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PROPOSED AD AIRBUS HELICOPTERS: Docket No. FAA-2022-0987; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01416-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD)  by
    September 16, 2022.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This  AD  applies to  all  Airbus Helicopters  Model  AS350B, AS350BA,
    AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3,  AS350D, AS355E, AS355F,  AS355F1, AS355F2,
    AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters, certificated in any category.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6420, Tail Rotor Head.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This  AD  was prompted  by  an occurrence  reported  where, during  an
    inspection of a tail rotor  head (TRH) pitch change spider,  excessive
    play and  excessive wear  were detected,  due to  an unwanted rotating
    motion. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect improper installation  of
    the pitch change  spider nut (nut)  and improper alignment  of a black
    index marking. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in
    loss  of  the  TRH pitch  change control  and loss  of control  of the
    helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply  with this  AD within  the compliance  times specified,  unless
    already done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) For helicopters  with TRH spider pitch change unit,  part number (P/N)
    350A33-2030-00, 350A33-2167-00, or 350A33-2167-01 installed, within 50
    hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD:

(i) Inspect the nut for correct installation.  If  the  nut  is missing or
    loose,  before further flight,  remove the bearing from the TRH spider
    pitch change unit and do the following:

(A) Inspect the TRH spider pitch change unit  for  corrosion.  If there is
    any corrosion, before  further flight, remove  the affected part  from
    service and replace with an airworthy part.

(B) Inspect for rotation and wear on the faces of the bushes. For the pur-
    poses of this  AD,  indications of  rotation and wear include tearing,
    peening, metal pick-up, and hammering. If there is any rotation or any
    wear on  the faces  of the  bushes, before  further flight, remove the
    bushes from service and replace with airworthy bushes.

(C) Using a 5X  or  higher  power  magnifying  glass  visually inspect the
    rotating plate  and the  rotating plate  threads for  damage. For  the
    purposes of this AD, indications of damage include wear,  deformation,
    stripping,  galling, and  corrosion.  If  there is  any damage  on the
    rotating plate or the  rotating plate threads, before  further flight,
    remove the rotating plate from  service and replace with an  airworthy
    rotating plate.

Note 1 to paragraph (g)(1)(i): Airbus Helicopters Mechanical Repair Manual
(MRM) AS350 65-20-00-713,  dated  March 29, 2017,  also known as Work Card
65-20-00-713 MRM, and Airbus Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) AS350 65-21
-00, 4-9b, dated May 16, 2019, also known as Task 65-21-00, 4-9 AMM, spec-
ify disassembly and reassembly information for the TRH pitch change unit.

(ii) Identify the position of the TRH pitch change unit (a) and of bearing
     spacer (b)  by  marking  a  2 to 5 mm wide black paint index mark (C)
     with black paint as depicted  in Figure 1 of Airbus Helicopters Alert
     Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350-05.01.03, Revision 0, dated December
     16, 2021 (ASB AS350-05.01.03), or Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355-05
     .00.86, Revision 0, dated December 16, 2021  (ASB AS355-05.00.86), as
     applicable to your model helicopter.

(iii) Within 10 hours TIS  after the initial marking required by paragraph
      (g)(1)(ii) of this AD,  and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 10
      hours TIS, visually inspect the alignment of the marking. An example
      of a properly aligned marking is depicted  in Figure 1 of ASB AS350-
      05.01.03 and ASB AS355-05.00.86,  as applicable  to your model heli-
      copter.  If the black paint index  mark (C)  is  misaligned,  before
      further flight,  inspect the TRH spider pitch change unit  by accom-
      plishing the actions  required  by  paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (ii) of
      this AD.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD,  do not install  TRH spider pitch
    change unit P/N  350A33-2030-00, 350A33-2167-00, or  350A33-2167-01 on
    any helicopter, unless you do  the actions required by paragraphs  (g)
    (1)(i) and (ii) of this  AD before further flight after  installation,
    and thereafter  do the  actions required  by paragraph  (g)(1)(iii) of
    this AD at the times specified in paragraph (g)(1)(iii) of this AD.

(h) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, International Validation Branch,  FAA,  has the authority
    to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures  found
    in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to
    your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as
    appropriate. If  sending information  directly to  the manager  of the
    International  Validation  Branch, send  it  to the  attention  of the
    person identified in paragraph (i)(1)  of this AD.  Information may be
    emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC,  notify your appropriate principal in-
    spector, or lacking  a principal inspector,  the manager of  the local
    flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(i) RELATED INFORMATION

(1) For more information  about  this AD,  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.Sunder
    bruch@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicop-
    ters, 2701 North Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972)
    641-0000 or (800) 232-0323;  fax (972) 641-3775; or at www.airbus.com/
    helicopters/services/technical-support.html.  You may view this refer-
    enced service information 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.

(3) The subject of this AD is addressed  in European Union Aviation Safety
    Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0282, dated December 17, 2021.  You may view the
    EASA AD on the internet at www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2022-
    0987.

Issued on July 27, 2022.  Christina Underwood, Acting Director, Compliance
& Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD  by September 16,
2022.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2022-0987; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01416-R]
RIN 2120-AA64

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 (AD)
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2,
AS350B3, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP
helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by an occurrence reported
where during an inspection of a tail rotor head (TRH) pitch change
spider, excessive play and excessive wear were detected, due to an
unwanted rotating motion. This proposed AD would require, for
helicopters with certain part-numbered TRH spider pitch change units
installed, inspecting for correct installation of the spider pitch
change nut (nut); marking a 2 to 5 mm wide black paint index mark and
repetitively inspecting the alignment of the marking; and additional
inspections and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would
allow an affected part to be installed on a helicopter if certain
requirements of this proposed AD are met. 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 September
16, 2022.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions 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 between 9 a.m. and
5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For 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
www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. You may
view this service information 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket at www.regulations.gov by searching
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0987; 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 European Union
Aviation Safety Agency (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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

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-2022-0987; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-01416-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
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 which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in
the public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0282, dated December 17, 2021
(EASA AD 2021-0282), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus
Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter and Aerospatiale, Model AS 350 B,
AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 B3, AS 350 D, AS 355
E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355 N, and AS 355
NP helicopters, all serial numbers. EASA advises that an occurrence was
reported where, during an inspection of a TRH pitch change spider,
excessive play in the assembly and excessive wear on its parts were
detected, which was due to an unwanted rotating motion. This condition,
if not addressed, could result in loss of the TRH pitch change control
and loss of control of the helicopter.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2021-0282 requires a one-time check
(inspection) of the nut for correct installation, accomplishing a black
paint index marking, 2 to 5 mm wide, on the rotating spider and on the
bearing spacer of the TRH spider pitch change unit, repetitive checks
(inspections) of the marking alignment, and depending on the findings,
accomplishment of additional inspections and corrective actions. The
additional inspections include inspecting the TRH spider pitch change
unit for corrosion; inspecting for rotation and wear on the faces of
the bushes; visually inspecting the rotating plate and the rotating
plate threads for damage; and inspecting the TRH spider pitch change
unit if the mark is misaligned. The corrective actions include removing
parts with corrosion from service; replacing bushes that rotate or have
wear; and replacing damaged rotating plates. EASA AD 2021-0282 also
specifies certain procedures for installation of the affected TRH
spider pitch change unit.

FAA's Determination

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.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB)
No. AS350-05.01.03, for Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2,
AS350B3, and AS350D helicopters and Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355-
05.00.86, for Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and
AS355NP helicopters, both Revision 0 and dated December 16, 2021, which
include Figure 1 that identifies the position of the TRH pitch change
unit and of the bearing spacer to be marked with a 2 to 5 mm wide black
paint index mark. The service information also specifies procedures for
inspecting the condition and installation of the nut; and inspecting
the application and alignment of the black index mark on the TRH pitch
change unit and the bearing spacer.
This service information 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 also reviewed, Airbus Helicopters Mechanical Repair Manual
AS350 65-20-00-713, dated March 29, 2017, and Airbus Aircraft
Maintenance Manual AS350 65-21-00, 4-9b, dated May 16, 2019, which
specify disassembly and reassembly information for the TRH pitch change
unit.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would require, for helicopters with certain part-
numbered TRH spider pitch change units installed, inspecting for
correct installation of the nut; marking a 2 to 5 mm wide black paint
index mark to identify the position of certain parts; and after the
initial marking, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 10 hours
time in service, visually inspecting the alignment of the marking; and
additional inspections and corrective actions if necessary.
Additionally, this proposed AD would allow an affected part to be
installed on a helicopter, if certain requirements of this proposed AD
are met.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

EASA AD 2021-0282 applies to Model AS350BB helicopters, whereas
this proposed AD would not because that model is not FAA-type
certificated. EASA AD 2021-0282 requires accomplishing a certain
inspection using a magnifying lens, whereas this proposed AD would
require using a 5X or higher power magnifying glass to inspect instead.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 967 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.
Inspecting the nut for correct installation would take about 0.25
work-hour for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and up to $20,307
for the U.S. fleet.
Inspecting the alignment of the marking would take about 0.10 work-
hour for an estimated cost of $8.50 per helicopter per inspection and
up to $8,219.50 for the U.S. fleet per inspection.
Marking the position of the TRH pitch change unit with black paint
would take about 0.25 work-hour for an estimated cost of $21 per
helicopter and $20,307 for the U.S. fleet.
If required, inspecting the TRH spider pitch change unit for
corrosion, inspecting the faces of the bushes for rotation and wear,
and inspecting the rotating plate and rotating plate threads for damage
would take about 13 work-hours for an estimated cost of $1,105 per
helicopter.
If required, replacing the bushes would take about 1 work-hour and
parts would cost about $5,918, for an estimated cost of $6,003 per
replacement.
If required, replacing the rotating plate would take about 1 work-
hour and parts would cost about $27,375 for an estimated cost of
$27,460 per replacement.

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.

Regulatory Findings


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, I certify this proposed regulation:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866,
(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
reference, Safety.

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
directive: