DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2023-0160; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-01047-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 certain Airbus Helicopters (Airbus) Model AS332C, AS332C1, AS332L,
AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters. This proposed AD was
prompted by modifications developed by Airbus to address a report of an
emergency exit window that required excessive pushing force to
jettison. This proposed AD would require removing skived
polytetrafluoroethylene tape (PTFE tape) (if installed) and replacing
certain polychloroprene seals with silicone seals, as specified in a
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed for
incorporation by reference (IBR). This proposed AD would also prohibit
installing a jettisonable window unless the actions required by this AD
have been accomplished. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this NPRM by March 27,
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-2023-0160; 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, any comments received, and other
information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
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 easa.europa.eu.
You may find the EASA material on the EASA website at
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. This material is also
available at regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2023-0160.
Other Related Service Information: 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 airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html.
You may also view this service
information at the FAA contact information under Material Incorporated
by Reference above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section,
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX
76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email email@example.com.
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-2023-0160; Project Identifier
MCAI-2022-01047-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 Matt
Fuller, AD Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit,
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Any commentary that the FAA receives which 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 a series of ADs, the most recent being EASA
AD 2021-0012, dated January 11, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0012), to correct an
unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model AS 332 C, AS 332 C1, AS 332
AS 332 L1, AS 332 L2, and EC 225 LP helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by modifications developed by Airbus
to address a report of an emergency exit window that required excessive
pushing force to jettison. The FAA is proposing this AD to address
excessive friction between the jettisonable cabin window and the
airframe. This condition, if not addressed, could prevent the window
from jettisoning, subsequently affecting the evacuation of passengers
during an emergency situation. See EASA AD 2021-0012 for additional
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2021-0012 requires modifying the windows jettisoning
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 Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS332-
56.00.16, Revision 0, dated February 10, 2020, Airbus ASB No. AS332-
56.00.18, Revision 0, dated September 23, 2020, Airbus ASB No. AS332-
56.00.20, Revision 0, dated September 23, 2020, Airbus ASB No. AS332-
56.00.21, Revision 0, dated September 23, 2020, Airbus ASB No. AS332-
56.90.14, Revision 0, dated April 10, 2019, Airbus ASB No. EC225-
56A013, Revision 1, dated February 10, 2020, Airbus ASB No. EC225-
56A015, Revision 0, dated February 10, 2020, Airbus ASB No. EC225-
56A016, Revision 0, dated February 10, 2020, and Airbus ASB No. EC225-
56A017, Revision 0, dated February 10, 2020. This service information
specifies procedures for modifying the windows jettisoning system.
Depending on your helicopter configuration, the service information
specifies procedures for removing PTFE tape (if installed), discarding
certain internal seal keys and external extraction tapes, installing
plugs on certain snap fasteners, removing certain emergency exit
installation indications, measuring the thickness of certain windows,
replacing certain windows, measuring the clearance between certain
windows and the airframe, modifying certain assemblies of the external
extraction tape with its associated marking (if necessary), and
replacing certain polychloroprene seals with silicone seals.
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 accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2021-0012, described previously, as incorporated by
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the
regulatory text of this proposed AD and except as discussed under
``Differences Between this Proposed 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, the
FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2021-0012 by reference in the FAA
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with
EASA AD 2021-0012 in its entirety through that incorporation, except
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of
this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading
of a particular section in EASA AD 2021-0012 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 2021-
0012. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0012 for
compliance will be available at regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-
2023-0160 after the FAA final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2021-0012 requires compliance within 250 flight hours or 6
months for certain helicopters not operated over water and within 110
flight hours or 6 months for certain other helicopters operated over
water. EASA AD 2021-0012 also requires compliance within 25 months for
all other affected helicopters. However, this proposed AD would require
compliance within 110 hours time-in-service for all helicopters.
Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0012
specifies discarding parts, this proposed AD would require removing
those parts from service. The service information referenced in EASA AD
2021-0012 specifies contacting Airbus Helicopter to obtain a technical
solution, whereas this proposed AD would require repair done in
accordance with a method approved by the FAA, EASA, or Airbus
Helicopters' EASA Design Organization Approval. The service information
referenced in EASA AD 2021-0012 specifies using a video, whereas this
proposed AD would not.
This proposed AD would also prohibit installing a jettisonable
window unless the actions required by this proposed AD have been
accomplished, whereas EASA AD 2021-0012 does not require any
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 39 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor costs are estimated at
$85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the
following costs to comply with this proposed AD.
Modifying a window would take about 2 work-hours and parts would
cost about $220 for an estimated cost $390 per window. There may be up
to twelve affected windows on a helicopter for an estimated cost of up
to $4,680 per helicopter and up to $182,520 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
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