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PROPOSED AD AIRBUS HELICOPTERS: Docket No. FAA-2023-0016; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-00416-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments  on this airworthiness directive (AD) by
    March 6, 2023.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This AD applies  to all Airbus Helicopters  Model EC120B, EC130B4, and
    EC130T2 helicopters certificated in any category.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code:  3213, Main Landing Gear
    Strut, Axle, Truck.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by a report of corrosion detected on certain part
    -numbered  landing gear  assemblies.  The  FAA is  issuing this  AD to
    detect corrosion  and cracks  on the  landing gear  tubes.  The unsafe
    condition,  if  not  addressed,  could  result  in  the  landing  gear
    collapsing, damage to the helicopter, and injury to occupants.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified,  unless al-
    ready done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) Within 13 months after the effective date of this AD, for Model EC120B
    helicopters with landing gear assembly part number (P/N) C321A2106102,
    P/N   C321A2501101,   P/N   C321A2501102,   P/N   C321A2601051AA,  P/N
    C321A2601051CA, or P/N C321A2601052  installed, and for Model  EC130B4
    and EC130T2  helicopters with  landing gear  assembly P/N  350A41-0077
    -0201,  P/N  350A41-0080-1102, P/N  350A41-0080-1103,  P/N 350A41-0081
    -0201, P/N 350A41-0082-0101, or P/N 350A41-0082-0102 installed, except
    those having a date of first installation on a helicopter of  February
    16, 2022 or  later; and for  helicopters with a  landing gear assembly
    having a P/N specified in this paragraph, with an unknown installation
    date, do the following:

(i) Remove the landing gear fairing from the rear crossbeam  and clean the
    external areas of each of the landing gear tubes item a, item c,  item
    d, and  item e,  including Zones  B1, B2,  C1, C2,  D, E,  F, and M as
    depicted in  Detail A,  Figure 3,  and Details  B and  C, Figure  4 of
    Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. EC120-32A014  (ASB
    EC120-32A014 Rev 1), or as depicted in Detail A, Figure 4, and Details
    B and  C, Figure  5 of  Airbus Helicopters  ASB No.  EC130-32A013 (ASB
    EC130-32A013 Rev 1), both Revision 1, and both dated October 17, 2022,
    as applicable to your model helicopter.

(ii) Visually inspect the external areas of each of the landing gear tubes
     item a, item c, item d and item e, including Zones B1, B2, C1, C2, D,
     E, F, and M for corrosion  (including, but not limited to leafing and
     exfoliant corrosion) and cracks.

(A) If any crack or leafing  or  exfoliant corrosion  is detected,  before
    further flight,  remove the affected part from service  and replace it
    with an airworthy part.

(B) If any corrosion is detected in Zone C1, C2, or E,  other than leafing
    or exfoliant corrosion, before further flight, disassemble the landing
    gear and using a non-metal abrasive pad, remove all corrosion from all
    zones.

(C) If any corrosion is detected  in  only  Zone B1, B2, D, F, or M, other
    than leafing or exfoliant corrosion,  before further flight,  using  a
    non-metal abrasive pad, remove all corrosion from all zones.

(iii) Borescope inspect the internal side  of  each  of  the  landing gear
      tubes item a, item c, item d and item e, including Zones B1, B2, C1,
      C2, D, E, F and M for corrosion (including, but not limited to leaf-
      ing and exfoliant corrosion) and cracks.

(A) If any crack,  leafing corrosion,  or exfoliant corrosion is detected,
    before  further  flight, remove  the  affected part  from  service and
    replace it with an airworthy part. (B) If any corrosion is detected in
    Zone C1, C2,  or E,  other than leafing or  exfoliant corrosion before
    further flight,  disassemble the  landing gear  and using  a non-metal
    abrasive pad, remove all corrosion from all zones.

(C) If any corrosion is detected  in  only  Zone B1, B2, D, F, or M, other
    than leafing or exfoliant corrosion,  before further flight,  using  a
    non-metal abrasive pad, remove all corrosion from all zones.

(iv) Before further flight  after  performing  the inspections required by
     paragraphs (g)(1)(ii)  and (iii)  of this  AD, if  any corrosion  was
     detected during any inspection required by paragraphs (g)(1)(ii)  and
     (iii) of this AD other than leafing or exfoliant corrosion, using  an
     ultrasonic thickness  gauge, measure  the remaining  thickness of the
     landing gear  tubes in  the zones  where any  corrosion was  removed.
     Interpret the results of the measurement using the criteria specified
     in Table 3 of ASB EC120-32A014  Rev 1 or Table 3 of  EC130-32A013 Rev
     1, as applicable to your model helicopter. If the remaining thickness
     does not  meet the  permitted criteria  as specified,  before further
     flight, remove each affected sub-assembly from service and replace it
     with  an  airworthy  part.  If  the  remaining  thickness  meets  the
     permitted criteria  as specified,  before further  flight, accomplish
     the actions required by paragraph (g)(1)(v) of this AD.

(v) Apply a chemical conversion coating (Alodine 1200) or equivalent,  and
    a double layer of chromate  Primer P05 and Primer P20,  or equivalent,
    below the collar in Zones F and M and to any reworked zone.

(2) For Model EC120B helicopters,  as of the effective date of this AD, do
    not install landing gear assembly P/N C321A2106102,  P/N C321A2501101,
    P/N  C321A2501102,  P/N  C321A2601051AA,  P/N  C321A2601051CA,  or P/N
    C321A2601052, previously installed  with an unknown  installation date
    or a date  of first installation  on a helicopter  before February 16,
    2022; and do not install a front crossbeam, rear crossbeam,  left-hand
    (LH) skid  assembly, or  right-hand (RH)  skid assembly  having a  P/N
    identified in Table 2 of ASB EC120-32A014 Rev 1, previously  installed
    with an unknown installation date, or a date of first installation  on
    a helicopter before February 16, 2022,  on any helicopter;  unless the
    actions required by  paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through  (v) of this  AD, as
    applicable, have been accomplished on the part.

(3) For Model EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters, as of the effective date of
    this AD,  do  not  install landing gear assembly P/N 350A41-0077-0201,
    P/N 350A41-0080-1102,  P/N 350A41-0080-1103, P/N 350A41-0081-0201, P/N
    350A41-0082-0101 or P/N 350A41-0082-0102, previously installed with an
    unknown installation date or a date of first installation on a helicop
    -ter before February 16, 2022,  and do not install a  front crossbeam,
    rear crossbeam, LH  skid assembly, or  RH skid assembly,  having a P/N
    identified in Table 2 of  ASB EC130-32A013 Rev 1 previously  installed
    with an unknown installation date, or a date of first installation  on
    a helicopter before February 16,  2022, on any helicopter, unless  the
    actions required by  paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through  (v) of this  AD, as
    applicable, have been accomplished on the part.

(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)(2) 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) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

(1) Refer  to  European Union Aviation Safety Agency  (EASA) AD 2022-0053,
    dated March 23, 2022,  for  related  information.  This EASA AD may be
    found in the AD docket  at regulations.gov  under Docket No. FAA-2023-
    0016.

(2) 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.Sunderbruch
    @faa.gov.

(j) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

(1) The Director of the Federal Register  approved  the  incorporation  by
    reference  (IBR)  of the service information  listed in this paragraph
    under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use  this service information as applicable to do the actions
    required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin  (ASB) No. EC120-32A014, Re-
    vision 1, dated October 17, 2022.

(ii) Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130-32A013 Revision 1, dated October 17,
     2022.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicop-
    ters,  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.

(4) 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.

(5) You may view  this service information  that is incorporated by refer-
    ence at the National Archives and Records Administration  (NARA).  For
    information on the availability  of this material  at NARA,  email fr.
    inspection@nara.gov,  or go to: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/
    ibr-locations.html.

Issued on January 12, 2023. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Acting Director, Compli-
ance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 6, 2023.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2023-0016; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-00416-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 EC120B, EC130B4, and EC130T2
helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of corrosion
detected on certain part-numbered landing gear assemblies. This
proposed AD would require, for helicopters with certain part-numbered
landing gear assemblies installed, visually inspecting for cracks and
corrosion; borescope inspecting; and if required, removing corrosion,
measuring thickness, interpreting results of the measurements, applying
chemical conversion coating and primer, and removing affected parts
(landing gear assembly) and affected part sub-assemblies (front or rear
crossbeam or left-hand or right-hand skid assembly) from service and
replacing with airworthy parts. This proposed AD would allow an
affected part or affected part sub-assembly to be installed on a
helicopter if certain actions in this proposed AD are accomplished. 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 March 6,
2023.

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 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.
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-0016; 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 mandatory continuing airworthiness
information (MCAI), any comments received, and other information. The
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
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 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-2023-0016.

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-2023-0016; Project Identifier
MCAI-2022-00416-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
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

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued
EASA AD 2022-0053, dated March 23, 2022 (EASA AD 2022-0053), to correct
an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model EC 120 B, EC 130 B4,
and EC 130 T2 helicopters, all serial numbers. EASA advises an
occurrence was reported of corrosion found on a landing gear assembly
of a Model EC 130 helicopter. EASA further advises that other
helicopter models are affected by the same unsafe condition due to
design similarity. This condition, if not addressed, could result in
the landing gear collapsing, damage to the helicopter, and injury to
occupants.
Accordingly, EASA AD 2022-0053 requires, for helicopters with
certain part-numbered landing gear assemblies installed, a one-time
visual inspection of the external areas of the landing gear tubes for
corrosion and cracks, and a borescope inspection of the internal sides
of the landing gear tubes for corrosion (including, but not limited to,
leafing and exfoliant corrosion) and cracks. EASA AD 2022-0053 also
requires contacting Airbus Helicopters for approved corrective action
if any crack, or leafing or exfoliant corrosion, is found or if the
remaining thickness of affected part sub-assemblies do not meet
specified acceptability criteria during any of the inspections. EASA AD
2022-0053 allows replacing the affected part sub-assembly in lieu of
contacting Airbus Helicopters for approved corrective action. EASA AD
2022-0053 also requires reporting inspection results to Airbus
Helicopters within 30 days after the inspection or within 30 days after
the effective date of EASA AD 2022-0053, whichever occurs later.
Additionally, EASA AD 2022-0053 allows credit for certain
inspections and corrective actions if those actions were done before
the effective date of EASA AD 2022-0053, and allows an affected part or
affected part sub-assembly to be installed on a helicopter if certain
requirements of EASA AD 2022-0053 are met. EASA considers its AD an
interim action and states that further AD action may follow.

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 these same type designs.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB)
No. EC120-32A014 (EC120-32A014 Rev 1), for Model EC120B helicopters and
Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130-32A013 (EC130-32A013 Rev 1), for Model
EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters, both Revision 1, and both dated
October 17, 2022. This service information includes Detail A Figure 3
(EC120-32A014 Rev 1) and Detail A Figure 4 (EC130-32A013 Rev 1), which
identify the areas and zones to be inspected for cracks and corrosion
(including, but not limited to leafing and exfoliant corrosion). This
service information also includes Table 3, which identifies the minimum
material thickness permitted after corrosion is removed. Additionally,
this service information specifies procedures for visually inspecting
the external areas and borescope inspecting the internal areas of the
landing gear tubes, removing corrosion, measuring thickness,
interpreting results of the measurements, and applying a chemical
conversion coating and primer.
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.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would require, for helicopters with certain part-
numbered landing gear assemblies installed, removing and cleaning
certain parts and visually inspecting the external areas of the landing
gear tubes for cracks and corrosion (including, but not limited to,
leafing and exfoliant corrosion). If any crack, leafing corrosion, or
exfoliant corrosion is detected, this proposed AD would require
removing certain parts from service and replacing with airworthy parts.
If any corrosion other than leafing or exfoliant corrosion is detected,
this proposed AD would require removing the corrosion.
This proposed AD would also require borescope inspecting the
internal side of the landing gear tubes for cracks and corrosion
(including, but not limited to, leafing and exfoliant corrosion). If
any crack, leafing corrosion, or exfoliant corrosion is detected, this
proposed AD would require removing any affected part from service and
replacing it with an airworthy part. If any corrosion other than
leafing or exfoliant corrosion is detected, this proposed AD would
require removing the corrosion.
If any corrosion other than leafing or exfoliant corrosion is
detected during any of the inspections required by this proposed AD,
this proposed AD would require removing all corrosion and measuring the
remaining thickness of the landing gear tubes. This proposed AD would
require interpreting the results of the measurements and if the
remaining thickness does not meet the permitted criteria as specified,
this proposed AD would require removing each affected sub-assembly from
service and replacing it with an airworthy part. If the remaining
thickness meets the permitted criteria as specified, this proposed AD
would require applying a chemical conversion coating and a double layer
of primer.
Additionally, this proposed AD would allow an affected part or
affected part sub-assembly to be installed on a helicopter, if certain
requirements of this proposed AD have been accomplished.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and EASA AD 2022-0053

EASA AD 2022-0053 requires, for certain helicopters, the initial
inspections to be completed within certain compliance times specified
in Table 1 of EASA AD 2022-0053, whereas this proposed AD would require
the initial inspections to be completed within 13 months after the
effective date of this proposed AD. EASA AD 2022-0053 requires
contacting Airbus Helicopters for repair instructions if any cracks,
leafing corrosion, or exfoliant corrosion are found, or if the residual
thickness of an affected part sub-assembly does not meet certain
criteria, whereas this proposed AD would require removing the affected
part or part sub-assembly from service instead. EASA AD 2022-0053
allows credit for certain inspections and corrective actions if these
requirements were accomplished in accordance with previously issued
service information, whereas this proposed AD would not allow credit
for the inspections and corrective actions if previously issued service
information was used. EASA AD 2022-0053 requires reporting the
inspection results to Airbus Helicopters, whereas this proposed AD
would not require reporting.

Interim Action

The FAA considers this proposed AD would be an interim action. Once
final action has been identified, the FAA might consider further
rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 353 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.
Removing and cleaning parts, and visually inspecting the external
surface of each landing gear tube for cracks and corrosion would take
about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per inspection, up to
$680 per helicopter (4 landing gear tubes per helicopter), and up to
$240,040 for the U.S. fleet.
Borescope inspecting the internal side of each landing gear tube
for cracks and corrosion (including, but not limited to, leafing and
exfoliant corrosion) would take about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost
of $85 per inspection, up to $340 per helicopter (4 landing gear tubes
per helicopter), and up to $120,020 for the U.S. fleet.
If required, applying a chemical conversion coating and a double
layer of primer would take about 2 work-hours and parts would cost a
minimal amount for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and up to
$60,010 for the U.S. fleet.
If required, disassembling certain zones and removing corrosion
would take about 1 work hour for an estimated cost of $85 per
helicopter.
If required, measuring the thickness of the internal side of each
landing gear tube and interpreting the results would take up to 1 work-
hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter.
If required, replacing a landing gear assembly would take about 2
work-hours and parts would cost up to $106,612 for an estimated cost of
up to $106,782 per replacement.
If required, replacing a front crossbeam would take about 1 work-
hour and parts would cost up to $9,081 for an estimated cost of up to
$9,166 per replacement.
If required, replacing a rear crossbeam would take about 1 work-
hour and parts would cost up to $11,639 for an estimated cost of up to
$11,724 per replacement.
If required, replacing a right-hand or left-hand skid assembly
would take about 1 work-hour and parts would cost up to $21,447 for an
estimated cost of up to $21,532 per skid assembly 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: