DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0805; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00951-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2,
AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by the
identification of certain parts needing maintenance actions, including
life limits and maintenance tasks. This proposed AD would require
incorporating into maintenance records requirements (airworthiness
limitations), 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
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by August
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-2022-0805.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0805; 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,
Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance &
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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-2022-0805; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00951-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.
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 Parkway, Fort
Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
email@example.com. 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 2021-0193, dated August 20, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0193) to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, and
Aerospatiale, Model AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355 N,
and AS 355 NP helicopters, all serial numbers. EASA AD 2021-0193
requires accomplishment of the actions in the applicable Airworthiness
Limitations Section (ALS) as defined in EASA AD 2021-0193.
This proposed AD was prompted by the identification of certain
parts needing maintenance actions, including life limits and
maintenance tasks. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the failure
of certain parts, which could result in the loss of control of the
helicopter. See EASA AD 2021-0193 for additional background
Relationship Between Proposed AD and Other Relevant Rulemaking
EASA AD 2021-0193 also states that it takes over the requirements
for Model AS 355 helicopters from EASA AD 2010-0006, dated January 7,
2010 (EASA AD 2010-0006) (which prompted FAA AD 2011-22-05 R1,
Amendment 39-17765 (79 FR 14169, March 13, 2014) (AD 2011-22-05 R1))
and EASA AD 2015-0094, dated May 29, 2015 (EASA AD 2015-0094) (which
prompted FAA AD 2016-25-20, Amendment 39-18746 (81 FR 94954, December
27, 2016) (AD 2016-25-20)). EASA AD 2021-0193 notes that the
requirements of EASA AD 2010-0006 and EASA AD 2015-0094 have been
incorporated into the applicable ALS specified in EASA AD 2021-0193.
Accordingly, this NPRM would not propose to supersede AD 2011-22-05
R1, or AD 2016-25-20. Rather, the FAA has determined that a stand-alone
AD would be more appropriate to address the changes in EASA AD 2021-
0193. Therefore, this proposed AD would require incorporating into
maintenance records requirements (airworthiness limitations), as
specified in the applicable ALS, as defined in EASA AD 2021-0193.
Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all of the
requirements of AD 2011-22-05 R1 and AD 2016-25-20 for Model AS355E,
AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters only.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0193 requires certain actions and associated
thresholds and intervals, including life limits and maintenance tasks.
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 AS 355 E Chapter 04 ALS
Revision 010, dated September 14, 2020; Airbus Helicopters AS 355 F
Chapter 04 ALS Revision 010, dated September 14, 2020; Airbus
Helicopters AS 355 F1 Chapter 04 ALS Revision 010, dated September 14,
2020; Airbus Helicopters AS 355 F2 Chapter 04 ALS Revision 011, dated
September 14, 2020; Airbus Helicopters AS 355 N Chapter 04 ALS,
Revision 010, dated September 14, 2020; and Airbus Helicopters AS 355
NP Chapter 04 ALS Revision 009, dated February 4, 2019. This service
information specifies procedures for mandatory actions for continued
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 these same type designs.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require incorporating into maintenance
records requirements (airworthiness limitations), which are specified
in EASA AD 2021-0193 described previously, except as discussed under
``Differences Between this Proposed AD and EASA AD 2021-0193.''
ADs Mandating Airworthiness Limitations
The FAA has previously mandated airworthiness limitations by
mandating each airworthiness limitation task (e.g., inspections and
replacements (life limits)) as an AD requirement or issuing ADs that
require revising the ALS of the existing maintenance manual or
instructions for continued airworthiness to incorporate new or revised
inspections and life limits. This proposed AD, however, would require
operators to incorporate into maintenance records required by 14 CFR
91.417(a)(2) or 135.439(a)(2), as applicable for your rotorcraft, the
requirements (airworthiness limitations) specified in EASA AD 2021-
0193. The FAA does not intend this as a substantive change. For these
ADs, the ALS requirements for operators are the same but are complied
with differently. Requiring the incorporation of the new ALS
requirements into the maintenance records, rather than requiring
individual ALS tasks (e.g., repetitive inspections and replacements),
requires operators to record AD compliance once after updating the
maintenance records, rather than after every time the ALS task is
In addition, paragraph (h) of the proposed AD allows operators to
incorporate later approved revisions of the ALS document as specified
in the provisions of the ``Ref. Publications'' section of EASA AD 2021-
0193 without the need for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC).
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 2021-0193 by reference in the FAA
final rule. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0193 for compliance
available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2022-0805 after the FAA final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and EASA AD 2021-0193
Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0193 requires compliance with actions
and associated thresholds and intervals, including life limits and
maintenance tasks, from the effective date of EASA AD 2021-0193.
Paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2021-0193 requires incorporating the actions
and associated thresholds and intervals, including life limits and
maintenance tasks, into the approved maintenance program within 12
months after the effective date of EASA AD 2021-0193. This proposed AD
would require incorporating into maintenance records requirements
(airworthiness limitations) within 30 days after the effective date of
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 45 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.
Incorporating into maintenance records, requirements (airworthiness
limitations) would require about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of
$170 per helicopter and $7,650 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