DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0018; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00853-R;
Amendment 39-21997; AD 2022-07-09]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Airbus Helicopters Model AS33L2 and EC225LP helicopters. This AD was
prompted by a discrepancy in the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) where
the rotorcraft stay-up flying capabilities for Category B operation
were provided through performance data only, not as airworthiness
limitations that are dependent upon on the number of passengers on
board. This AD requires revising the existing RFM for your helicopter,
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 11, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 11,
ADDRESSES: For EASA material incorporated by reference (IBR) in
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. 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-2022-0018.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0018; 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: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer,
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY
11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0174, dated July 21, 2021 (EASA
AD 2021-0174), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters,
formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, and Aerospatiale, Model AS 332
L2 and EC 225 LP helicopters.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Helicopters
Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. The NPRM published in the
Federal Register on January 31, 2022 (87 FR 4820). The NPRM was
prompted by a discrepancy in the RFM where the rotorcraft stay-up
flying capabilities for Category B operation were provided through
performance data only, not as airworthiness limitations that are
dependent upon on the number of passengers on board. The NPRM proposed
to require revising the existing RFM for your helicopter, as specified
in EASA AD 2021-0174.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address this discrepancy in the RFM,
which, if not addressed, could lead to incorrect determination of the
stay-up flying capabilities of the helicopter, resulting in reduced
control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2021-0174 for additional
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 2021-0174 requires amending (revising) the Limitation
Section of the applicable RFM by incorporating new weight limitations
that are dependent upon the number of passengers on board.
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
EASA AD 2021-0174 requires operators to ``inform all flight crew''
of revisions to the RFM and, thereafter, to ``operate the helicopter
accordingly.'' However, this AD does not specifically require those
14 CFR 91.9 requires that no person may operate a civil aircraft
without complying with the operating limitations specified in the RFM.
Therefore, including a requirement in this AD to operate the helicopter
according to the revised RFM would be redundant and unnecessary.
Further, compliance with such a requirement in an AD would be
impracticable to demonstrate or track on an ongoing basis; therefore,
requirement to operate the helicopter in such a manner would be
This AD allows the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a
private pilot certificate to revise the existing RFM for your
helicopter and do the logbook entry, whereas EASA AD 2021-0174 does not
specify this. This AD requires these actions to be entered into the
aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14
CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v), and the record
to be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417 or 135.439.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 38 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
Revising the existing RFM for your helicopter takes about 0.50
work-hour for an estimated cost of $42.50 per helicopter and $1,615 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.
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