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PROPOSED AD AIRBUS HELICOPTERS DEUTSCHLAND GMBH (AHD): Docket No. FAA-2022-0294; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00550-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD)  by
    May 12, 2022.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH  (AHD) MBB-
    BK117 A-1, MBB-BK117 A-3, MBB-BK117 A-4, MBB-BK117 B-1, MBB-BK117 B-2,
    MBB-BK117 C-1, MBB-BK117 C-2, and MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters,  certifi-
    cated in any category.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6200, Main Rotor System.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD  was prompted  by the  FAA's determination  that aging  of the
    elastomeric material  of certain  tension torsion  straps (TT-Straps),
    during the  period since  manufacturing date  up to  first flight on a
    helicopter,  may  affect  its structural  characteristics. The  FAA is
    issuing  this  AD to  address  aging of  the  elastomeric material  of
    certain  TT-Straps.  The  unsafe condition,  if  not  addressed, could
    result in premature failure of a TT-Strap, possibly resulting in  loss
    of control of the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

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

(g) REQUIREMENTS

    Except as specified in paragraph (h)  of this AD:  Comply with all re-
    quired actions and compliance times specified in,  and  in  accordance
    with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0122, dated
    May 6, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0122).

(h) EXCEPTIONS TO EASA AD 2021-0122

(1) Where EASA AD 2021-0122 refers to its effective date, this AD requires
    using the effective date of this AD.

(2) Where EASA AD 2021-0122  specifies the "cure date" of a TT-Strap,  the
    cure date  can be  determined using  the information  provided in  the
    service  information specified  in EASA  AD 2021-0122,  or  contacting
    Airbus Helicopters  Deutschland GmbH  for applicable  instructions. If
    the  option  of  contacting Airbus  Helicopters  Deutschland  GmbH for
    instructions is  chosen, those  instructions must  be approved  by the
    Manager,  General   Aviation  &   Rotorcraft  Section,   International
    Validation Branch, FAA;  or EASA; or  Airbus Helicopters' EASA  Design
    Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must
    include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) This AD does not mandate compliance with the "Remarks" section of EASA
    AD 2021-0122.

(4) Where the service information  referenced  in EASA AD 2021-0122 speci-
    fies scrapping a part,  this AD requires removing that part from serv-
    ice.

(5) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0122  specifies  to  replace  each
    Lord TT-Strap and Bendix TT-Strap "in accordance with the instructions
    of the  applicable ASB,"  for this  AD, the  replacement must  be done
    using FAA-approved procedures.

(6) Where EASA AD 2021-0122  refers to the airworthiness limitations items
    of the airworthiness limitations  section of the aircraft  maintenance
    manual (AMM) for the definition  of service life limit (SLL),  this AD
    requires  using  the  life limits  specified  in  paragraphs (h)(6)(i)
    through (iii) of this AD, as applicable.

(i) For Bendix TT-Strap P/N 2604067 and P/N 117-14110:  Before 10 years or
    25,000 flight cycles on the part, whichever occurs first.

(ii) For Lord TT-Strap P/N J17322-1 and P/N 117-14111:  Before 12 years or
     40,000 flight cycles on the part, whichever occurs first.

(iii) For Lord TT-Strap P/N B622M10T1001: Before 12 years or 30,000 flight
      cycles on the part, whichever occurs first.

(7) Where table 1 of EASA AD 2021-0122  specifies  a  compliance  time  of
    "During the next helicopter periodical inspection or within 2  months,
    whichever occurs later  after the effective  date of this  AD, but not
    exceeding the  SLL," for  this AD,  the compliance  time is  "Within 2
    months  after the  effective date  of this  AD but  not exceeding  the
    applicable SLL specified in paragraphs (h)(6)(i) through (iii) of this
    AD.

(i) SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMIT

    Special flight permits,  as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are
    not allowed.

(j) 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 (k)(2)  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.

(k) RELATED INFORMATION

(1) For EASA AD 2021-0122,  contact  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  the EASA 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.
    This material may be found in the AD docket at https://www.regulations
    .gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0294.

(2) For more information about this AD,  contact  Kristi Bradley,  Program
    Manager, COS Program Management Section,  Operational  Safety  Branch,
    Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,  10101 Hillwood Pkwy.,  Fort
    Worth, TX 76177; phone (817) 222-5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov.

Issued on March 22, 2022. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthi-
ness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 12, 2022.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2022-0294; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00550-R]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
(AHD) Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD)
for all Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) Model MBB-BK117 A-1,
MBB-BK117 A-3, MBB-BK117 A-4, MBB-BK117 B-1, MBB-BK117 B-2, MBB-BK117
C-1, MBB-BK117 C-2, and MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters. This proposed AD was
prompted by the FAA's determination that aging of the elastomeric
material of certain tension torsion straps (TT-Straps), during the
period since manufacturing date up to first flight on a helicopter, may
affect its structural characteristics. This proposed AD would require
the replacement of certain TT-Straps, implementation of storage life
limits for TT-Straps, a prohibition on installing certain TT-Straps and
conditions for installation of certain other TT-Straps, as specified in
a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed
for incorporation by reference (IBR). The FAA is proposing this AD to
address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 12,
2022.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions
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 that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact
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 the EASA 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. The EASA material is also
available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2022-0294.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0294; 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 NPRM, the EASA AD,
any comments received, and other information. The street address for
Docket Operations is listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Bradley, Program Manager, COS
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; phone: (817) 222-5110; email: kristin.bradley@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2022-0294; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00550-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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 proposal 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 NPRM.

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 NPRM 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 NPRM, 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 NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to
Kristi Bradley, Program Manager, COS Program Management Section,
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: (817) 222-5110;
email: kristin.bradley@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.

Background

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0122, dated May 6, 2021 (EASA
AD 2021-0122), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus
Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland
GmbH, Eurocopter Hubschrauber GmbH, Messerschmitt-B[ouml]lkow-Blohm
GmbH; Airbus Helicopters Inc., formerly American Eurocopter LLC) Model
MBB-BK117 A-1, MBB-BK117 A-3, MBB-BK117 A-4, MBB-BK117 B-1, MBB-BK117
B-2, MBB-BK117 C-1, MBB-BK117 C-2, and MBB-BK117 D-2 helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that aging of the
elastomeric material of certain TT-Straps, during the period since
manufacturing date up to first flight on a helicopter, may affect its
structural characteristics. The FAA is proposing this AD to address
aging of the elastomeric material of certain TT-Straps, which could
lead to premature failure of a TT-Strap, possibly resulting in loss of
control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2021-0122 for additional
background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA AD 2021-0122 requires the replacement of certain TT-straps,
implementation of storage life limits for TT-Straps since cure date, a
prohibition on installing certain TT-Straps, and provides conditions
for installation of certain other TT-Straps. 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.

FAA's Determination


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 is proposing this AD
after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that
the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop
on other helicopters of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2021-0122, described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this proposed AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD
process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the
FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2021-0122 by reference in the FAA
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with
EASA AD 2021-0122 in its entirety through that incorporation, except
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of
this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading
of a particular section in EASA AD 2021-0122 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 EASA AD 2021-
0122. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0122 for
compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0294 after the FAA final
rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 213 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 proposed AD.

Estimated Costs

Action
Labor cost
Parts cost
Cost per product
Cost on U.S. operators
Replace the TT-Strap 5 work-hours x $85 per hour = $425
$4,800
$5,225
$1,112,925

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.

Regulatory Findings

The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 proposed
regulation:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866,
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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 Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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: