DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-1584; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-01522-R;
Amendment 39-22281; AD 2022-26-03]
Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Leonardo S.p.a. Model AW169 helicopters. This AD was prompted by a
report of a protruding pushbutton screw (screw) on a cockpit door
internal handle resulting in an interference with
the collective stick travel. This AD requires inspecting each screw and
depending on the results, modifying the cockpit door handle and
reporting information, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety
Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD also
prohibits installing an affected door handle assembly unless certain
actions are accomplished. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD becomes effective December 30, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 30,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by January 30, 2023.
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 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 above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2022-1584; 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 listed above.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
For EASA material that is 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 easa.europa.eu. You may find the IBR material on the EASA
website at 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 at
regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2022-1584.
Other Related Service Information: For Leonardo Helicopters service
information identified in this final rule, contact Leonardo S.p.A.
Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G. Agusta
520, 21017 C. Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone (+39) 0331-
225074; fax (+39) 0331-229046; or at
customerportal.leonardocompany.com/en-US/. This service information is
also available at the FAA contact information under Material
Incorporated by Reference above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Hughlett, Aerospace Engineer,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch,
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort
Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD 2022-0233-E, dated
November 30, 2022 (EASA AD 2022-0233-E), to correct an unsafe condition
for Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A.,
AgustaWestland S.p.A., Model AW169 helicopters, all serial numbers.
This AD was prompted by a report of a protruding screw on the left-
hand (LH) cockpit door internal handle resulting in an interference
with the collective stick travel. The FAA is issuing this AD to address
a discrepancy with the screw. The unsafe condition, if not addressed,
could result in reduced collective stick authority and subsequent
reduced control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2022-0233-E for
additional background information.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2022-0233-E requires a one-time inspection of the LH and
right-hand (RH) pilot and co-pilot door handle assemblies having part
number (P/N) 4F5211A02331 for marking of green paint on the screw. If
no green paint is found during the inspection, EASA AD 2022-0233-E
requires inspecting the condition and torque of the screw and modifying
the cockpit door handle. Depending on the results of the inspection,
EASA AD 2022-0233-E also requires reporting any discrepancy or loose
screw to Leonardo Helicopters. Additionally, EASA AD 2022-0233-E
prohibits installing a pilot and co-pilot door handle assembly P/N
4F5211A02331 unless certain requirements are met.
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 also reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service
Bulletin No. 169-228, dated November 29, 2022. This service information
specifies procedures for inspecting the screw head installed on the LH
and RH door handle assemblies for green paint. If there is no green
paint, this service information specifies procedures for inspecting the
condition of the screw and inspecting the screw for proper tightening.
If there are any anomalies or a loose screw, this service information
specifies reporting the finding to Product Support Engineering. This
service information also specifies procedures to modify the door handle
assembly by applying a sealing compound, applying torque, and painting
the screw head green.
These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of
Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
the FAA's bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical
representative, has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described
in its emergency AD. The FAA is issuing this AD after evaluating all
pertinent information and determining that the unsafe condition exists
and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type
Requirements of This AD
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD
2022-0233-E, described previously, as IBRed, except for any differences
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD and except
as discussed under ``Differences Between this AD and the EASA AD.''
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,
EASA AD 2022-0233-E is IBRed in this FAA final rule. This AD,
therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2022-0233-E in its entirety
through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as
exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. Using common terms that
are the same as the heading of a particular section in EASA AD 2022-
0233-E does not mean that operators need comply only with that section.
For example, where the AD requirement refers to ``all required actions
and compliance times,'' compliance with this AD requirement is not
limited to the section titled ``Required Action(s) and Compliance
Time(s)'' in EASA AD 2022-0233-E. Service information referenced in
EASA AD 2022-0233-E for compliance will be available at regulations.gov
under Docket No. FAA-2022-1584 after this final rule is published.
Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD
The service information referenced in EASA AD 2022-0233-E specifies
checking the screw for condition and proper tightening, and if there
are any anomalies or loose screws, reporting the finding to Product
Support Engineering. This AD requires inspecting the screw for a
discrepancy, which may be indicated by a protruding screw head,
improper torque, or a loose screw. If there is any discrepancy, this AD
requires replacing the screw with an airworthy screw.
EASA AD 2022-0233-E specifies reporting inspection results within 7
days after completing an inspection that detects any discrepancy or
loose screw, whereas this AD requires reporting those inspection
results within 10 days after completing the inspection, if the
inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD; or
reporting those inspection results within 10 days after the effective
date of this AD, if the inspection was done before the effective date
of this AD. Additionally, for the purposes of this AD, a discrepancy
may be indicated by a protruding screw head, improper torque, or loose
The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later
identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because when an affected component fails, the proximity of the affected
component could create interference with part of an assembly that is
critical to the control of a helicopter. This unsafe condition may
currently exist in other helicopters and consequences of this unsafe
condition could occur during any phase of flight without any previous
indications. In addition, the compliance time for the initial
inspection is within 13 hours time-in-service or 30 days, whichever
occurs first after the effective date of this AD, which is shorter than
the time necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the
final rule. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public
comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant
to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days,
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2022-1584; Project Identifier MCAI-
2022-01522-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The
agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this final rule.
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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Michael
Hughlett, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section,
International Validation Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-
5110; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA
receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in
the public docket for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 11 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
Visually inspecting each screw head for green paint takes a minimal
amount of time for a nominal cost.
If required, inspecting a non-painted screw and modifying the door
handle assembly takes about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43
per door handle assembly.
If required, replacing a screw with an airworthy screw takes a
minimal amount of time and has a nominal parts cost.
If required, reporting information takes about 1 work-hour for an
estimated cost of $85.
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 currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB
Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public
reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be
approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the
collection of information. All responses to this collection of
information are mandatory. Send comments regarding this burden estimate
or any other aspect of this collection of information, including
suggestions for reducing this burden, to: Information Collection
Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood
Parkway, 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, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
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