Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 59454-59457 [2020-20718]

Download as PDF 59454 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 184 / Tuesday, September 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules Requirements Bulletin 747–21A2577 RB, dated February 18, 2020, on any airplane. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9ANM-Seattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by The Boeing Company Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD. (k) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Susan L. Monroe, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3570; email: susan.l.monroe@faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110–SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740–5600; telephone 562–797–1717; internet https:// www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. Issued on September 14, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–20807 Filed 9–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 Sep 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2016–3343; Product Identifier 2015–SW–078–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening of comment period. AGENCY: The FAA is revising an earlier proposal to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014–12–12, which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters. This action revises the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by revising the compliance time, expanding the applicability, and providing improved procedures for modifying the sliding door star support as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be incorporated by reference. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. Since these actions would impose an additional burden over those in the NPRM, the FAA is reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these changes. DATES: The comment period for the NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2016 (81 FR 74362), is reopened. The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM by November 6, 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 material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 3343. 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–2016– 3343; 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 SNPRM, 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: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222– 5116; email david.hatfield@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views about this proposal. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2016–3343; Product Identifier 2015–SW–078–AD’’ at the beginning of your 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, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the E:\FR\FM\22SEP1.SGM 22SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 184 / Tuesday, September 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The FAA may change this NPRM because of those comments. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5116; email david.hatfield@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. Discussion The FAA issued AD 2014–12–12, Amendment 39–17873 (79 FR 36638, June 30, 2014) (‘‘AD 2014–12–12’’). AD 2014–12–12 requires actions to address an unsafe condition on certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters. AD 2014–12–12 requires inspecting the upper and lower locking pin control rod fittings for a bend, twist, or breakage and the star support pin for a crack; replacing control rod end fittings and star support pins if necessary; and reinforcing the sliding door star support stringer by installing three carbon fabric plies. The FAA issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD to supersede AD 2014–12–12 that would apply to certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 26, 2016 (81 FR 74362) (‘‘the NPRM’’). The NPRM was prompted by a report of passengers not being able to open a helicopter’s left-hand door after landing. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting each upper and lower locking pin control rod end fitting and replacing it if necessary, cleaning and dye-penetrant inspecting the star VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 Sep 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 support pin for cracking and replacing it if necessary, and reinforcing the sliding door star support stringer. Actions Since Previous NPRM Was Issued Since the FAA issued the NPRM, there have been several incidents involving helicopter left-hand doors (both swinging and sliding) that revealed weaknesses in the locking mechanism. The FAA has determined the NPRM must be revised by revising the compliance time, expanding the applicability, and providing improved procedures for modifying the sliding door star support. The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020–0095, dated April 29, 2020 (‘‘EASA AD 2020–0095’’) (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters. EASA advises that, after landing, the passengers on an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter could not open the sliding door from inside. The passengers had to leave the helicopter through the other door. The results of the subsequent investigation revealed failure of a sliding door star axle support. This condition, if not corrected, could delay the evacuation from the helicopter in case of emergency, possibly resulting in injury to the occupants. EASA AD 2020–0095 superseded EASA AD 2015–0020, dated February 11, 2015 (‘‘EASA AD 2015–0020’’), which corresponds to FAA NPRM, Docket No. FAA–2016–3343. EASA AD 2015–0020 superseded EASA AD 2013– 0093, dated April 15, 2013; corrected April 17, 2013, which corresponds to FAA AD 2014–12–12. EASA AD 2020–0095 revises the compliance time that was specified in EASA AD 2015–0020 and expands the applicability. 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–2016– 3343. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of passengers not being able to open a helicopter’s left-hand door after landing. The FAA is proposing this AD to address failure of the sliding door star support, which could inhibit the operation of the sliding door from the inside, delaying the evacuation of passengers during an emergency. See the MCAI for additional background information. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 59455 Related Material Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2020–0095 describes improved procedures for modifying the door locking/unlocking mechanism (e.g. modifying the sliding door star support by installing a reinforcing bracket and replacing rod ends). This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. Comments The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to that comment. Request To Refer to Revised Service Information Airbus Helicopters proposed that the service information specified in the NPRM be revised because it was not the current revision level. The commenter stated that revising the service information to reflect the current revision level would prevent having to revise the final rule in the near future. The commenter explained that Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC120–52A018, Revision 01; and Alert Service Bulletin EC130–52A019, Revision 01, were released July 12, 2016, and included improved procedures for replacing the rod ends and installing the reinforcements of the sliding door star support. The commenter noted that the revised service information also included additional helicopters in the effectivity. The FAA acknowledges the commenter’s concern regarding the revision level of the service information specified in the proposed AD (in the NPRM). Since the FAA issued the NPRM, the AD format has changed and instead of specifying the required service information in paragraph (g), Requirements, of this proposed AD (SNPRM), operators would be required to comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2020–0095, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD and except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI.’’ EASA AD 2020–0095 specifies that operators must use Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC120–52A018, Revision 01; and Alert Service Bulletin EC130– 52A019, Revision 01, both dated July 12, 2016, as the required service information. The FAA has not changed E:\FR\FM\22SEP1.SGM 22SEP1 59456 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 184 / Tuesday, September 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules this proposed AD (SNPRM) in regard to this issue. Explanation of Required Compliance Information FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020–0095 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020–0095 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to ‘‘all required actions and compliance times,’’ compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2020–0095 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.’’ ‘‘Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)’’ in the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2020–0095 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020–0095 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016–3343 after the FAA final rule is published. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI EASA AD 2020–0095 specifies to do the modification within 24 months. This proposed AD would require the modification be done within 460 hours time-in-service (TIS), based on an average of 230 hours TIS per year. The FAA has determined this compliance time represents the maximum interval of time allowable for the affected helicopters to continue to safely operate before the modification is done. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 355 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 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 ..................................................................................... $642 $2,342 $831,410 According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs in the cost estimate. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 Sep 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment 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. PO 00000 List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Sfmt 4702 Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014–12–12, Amendment 39–17873 (79 FR 36638, June 30, 2014), and adding the following new AD: ■ Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA–2016– 3343; Product Identifier 2015–SW–078– AD. E:\FR\FM\22SEP1.SGM 22SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 184 / Tuesday, September 22, 2020 / Proposed Rules (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments by November 6, 2020. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2014–12–12, Amendment 39–17873 (79 FR 36638, June 30, 2014) (‘‘AD 2014–12–12’’). (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters, certificated in any category, as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0095, dated April 29, 2020 (‘‘EASA AD 2020–0095’’). (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5200, Doors. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by reports of passengers not being able to open a helicopter’s left-hand door after landing. The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of the sliding door star support, which could inhibit the operation of the sliding door from the inside, delaying the evacuation of passengers during an emergency. (j) Related Information (1) For information about EASA AD 2020– 0095, contact the EASA, Konrad-AdenauerUfer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@ easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016–3343. (2) For more information about this AD, contact David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5485; email david.hatfield@faa.gov. Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 Examining the AD Docket Issued on September 15, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–20718 Filed 9–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020–0095 (1) Where EASA AD 2020–0095 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020– 0095 specifies to complete the actions within 24 months after its effective date, this AD requires completion within 460 hours timein-service after the effective date of this AD. (3) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2020–0095 does not apply to this AD. (4) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0095 specifies to discard certain parts, this AD does not include that requirement. (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5116; email 9-ASW-FTW-AMOCRequests@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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:17 Sep 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 6, 2020. DATES: 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 Textron Aviation Inc., One Cessna Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67215: Telephone: 316–517–5800: email: teamturbopropsupport@ txtav.com; internet: https:// support.cessna.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust St., Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816–329–4148. (f) Compliance (g) Requirements Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2020–0095. 59457 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0811; Product Identifier 2019–CE–055–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Textron Aviation Inc. (Textron) Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Textron (type certificate previously held by Cessna Aircraft Company) Models 208 and 208B airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of loose elevator torque tube attach fasteners. This proposed AD would require repetitively inspecting the inboard and outboard elevator torque tube attachments for loose or incorrectly installed fasteners, replacing all fasteners if loose or incorrectly installed fasteners are found, and reporting the inspection results to the FAA. This AD also includes optional actions to terminate the repetitive inspections. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0811; 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 regulatory evaluation, 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: Bobbie Kroetch, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita ACO Branch, FAA, 1801 Airport Road, Wichita, Kansas 67209; phone: 316–946–4155; fax: 316–946– 4107; email: bobbie.kroetch@faa.gov or Wichita-COS@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–2020–0811; Product Identifier 2019–CE–055–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. The FAA will consider all comments received by E:\FR\FM\22SEP1.SGM 22SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 184 (Tuesday, September 22, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59454-59457]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20718]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2016-3343; Product Identifier 2015-SW-078-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening 
of comment period.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is revising an earlier proposal to supersede 
Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-12-12, which applies to certain 
Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters. This action 
revises the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by revising the 
compliance time, expanding the applicability, and providing improved 
procedures for modifying the sliding door star support as specified in 
a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be 
incorporated by reference. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products. Since these actions would impose an 
additional burden over those in the NPRM, the FAA is reopening the 
comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these 
changes.

