Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 59217-59220 [2020-20631]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 183 / Monday, September 21, 2020 / Proposed Rules judge submits a written request to terminate eligibility, accepts a permanent full-time administrative law judge position, or declines one full-time employment offer as an administrative law judge at or above the level held when reached for reduction in force at the geographic location where he or she was separated unless the agency elects to provide broader consideration. (4) An agency must consider administrative law judges on its priority reemployment list before it may use other selection methods, except as described in this paragraph (c)(4). When a qualified administrative law judge is available on the priority reemployment list, the agency may appoint an individual who is not on the priority reemployment list, or who has lower standing on that list, only when the agency can demonstrate that the individual possesses experience and qualifications superior to any other available displaced administrative law judge on the agency’s priority reemployment list. (5) A former administrative law judge selected from the priority reemployment list is appointed under Schedule E in the excepted service regardless of whether the administrative law judge served previously in the competitive service. ■ 19. Amend § 930.211 by revising paragraphs (b)(4) and (c) as follows: § 930.211 Actions against administrative law judges. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (b) * * * (4) If the alternatives in paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section are not available, the agency may consider placing the administrative law judge in administrative leave, or, when regulations implementing the Administrative Leave Act of 2016, section 1138 of Public Law 114–328, have been finalized and become effective, in notice leave, investigative leave, or administrative leave status, as appropriate. (c) Exceptions from procedures. The procedures in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section do not apply: (1) In making dismissals or other actions made by agencies in the interest of national security under 5 U.S.C. 7532; (2) To reduction in force actions taken by agencies under 5 U.S.C. 3502; or (3) In any action initiated by the Office of Special Counsel under 5 U.S.C. 1215. [FR Doc. 2020–17684 Filed 9–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325–39–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Sep 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0847; Product Identifier 2018–SW–087–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350D helicopters; Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and Model EC130 B4 and EC130 T2 helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a missing retaining ring of the inner race of the main rotor mast (MRM) upper bearing. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection to verify the presence and correct installation of the MRM upper bearing retaining rings, a repetitive inspection of the sealant bead on the MRM for damage, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 5, 2020. SUMMARY: 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 https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this NPRM, 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 https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/ services/technical-support.html. You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 59217 Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0847; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI), any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222– 5110; email scott.franke@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2020–0847; Product Identifier 2018–SW–087–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important E:\FR\FM\21SEP1.SGM 21SEP1 59218 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 183 / Monday, September 21, 2020 / Proposed Rules that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Scott Franke, Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817 222–5110; email scott.franke@ faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Discussion The European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018–0206, dated September 20, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350BB, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350D helicopters; Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and Model EC130 B4 and EC130 T2 helicopters. Model AS355BB helicopters are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; this proposed AD therefore does not include those helicopters in the applicability. EASA advises that during a scheduled inspection on an Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopter, one of the two retaining rings of the inner race of the MRM upper bearing was found missing. These two retaining rings ensure that the inner race is correctly positioned with respect to the rollers, and, if one or both of these retaining rings are missing, it can lead to an unlimited shift of the inner race and compromise the function of the MRM upper bearing. This condition, if not detected and corrected, can lead to damage to the MRM and surrounding elements, possibly resulting in loss of control of the helicopter. Airbus Helicopters developed an inspection to check that the upper and lower retaining rings of the inner race of the MRM upper bearing are present and correctly installed. EASA determined that the same condition may exist or develop on Airbus Helicopters Model AS350 helicopters, Model AS355 helicopters, and Model EC130 helicopters because they share a similar design and supply chain. Until the check of the upper and lower bearing retaining rings is accomplished, EASA specifies that repetitive inspections of the MRM upper bearing sealant bead (sealant bead) should be accomplished to ensure the MRM remains serviceable. EASA considers the actions specified in the MCAI an interim measure pending further investigation results, and notes that further AD action may follow. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0847. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 Airbus Helicopters has issued the following service information. • Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350–62.00.42, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018. • Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355–62.00.37, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018. • Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130–62A017, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018. This service information describes procedures for a one-time inspection to verify presence and correct installation of the MRM upper bearing retaining rings, a repetitive inspection of the sealant bead on the MRM for damage, and corrective actions. Damage of the sealant bead includes flaws, cracks, folds, separation, or absence of the sealant bead. Corrective actions include repair and replacement. These documents are distinct since they apply to different helicopter models. 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. FAA’s Determination This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all the relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. Proposed Requirements of This NPRM This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.’’ Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI Although the MCAI specifies accomplishing the inspection of the installation of the MRM upper bearing inner race retaining rings within 660 hours time in service (TIS) or 24 months, whichever occurs first, the FAA has determined that interval would not address the identified unsafe condition soon enough to ensure an adequate level of safety for the affected fleet. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this AD, the FAA considered the degree of urgency associated with the subject unsafe condition and the manufacturer’s recommendation. In light of all of these factors, the FAA finds that a compliance time of within 660 hours TIS or 6 months, whichever occurs first, represents an appropriate interval of time for affected helicopters to continue to operate without compromising safety. Although paragraph (5) of the MCAI specifies that operators may contact the manufacturer for instructions if there are signs of degradation on the MRM inner race, paragraph (i)(3) of this proposed AD would require operators to repair or replace the MRM if there is any degradation as indicated by damage to the retaining rings (including but not limited to cracks, scratches, and gouges), deterioration, or wear. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 1,212 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Up to 30 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $2,550 .............. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Sep 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 $0 Fmt 4702 Cost on U.S. operators Cost per product Up to $2,550 ........................... Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\21SEP1.SGM 21SEP1 Up to $3,090,600. Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 183 / Monday, September 21, 2020 / Proposed Rules The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the 59219 number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions: ESTIMATED COSTS OF ON-CONDITION ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Up to 80 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $6,800 ............................. Up to $33,124 ................................ Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Regulatory Findings The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Sep 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 Cost per product Up to $39,924. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. FAA is issuing this AD to address this condition, which, if not detected and corrected, can lead to damage to the MRM and surrounding elements, possibly resulting in loss of control of the helicopter. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: (f) Compliance PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES (1) For the purposes of this AD, an affected part is any MRM having part number (P/N) 350A37–1290–XX (where XX can be any numerical combination) and a serial number as listed in Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350–62.00.42, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355–62.00.37, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; or Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130– 62A017, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018, as applicable to your model helicopter, unless the upper bearing inner race retaining rings are verified to be installed correctly as specified in the inspection required in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD. (2) For the purposes of this AD, a Group 1 helicopter is one on which an affected part is installed. (3) For the purposes of this AD, a Group 2 helicopter is one on which an affected part is not installed. 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): ■ Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA–2020– 0847; Product Identifier 2018–SW–087– AD. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments by November 5, 2020. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters, certificated in any category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this AD. (1) Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350D helicopters. (2) Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters. (3) Model EC130 B4 and EC130 T2 helicopters. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code 6230, Main Rotor Mast Inner Race Rings. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report of a missing retaining ring of the inner race of the main rotor mast (MRM) upper bearing. The PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Definitions (h) MRM Upper Sealant Bead Inspection (1) For Group 1 helicopters, within the compliance time specified in Figure 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD, and, thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 165 hours time-inservice (TIS): Inspect the MRM upper bearing sealant bead for damage in accordance with section 3.B.2.a of the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350–62.00.42, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355– 62.00.37, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; or Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130–62A017, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018, as applicable to your model helicopter, except you are not required to discard the plastic clamps (Item vv). For the purposes of this inspection, damage may be indicated by flaws, cracks, folds, separation, or absence of the sealant bead. E:\FR\FM\21SEP1.SGM 21SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 183 / Monday, September 21, 2020 / Proposed Rules Issued on September 15, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. Note 1 to paragraph (h)(1): Unless specified otherwise, the hours TIS specified in figure 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD are those accumulated on the effective date of this AD by the helicopter since first flight. (2) If, during any inspection of the MRM upper bearing sealant bead as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, there is damage, before further flight, inspect the installation of the MRM upper bearing inner race retaining rings for discrepancies in accordance paragraph (i)(1) of this AD. (j) Terminating Action (i) MRM Inner Race Retaining Rings Inspection As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any helicopter, an affected part as identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD. 14 CFR Part 71 (l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) RIN 2120–AA66 (1) For Group 1 Helicopters: Within 660 hours TIS or 6 months, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD: Inspect the installation of the MRM upper bearing inner race retaining rings for discrepancies in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of section 3.B.2.b of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350–62.00.42, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355–62.00.37, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; or Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130– 62A017, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018, as applicable to your model helicopter, except you are not required to discard the plastic clamps (Item vv). For the purposes of this inspection, discrepancies may be indicated by incorrect positioning or missing rings. (2) If, during the inspection by paragraphs (i)(1) of this AD there are any discrepancies, before further flight, remove the affected part, inspect the MRM inner race for degradation, and replace the retaining rings in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of section 3.B.2.c of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350–62.00.42, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355– 62.00.37, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; or Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130–62A017, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018, as applicable to you model helicopter, except you are not required to return parts to Airbus Helicopters. For the purposes of this inspection, degradation is indicated by damage to the retaining rings (including but not limited to cracks, scratches, and gouges), deterioration, or wear. (3) If, during the inspection of the MRM inner race, as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, there is any degradation, before next flight, repair or replace the MRM. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Sep 18, 2020 Jkt 250001 Verification on a helicopter of correct installation of the MRM upper bearing inner race retaining rings, as required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, or corrective action on a helicopter, as specified in paragraphs (h)(2), (i)(2), or (i)(3) of this AD, as applicable, constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD for that helicopter. (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222– 5110; email scott.franke@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, 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. (m) Related Information (1) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 2018–0206, dated September 20, 2018. This EASA AD may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–0847. (2) 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 https:// www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/ technical-support.html. You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration (k) Parts Installation Prohibition PO 00000 [FR Doc. 2020–20631 Filed 9–18–20; 8:45 am] [Docket No. FAA–2020–0823; Airspace Docket No. 20–AAL–49] Proposed Technical Amendment to Separate Terminal Airspace Areas from Norton Sound Low, Woody Island Low, Control 1234L, and Control 1487L Offshore Airspace Areas; Alaska Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This action proposes to amend the following Offshore Airspace Areas in Alaska: Norton Sound Low, Woody Island Low, Control 1234L, and Control 1487L. The FAA found an error with the Offshore Airspace Legal Descriptions containing airspace descriptions not related to the need to apply IFR en route Air Traffic Control services in international airspace. This action would correct that error by removing terminal airspace, airspace associated with geographic coordinates, and airspace associated with NAVAIDs from the Offshore Airspace legal descriptions. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before November 5, 2020. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: 1(800) 647–5527, or (202) 366–9826. DATES: E:\FR\FM\21SEP1.SGM 21SEP1 EP21SE20.001</GPH> jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 59220

