA AD 2021-0186R1 in its entirety, through that
incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in
the regulatory text of this AD. Using common terms that are the same as
the heading of a particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that
operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD
requirement refers to ``all required actions and compliance times,''
compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section
titled ``Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)'' in the EASA AD.
Service information specified in EASA AD 2021-0186R1 that is required
for compliance with EASA AD 2021-0186R1 is available on the internet at
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because the requirement to accomplish an RTC on certain hoist
assemblies may have been inadvertently left out of some AMPs, and
therefore may not have been accomplished on all hoist assemblies, which
could lead to failure of the hoist assembly. In addition, the
compliance time for the required actions is before the next hoist
operation, a shorter time period than the time necessary for the public
to comment and for publication of the final rule.
Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are
impracticable and contrary to public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C.
553(b)(3)(B). In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less
than 30 days, for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forgo
notice and comment.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0885.; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00966-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for
any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this
AD because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each
substantive verbal contact received about this AD.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this AD contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this AD, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to 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. Any commentary that the FAA
receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in
the public docket for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and
comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt
this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 129 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
Performing an RTC takes about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of
$85 per RTC, and $10,965 for the U.S. fleet.
If required, replacing the hoist assembly takes about 1.5 work-
hours and parts cost about $204,364 for an estimated cost of $204,492
per hoist assembly.
If required, replacing a hoist cable takes about 0.75 work-hour and
parts cost about $14,141 for an estimated cost of $14,205 per hoist
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.
The FAA determined that 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 this regulation:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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