DATES: The comment period for the NPRM published in the Federal 
Register on October 26, 2016 (81 FR 74362), is reopened.
    The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM by November 6, 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 material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 
the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 
221 8999 000; email [email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. 
You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the FAA, Office of 
the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-
321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. It is also available in the AD 
docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for 
and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3343.

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-2016-
3343; 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 SNPRM, 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: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort 
Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5116; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
written comments, data, or views about this proposal. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To 
ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters 
should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed 
electronically, commenters should submit only one time. Send your 
comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include 
``Docket No. FAA-2016-3343; Product Identifier 2015-SW-078-AD'' at the 
beginning of your 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, as well 
as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA 
personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this 
proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received by the closing 
date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the

[[Page 59455]]

comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring 
expense or delay. The FAA may change this NPRM because of those 
comments.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to David 
Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 
10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5116; 
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 FAA issued AD 2014-12-12, Amendment 39-17873 (79 FR 36638, June 
30, 2014) (``AD 2014-12-12''). AD 2014-12-12 requires actions to 
address an unsafe condition on certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B 
and EC130B4 helicopters. AD 2014-12-12 requires inspecting the upper 
and lower locking pin control rod fittings for a bend, twist, or 
breakage and the star support pin for a crack; replacing control rod 
end fittings and star support pins if necessary; and reinforcing the 
sliding door star support stringer by installing three carbon fabric 
plies.
    The FAA issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD to 
supersede AD 2014-12-12 that would apply to certain Airbus Helicopters 
Model EC120B and EC130B4 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal 
Register on October 26, 2016 (81 FR 74362) (``the NPRM''). The NPRM was 
prompted by a report of passengers not being able to open a 
helicopter's left-hand door after landing. The NPRM proposed to require 
inspecting each upper and lower locking pin control rod end fitting and 
replacing it if necessary, cleaning and dye-penetrant inspecting the 
star support pin for cracking and replacing it if necessary, and 
reinforcing the sliding door star support stringer.

Actions Since Previous NPRM Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued the NPRM, there have been several incidents 
involving helicopter left-hand doors (both swinging and sliding) that 
revealed weaknesses in the locking mechanism. The FAA has determined 
the NPRM must be revised by revising the compliance time, expanding the 
applicability, and providing improved procedures for modifying the 
sliding door star support.
    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0095, dated April 29, 2020 
(``EASA AD 2020-0095'') (referred to after this as the Mandatory 
Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an 
unsafe condition for certain Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and 
EC130B4 helicopters. EASA advises that, after landing, the passengers 
on an Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopter could not open the 
sliding door from inside. The passengers had to leave the helicopter 
through the other door. The results of the subsequent investigation 
revealed failure of a sliding door star axle support. This condition, 
if not corrected, could delay the evacuation from the helicopter in 
case of emergency, possibly resulting in injury to the occupants.
    EASA AD 2020-0095 superseded EASA AD 2015-0020, dated February 11, 
2015 (``EASA AD 2015-0020''), which corresponds to FAA NPRM, Docket No. 
FAA-2016-3343. EASA AD 2015-0020 superseded EASA AD 2013-0093, dated 
April 15, 2013; corrected April 17, 2013, which corresponds to FAA AD 
2014-12-12.
    EASA AD 2020-0095 revises the compliance time that was specified in 
EASA AD 2015-0020 and expands the applicability.
    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-2016-3343.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report of passengers not being 
able to open a helicopter's left-hand door after landing. The FAA is 
proposing this AD to address failure of the sliding door star support, 
which could inhibit the operation of the sliding door from the inside, 
delaying the evacuation of passengers during an emergency. See the MCAI 
for additional background information.

