DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-0283; Project Identifier 2018-SW-045-AD; Amendment
39-21821; AD 2021-23-22]
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 AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This AD was
prompted by reports of failed main rotor (MR) dampers. This AD requires
various inspections of certain MR dampers, 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 January 18, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 18,
ADDRESSES: For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in
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 the EASA material on the EASA website
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. For Leonardo Helicopters service
information identified in this final rule, 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.leonardo company.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 that is
incorporated by reference is also available in the AD docket at https://
www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0283; 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: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0112R1, dated June 4, 2018
(EASA AD 2018-0112R1), which is the most recent of a series of ADs
issued by EASA, to correct an unsafe condition for certain Leonardo
S.p.A. Helicopters (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A., Helicopter Division
(FHD), AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.), AgustaWestland
Philadelphia Corporation (formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation) Model
AB139 and AW139 helicopters.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain serial-numbered
Leonardo S.p.A. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with an MR damper
part number (P/N) 3G6220V01351, 3G6220V01352, or 3G6220V01353
installed. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2020
(85 FR 17788). The NPRM was prompted by reports of failed MR dampers.
The NPRM proposed to require, for an affected helicopter with MR damper
P/N 3G6220V01351, 3G6220V01352, or 3G6220V01353 installed, reducing the
installation torque of each hub attachment bolt for each MR damper. For
an affected helicopter with MR damper P/N 3G6220V01351 or 3G6220V01352
installed, the NPRM proposed to require: Repetitively inspecting the MR
damper rod end (rod end) and MR damper body end (body end) for a crack;
dye penetrant inspecting or eddy current inspecting certain rod and
body ends for a crack; repetitively inspecting the rod and body end
bearings for rotation in the damper seat and for misaligned slippage
marks; repetitively inspecting the rod end broached ring nut; and
repetitively inspecting the bearing friction torque value of the body
and rod ends, and the MR damper anti-rotation block. Depending on the
results of the various inspections, the NPRM proposed to require
removing a part from service or replacing a part. For an affected
helicopter with MR damper P/N 3G6220V01351 or 3G6220V01352 installed,
the NPRM also proposed to require inspecting each rod end to determine
if special washer P/N 3G6220A05052 is installed, and
depending on the results, aligning the rod ends and broached rings,
replacing any broached ring that cannot be aligned, inspecting the
broached rings for wear and damage, and replacing the broached ring and
installing a special washer. Lastly, the NPRM proposed to require
installing MR damper P/N 3G220V01353, prohibit installing MR damper P/N
3G6220V01351 and P/N 3G6220V01352 on any helicopter, and allow the
installation of MR damper P/N 3G220V01353 to constitute terminating
action for all of the proposed repetitive required actions.
The FAA issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM)
to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Leonardo
S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters as identified in EASA AD 2018-
0112R1. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on September 14,
2021 (86 FR 51022). The FAA issued the SNPRM to add an action required
by EASA AD 2018-0112R1 that was inadvertently omitted in the NPRM,
correct thresholds for different actions proposed in the NPRM, and add
the option to accomplish an eddy current inspection for some
inspections. The SNPRM also utilized the FAA's new practice of
proposing to incorporate EASA AD 2018-0112R1 by reference.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address a crack in an MR damper,
which could result in seizure of the MR damper, detachment of the MR
damper in-flight, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. See
EASA AD 2018-0112R1 for additional background information.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the SNPRM or on the determination
of the costs.
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 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.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2018-0112R1 requires reducing the installation torque of
the bolts affixing each affected MR damper to the MR hub. For certain
affected MR dampers, EASA AD 2018-0112R1 requires a one-time dye
penetrant inspection of the rod and body ends, and a repetitive
detailed visual inspection of the rod and body ends. EASA AD 2018-
0112R1 allows an eddy current inspection as an alternative to those
inspections. For certain affected MR dampers, EASA AD 2018-0112R1 also
requires repetitively inspecting the rod and body end bearings for
rotation, visually inspecting the rod end broached ring nut,
accomplishing a bearing friction inspection of the body and rod end
bearings, and a detailed inspection of the anti-rotation block. EASA AD
2018-0112R1 also requires a one-time visual inspection of certain
affected MR damper rod end installations and a torque check of the MR
damper broached ring nut. For certain affected MR dampers, EASA AD
2018-0112R1 requires replacing any special washer P/N 3G6220A05051 with
a new washer P/N 3G6220A05052. If there is a crack or damage detected
in any inspection, EASA AD 2018-0112R1 requires contacting Leonardo
and, if the discrepancy is confirmed, replacing the MR damper. EASA AD
2018-0112R1 also requires corrective actions if any discrepancy is
detected in the inspections for rotation, friction, and torque. EASA AD
2018-0112R1 allows installing MR damper P/N 3G6220V01353 on a
helicopter, provided that it is installed using the correct torque
values. Lastly, EASA AD 2018-0112R1 prohibits installing MR damper P/N
3G6220V01351 and P/N 3G6220V01352 on any helicopter.
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.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
Where EASA AD 2018-0112R1 requires the compliance time of after the
last flight (ALF) of the day inspection, this AD requires the
compliance time of before the first flight of the day. Some compliance
times in EASA AD 2018-0112R1 are on condition of part removal or
replacement, whereas this AD does not include those compliance times.
EASA AD 2018-0112R1 requires a torque check of the MR damper broached
ring nut, whereas this AD requires a torque inspection instead to
clarify that the action must be accomplished by a mechanic that meets
the requirements of 14 CFR part 65 subpart D. EASA AD 2018-0112R1
requires making sure that there are no scratches or dents on the rod
end, however it does not state corrective action for this requirement;
this AD requires removing the rod end from service if there is a
scratch or dent on the rod end. Where EASA AD 2018-0112R1 requires
contacting Leonardo and replacing the MR damper with a serviceable
part, this AD requires replacing or removing parts from service
instead. Where EASA AD 2018-0112R1 requires accomplishing applicable
corrective action(s) as specified in, and in accordance with, the
instructions in service information, this AD requires removing parts
from service for some of the corrective actions instead. Where EASA AD
2018-0112R1 requires a one-time dye penetrant inspection of certain rod
ends when installed, this AD does not. Instead, this AD prohibits
installing certain rod ends that are not marked with a black dot and
therefore have not been inspected.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 126 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 the MR damper inspections takes about 24 work-hours, for
an estimated cost of $2,040 per helicopter and $257,040 for the U.S.
fleet, per inspection cycle.
Replacing a rod end takes about 3 work-hours and parts cost about
$500, for an estimated cost of $755 per rod end. Replacing a broached
ring and broached ring nut takes about 3 work-hours and parts cost
about $125, for an estimated cost of $380 per broached ring and
broached ring nut. Replacing an anti-rotation block takes about 3 work-
hours and parts cost about $50, for an estimated cost of $305 per anti-
rotation block. Replacing an MR damper takes about 2 work-hours and
parts cost about $18,000, for an estimated cost of $18,170 per MR
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