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 183 (Monday, September 21, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59217-59220]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20631]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0847; Product Identifier 2018-SW-087-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, 
AS350B3, and AS350D helicopters; Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, 
AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and Model EC130 B4 and EC130 
T2 helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a missing 
retaining ring of the inner race of the main rotor mast (MRM) upper 
bearing. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection to verify 
the presence and correct installation of the MRM upper bearing 
retaining rings, a repetitive inspection of the sealant bead on the MRM 
for damage, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is proposing 
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 5, 
2020.

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 https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this NPRM, 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 https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. You may 
view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional 
Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort 
Worth, TX 76177.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
0847; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this NPRM, the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI), 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD 
docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Franke, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation & 
Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 
telephone 817-222-5110; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2020-0847; 
Product Identifier 2018-SW-087-AD'' at the beginning of your comments. 
The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 
explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting 
data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date 
and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive 
verbal contact received about this NPRM.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important

[[Page 59218]]

that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark 
each page of your submission containing CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will 
treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they 
will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions 
containing CBI should be sent to Scott Franke, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation & 
Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 
telephone 817 222-5110; email [email protected]. Any commentary that 
the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be 
placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation 
Safety Agency) (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member 
States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0206, dated 
September 20, 2018 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe 
condition for certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, 
AS350BB, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350D helicopters; Model 
AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and 
Model EC130 B4 and EC130 T2 helicopters. Model AS355BB helicopters are 
not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type 
certificate data sheet; this proposed AD therefore does not include 
those helicopters in the applicability. EASA advises that during a 
scheduled inspection on an Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopter, 
one of the two retaining rings of the inner race of the MRM upper 
bearing was found missing. These two retaining rings ensure that the 
inner race is correctly positioned with respect to the rollers, and, if 
one or both of these retaining rings are missing, it can lead to an 
unlimited shift of the inner race and compromise the function of the 
MRM upper bearing. This condition, if not detected and corrected, can 
lead to damage to the MRM and surrounding elements, possibly resulting 
in loss of control of the helicopter.
    Airbus Helicopters developed an inspection to check that the upper 
and lower retaining rings of the inner race of the MRM upper bearing 
are present and correctly installed. EASA determined that the same 
condition may exist or develop on Airbus Helicopters Model AS350 
helicopters, Model AS355 helicopters, and Model EC130 helicopters 
because they share a similar design and supply chain. Until the check 
of the upper and lower bearing retaining rings is accomplished, EASA 
specifies that repetitive inspections of the MRM upper bearing sealant 
bead (sealant bead) should be accomplished to ensure the MRM remains 
serviceable. EASA considers the actions specified in the MCAI an 
interim measure pending further investigation results, and notes that 
further AD action may follow.
    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2020-0847.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus Helicopters has issued the following service information.
     Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350-62.00.42, 
Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018.
     Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355-62.00.37, 
Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018.
     Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130-62A017, 
Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018.
    This service information describes procedures for a one-time 
inspection to verify presence and correct installation of the MRM upper 
bearing retaining rings, a repetitive inspection of the sealant bead on 
the MRM for damage, and corrective actions. Damage of the sealant bead 
includes flaws, cracks, folds, separation, or absence of the sealant 
bead. Corrective actions include repair and replacement. These 
documents are distinct since they apply to different helicopter models.
    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.

FAA's Determination

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, 
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI 
and service information referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD 
after evaluating all the relevant information and determining the 
unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on 
other products of the same type design.

Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in the service information described previously, except as discussed 
under ``Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.''

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    Although the MCAI specifies accomplishing the inspection of the 
installation of the MRM upper bearing inner race retaining rings within 
660 hours time in service (TIS) or 24 months, whichever occurs first, 
the FAA has determined that interval would not address the identified 
unsafe condition soon enough to ensure an adequate level of safety for 
the affected fleet. In developing an appropriate compliance time for 
this AD, the FAA considered the degree of urgency associated with the 
subject unsafe condition and the manufacturer's recommendation. In 
light of all of these factors, the FAA finds that a compliance time of 
within 660 hours TIS or 6 months, whichever occurs first, represents an 
appropriate interval of time for affected helicopters to continue to 
operate without compromising safety.
    Although paragraph (5) of the MCAI specifies that operators may 
contact the manufacturer for instructions if there are signs of 
degradation on the MRM inner race, paragraph (i)(3) of this proposed AD 
would require operators to repair or replace the MRM if there is any 
degradation as indicated by damage to the retaining rings (including 
but not limited to cracks, scratches, and gouges), deterioration, or 
wear.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 1,212 helicopters 
of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Labor cost                   Parts cost         Cost per product         Cost on U.S.  operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up to 30 work-hours x $85 per hour = Up               $0  Up to $2,550..............  Up to $3,090,600.
 to $2,550.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 59219]]

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions that would be required based on the results of any 
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of 
aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

                 Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Labor cost                 Parts cost       Cost per product
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up to 80 work-hours x $85 per     Up to $33,124.....  Up to $39,924.
 hour = Up to $6,800.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. 
Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight 
of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for 
practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary 
for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that 
authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to 
exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

    The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed 
regulation:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) 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.

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 adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2020-0847; Product Identifier 
2018-SW-087-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments by November 5, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters, certificated in any 
category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this AD.
    (1) Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, and AS350D 
helicopters.
    (2) Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP 
helicopters.
    (3) Model EC130 B4 and EC130 T2 helicopters.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code 6230, Main Rotor 
Mast Inner Race Rings.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a missing retaining ring of 
the inner race of the main rotor mast (MRM) upper bearing. The FAA 
is issuing this AD to address this condition, which, if not detected 
and corrected, can lead to damage to the MRM and surrounding 
elements, possibly resulting in loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, 
unless already done.

(g) Definitions

    (1) For the purposes of this AD, an affected part is any MRM 
having part number (P/N) 350A37-1290-XX (where XX can be any 
numerical combination) and a serial number as listed in Airbus 
Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350-62.00.42, Revision 0, dated 
September 17, 2018; Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355-
62.00.37, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; or Airbus 
Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130-62A017, Revision 0, dated 
September 17, 2018, as applicable to your model helicopter, unless 
the upper bearing inner race retaining rings are verified to be 
installed correctly as specified in the inspection required in 
paragraph (i)(1) of this AD.
    (2) For the purposes of this AD, a Group 1 helicopter is one on 
which an affected part is installed.
    (3) For the purposes of this AD, a Group 2 helicopter is one on 
which an affected part is not installed.

(h) MRM Upper Sealant Bead Inspection

    (1) For Group 1 helicopters, within the compliance time 
specified in Figure 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD, and, thereafter, 
at intervals not to exceed 165 hours time-in-service (TIS): Inspect 
the MRM upper bearing sealant bead for damage in accordance with 
section 3.B.2.a of the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus 
Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS350-62.00.42, Revision 0, dated 
September 17, 2018; Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355-
62.00.37, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; or Airbus 
Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC130-62A017, Revision 0, dated 
September 17, 2018, as applicable to your model helicopter, except 
you are not required to discard the plastic clamps (Item vv). For 
the purposes of this inspection, damage may be indicated by flaws, 
cracks, folds, separation, or absence of the sealant bead.

[[Page 59220]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP21SE20.001


    Note 1 to paragraph (h)(1):  Unless specified otherwise, the 
hours TIS specified in figure 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD are 
those accumulated on the effective date of this AD by the helicopter 
since first flight.

    (2) If, during any inspection of the MRM upper bearing sealant 
bead as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, there is damage, 
before further flight, inspect the installation of the MRM upper 
bearing inner race retaining rings for discrepancies in accordance 
paragraph (i)(1) of this AD.

(i) MRM Inner Race Retaining Rings Inspection

    (1) For Group 1 Helicopters: Within 660 hours TIS or 6 months, 
whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD: Inspect 
the installation of the MRM upper bearing inner race retaining rings 
for discrepancies in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions 
of section 3.B.2.b of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin 
AS350-62.00.42, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; Airbus 
Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355-62.00.37, Revision 0, dated 
September 17, 2018; or Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin 
EC130-62A017, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018, as applicable to 
your model helicopter, except you are not required to discard the 
plastic clamps (Item vv). For the purposes of this inspection, 
discrepancies may be indicated by incorrect positioning or missing 
rings.
    (2) If, during the inspection by paragraphs (i)(1) of this AD 
there are any discrepancies, before further flight, remove the 
affected part, inspect the MRM inner race for degradation, and 
replace the retaining rings in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of section 3.B.2.c of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service 
Bulletin AS350-62.00.42, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018; 
Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin AS355-62.00.37, Revision 
0, dated September 17, 2018; or Airbus Helicopters Alert Service 
Bulletin EC130-62A017, Revision 0, dated September 17, 2018, as 
applicable to you model helicopter, except you are not required to 
return parts to Airbus Helicopters. For the purposes of this 
inspection, degradation is indicated by damage to the retaining 
rings (including but not limited to cracks, scratches, and gouges), 
deterioration, or wear.
    (3) If, during the inspection of the MRM inner race, as required 
by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, there is any degradation, before 
next flight, repair or replace the MRM.

(j) Terminating Action

    Verification on a helicopter of correct installation of the MRM 
upper bearing inner race retaining rings, as required by paragraph 
(i)(1) of this AD, or corrective action on a helicopter, as 
specified in paragraphs (h)(2), (i)(2), or (i)(3) of this AD, as 
applicable, constitute terminating action for the repetitive 
inspections required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD for that 
helicopter.

(k) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on 
any helicopter, an affected part as identified in paragraph (g)(1) 
of this AD.

(l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, may 
approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Scott Franke, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General 
Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, 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, 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.

(m) Related Information

    (1) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation 
Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 
2018-0206, dated September 20, 2018. This EASA AD may be found in 
the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0847.
    (2) 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 
https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. 
You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-
321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Issued on September 15, 2020.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-20631 Filed 9-18-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P