Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France), 32501-32503 [2017-14373]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 134 / Friday, July 14, 2017 / Proposed Rules Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 29, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2017–14592 Filed 7–13–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0671; Directorate Identifier 2016–SW–072–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009–25– 07 for Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2009–25–07 currently requires amending the rotorcraft flight manual supplement (RFMS) and pre-flight checking the emergency flotation gear before each flight over water. Since we issued AD 2009–25–07, Airbus Helicopters developed a terminating action and identified an additional part-numbered emergency floatation gear part with the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2009–25–07, expand the applicability, and add a terminating action for the repetitive inspections. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to correct the unsafe condition on these helicopters. SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 12, 2017. DATES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ‘‘Mail’’ address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with PROPOSALS ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Jul 13, 2017 Jkt 241001 Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2017– 0671; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323; fax (972) 641–3775; or at http:// www.airbushelicopters.com/Web site/ technical-expert/. You may review service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email george.schwab@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time. We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 32501 expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive. Discussion On November 18, 2009, we issued AD 2009–25–07, Amendment 39–16126 (74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009) for Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model EC120B helicopters with an Emergency Floatation Gear lighting and ancillary control unit (LACU), part number (P/N) 040101AB, installed. AD 2009–25–07 requires amending the Limitations section of the RFMS to prohibit flight over water if the ‘‘float arm’’ pushbutton does not remain lit, conducting a pilot check to determine whether the ‘‘float arm’’ pushbutton remains lit before any flight over water, and placarding the ‘‘float arm’’ pushbutton as inoperative if the functional check is unsuccessful. AD 2009–25–07 was prompted by AD No. 2008–0177–E, dated September 19, 2008 (AD 2008–0177–E), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Model EC120B helicopters. EASA advises that operators reported reliability issues with the LACU emergency flotation ‘‘float arm’’ latching pushbuttons, used to arm the emergency flotation gear, including failure of the light to illuminate properly. AD 2008– 0177–E states the unsafe condition may be due to the bonding of the pushbuttons and requires a repetitive, in-flight functional test of the float arm pushbutton before flight overwater. AD 2008–0177–E further prohibits overwater flight if the pushbutton fails to latch in the depressed position. Those actions are intended to prohibit flight over water if a functional test indicates that the emergency flotation gear cannot be armed, which would preclude deployment of the floats in an emergency water ditching, resulting in subsequent damage to the helicopter and injury to occupants. Actions Since AD 2009–25–07 Was Issued Since we issued AD 2009–25–07, EASA has issued AD No. 2016–0180, dated September 13, 2016 (AD 2016– 0180), which superseded AD 2008– 0177–E. EASA advises that Airbus Helicopters has designed an improved latching pushbutton, which when installed becomes a terminating action for the repetitive functional checks of the float arm pushbuttons. EASA also states that LACU P/N 040101BA is equipped with the same faulty pushbutton and must be included in the applicability. E:\FR\FM\14JYP1.SGM 14JYP1 32502 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 134 / Friday, July 14, 2017 / Proposed Rules We have also determined that the ‘‘Emergency Floatation Gear LACU’’ as identified in AD 2009–25–07 is more correctly described as an LACU. Therefore we use the term ‘‘LACU’’ in this proposed AD. FAA’s Determination These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with PROPOSALS Related Service Information We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 04A007, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2016 (EASB), for Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. The EASB describes procedures for a pre-flight check of the float arm pushbutton while arming the emergency flotation gear and prohibits operators from flight over water if the float arm pushbutton fails. We also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC120– 31A008, dated June 30, 2016 (ASB), for Airbus Helicopters Model EC 120B helicopters. The ASB describes procedures for replacing the float arm pushbutton with a new design pushbutton and for re-labeling the modified LACU with a new P/N label. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would retain the RFMS amendment and repetitive functional check requirements of AD 2009–25–07. This proposed AD would add LACU P/N 040101BA to the applicability paragraph, require replacing the float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A with float arm pushbutton P/N 304–2500–00 within 300 hours time-in-service (TIS), and prohibit installing float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A on any helicopter. Replacing the float arm pushbutton would be a terminating action for the repetitive functional checks prior to flight overwater. An owner/operator (pilot) may perform the functional check required by this AD and must enter compliance with that paragraph into the helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform this check because it involves only a functional check to determine whether VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Jul 13, 2017 Jkt 241001 the emergency flotation gear has been armed and can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. This check is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations. This proposed AD would also revise the term ‘‘emergency flotation gear lighting and ancillary control unit’’ in the applicability paragraph to ‘‘lighting and ancillary control unit’’ for technical accuracy. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD The EASA AD requires installing the LACU float arm pushbutton within 13 months; the proposed AD would require the installation within 300 hours TIS. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 53 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85 per hour, the cost of revising the limitations section of the RFMS and of the pre-flight functional check is negligible. Replacing the float arm pushbutton would require about 2 workhours, and required parts would cost about $311, for a cost per helicopter of $481 and a total cost of $25,493 to 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. We are 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 We 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 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and 4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket. 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. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009–25–07, Amendment 39–16126 (74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009), and adding the following new AD: ■ Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Docket No. FAA–2017–0671; Directorate Identifier 2016–SW–072–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) Model EC120B helicopters, certificated in any category, with a Lighting and Ancillary Control Unit (LACU) part-number (P/N) 040101AB or 040101BA with a float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A installed. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a ‘‘float arm’’ pushbutton, which could result in inoperative floats being used in an emergency water ditching, causing damage to the helicopter or injury to occupants. (c) Affected ADs This AD supersedes AD 2009–25–07, Amendment 39–16126 (74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009). E:\FR\FM\14JYP1.SGM 14JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 134 / Friday, July 14, 2017 / Proposed Rules specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. (e) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the (1) Before further flight, amend the EC120B Rotorcraft Flight Manual Supplement (RFMS) for the emergency flotation gear Aerazur, by (2) Before each flight over water: (i) Perform a functional check to determine whether flight over water is permitted under the Limitations section in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD. For purposes of this AD, ‘‘flight over water’’ means flight beyond the power-off gliding distance from shore. ‘‘Shore’’ is an area of land adjacent to the water and above the high water mark but does not include land area that is intermittently under water. The actions required by this paragraph may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate, and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9 (a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439. (ii) If the LACU fails the functional check required by paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this AD, place a placard over the ‘‘float arm’’ pushbutton that reads ‘‘INOP.’’ (3) Within 300 hours time-in-service, replace float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A with float arm pushbutton P/N 304–2500–00. Installing float arm pushbutton P/N 304–2500–00 is terminating action for the functional check and placard required by paragraphs (f)(2)(i) and (f)(2)(ii) of this AD. (4) Do not install float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A on any helicopter. operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. (g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email 9-ASWFTW-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:18 Jul 13, 2017 Jkt 241001 (f) Required Actions (1) Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 04A007, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2016, and Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC120–31A008, dated June 30, 2016, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232–0323; fax (972) 641–3775; or at http:// www.airbushelicopters.com/website/ technical-expert/. You may review a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016–0180, dated September 13, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket. (i) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2560 Emergency Equipment. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 28, 2017. Scott A. Horn, Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2017–14373 Filed 7–13–17; 8:45 am] PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration (h) Additional Information BILLING CODE 4910–13–P inserting a copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the RFMS or by making pen and ink changes to that section to add the information in figure 1 to paragraph (f)(1) of this AD: 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0695; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–173–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009–18– 16, for certain Airbus Model A310–203, –204, –221, –222, –304, –322, –324, and –325 airplanes. AD 2009–18–16 requires an inspection for cracking of certain fastener holes on certain frames, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; and modification of certain fastener holes. Since we issued AD 2009–18–16, an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicated that the compliance times should be reduced. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 28, 2017. 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 http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– DATES: E:\FR\FM\14JYP1.SGM 14JYP1 EP13JY17.002</GPH> mstockstill on DSK30JT082PROD with PROPOSALS (d) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by September 12, 2017. 32503

