DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0510; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-00158-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for certain Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) Model EC135P1,
EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3
helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of the air
conditioning system (ACS) malfunctioning. This proposed AD would
require deactivating the ACS and prohibit installing the affected
parts, 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 June
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 that is proposed for IBR in this NPRM, 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 Airbus Helicopters service information
identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 North Forum
Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-
0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html.
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-2022-0510.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0510; 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: Stephanie Sunderbruch, Aerospace
Engineer, Safety Risk Management Section, Systems Policy Branch, Policy
& Innovation Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone (817) 222-4659; email Stephanie.L.Sunderbruch@faa.gov.
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-2022-0510; Project Identifier
MCAI-2022-00158-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
Stephanie Sunderbruch, Aerospace Engineer, Safety Risk Management
Section, Systems Policy Branch, Policy & Innovation Division, FAA,
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-4659;
email Stephanie.L.Sunderbruch@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.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2022-0023, dated February 3, 2022
(EASA AD 2022-0023), 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, EC635T2+, EC635P2+,
EC635P3, EC635T1, and EC635T3 helicopters, all variants, serial numbers
from 0008 to 0869 inclusive, except S/N 0831 and S/N 0864.
This proposed AD was prompted by reports of the ACS malfunctioning;
investigation into the malfunction has identified that certain ACS soft
start units are the root cause. The FAA is proposing this AD to address
malfunctioning ACSs. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could
result in an overvoltage of the ACS, resulting in overheating of the
surrounding area, failure of the helicopter electrical system connected
to the ACS, and a subsequent loss of electrical power which could
result in increased pilot workload and reduced helicopter control. See
EASA AD 2022-0023 for additional background information.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2022-0023 requires deactivating the ACS soft start unit
part number (P/N) ES59185-2 on helicopters with a compressor/condenser
pallet P/N 135-0553-1 or P/N 135-0566-2 installed. EASA AD 2022-0023
also prohibits installing soft start unit P/N ES59185-2 or a
compressor/condenser pallet P/N 135-0553-1 or P/N 135-0566-2 on any
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
The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB
EC135-21A-024, Revision 0, dated February 2, 2022. This service
information specifies procedures for deactivating the soft part unit of
the compressor/condenser pallet and specifies that compressor/condenser
pallet P/N 135-0553-1 or 135-0566-2 with soft start unit P/N ES59185-2
installed must not be installed on any helicopter.
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 designs.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2022-0023, described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this proposed AD and except as discussed under
``Differences Between this Proposed AD and the EASA 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 2022-0023 by reference in the FAA
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with
EASA AD 2022-0023 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 2022-0023 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 2022-
0023. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2022-0023 for
compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0510 after the FAA final
rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA 2022-0023 applies to Model EC635P2+, EC635P3, EC635T1,
EC635T2+, and EC635T3 helicopters, whereas this proposed AD would not
because these models are not FAA type-certificated and are not included
on the U.S. type certificate data sheet except where the U.S. type
certificate data sheet explains that the Model EC635T2+ helicopter
having serial number 0858 was converted from Model EC635T2+ to Model
The FAA considers this proposed AD would be an interim action. The
design approval holder is currently developing a modification that will
address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this
modification is developed, approved, and available, the FAA might
consider additional rulemaking.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 341 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.
Deactivating the ACS would take about 1 work-hour, for an estimated
cost of $85 per helicopter and up to $28,985 for the U.S. fleet.
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 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
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
(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
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