Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 71235-71238 [2020-24675]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 217 / Monday, November 9, 2020 / Rules and Regulations (vii) GVII–G600 Maintenance Manual 28– 26–04 Fuel Boost Pump—Prime, dated August 31, 2020. (viii) GVII–G600 Maintenance Manual 28– 26–04 Fuel Boost Pump—Removal/ Installation dated August 31, 2020. (ix) GVII–G600 Maintenance Manual 28– 26–05 Fuel Boost Pump Canister—Removal/ Installation, dated August 31, 2020. (3) For Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation service information identified in this AD, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, GA 31402; phone: (800) 810–4853; email: pubs@gulfstream.com; website: https://www.gulfstream.com/en/customersupport/. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329–4148. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/ cfr/ibr-locations.html. Issued on October 27, 2020. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–24808 Filed 11–6–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0378; Product Identifier 2018–SW–060–AD; Amendment 39–21316; AD 2020–22–20] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters. This AD requires visually inspecting each main rotor gearbox (MGB) suspension bar attachment bracket bolt for missing bolt heads. Depending on the outcome of the visual inspection, measuring the tightening torque, removing certain parts, sending photos and reporting information to Airbus khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Nov 06, 2020 Jkt 253001 Helicopters, and completing an FAAapproved repair is required. This AD was prompted by a report of a missing MGB suspension bar attachment bolt head. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective December 14, 2020. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of December 14, 2020. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone 972–641–0000 or 800–232– 0323; fax 972–641–3775; or at https:// www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/ technical-support.html. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–0378. 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– 0378; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, any service information that is incorporated by reference, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350C, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 71235 EC130T2 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2020, (85 FR 20447). The NPRM proposed to require visually inspecting each MGB suspension bar attachment bracket for missing bolt heads. If one bolt head is missing, the proposed AD would require performing actions specified in the service information including measuring the tightening torque of the remaining bolts of that bracket, removing the attachment bracket bolts, washers, and nuts of that bracket, and sending photos and reporting certain information to Airbus Helicopters. The proposed AD would also require repairs in accordance with an FAA-approved method if two or more bolt heads are missing. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent failure of the MGB suspension bar attachment bolts due to fatigue. The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2018–0152, dated July 18, 2018 (EASA AD 2018–0152), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France) Model AS 350 B, AS 350 D, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B3, EC 130 B4, EC 130 T2, AS 355 E, AS355 F, AS355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 355 N, and AS355 NP helicopters. EASA advises of a reported occurrence of a missing MGB suspension bar attachment bolt head. EASA advises that investigations are ongoing to determine the root cause of this event. According to Airbus Helicopters, the missing MGB suspension bar attachment bolt head was discovered during scheduled maintenance of a Model EC 130 T2 helicopter. EASA states this condition could lead to fatigue failure of other affected bolts of the same MGB bracket, possibly resulting in loss of the MGB suspension bar and consequently loss of helicopter control. As an interim measure to address this potential unsafe condition, the EASA AD also includes Model AS 350 B, AS 350 D, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B3, EC 130 B4, AS 355 E, AS355 F, AS355 F1, AS355 F2, AS355 N, and AS355 NP helicopters in its applicability. Accordingly, EASA AD 2018–0152 requires a one-time visual inspection to check that all MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolt heads are present and depending on the outcome, measuring the tightening torque values of the bolts, removing and sending bolts, washers, and nuts to Airbus Helicopters, installing new bolts, washers, and nuts, sending photos and reporting certain information to Airbus Helicopters, and E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 71236 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 217 / Monday, November 9, 2020 / Rules and Regulations contacting Airbus Helicopters for approved repair instructions. EASA states EASA AD 2018–0152 is considered an interim action and further AD action may follow. Comments The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The FAA received comments from one commenter. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to the comments. Request The commenter requested that this AD apply to Model AS350B3 and higher model helicopters, specifically Model AS350B3, AS350B3E, EC130B4, EC130T2, H125, and H130 helicopters. The commenter stated that, based on experience with a fleet of AS350BA and AS350B2 helicopters, the commenter has never seen a bolt head break on Model AS350BA and AS350B2 helicopters. The FAA disagrees with removing models from the Applicability. The FAA determined that the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on all the model helicopters included in the Applicability and is therefore requiring corrective action to address this unsafe condition on these models. Request The commenter requested the manufacturer add the inspection proposed in the NPRM to the 660-hour ‘‘T’’ inspection and also add the inspection after a certain number of flight hours after installation. The commenter gave an example of after 165 flying hours. The FAA disagrees; the commenter provided no technical justification for changing the compliance times. Actions Since Issuance of the NPRM After the NPRM was issued, the FAA discovered that Airbus Helicopters Model AS350C was inadvertently included in the proposed Applicability. This helicopter model has a different engine model and therefore is not subject to the unsafe condition. The FAA has updated the Applicability section accordingly. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES FAA’s Determination These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is issuing this AD after evaluating all information VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Nov 06, 2020 Jkt 253001 provided by EASA, reviewing the relevant information, considering the comments received, and determining the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed except for the change described previously. The FAA has determined that this change is consistent with the intent that was proposed for addressing the unsafe condition and does not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM except for minor editorial changes. These minor editorial changes are consistent with the intent of the proposals in the NPRM and will not increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of this AD. Interim Action The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. If final action is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking. Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD The EASA AD applies to Model AS350BB helicopters, whereas this AD does not because that model is not FAA type-certificated. The EASA AD directs the operators to contact Airbus Helicopters for repairs if more than one screw head is missing, whereas this AD does not. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350–05.00.92 for Model AS350B, B1, B2, B3, BA, and D helicopters, non-FAA type-certificated Model AS350BB helicopters, and military Model AS350L1 helicopters; Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355–05.00.79 for Model AS355E, F, F1, F2, N, and NP helicopters; and Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130–05A028 for Model EC130B4 and T2 helicopters, all Revision 0 and dated July 16, 2018. This service information specifies a one-time visual inspection using a light source and a mirror, and using an endoscope for any attachment bolts that are difficult to access, for the presence of the 16 attachment bracket bolt heads of the 4 MGB suspension bars. The service information also specifies different actions depending on the results of the visual inspection. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. Other Related Service Information The FAA also reviewed Airbus Standard Practices Manual (MTC) 20– 02–05–404, Assembly by screws and nuts Joining, dated May 23, 2017. This service information specifies instructions for installing screws and nuts, tightening procedures when installing multiple bolts, tightening torque check and readjustment procedures, tooling information, measuring locking torque procedures, standard tightening torque procedures and values, torque tightening of screws in sandwich panels information, use of consumable materials and their correction coefficient values pertaining to screws, nuts, and washers, marking torque stripes, and re-installation criteria and inspection of attachment components. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 1,277 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per workhour. Inspecting for any missing MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolt heads takes about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per helicopter and $217,090 for the U.S. fleet. Measuring the tightening torque of three MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolts and replacing the set of four MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolts, washers, and nuts takes about 1 work-hour and parts cost about $50 for an estimated cost of $135 per helicopter. Sending photos and reporting required information takes about 1 hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter. The FAA does not have the data to estimate the costs to do any FAAapproved repairs if two or more MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolt heads are missing. Paperwork Reduction Act A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120–0056. Public reporting for this collection of E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 217 / Monday, November 9, 2020 / Rules and Regulations khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES information is estimated to be approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177–1524. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ 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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action. 2020–22–20 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–21316; Docket No. FAA–2020–0378; Product Identifier 2018–SW–060–AD. Regulatory Findings This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD: 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. (d) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Nov 06, 2020 Jkt 253001 (a) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters, all serial numbers, certificated in any category. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a missing main rotor gearbox (MGB) suspension bar attachment bracket bolt head. This condition could result in fatigue failure of the other MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolts of the same MGB bracket, which could result in loss of the MGB suspension bar and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (c) Effective Date This AD becomes effective December 14, 2020. (e) Required Actions For helicopters with less than 1035 hours time-in-service (TIS), before reaching 1200 hours TIS, and for helicopters with 1035 or more hours TIS, within 165 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first, visually inspect each MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolt for missing bolt heads by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2.a. of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350–05.00.92, Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355–05.00.79, or Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130– 05A028, all Revision 0 and dated July 16, 2018 (ASB AS350–05.00.92, ASB AS355– 05.00.79, or ASB EC130–05A028), as applicable to your model helicopter. If any bolt heads are missing, do the following: (1) If one bolt head is missing, do the actions under the section ‘‘If only one screw head (a) is missing’’ in the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2.b of ASB AS350–05.00.92, ASB AS355–05.00.79, or PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 71237 ASB EC130–05A028, as applicable to your model helicopter, except you are not required to return removed parts to Airbus Helicopters. You must do the repair before further flight, and you must submit the photographs and reply form to Airbus Helicopters within 30 days of completing the inspection. (2) If two or more bolt heads are missing, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Branch. For a repair method to be approved by the Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, as required by this paragraph, the Manager’s approval letter must specifically refer to this AD. Note 1 to paragraph (e): Airbus Helicopters refers to the bolts as screws. (f) Special Flight Permits Special Flight permits are prohibited. (g) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120–0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177–1524. (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Kristi Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, the FAA suggests that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. (i) Additional Information (1) Airbus Standard Practices Manual (MTC) 20–02–05–404, Assembly by screws and nuts Joining, dated May 23, 2017, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 71238 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 217 / Monday, November 9, 2020 / Rules and Regulations this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone 972–641–0000 or 800–232–0323; fax 972–641–3775; or at https:// www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/ technical-support.html. You may view the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N– 321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD No. 2018–0152, dated July 18, 2018. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA–2020–0378. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (j) Subject SUMMARY: Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6320, Main Rotor Gearbox. (k) Material Incorporated by Reference khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350–05.00.92, Revision 0, dated July 16, 2018. (ii) Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355– 05.00.79, Revision 0, dated July 16, 2018. (iii) Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130– 05A028, Revision 0, dated July 16, 2018. (3) 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. (4) 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. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email fedreg.legal@nara.gov, or go to: https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued on October 23, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–24675 Filed 11–6–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Nov 06, 2020 Jkt 253001 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 Examining the AD Docket [Docket No. FAA–2020–0464; Product Identifier 2020–NM–040–AD; Amendment 39–21307; AD 2020–22–11] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017–18– 17, which applied to all Airbus SAS Model A300 B4–603, A300 B4–620, A300 B4–622, A300 B4–605R, A300 B4– 622R, A300 F4–605R, A300 F4–622R, and A300 C4–605R Variant F airplanes. AD 2017–18–17 required modifying certain fuselage frames and a repair on certain modified airplanes. This AD continues to require the actions in AD 2017–18–17, and also requires, for certain airplanes, an inspection to determine if rotating probe inspections were performed prior to oversizing of the open-holes, and repair if necessary; as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the material used to manufacture the upper frame feet was changed and negatively affected the fatigue life of the frame feet, and a determination that more work is required for certain airplanes that were previously modified. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective December 14, 2020. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 14, 2020. ADDRESSES: For the material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, KonradAdenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: ADs@easa.europa.eu; 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, 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. It is also available in the AD docket on PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0464. Sfmt 4700 You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0464; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3225; email: dan.rodina@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020–0051, dated March 11, 2020 (‘‘EASA AD 2020–0051’’) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A300 B4–603, A300 B4–620, A300 B4–622, A300 B4– 605R, A300 B4–622R, A300 F4–605R, A300 F4–622R, A300 C4–620, and A300 C4–605R Variant F airplanes. Model A300 C4–620 airplanes are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include those airplanes in the applicability. The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2017–18–17, Amendment 39–19026 (82 FR 43160, September 14, 2017) (‘‘AD 2017–18– 17’’). AD 2017–18–17 applied to all Airbus SAS Model A300 B4–603, A300 B4–620, A300 B4–622, A300 B4–605R, A300 B4–622R, A300 F4–605R, A300 F4–622R, and A300 C4–605R Variant F airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2020 (85 FR 35016). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that the material used to manufacture the upper frame feet was changed and negatively affected the fatigue life of the frame feet, and a determination that more work is E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 217 (Monday, November 9, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71235-71238]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-24675]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0378; Product Identifier 2018-SW-060-AD; Amendment 
39-21316; AD 2020-22-20]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, 
AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, 
EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters. This AD requires visually inspecting 
each main rotor gearbox (MGB) suspension bar attachment bracket bolt 
for missing bolt heads. Depending on the outcome of the visual 
inspection, measuring the tightening torque, removing certain parts, 
sending photos and reporting information to Airbus Helicopters, and 
completing an FAA-approved repair is required. This AD was prompted by 
a report of a missing MGB suspension bar attachment bolt head. The 
actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these 
products.

DATES: This AD is effective December 14, 2020.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of December 14, 
2020.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 
contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 
75052; telephone 972-641-0000 or 800-232-0323; fax 972-641-3775; or at 
https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. You 
may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, 
Fort Worth, TX 76177. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
0378.

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-
0378; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union 
Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, any service information that is 
incorporated by reference, any comments received, and other 
information. The street address for Docket Operations is U.S. 
Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building 
Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 
20590.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters 
Model AS350B, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350C, AS350D, 
AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, 
and EC130T2 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on 
April 13, 2020, (85 FR 20447). The NPRM proposed to require visually 
inspecting each MGB suspension bar attachment bracket for missing bolt 
heads. If one bolt head is missing, the proposed AD would require 
performing actions specified in the service information including 
measuring the tightening torque of the remaining bolts of that bracket, 
removing the attachment bracket bolts, washers, and nuts of that 
bracket, and sending photos and reporting certain information to Airbus 
Helicopters. The proposed AD would also require repairs in accordance 
with an FAA-approved method if two or more bolt heads are missing. The 
proposed requirements were intended to prevent failure of the MGB 
suspension bar attachment bolts due to fatigue.
    The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2018-0152, dated July 18, 2018 
(EASA AD 2018-0152), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for 
the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition 
for Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France) Model 
AS 350 B, AS 350 D, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 
B3, EC 130 B4, EC 130 T2, AS 355 E, AS355 F, AS355 F1, AS 355 F2, AS 
355 N, and AS355 NP helicopters. EASA advises of a reported occurrence 
of a missing MGB suspension bar attachment bolt head.
    EASA advises that investigations are ongoing to determine the root 
cause of this event. According to Airbus Helicopters, the missing MGB 
suspension bar attachment bolt head was discovered during scheduled 
maintenance of a Model EC 130 T2 helicopter. EASA states this condition 
could lead to fatigue failure of other affected bolts of the same MGB 
bracket, possibly resulting in loss of the MGB suspension bar and 
consequently loss of helicopter control. As an interim measure to 
address this potential unsafe condition, the EASA AD also includes 
Model AS 350 B, AS 350 D, AS 350 B1, AS 350 B2, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, 
AS 350 B3, EC 130 B4, AS 355 E, AS355 F, AS355 F1, AS355 F2, AS355 N, 
and AS355 NP helicopters in its applicability.
    Accordingly, EASA AD 2018-0152 requires a one-time visual 
inspection to check that all MGB suspension bar attachment bracket bolt 
heads are present and depending on the outcome, measuring the 
tightening torque values of the bolts, removing and sending bolts, 
washers, and nuts to Airbus Helicopters, installing new bolts, washers, 
and nuts, sending photos and reporting certain information to Airbus 
Helicopters, and

[[Page 71236]]

contacting Airbus Helicopters for approved repair instructions. EASA 
states EASA AD 2018-0152 is considered an interim action and further AD 
action may follow.

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in 
developing this final rule. The FAA received comments from one 
commenter. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and 
the FAA's response to the comments.

Request

    The commenter requested that this AD apply to Model AS350B3 and 
higher model helicopters, specifically Model AS350B3, AS350B3E, 
EC130B4, EC130T2, H125, and H130 helicopters. The commenter stated 
that, based on experience with a fleet of AS350BA and AS350B2 
helicopters, the commenter has never seen a bolt head break on Model 
AS350BA and AS350B2 helicopters.
    The FAA disagrees with removing models from the Applicability. The 
FAA determined that the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist 
or develop on all the model helicopters included in the Applicability 
and is therefore requiring corrective action to address this unsafe 
condition on these models.

Request

    The commenter requested the manufacturer add the inspection 
proposed in the NPRM to the 660-hour ``T'' inspection and also add the 
inspection after a certain number of flight hours after installation. 
The commenter gave an example of after 165 flying hours.
    The FAA disagrees; the commenter provided no technical 
justification for changing the compliance times.

Actions Since Issuance of the NPRM

    After the NPRM was issued, the FAA discovered that Airbus 
Helicopters Model AS350C was inadvertently included in the proposed 
Applicability. This helicopter model has a different engine model and 
therefore is not subject to the unsafe condition. The FAA has updated 
the Applicability section accordingly.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for 
operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral 
agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA of the 
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is issuing this AD after 
evaluating all information provided by EASA, reviewing the relevant 
information, considering the comments received, and determining the 
unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other 
helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the 
public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed except 
for the change described previously. The FAA has determined that this 
change is consistent with the intent that was proposed for addressing 
the unsafe condition and does not add any additional burden upon the 
public than was already proposed in the NPRM except for minor editorial 
changes. These minor editorial changes are consistent with the intent 
of the proposals in the NPRM and will not increase the economic burden 
on any operator nor increase the scope of this AD.

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. If final action 
is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to Model AS350BB helicopters, whereas this AD 
does not because that model is not FAA type-certificated. The EASA AD 
directs the operators to contact Airbus Helicopters for repairs if more 
than one screw head is missing, whereas this AD does not.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 
AS350-05.00.92 for Model AS350B, B1, B2, B3, BA, and D helicopters, 
non-FAA type-certificated Model AS350BB helicopters, and military Model 
AS350L1 helicopters; Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355-05.00.79 for 
Model AS355E, F, F1, F2, N, and NP helicopters; and Airbus Helicopters 
ASB No. EC130-05A028 for Model EC130B4 and T2 helicopters, all Revision 
0 and dated July 16, 2018. This service information specifies a one-
time visual inspection using a light source and a mirror, and using an 
endoscope for any attachment bolts that are difficult to access, for 
the presence of the 16 attachment bracket bolt heads of the 4 MGB 
suspension bars. The service information also specifies different 
actions depending on the results of the visual inspection.
    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.

Other Related Service Information

    The FAA also reviewed Airbus Standard Practices Manual (MTC) 20-02-
05-404, Assembly by screws and nuts Joining, dated May 23, 2017. This 
service information specifies instructions for installing screws and 
nuts, tightening procedures when installing multiple bolts, tightening 
torque check and readjustment procedures, tooling information, 
measuring locking torque procedures, standard tightening torque 
procedures and values, torque tightening of screws in sandwich panels 
information, use of consumable materials and their correction 
coefficient values pertaining to screws, nuts, and washers, marking 
torque stripes, and re-installation criteria and inspection of 
attachment components.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 1,277 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following 
costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 
per work-hour.
    Inspecting for any missing MGB suspension bar attachment bracket 
bolt heads takes about 2 work-hours for an estimated cost of $170 per 
helicopter and $217,090 for the U.S. fleet.
    Measuring the tightening torque of three MGB suspension bar 
attachment bracket bolts and replacing the set of four MGB suspension 
bar attachment bracket bolts, washers, and nuts takes about 1 work-hour 
and parts cost about $50 for an estimated cost of $135 per helicopter.
    Sending photos and reporting required information takes about 1 
hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter.
    The FAA does not have the data to estimate the costs to do any FAA-
approved repairs if two or more MGB suspension bar attachment bracket 
bolt heads are missing.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for 
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of 
information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB 
Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public 
reporting for this collection of

