DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0024; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00994-R;
Amendment 39-21999; AD 2022-07-11]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-17-
18, which applied to all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E,
A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. AD 2021-17-18 required an inspection of
certain tail rotor (TR) sleeve assemblies for discrepancies, an
inspection of certain TR shaft assemblies for discrepancies, a
repetitive measurement of the position of the bushing of the TR sleeve
assembly in relation to the pitch change slider assembly, and
corrective actions if necessary. This AD retains the requirements of AD
2021-17-18, and also requires repetitive inspections of the TR sleeve
assemblies, and corrective actions if necessary, as specified in a
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated
by reference. This AD was prompted by a determination that additional
actions are required to address the unsafe condition. This AD was also
prompted by a report of a crack on the TR mast. The FAA is issuing this
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective May 5, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 7,
2021 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021).
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD,
contact the 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 this 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 on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0024.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-
0024; 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, 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, FAA, 1600
Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330;
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA
AD 2021-0144). (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for all Leonardo S.p.a. (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A, AgustaWestland
S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.) Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2021-17-18, Amendment 39-21701 (86 FR
46766, August 20, 2021) (AD 2021-17-18). AD 2021-17-18 applied to all
Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP
helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 3,
2022 (87 FR 6091). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that
additional actions are required to address the unsafe condition. The
NPRM was also prompted by a report of a crack on the TR mast. The NPRM
proposed to continue to require an inspection of certain TR sleeve
assemblies for discrepancies, an inspection of certain TR shaft
assemblies for discrepancies, a repetitive measurement of the position
of the bushing of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch
change slider assembly, and corrective actions if necessary, as
specified in an EASA AD. The NPRM also proposed to require repetitive
inspections of the TR sleeve assemblies, and corrective actions if
necessary, as specified in an EASA AD.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking on the TR mast,
which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of
control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or
on the determination of the cost to the public.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed,
except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these
Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
This AD requires EASA AD 2021-0144, which the Director of the
Federal Register approved for incorporation by reference as of
September 7, 2021 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021). 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 MCAI
Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies the inspection must be
done within 25 flight hours or 3 months, whichever occurs first.
However, this AD requires the inspection to be done within 25 hours
time-in-service after September 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021-
The FAA considers this AD interim action. The inspection reports
that are required by this AD will enable the manufacturer to obtain
better insight into the nature, cause, and extent of the cracking, and
eventually to develop final action to address the unsafe condition.
Once final action has been identified, the FAA might consider further
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 133 helicopters of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
COST PER PRODUCT
COST ON U.S. OPERATORS
|Retained Inspections/from AD 2021-17-18.
||Up to 6 work-hours x $85 per hour = $510 per inspection / measurement cycle.
| Up to $510 per inspection / measurement cycle.
|| Up to $67,830 perinspection /measurement cycle.
|New Repetitive Inspections
|| Up to 1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85per inspection cycle.
| Up to $85 per inspection cycle.
|| Up to $11,305 per inspection cycle.
The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions (replacements, repairs, and reporting) that would be
required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no
way of determining the number of helicopters that might need these on-
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions *
COST PER PRODUCT
|| 19 work-hours x $85 per hour = $1,615.
| Up to $90,375.
|| 1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85.
* The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates
for the on-condition repairs specified in this proposed AD.
According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this AD
may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on
affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for
affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs
in the cost estimate.
Paperwork Reduction Act
A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control
number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-
0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in
the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for
reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the
collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with
this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden
and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation
Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-17-18, Amendment 39-21701
(86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021); and
b. Adding the following new AD: