DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-1176; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00755-R;
Amendment 39-21978; AD 2022-06-12]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain Airbus Helicopters Model SA330J helicopters. This AD was
prompted by a review of Model EC225LP helicopter data that revealed
potential tightening torque loss of the attachment screws of the upper
deck fittings of the three main gearbox (MGB) suspension bars. Due to
design similarities, the MGB right-hand (RH) rear fittings and MGB RH
rear fitting attachment screws on Model SA330J helicopters could also
be affected. Additional analysis confirmed that the service life limit
(life limit) (SLL) for these affected MGB RH rear fittings needs to be
reduced for helicopters on which these affected parts were operated
concurrently with metallic main rotor blades installed. This AD
requires determining the damage value and SLL of each affected MGB RH
rear fitting, replacing each affected MGB RH rear fitting with a new
part, and replacing the MGB RH rear fitting attachment screws, 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 is effective May 9, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 9, 2022.
ADDRESSES: For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this
final rule, 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. 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 at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1176.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1176; 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
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (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
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC
20024; telephone: (202) 267-9167; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0152R1, dated July 20, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0152R1), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, Aerospatiale, Sud
Aviation) Model SA 330 J helicopters, all serial numbers, which were
modified in service in accordance with the instructions of Eurocopter
France Service Bulletin (SB) No. 01.20 (part of which is the in-service
retrofit Modification (Mod) 07 40043), except those on which each
affected part (as defined in EASA AD 2021-0152R1) was replaced with a
new part (not previously installed) during embodiment of Eurocopter France
SB No. 01.20 in service.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus
Helicopters Model SA330J helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal
Register on January 13, 2022 (87 FR 2085). The NPRM was prompted by a
review of Model EC225LP helicopter in-service data that revealed
potential tightening torque loss of the attachment screws of the upper
deck fittings of the three MGB suspension bars. The FAA issued AD 2020-
06-12, Amendment 39-19881 (85 FR 19077, April 6, 2020) to address the
unsafe condition on Model EC225LP helicopters). Due to design
similarities, the MGB RH rear fittings and MGB RH rear fitting
attachment screws on Model SA330J helicopters could also be affected.
Additional analysis confirmed that the SLL for these affected MGB RH
rear fittings needs to be reduced for helicopters on which these
affected parts were operated concurrently with metallic main rotor
blades (pre-Airbus Helicopters Modification 07 40043) installed. Airbus
Helicopters Modification 07 40043 introduced the installation of
composite main rotor blades. The NPRM proposed to require determining
the damage value and SLL of each affected MGB RH rear fitting,
replacing each affected MGB RH rear fitting with a new part, and
replacing the MGB RH rear fitting attachment screws, as specified in
EASA AD 2021-0152R1.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address tightening torque loss of the
attachment screws of the upper deck fittings of the three MGB
suspension bars. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result
in structural failure of the MGB RH rear fittings and MGB RH rear
fitting attachment screws, resulting in detachment of the MGB
suspension bars and consequent loss of control of the helicopter. See
EASA AD 2021-0152R1 for additional background information.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
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. Except for minor editorial changes,
this AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0152R1 requires determining the damage value of each
affected MGB RH rear fitting by calculating the damage caused during
the time each affected part was operated concurrently with metallic
main rotor blades installed on the helicopter, calculating the SLL for
each affected MGB RH rear fitting, and eventually replacing each
affected MGB RH rear fitting and the MGB RH rear fitting attachment
screws with new parts. 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.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 15 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
COST PER PRODUCT
COST ON U.S. OPERATORS
|Determine damage value and SLL
|| 1 work-hours x $85 per hour = $85
|| 8 work-hours x $85 per hour = $680
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.
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 Order 12866,
(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