DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2023-2148; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-00706-R]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH
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 Deutschland GmbH (AHD) Model EC135P1,
EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, EC135T3, MBB-BK
117 C-2, MBB-BK 117 D-2, and MBB-BK 117 D-3 helicopters. This proposed
AD was prompted by the determination that Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)
screens obstruct the pilot's view. This proposed AD would require
removing certain part-numbered IFR screens, as specified in a European
Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed for
incorporation by reference. This proposed AD would also prohibit
installing those IFR screens on any helicopter. 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 December
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-2023-2148; 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 identified in this NPRM, contact Konrad-
Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000;
email ADs@easa.europa.eu; website easa.europa.eu. You may find the EASA
material on the EASA website ad.easa.europa.eu.
You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, 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 regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2023-2148.
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 website airbus.com/en/products-services/helicopters/hcare-services/airbusworld.
You may also view this
service information at the FAA contact information under Material
Incorporated by Reference above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan McCully, Aviation Safety Engineer,
FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone
(303) 342-1080; 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-2023-2148; Project Identifier
MCAI-2022-00706-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 Dan
McCully, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410,
Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (303) 342-1080; 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 2022-0097, dated June 1, 2022 (EASA
AD 2022-0097), to correct an unsafe condition on Airbus Helicopters
Deutschland GmbH Model EC135 P1, EC135 P2, EC135 P2+, EC135 P3, EC135
T1, EC135 T2, EC135 T2+, EC135 T3, EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635
T2+, EC635 T3, MBB-BK117 C-2, MBB-BK117 D-2, MBB-
BK117 D-3, and MBB-BK117 D-3m helicopters.
This proposed AD was prompted by the determination that IFR screens
obstruct the pilot's views. These IFR screens may be used for IFR
training. According to Airbus Helicopters, the IFR screens obstruct the
pilot's view to the front and to the right. The FAA is proposing this
AD to address the obstructed views, which could lead to reduced
situational awareness of the pilot and subsequent mid-air collision.
You may examine EASA AD 2022-0097 in the AD docket at
regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2023-2148.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2022-0097 requires removing certain part-numbered IFR
screens and prohibits installing them on any helicopter.
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 Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin
(ASB) EC135-25A-033, ASB EC135H-25A-007, ASB MBB-BK117 C-2-25A-022, and
ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-25A-023, each Revision 0 and dated May 23, 2022,
which specify procedures for removing the lower, pilot door, and upper
IFR screens from the helicopter. This service information also
specifies that the lower, pilot door, and upper IFR screens must not be
installed on a helicopter and the respective maintenance manual task is
invalid and must no longer be used.
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.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2022-0097, 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 2022-0097 by reference in the FAA
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with
EASA AD 2022-0097 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 2022-0097 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-
0097. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2022-0097 for
compliance will be available at regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-
2023-2148 after the FAA final rule is published.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD
EASA AD 2022-0097 applies to Model EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1,
EC635 T2+, EC635 T3, and MBB-BK117 D-3m helicopters, whereas this
proposed AD would not because those model helicopters are not FAA type-
certificated and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data
sheet except where the U.S. type certificate data sheet explains that
the Model EC635T2+ helicopter having serial number 0858 was converted
from Model EC635T2+ to Model EC135T2+.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 573 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 the IFR screens would take about 0.5 work-hour for an
estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and up to $24,639 for the U.S.
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