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PROPOSED AD AIRBUS HELICOPTERS: Docket No. FAA-2024-0042; Project Identifier MCAI-2023-00659-R.
(a) COMMENTS DUE DATE

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive  (AD) by
    March 18, 2024.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This  AD  applies  to  all  Airbus Helicopters  Model AS332C, AS332C1,
    AS332L, AS332L1, AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters, certificated in any
    category,

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft Service Component  (JASC)  Code:  2821,  Aircraft  fuel
    filter/strainer.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was  prompted by a  report of cracks  on the fuel  filter bowl
    (bowl) due to over-torquing. The  FAA is proposing this AD  to inspect
    for cracks and  seepage on the  bowl of the  left-hand (LH) and  right
    -hand (RH) fuel filter. The unsafe condition, if not addressed,  could
    result  in failure  of the  bowl, in-flight  shutdown, and  subsequent
    reduced control of the helicopter.

(f) COMPLIANCE

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

(g) REQUIREMENTS

    Except as specified in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD:  Comply with
    all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accord-
    ance with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)  AD 2023-0095,
    dated May 8, 2023 (EASA AD 2023-0095).

(h) EXCEPTIONS TO EASA AD 2023-0095

(1) Where EASA AD 2023-0095  requires compliance in terms of flight hours,
    this AD requires using hours time-in-service.

(2) Where EASA AD 2023-0095 refers to its effective date, this AD requires
    using the effective date of this AD.

(3) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2023-0095  requires  an  inspection "in
    accordance with the instructions of the applicable ASB,"  for this AD,
    replace that text with,  "in accordance with paragraph 3.B.2.a. of the
    applicable ASB,  except you are not required  to comply with paragraph
    3.B.2.b or 3.B.3."

(4) Where paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2023-0095  states "replace the affected
    part with a serviceable part  in  accordance  with the instructions of
    the applicable ASB,"  this AD requires replacing those words with "re-
    move the affected part from service  and replace it with a serviceable
    part."

(5) Where the service information  referenced in EASA  AD 2023-0095 speci-
    fies to "make sure that there is no crack  and no seepage on the bowls
    (a) of the RH and LH fuel filters (b),"  this  AD  requires  replacing
    those words with "Inspect for any crack  and  seepage on the bowls (a)
    of the RH and LH fuel filters (b)."

(6) Where the service information  referenced in EASA  AD 2023-0095 speci-
    fies "If there is a crack and/or a seepage on the bowls (a)  of the RH
    and LH fuel filters (b), comply with paragraph 3.B.2.b.,"  this AD re-
    quires replacing that text with "If there is a crack or seepage on the
    bowls (a) of the RH or LH fuel filter (b),  before further flight, re-
    move the  affected part  from service  and replace  with a serviceable
    part, as defined in EASA AD 2023-0095."

(7) This AD does not adopt the "Remarks" section of EASA AD 2023-0095.

(i) NO REPORTING REQUIREMENT

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2023-0095 spec-
    ifies to submit certain information  and  return parts to the manufac-
    turer, this AD does not include those requirements.

(j) SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMIT

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(k) 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 In-
    ternational Validation Branch,  send it to the attention of the person
    identified in paragraph (l) 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.

(l) RELATED INFORMATION

    For more information about this AD contact Dan McCully, Aviation Safe-
    ty Engineer, FAA,  1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590;
    phone (781) 238-7244; email william.mccully@faa.gov.

(m) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

(1) The Director of the Federal Register  approved  the  incorporation  by
    reference 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) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2023-0095 dated May 8,
    2023.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For EASA AD 2023-0095,  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 ad.easa.europa.eu.

(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 ma-
    terial at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

(5) You may view this material at the National Archives and Records Admin-
    istration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material
    at NARA,  visit www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations or
    email fr.inspection@nara.gov.

Issued on January 26, 2024.  Michael Linegang, Acting Director, Compliance
& Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments  on  this  proposed  AD  by March 18,
2024.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2024-0042; Project Identifier MCAI-2023-00659-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 AS332C, AS332C1, AS3322L, AS332L1,
AS332L2, and EC225LP helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a
report of cracks on the fuel filter bowl (bowl) due to over-torquing.
This proposed AD would require visually inspecting the bowls of the
right hand (RH) and left hand (LH) fuel filters for any cracks and
seepage. Depending on the inspection results, this proposed AD would
require removing an affected fuel filter from service and replacing
that part. This proposed AD would also allow a certain fuel filter to
be installed on a helicopter if certain actions are accomplished, as
specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which
is proposed for incorporation by reference. 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 18,
2024.

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 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-2024-0042; 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 EASA AD, 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 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 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. The EASA material is also available at
regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2024-0042.
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/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; phone (781)
238-7244; email william.mccully@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-2024-0042; Project Identifier
MCAI-2023-00659-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; phone (781) 238-7244; email
william.mccully@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives that 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 2023-0095, dated May 8, 2023 (EASA
AD 2023-0095), to correct an unsafe condition on Airbus Helicopters AS
332 C, AS 332 C1, AS 332 L, AS 332 L1, AS 332 L2, and EC 225 LP
helicopters, all serial numbers.
This proposed AD was prompted by a report of cracks on the bowl due
to over-torquing. The FAA is proposing this AD to inspect for cracks
and seepage on the bowl of the LH and RH fuel filter. The unsafe
condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the bowl, in-
flight shutdown, and subsequent reduced control of the helicopter.
You may examine EASA AD 2023-0095 in the AD docket at
regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2024-0042.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51


EASA AD 2023-0095 requires a one-time inspection of the bowls of
the LH and RH fuel filters for cracks and seepage. Depending on the
inspection results, EASA AD 2023-0095 requires replacement of an
affected part with a serviceable part, as defined in EASA AD 2023-0095.
EASA AD 2023-0095 also allows certain fuel filters to be installed on a
helicopter if certain actions are accomplished.
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) No. AS332-28.00.88, and Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC225-28A030,
both Revision 0, and both dated April 25, 2023. This service
information specifies procedures for a visual inspection the bowls on
the RH and LH fuel filters for any cracks and seepage. Depending on the
inspection results, this service information specifies procedures to
remove and replace an affected fuel filter. This service information
also specifies sending an affected fuel filter along with certain
information to Airbus Helicopters, and performing an aspect check after
replacement of the affected parts.

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 of 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 design.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in EASA AD 2023-0095, 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 2023-0095 by reference in the FAA
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with
EASA AD 2023-0095 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 2023-0095 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 2023-
0095. Service information referenced in EASA
AD 2023-0095 for compliance will be available at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2024-0042 after the FAA final rule is published.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

EASA AD 2023-0095 requires replacing each affected fuel filter with
a serviceable fuel filter if any discrepancy is detected, whereas this
proposed AD would require removing each affected fuel filter from
service and replacing it with a serviceable fuel filter, as described
in EASA AD 2023-0095, if any crack or seepage is detected.
Service information referenced in EASA AD 2023-0095 specifies
reporting certain information and sending affected parts to Airbus
Helicopters, whereas this proposed AD would not require sending
information or parts to Airbus Helicopters.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 40 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 each bowl for cracks (with 2 bowls per helicopter) and
seepage would take approximately 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of
$170 per helicopter and $6,800 for the U.S. fleet.
Replacing an affected fuel filter with a serviceable fuel filter
would take approximately 1 work-hour and parts would cost approximately
$6,290 for an estimated cost of $6,375 per fuel filter 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 above, 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: