Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 34029-34031 [2018-15303]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2018–0091; Product Identifier 2017–SW–054–AD; Amendment 39–19334; AD 2018–15–02] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus 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 Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the tail rotor (TR) pitch rod. This AD is prompted by a report of several cases of damaged TR pitch rod ball joints. The actions of this AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these helicopters. DATES: This AD becomes effective August 3, 2018. We must receive comments on this AD by September 17, 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. SUMMARY: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES 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–2018– 0091; 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, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800–647– 5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:04 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this final 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.helicopters.airbus.com/website/ en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html. 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email david.hatfield@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 Emergency AD No. 2017–0020–E, dated February 7, 2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 B3, AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355 N and AS 355 NP helicopters with modification (MOD) 075601 or MOD 076602 installed. EASA advises of several PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34029 reports of damaged horn-side TR pitch rod elastomeric ball joints, and of an ongoing investigation to determine the cause of the damage. EASA states that this condition could result in loss of control of the helicopter. To address this unsafe condition, the EASA AD requires repetitive inspections of the TR pitch rod. While the inspections are contained in the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the helicopter maintenance manual, the EASA AD reduces the interval from 50 flight hours to 10 flight hours. 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 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 We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) No. 05.00.86 for Model AS350series helicopters and EASB No. 05.00.75 for Model AS355-series helicopters, both Revision 1 and both dated February 6, 2017. This service information contains procedures for inspecting the TR pitch change rod elastomeric ball joint for damage. AD Requirements This AD requires, for helicopters with a TR pitch change rod elastomeric ball joint installed, within 10 hours time-inservice (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 10 hours TIS, inspecting each face of the TR pitch rod blade side ball joint for debonding, extrusion, and a crack. If there is debonding, extrusion, or a crack with a circumference of 90 degrees or more, this AD requires replacing the TR pitch rod before further flight. Airbus Helicopters identifies the installation of a TR pitch change rod elastomeric ball joint as MOD 075601 or MOD 076602. Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD The EASA AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS 350 BB helicopters. This AD does not as that model is not type-certificated in the U.S. Interim Action We consider this AD to be an interim action. If final action is later identified, E:\FR\FM\19JYR1.SGM 19JYR1 34030 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations we might consider further rulemaking then. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD affects 896 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, inspecting the TR pitch rod ball joint requires 0.5 hour, for a cost of $43 per helicopter and $38,528 for the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle. If required, replacing a TR pitch rod requires one work-hour and required parts cost $3,174, for a cost per helicopter of $3,259. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES 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 inspections required by this AD must be accomplished within 10 hours TIS and thereafter every 10 hours TIS. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reason 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:04 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 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): ■ 2018–15–02 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–19334; Docket No. FAA–2018–0091; Product Identifier 2017–SW–054–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail rotor (TR) pitch change rod elastomeric ball joint installed. Note 1 to paragraph (a): Airbus Helicopters modification (MOD) 075601 and MOD 076602 consist of replacing the TR pitch change rod with an elastomeric ball joint rod. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a damaged elastomeric ball joint on the TR pitch change rod. This condition could result in failure of the TR pitch change rod and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Effective Date This AD becomes effective August 3, 2018. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (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 Within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 10 hours TIS: (1) Manually induce a flapping movement in the TR blade until the pitch change rod rotates a minimum of 10 degrees. (2) Inspect both faces of the blade side of the ball joint elastomer for debonding, extrusion, and cracks. If there is a crack or any debonding or extrusion with a circumference of 90 or more degrees, before further flight, replace the pitch change rod. (f) Special Flight Permits Special flight permits are prohibited. (g) 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: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, 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 (EASB) No. 05.00.86 and EASB No. 05.00.75, both Revision 1 and both dated February 6, 2017, 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.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/ Technical-Support_73.html. 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) Emergency AD No. 2017–0020–E, dated February 7, 2017. You may view the EASA Emergency AD on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA–2018–0091. (i) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6720 Tail Rotor Control System. E:\FR\FM\19JYR1.SGM 19JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 139 / Thursday, July 19, 2018 / Rules and Regulations Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 6, 2018. Scott A. Horn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2018–15303 Filed 7–18–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2018–0166; Product Identifier 2017–NM–169–AD; Amendment 39–19331; AD 2018–14–11] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; ATR–GIE ´ Avions de Transport Regional Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all ´ ATR–GIE Avions de Transport Regional Model ATR72 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective August 23, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 23, 2018. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact ´ ATR–GIE Avions de Transport Regional, ´ 1, Allee Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email continued.airworthiness@atraircraft.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 http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2018– 0166. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:04 Jul 18, 2018 Jkt 244001 You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2018– 0166; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3220. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion AGENCY: SUMMARY: Examining the AD Docket We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all ATR–GIE Avions de ´ Transport Regional Model ATR72 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2018 (83 FR 12508). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations are necessary. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in principal structural elements, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017– 0223R1, dated December 15, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for all ATR–GIE Avions de ´ Transport Regional Model ATR72 airplanes. The MCAI states: The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance requirements (CMR) for ATR aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the ATR72–101/–201/–102/– 202/–211/–212/–212A Time Limits (TL) document. These instructions have been identified as mandatory actions for continued airworthiness. Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34031 Consequently, ATR published Revision 15 of the ATR72–101/–201/–102/–202/–211/– 212/–212A TL document, which contains new and/or more restrictive CMRs and airworthiness limitation tasks. For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ATR72–101/–201/– 102/–202/–211/–212/–212A TL document Revision 15, hereafter referred to as ‘the TLD’ in this [EASA] AD. This [EASA] AD, in conjunction with two other [EASA] ADs related to ATR42–200/– 300/–320 (EASA AD 2017–0221) and ATR42–400/–500 (EASA AD 2017–0222) aeroplanes, retains the requirements of EASA AD 2009–0241 and EASA AD 2012–0193. Once all these three ADs are effective, EASA will cancel EASA AD 2009–0242 and EASA AD 2012–0193. This [EASA] AD is revised to provide the correct issue date (02 May 2017) of the TLD. The original [EASA] AD inadvertently referenced the EASA approval date for that document. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate certain maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. The unsafe condition is fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in principal structural elements, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2018– 0166. Comment We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response. Request To Correct Typographical Error Empire Airlines asked that airworthiness limitations (AWL) task number 572401–1, identified in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD, be changed to AWL task number 572402–1. Empire Airlines stated that AWL task number 572401–1 corresponds to maintenance review board report (MRBR) task numbers ZL–500–01–1 and ZL–600–01– 1; and the MRBR task numbers ZL–520– 01–1 and ZL–620–01–1, identified in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD, correspond with AWL task number 572402–1. Empire Airlines provided substantiation data to this effect. We agree with the commenter that a typographical error was made in the AWL task number 572401–1, identified in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD. We have corrected this error accordingly. E:\FR\FM\19JYR1.SGM 19JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 139 (Thursday, July 19, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 34029-34031]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15303]



[[Page 34029]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2018-0091; Product Identifier 2017-SW-054-AD; Amendment 
39-19334; AD 2018-15-02]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus 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 Airbus 
Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS355E, 
AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters. This AD 
requires inspecting the tail rotor (TR) pitch rod. This AD is prompted 
by a report of several cases of damaged TR pitch rod ball joints. The 
actions of this AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these 
helicopters.

DATES: This AD becomes effective August 3, 2018.
    We must receive comments on this AD by September 17, 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-2018-
0091; 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, 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 
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.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html. 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Hatfield, 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 Emergency AD No. 2017-0020-E, dated February 
7, 2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model AS 
350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 B3, AS 355 E, 
AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355 N and AS 355 NP helicopters with 
modification (MOD) 075601 or MOD 076602 installed. EASA advises of 
several reports of damaged horn-side TR pitch rod elastomeric ball 
joints, and of an on-going investigation to determine the cause of the 
damage. EASA states that this condition could result in loss of control 
of the helicopter. To address this unsafe condition, the EASA AD 
requires repetitive inspections of the TR pitch rod. While the 
inspections are contained in the Airworthiness Limitations Section of 
the helicopter maintenance manual, the EASA AD reduces the interval 
from 50 flight hours to 10 flight hours.

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 
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

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin 
(EASB) No. 05.00.86 for Model AS350-series helicopters and EASB No. 
05.00.75 for Model AS355-series helicopters, both Revision 1 and both 
dated February 6, 2017. This service information contains procedures 
for inspecting the TR pitch change rod elastomeric ball joint for 
damage.

AD Requirements

    This AD requires, for helicopters with a TR pitch change rod 
elastomeric ball joint installed, within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) 
and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 10 hours TIS, inspecting each 
face of the TR pitch rod blade side ball joint for debonding, 
extrusion, and a crack. If there is debonding, extrusion, or a crack 
with a circumference of 90 degrees or more, this AD requires replacing 
the TR pitch rod before further flight. Airbus Helicopters identifies 
the installation of a TR pitch change rod elastomeric ball joint as MOD 
075601 or MOD 076602.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS 350 BB 
helicopters. This AD does not as that model is not type-certificated in 
the U.S.

Interim Action

    We consider this AD to be an interim action. If final action is 
later identified,

[[Page 34030]]

we might consider further rulemaking then.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 896 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, 
inspecting the TR pitch rod ball joint requires 0.5 hour, for a cost of 
$43 per helicopter and $38,528 for the U.S. fleet, per inspection 
cycle.
    If required, replacing a TR pitch rod requires one work-hour and 
required parts cost $3,174, for a cost per helicopter of $3,259.

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 inspections required by this AD must be accomplished within 
10 hours TIS and thereafter every 10 hours TIS. Therefore, we find good 
cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are 
impracticable. In addition, for the reason 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):

2018-15-02 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-19334; Docket No. FAA-
2018-0091; Product Identifier 2017-SW-054-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, 
AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, 
and AS355NP helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail 
rotor (TR) pitch change rod elastomeric ball joint installed.
    Note 1 to paragraph (a): Airbus Helicopters modification (MOD) 
075601 and MOD 076602 consist of replacing the TR pitch change rod 
with an elastomeric ball joint rod.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a damaged elastomeric 
ball joint on the TR pitch change rod. This condition could result 
in failure of the TR pitch change rod and subsequent loss of control 
of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective August 3, 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

    Within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at 
intervals not exceeding 10 hours TIS:
    (1) Manually induce a flapping movement in the TR blade until 
the pitch change rod rotates a minimum of 10 degrees.
    (2) Inspect both faces of the blade side of the ball joint 
elastomer for debonding, extrusion, and cracks. If there is a crack 
or any debonding or extrusion with a circumference of 90 or more 
degrees, before further flight, replace the pitch change rod.

(f) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits are prohibited.

(g) 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: 
David Hatfield, 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.

(h) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Emergency Alert Service Bulletin (EASB) 
No. 05.00.86 and EASB No. 05.00.75, both Revision 1 and both dated 
February 6, 2017, 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.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/ref/Technical-Support_73.html. 
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) Emergency AD No. 2017-0020-E, dated February 7, 
2017. You may view the EASA Emergency AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. 
FAA-2018-0091.

(i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6720 Tail Rotor 
Control System.


[[Page 34031]]


    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on July 6, 2018.
Scott A. Horn,
Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-15303 Filed 7-18-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P