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 134 (Friday, July 14, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 32501-32503]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-14373]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0671; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-072-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Previously 
Eurocopter France)

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2009-25-
07 for Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. AD 2009-25-07 
currently requires amending the rotorcraft flight manual supplement 
(RFMS) and pre-flight checking the emergency flotation gear before each 
flight over water. Since we issued AD 2009-25-07, Airbus Helicopters 
developed a terminating action and identified an additional part-
numbered emergency floatation gear part with the unsafe condition. This 
proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2009-25-07, expand the 
applicability, and add a terminating action for the repetitive 
inspections. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to correct 
the unsafe condition on these helicopters.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 12, 
2017.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-
0671; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket 
contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 
AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received and other 
information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office 
(telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
    For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact 
Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; 
telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at 
http://www.airbushelicopters.com/Web site/technical-expert/. You may 
review service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 
76177.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Schwab, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
george.schwab@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to 
the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might 
result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To 
ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters 
should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed 
electronically, commenters should submit only one time.
    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as 
a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel 
concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we 
will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for 
comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has 
closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. 
We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

Discussion

    On November 18, 2009, we issued AD 2009-25-07, Amendment 39-16126 
(74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009) for Eurocopter France (now Airbus 
Helicopters) Model EC120B helicopters with an Emergency Floatation Gear 
lighting and ancillary control unit (LACU), part number (P/N) 040101AB, 
installed. AD 2009-25-07 requires amending the Limitations section of 
the RFMS to prohibit flight over water if the ``float arm'' pushbutton 
does not remain lit, conducting a pilot check to determine whether the 
``float arm'' pushbutton remains lit before any flight over water, and 
placarding the ``float arm'' pushbutton as inoperative if the 
functional check is unsuccessful.
    AD 2009-25-07 was prompted by AD No. 2008-0177-E, dated September 
19, 2008 (AD 2008-0177-E), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent 
for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe 
condition for Model EC120B helicopters. EASA advises that operators 
reported reliability issues with the LACU emergency flotation ``float 
arm'' latching pushbuttons, used to arm the emergency flotation gear, 
including failure of the light to illuminate properly. AD 2008-0177-E 
states the unsafe condition may be due to the bonding of the 
pushbuttons and requires a repetitive, in-flight functional test of the 
float arm pushbutton before flight overwater. AD 2008-0177-E further 
prohibits overwater flight if the pushbutton fails to latch in the 
depressed position. Those actions are intended to prohibit flight over 
water if a functional test indicates that the emergency flotation gear 
cannot be armed, which would preclude deployment of the floats in an 
emergency water ditching, resulting in subsequent damage to the 
helicopter and injury to occupants.

Actions Since AD 2009-25-07 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2009-25-07, EASA has issued AD No. 2016-0180, 
dated September 13, 2016 (AD 2016-0180), which superseded AD 2008-0177-
E. EASA advises that Airbus Helicopters has designed an improved 
latching pushbutton, which when installed becomes a terminating action 
for the repetitive functional checks of the float arm pushbuttons. EASA 
also states that LACU P/N 040101BA is equipped with the same faulty 
pushbutton and must be included in the applicability.

[[Page 32502]]

    We have also determined that the ``Emergency Floatation Gear LACU'' 
as identified in AD 2009-25-07 is more correctly described as an LACU. 
Therefore we use the term ``LACU'' in this proposed AD.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of 
France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to 
our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical 
representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in 
its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known 
relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely 
to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Related Service Information