Related Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0095 describes improved procedures for modifying the 
door locking/unlocking mechanism (e.g. modifying the sliding door star 
support by installing a reinforcing bracket and replacing rod ends). 
This material is reasonably available because the interested parties 
have access to it through their normal course of business or by the 
means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in 
developing this proposed AD. The following presents the comment 
received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to that comment.

Request To Refer to Revised Service Information

    Airbus Helicopters proposed that the service information specified 
in the NPRM be revised because it was not the current revision level. 
The commenter stated that revising the service information to reflect 
the current revision level would prevent having to revise the final 
rule in the near future. The commenter explained that Airbus 
Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC120-52A018, Revision 01; and Alert 
Service Bulletin EC130-52A019, Revision 01, were released July 12, 
2016, and included improved procedures for replacing the rod ends and 
installing the reinforcements of the sliding door star support. The 
commenter noted that the revised service information also included 
additional helicopters in the effectivity.
    The FAA acknowledges the commenter's concern regarding the revision 
level of the service information specified in the proposed AD (in the 
NPRM). Since the FAA issued the NPRM, the AD format has changed and 
instead of specifying the required service information in paragraph 
(g), Requirements, of this proposed AD (SNPRM), operators would be 
required to comply with all required actions and compliance times 
specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2020-0095, except for any 
differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this 
proposed AD and except as discussed under ``Differences Between This 
Proposed AD and the MCAI.'' EASA AD 2020-0095 specifies that operators 
must use Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC120-52A018, 
Revision 01; and Alert Service Bulletin EC130-52A019, Revision 01, both 
dated July 12, 2016, as the required service information. The FAA has 
not changed

[[Page 59456]]

this proposed AD (SNPRM) in regard to this issue.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0095 described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ``Differences 
Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.''

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-0095 
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed 
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0095 in its 
entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences 
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. 
Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular 
section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only 
with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to 
``all required actions and compliance times,'' compliance with this AD 
requirement is not limited to the section titled ``Required Action(s) 
and Compliance Time(s)'' in the EASA AD. Service information specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0095 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-
0095 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov 
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3343 after the FAA 
final rule is published.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    EASA AD 2020-0095 specifies to do the modification within 24 
months. This proposed AD would require the modification be done within 
460 hours time-in-service (TIS), based on an average of 230 hours TIS 
per year. The FAA has determined this compliance time represents the 
maximum interval of time allowable for the affected helicopters to 
continue to safely operate before the modification is done.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 355 helicopters of 
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
                          Labor cost                              Parts cost        product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
20 work-hours x $85 per hour = $1,700........................            $642           $2,342         $831,410
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this 
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost 
impact on affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty 
coverage for affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all 
known costs in the cost estimate.

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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2014-12-12, Amendment 39-17873 (79 FR 36638, June 30, 2014), and adding 
the following new AD:

Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2016-3343; Product Identifier 
2015-SW-078-AD.

[[Page 59457]]

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments by November 6, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-12-12, Amendment 39-17873 (79 FR 36638, 
June 30, 2014) (``AD 2014-12-12'').

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B and EC130B4 
helicopters, certificated in any category, as identified in European 
Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-0095, dated April 29, 
2020 (``EASA AD 2020-0095'').

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5200, Doors.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of passengers not being able to 
open a helicopter's left-hand door after landing. The FAA is issuing 
this AD to address failure of the sliding door star support, which 
could inhibit the operation of the sliding door from the inside, 
delaying the evacuation of passengers during an emergency.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, EASA AD 2020-0095.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0095

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0095 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0095 specifies to 
complete the actions within 24 months after its effective date, this 
AD requires completion within 460 hours time-in-service after the 
effective date of this AD.
    (3) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0095 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (4) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0095 specifies to discard certain parts, this AD does not include 
that requirement.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve 
AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation 
Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood 
Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5116; 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.

(j) Related Information

    (1) For information about EASA AD 2020-0095, contact the EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 
8999 000; email [email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of 
the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 
6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of 
this material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. This material may be 
found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-
2016-3343.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact David Hatfield, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5485; email 
[email protected].

    Issued on September 15, 2020.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-20718 Filed 9-21-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P