Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters, 13395-13398 [2018-06094]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 61 / Thursday, March 29, 2018 / Rules and Regulations (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320–53– 1263, Revision 01, dated February 29, 2016. (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320–53–1263, Revision 02, excluding Appendix 01 and including Appendix 02, dated December 6, 2017. (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320–53– 1264, Revision 01, excluding Appendix 01, dated July 4, 2016. (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on March 15, 2004 (69 FR 5907, February 9, 2004). (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320–53–1030, Revision 01, excluding Appendix 01, dated May 21, 2002. (ii) Reserved. (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@ airbus.com; internet http://www.airbus.com. (6) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. (7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 2, 2018. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2018–05019 Filed 3–28–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0940; Product Identifier 2017–SW–058–AD; Amendment 39–19233; AD 2018–07–02] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109E, A109S, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the main rotor blade (MRB) tip cap for disbonding. This AD is prompted by a report of the in-flight loss of an MRB tip rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:09 Mar 28, 2018 Jkt 244001 cap. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD becomes effective April 13, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of April 13, 2018. We must receive comments on this AD by May 29, 2018. 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– 0940; 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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any incorporated-byreference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (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 final rule, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39–0331–711756; fax +39– 0331–229046; or at http:// www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2017– 0940. Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 13395 Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email matthew.fuller@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, 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 resulted from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, 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 them 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 rulemaking during the comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments. Discussion EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued AD No. 2017–0176– E, dated September 14, 2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A. (previously Agusta) Model A109E, A109LUH, A109S, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII helicopters. EASA advises of an in-flight loss of an MRB tip cap on an AW109SP helicopter where the pilot was able to safely land the helicopter. EASA further advises that an investigation determined the cause as incorrect bonding procedures used between specific dates and identified the affected MRBs by part number and serial number. According to EASA, this condition could result in loss of an MRB tip cap, increased pilot workload, and reduced control of the helicopter. To address this unsafe condition, the EASA AD requires repetitive inspections of the MRB tip caps and replacing certain partnumbered MRBs. The FAA is in the process of updating Agusta’s name change to Leonardo Helicopters on its type certificate. Because this name change is not yet effective, this AD specifies Agusta. E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1 13396 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 61 / Thursday, March 29, 2018 / Rules and Regulations FAA’s Determination These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 Leonardo Helicopters has issued Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 109EP–157 for Model A109E helicopters, EASB No. 109S–077 for Model A109S helicopters, and EASB No. 109SP–116 for Model AW109SP helicopters, all dated September 8, 2017. Leonardo Helicopters has also issued EASB No. 119–085, Revision A, dated September 11, 2017, for Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters. This service information identifies certain part-numbered and serialnumbered MRBs for applicability and describes procedures for tap inspecting the tip cap for disbonding. 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. rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with RULES AD Requirements For helicopters with an MRB part number 709–0104–01–111 with serial number 1307, 1320, 1346, 1365, 1372, 1380, 1414, 1426, 1436, 1475, or 1485 installed, this AD requires, within 5 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 5 hours TIS, tap inspecting the MRB tip cap for disbonding and, if there is disbonding, removing the MRB from service before further flight. If there is no disbonding on any of the inspections, this AD requires removing the MRB from service within 25 hours TIS. After the effective date of this AD, this AD prohibits installing these serialnumbered MRBs on any helicopter. For all other helicopters, this AD requires, within 25 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 25 hours TIS, tap inspecting the MRB tip cap for disbonding. If there is any disbonding, this AD requires removing the MRB from service before further flight. The repetitive inspections required for these MRBs would no longer be required after the MRB accumulates 400 hours TIS. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:09 Mar 28, 2018 Jkt 244001 Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD The EASA AD applies to Model A109LUH helicopters, while this AD does not as that model helicopter is not type-certificated in the U.S. The EASA AD requires that you contact Leonardo Helicopters, and this AD does not. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD affects 130 helicopters of U.S. Registry. At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, we estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Tap inspecting the MRB tip caps will require 1 workhour, for a cost per helicopter of $85 and a cost of $11,050 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle. If required, replacing one MRB will require 4 workhours and required parts will cost $89,179, for a cost per helicopter of $89,519. According to Leonardo Helicopters’ service information, some of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage by Leonardo Helicopters. Accordingly, we have included all costs in our cost estimate. FAA’s Justification and Determination of the Effective Date An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because the corrective actions required by this AD must be accomplished within 5 hours TIS and 25 hours TIS. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reasons stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under 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 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. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 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 adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ 2018–07–02 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39– 19233; Docket No. FAA–2017–0940; Product Identifier 2017–SW–058–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Agusta S.p.A. Model A109E, A109S, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII helicopters, certificated in any category: E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 61 / Thursday, March 29, 2018 / Rules and Regulations (2) With an MRB with a P/N and S/N listed in Table 1 to paragraph (a)(2) of this AD, with 400 or fewer hours time-in-service (TIS) since first installation on a helicopter; and (3) With an MRB P/N 709–0104–01–101 with a S/N K101 or DA38586004–1, or P/N 709–0104–01–111 with a S/N P451, P460, Q553, Q557, Q587, Q695, Q832, R2080, R2212 or V699, with 400 or fewer hours TIS since maintenance on the tip cap by Finmecannica between January 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017. (2) For helicopters listed in paragraph (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this AD, within 25 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 25 hours TIS, using a tap hammer or equivalent, tap inspect each MRB tip cap for disbonding in the area depicted in Figure 1 of Leonardo Helicopters EASB No. 109EP–157, dated September 8, 2017; EASB No. 109S–077, dated September 8, 2017; EASB No. 109SP– 116, dated September 8, 2017; or EASB No. 119–085, Revision A, dated September 11, 2017; as applicable for your model helicopter. If there is any disbonding, before further flight, replace the MRB. (3) After the effective date of this AD, do not install an MRB P/N 709–0104–01–111 with a S/N 1307, 1320, 1346, 1365, 1372, 1380, 1414, 1426, 1436, 1475, or 1485 on any helicopter. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as disbonding of an MRB tip cap. This condition could result in loss of the MRB tip cap, severe vibrations, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Effective Date This AD becomes effective April 13, 2018. (d) 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. rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with RULES (e) Required Actions (1) For helicopters listed in paragraph (a)(1) of this AD: (i) Within 5 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 5 hours TIS, using a tap hammer or equivalent, tap inspect each MRB tip cap for disbonding in the area depicted in Figure 1 of Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) EASB No. 109S–077, dated September 8, 2017; EASB No. 109SP–116, dated September 8, 2017; or EASB No. 119–085, Revision A, dated September 11, 2017; as applicable for your model helicopter. If there is any disbonding, before further flight, remove the MRB from service. (ii) Within 25 hours TIS, remove the MRB from service. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:09 Mar 28, 2018 Jkt 244001 (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, 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 operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. (g) Additional Information The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 No. 2017–0176–E, dated September 14, 2017. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA–2017– 0940. (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6210 Main Rotor Blades. (i) 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 the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 109EP–157, dated September 8, 2017. (ii) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 109S–077, dated September 8, 2017. (iii) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 109SP–116, dated September 8, 2017. (iv) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 119–085, Revision A, dated September 11, 2017. (3) For Leonardo Helicopters service information identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39–0331–711756; fax +39–0331– 229046; or at http:// www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1 ER29MR18.000</GPH> (1) With a main rotor blade (MRB) part number (P/N) 709–0104–01–111 with a serial number (S/N) 1307, 1320, 1346, 1365, 1372, 1380, 1414, 1426, 1436, 1475, or 1485; 13397 13398 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 61 / Thursday, March 29, 2018 / Rules and Regulations 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 reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 21, 2018. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2018–06094 Filed 3–28–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0711; Product Identifier 2017–NM–003–AD; Amendment 39–19227; AD 2018–06–07] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 757–200, –200CB, and –300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of fatigue cracking found in a certain fuselage frame, which severed the inner chord and web. This AD requires inspecting the fuselage frame for existing repairs, repetitive inspections, and applicable repairs. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective May 3, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of May 3, 2018. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110–SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone: 562–797–1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. It is also available on the internet at rmajette on DSKBCKNHB2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:09 Mar 28, 2018 Jkt 244001 http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2017– 0711. 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– 0711; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chandra Ramdoss, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712–4137; phone: 562–627–5239; fax: 562–627– 5210; email: chandraduth.ramdoss@ faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 757–200, –200CB, and –300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2017 (82 FR 34888). The NPRM was prompted by a report of fatigue cracking found in a certain fuselage frame, which severed the inner chord and web. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting the fuselage frame for existing repairs, repetitive inspections, and applicable repairs. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the fuselage frame at station (STA) 1640, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to each comment. Support for the NPRM Aviation Partners Boeing concurs with the content of the NPRM. Request To Clarify Certain Exceptions Boeing asked that we clarify the service information exceptions in paragraph (h)(2) of the proposed AD by PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 noting that Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) Alert Service Bulletin AP757–53– 001, Revision 1, dated June 21, 2017, is subject to this exception only if applicable (if winglets are installed on the airplane). Boeing also stated that paragraph (h)(2) of the proposed AD should put the required compliance time ‘‘after the effective date of this AD’’ in quotations to designate the content being substituted for the quoted service information compliance time statements. We agree with the commenter’s request. We have separated the exceptions for the referenced service information for clarification. We have removed the reference to the APB Alert Service Bulletin AP757–53–001, Revision 1, dated June 21, 2017, from paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. We have also added paragraph (h)(3) to this AD to specify the exception for the APB service bulletin. Paragraphs (h)(2) and (h)(3) of this AD specify exceptions to the referenced service information instructions, and are intended to be used to determine compliance, relative to the effective date of this AD instead of the issue date of the service information. We have also included the requested quotations in paragraphs (h)(2) and (h)(3) of this AD. Request To Clarify Inspection Location United Airlines (UAL) asked that the actions identified in Figures 5 and 6, Note (a), of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757–53A0108, dated November 14, 2016, be clarified. UAL stated that while Figures 5 and 6 correctly depict the required inspection areas, the task associated with circle action ‘‘2’’ for each figure specifies a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection, which cannot be done around the fasteners common to the inner chord strap. UAL asked that this discrepancy be addressed in the AD in order to avoid the need for approval of requests for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC). We agree with the commenter’s request, for the reason provided. We have added paragraph (h)(4) to the exceptions in this AD to clarify that an HFEC inspection of the two fasteners located below the lower edge of the intercostal strap at the locations specified in Figures 5 and 6, Note (a), of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757– 53A0108, dated November 14, 2016, is not required by this AD. Request To Clarify Compliance Timeframe Delta Airlines (DAL) asked that we clarify the language used in paragraph (h)(2) of the proposed AD. DAL stated E:\FR\FM\29MRR1.SGM 29MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 61 (Thursday, March 29, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13395-13398]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-06094]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0940; Product Identifier 2017-SW-058-AD; Amendment 
39-19233; AD 2018-07-02]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta 
S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109E, A109S, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII 
helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the main rotor blade (MRB) tip 
cap for disbonding. This AD is prompted by a report of the in-flight 
loss of an MRB tip cap. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent 
an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD becomes effective April 13, 2018.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of April 13, 2018.
    We must receive comments on this AD by May 29, 2018.

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-
0940; 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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any 
incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
Docket Operations (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 final rule, contact 
Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, 
Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone 
+39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins. You may review the referenced 
service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 
76177. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-
0940.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to 
provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, 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 resulted 
from adopting this AD. The most helpful comments reference a specific 
portion of the AD, 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 them 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 rulemaking during the 
comment period. We will consider all the comments we receive and may 
conduct additional rulemaking based on those comments.

Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued AD No. 2017-0176-E, dated September 14, 
2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A. (previously 
Agusta) Model A109E, A109LUH, A109S, AW109SP, A119, and AW119 MKII 
helicopters. EASA advises of an in-flight loss of an MRB tip cap on an 
AW109SP helicopter where the pilot was able to safely land the 
helicopter. EASA further advises that an investigation determined the 
cause as incorrect bonding procedures used between specific dates and 
identified the affected MRBs by part number and serial number. 
According to EASA, this condition could result in loss of an MRB tip 
cap, increased pilot workload, and reduced control of the helicopter. 
To address this unsafe condition, the EASA AD requires repetitive 
inspections of the MRB tip caps and replacing certain part-numbered 
MRBs.
    The FAA is in the process of updating Agusta's name change to 
Leonardo Helicopters on its type certificate. Because this name change 
is not yet effective, this AD specifies Agusta.

[[Page 13396]]

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of 
Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to 
our bilateral agreement with Italy, EASA, its technical representative, 
has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the EASA AD. We 
are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by 
EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist 
or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Leonardo Helicopters has issued Emergency Alert Service Bulletin 
(EASB) No. 109EP-157 for Model A109E helicopters, EASB No. 109S-077 for 
Model A109S helicopters, and EASB No. 109SP-116 for Model AW109SP 
helicopters, all dated September 8, 2017. Leonardo Helicopters has also 
issued EASB No. 119-085, Revision A, dated September 11, 2017, for 
Model A119 and AW119 MKII helicopters. This service information 
identifies certain part-numbered and serial-numbered MRBs for 
applicability and describes procedures for tap inspecting the tip cap 
for disbonding.
    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.

AD Requirements

    For helicopters with an MRB part number 709-0104-01-111 with serial 
number 1307, 1320, 1346, 1365, 1372, 1380, 1414, 1426, 1436, 1475, or 
1485 installed, this AD requires, within 5 hours time-in-service (TIS) 
and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 5 hours TIS, tap inspecting 
the MRB tip cap for disbonding and, if there is disbonding, removing 
the MRB from service before further flight. If there is no disbonding 
on any of the inspections, this AD requires removing the MRB from 
service within 25 hours TIS. After the effective date of this AD, this 
AD prohibits installing these serial-numbered MRBs on any helicopter.
    For all other helicopters, this AD requires, within 25 hours TIS 
and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 25 hours TIS, tap inspecting 
the MRB tip cap for disbonding. If there is any disbonding, this AD 
requires removing the MRB from service before further flight. The 
repetitive inspections required for these MRBs would no longer be 
required after the MRB accumulates 400 hours TIS.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to Model A109LUH helicopters, while this AD 
does not as that model helicopter is not type-certificated in the U.S. 
The EASA AD requires that you contact Leonardo Helicopters, and this AD 
does not.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 130 helicopters of U.S. Registry.
    At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, we estimate that 
operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this 
AD. Tap inspecting the MRB tip caps will require 1 work-hour, for a 
cost per helicopter of $85 and a cost of $11,050 for the U.S. fleet per 
inspection cycle. If required, replacing one MRB will require 4 work-
hours and required parts will cost $89,179, for a cost per helicopter 
of $89,519.
    According to Leonardo Helicopters' service information, some of the 
costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the 
cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty 
coverage by Leonardo Helicopters. Accordingly, we have included all 
costs in our cost estimate.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to 
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public 
justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule 
because the corrective actions required by this AD must be accomplished 
within 5 hours TIS and 25 hours TIS.
    Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior 
public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reasons stated 
above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment 
effective in less than 30 days.

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 AD will not have federalism implications 
under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under 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 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.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 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 adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2018-07-02 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-19233; Docket No. FAA-2017-
0940; Product Identifier 2017-SW-058-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Agusta S.p.A. Model A109E, A109S, AW109SP, 
A119, and AW119 MKII helicopters, certificated in any category:

[[Page 13397]]

    (1) With a main rotor blade (MRB) part number (P/N) 709-0104-01-
111 with a serial number (S/N) 1307, 1320, 1346, 1365, 1372, 1380, 
1414, 1426, 1436, 1475, or 1485;
    (2) With an MRB with a P/N and S/N listed in Table 1 to 
paragraph (a)(2) of this AD, with 400 or fewer hours time-in-service 
(TIS) since first installation on a helicopter; and
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR29MR18.000

    (3) With an MRB P/N 709-0104-01-101 with a S/N K101 or 
DA38586004-1, or P/N 709-0104-01-111 with a S/N P451, P460, Q553, 
Q557, Q587, Q695, Q832, R2080, R2212 or V699, with 400 or fewer 
hours TIS since maintenance on the tip cap by Finmecannica between 
January 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as disbonding of an MRB tip 
cap. This condition could result in loss of the MRB tip cap, severe 
vibrations, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective April 13, 2018.

(d) 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.

(e) Required Actions

    (1) For helicopters listed in paragraph (a)(1) of this AD:
    (i) Within 5 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 
5 hours TIS, using a tap hammer or equivalent, tap inspect each MRB 
tip cap for disbonding in the area depicted in Figure 1 of Leonardo 
Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) EASB No. 109S-
077, dated September 8, 2017; EASB No. 109SP-116, dated September 8, 
2017; or EASB No. 119-085, Revision A, dated September 11, 2017; as 
applicable for your model helicopter. If there is any disbonding, 
before further flight, remove the MRB from service.
    (ii) Within 25 hours TIS, remove the MRB from service.
    (2) For helicopters listed in paragraph (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this 
AD, within 25 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 25 
hours TIS, using a tap hammer or equivalent, tap inspect each MRB 
tip cap for disbonding in the area depicted in Figure 1 of Leonardo 
Helicopters EASB No. 109EP-157, dated September 8, 2017; EASB No. 
109S-077, dated September 8, 2017; EASB No. 109SP-116, dated 
September 8, 2017; or EASB No. 119-085, Revision A, dated September 
11, 2017; as applicable for your model helicopter. If there is any 
disbonding, before further flight, replace the MRB.
    (3) After the effective date of this AD, do not install an MRB 
P/N 709-0104-01-111 with a S/N 1307, 1320, 1346, 1365, 1372, 1380, 
1414, 1426, 1436, 1475, or 1485 on any helicopter.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards 
Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: 
Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management 
Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., 
Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].
    (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.

(g) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety 
Agency (EASA) AD No. 2017-0176-E, dated September 14, 2017. You may 
view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2017-0940.

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6210 Main Rotor 
Blades.

(i) 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 the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 
109EP-157, dated September 8, 2017.
    (ii) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 
109S-077, dated September 8, 2017.
    (iii) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 
109SP-116, dated September 8, 2017.
    (iv) Leonardo Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin No. 
119-085, Revision A, dated September 11, 2017.
    (3) For Leonardo Helicopters service information identified in 
this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head 
of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) 
Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/-/bulletins.
    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-
321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For

[[Page 13398]]

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 reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on March 21, 2018.
Scott A. Horn,
Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-06094 Filed 3-28-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P