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 
04A007, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2016 (EASB), for Airbus Helicopters 
Model EC120B helicopters. The EASB describes procedures for a pre-
flight check of the float arm pushbutton while arming the emergency 
flotation gear and prohibits operators from flight over water if the 
float arm pushbutton fails.
    We also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. 
EC120-31A008, dated June 30, 2016 (ASB), for Airbus Helicopters Model 
EC 120B helicopters. The ASB describes procedures for replacing the 
float arm pushbutton with a new design pushbutton and for re-labeling 
the modified LACU with a new P/N label.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would retain the RFMS amendment and repetitive 
functional check requirements of AD 2009-25-07. This proposed AD would 
add LACU P/N 040101BA to the applicability paragraph, require replacing 
the float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A with float arm pushbutton P/N 
304-2500-00 within 300 hours time-in-service (TIS), and prohibit 
installing float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A on any helicopter. 
Replacing the float arm pushbutton would be a terminating action for 
the repetitive functional checks prior to flight overwater.
    An owner/operator (pilot) may perform the functional check required 
by this AD and must enter compliance with that paragraph into the 
helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) 
through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform this check because 
it involves only a functional check to determine whether the emergency 
flotation gear has been armed and can be performed equally well by a 
pilot or a mechanic. This check is an exception to our standard 
maintenance regulations.
    This proposed AD would also revise the term ``emergency flotation 
gear lighting and ancillary control unit'' in the applicability 
paragraph to ``lighting and ancillary control unit'' for technical 
accuracy.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD requires installing the LACU float arm pushbutton 
within 13 months; the proposed AD would require the installation within 
300 hours TIS.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 53 helicopters of 
U.S. Registry.
    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order 
to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85 per hour, the 
cost of revising the limitations section of the RFMS and of the pre-
flight functional check is negligible. Replacing the float arm 
pushbutton would require about 2 work-hours, and required parts would 
cost about $311, for a cost per helicopter of $481 and a total cost of 
$25,493 to 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.
    We are 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

    We 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. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that 
it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and
    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply 
with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

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

0
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]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2009-25-07, Amendment 39-16126 (74 FR 65682, December 11, 2009), and 
adding the following new AD:

Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Docket No. FAA-
2017-0671; Directorate Identifier 2016-SW-072-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter 
France) Model EC120B helicopters, certificated in any category, with 
a Lighting and Ancillary Control Unit (LACU) part-number (P/N) 
040101AB or 040101BA with a float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A 
installed.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of a ``float 
arm'' pushbutton, which could result in inoperative floats being 
used in an emergency water ditching, causing damage to the 
helicopter or injury to occupants.

(c) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2009-25-07, Amendment 39-16126 (74 FR 
65682, December 11, 2009).

[[Page 32503]]

(d) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by September 12, 2017.

(e) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this 
AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been 
accomplished prior to that time.

(f) Required Actions

    (1) Before further flight, amend the EC120B Rotorcraft Flight 
Manual Supplement (RFMS) for the emergency flotation gear Aerazur, 
by inserting a copy of this AD into the Limitations section of the 
RFMS or by making pen and ink changes to that section to add the 
information in figure 1 to paragraph (f)(1) of this AD:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP13JY17.002

    (2) Before each flight over water:
    (i) Perform a functional check to determine whether flight over 
water is permitted under the Limitations section in paragraph (f)(1) 
of this AD. For purposes of this AD, ``flight over water'' means 
flight beyond the power-off gliding distance from shore. ``Shore'' 
is an area of land adjacent to the water and above the high water 
mark but does not include land area that is intermittently under 
water. The actions required by this paragraph may be performed by 
the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot 
certificate, and must be entered into the aircraft records showing 
compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9 (a)(1) 
through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be 
maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439.
    (ii) If the LACU fails the functional check required by 
paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this AD, place a placard over the ``float 
arm'' pushbutton that reads ``INOP.''
    (3) Within 300 hours time-in-service, replace float arm 
pushbutton P/N 045004A111A with float arm pushbutton P/N 304-2500-
00. Installing float arm pushbutton P/N 304-2500-00 is terminating 
action for the functional check and placard required by paragraphs 
(f)(2)(i) and (f)(2)(ii) of this AD.
    (4) Do not install float arm pushbutton P/N 045004A111A on any 
helicopter.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: George Schwab, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 
10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 
email 9-ASW-FTW-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov.
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you 
notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, 
the manager of the local flight standards district office or 
certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft 
complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(h) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 
04A007, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2016, and Airbus Helicopters 
Alert Service Bulletin No. EC120-31A008, dated June 30, 2016, which 
are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information 
about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in 
this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand 
Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax 
(972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/website/technical-expert/. You may review a copy of the service information 
at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.
    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation 
Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0180, dated September 13, 2016. You 
may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov 
in the AD Docket.

(i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2560 Emergency 
Equipment.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 28, 2017.
Scott A. Horn,
Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-14373 Filed 7-13-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P