[[Page 71237]]

information is estimated to be approximately 1 hour per response, 
including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data 
sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and 
reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this 
collection of information are mandatory. Send comments regarding this 
burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, 
including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 
Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
    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.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2020-22-20 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21316; Docket No. FAA-
2020-0378; Product Identifier 2018-SW-060-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350B1, 
AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA, AS350D, AS350D1, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, 
AS355F2, AS355N, AS355NP, EC130B4, and EC130T2 helicopters, all 
serial numbers, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a missing main rotor 
gearbox (MGB) suspension bar attachment bracket bolt head. This 
condition could result in fatigue failure of the other MGB 
suspension bar attachment bracket bolts of the same MGB bracket, 
which could result in loss of the MGB suspension bar and subsequent 
loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective December 14, 2020.

(d) Compliance

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

(e) Required Actions

    For helicopters with less than 1035 hours time-in-service (TIS), 
before reaching 1200 hours TIS, and for helicopters with 1035 or 
more hours TIS, within 165 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs 
first, visually inspect each MGB suspension bar attachment bracket 
bolt for missing bolt heads by following the Accomplishment 
Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2.a. of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service 
Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350-05.00.92, Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355-
05.00.79, or Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130-05A028, all Revision 0 
and dated July 16, 2018 (ASB AS350-05.00.92, ASB AS355-05.00.79, or 
ASB EC130-05A028), as applicable to your model helicopter. If any 
bolt heads are missing, do the following:
    (1) If one bolt head is missing, do the actions under the 
section ``If only one screw head (a) is missing'' in the 
Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2.b of ASB AS350-
05.00.92, ASB AS355-05.00.79, or ASB EC130-05A028, as applicable to 
your model helicopter, except you are not required to return removed 
parts to Airbus Helicopters. You must do the repair before further 
flight, and you must submit the photographs and reply form to Airbus 
Helicopters within 30 days of completing the inspection.
    (2) If two or more bolt heads are missing, before further 
flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, Rotorcraft 
Standards Branch. For a repair method to be approved by the Manager, 
Rotorcraft Standards Branch, as required by this paragraph, the 
Manager's approval letter must specifically refer to this AD.

    Note 1 to paragraph (e): Airbus Helicopters refers to the bolts 
as screws.

(f) Special Flight Permits

    Special Flight permits are prohibited.

(g) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to 
the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that 
collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control 
Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 
2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is 
estimated to be approximately 1 hour per response, including the 
time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, 
gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and 
reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this 
collection of information are mandatory. Send comments regarding 
this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of 
information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: 
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, may 
approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Kristi Bradley, 
Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort 
Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email 
[email protected].
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, the FAA suggests 
that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal 
inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office 
or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft 
complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(i) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Standard Practices Manual (MTC) 20-02-05-404, 
Assembly by screws and nuts Joining, dated May 23, 2017, which is 
not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about 
the subject of

[[Page 71238]]

this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; 
telephone 972-641-0000 or 800-232-0323; fax 972-641-3775; or at 
https://www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/technical-support.html. 
You may view the referenced service information at the FAA, Office 
of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., 
Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.
    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation 
Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 
No. 2018-0152, dated July 18, 2018. You may view the EASA AD on the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2020-0378.

(j) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6320, Main Rotor 
Gearbox.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this 
paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS350-
05.00.92, Revision 0, dated July 16, 2018.
    (ii) Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS355-05.00.79, Revision 0, 
dated July 16, 2018.
    (iii) Airbus Helicopters ASB No. EC130-05A028, Revision 0, dated 
July 16, 2018.
    (3) 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.
    (4) 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. For information on the availability of 
this material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, email [email protected], or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on October 23, 2020.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-24675 Filed 11-6-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P