Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 73607-73610 [2020-25466]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 224 / Thursday, November 19, 2020 / Rules and Regulations 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/ ibr-locations.html. Issued on October 29, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–25472 Filed 11–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0978; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00459–R; Amendment 39–21318; AD 2020–23–02] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control issue regarding the ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the bearing in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly for discrepancies (ceramic balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both) and, depending on the findings, replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable main rotor mast assembly, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD becomes effective December 4, 2020. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 4, 2020. The FAA must receive comments on this AD by January 4, 2021. 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. SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 18, 2020 Jkt 253001 • 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, 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 1000; 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, 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–2020– 0978. 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– 0978; 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, 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: Kathleen Arrigotti, Aviation Safety Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3218; email: kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 73607 regarding the ceramic balls of the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly. The FAA is issuing this AD to address defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly, which could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2020–0079 describes procedures for repetitive inspections of the main rotor mast swashplate assembly for discrepancies (ceramic balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both), and replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable main rotor mast assembly. 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. FAA’s Determination This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD because the FAA evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. Discussion Requirements of This AD This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2020– 0079 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 ‘‘Difference Between this AD and the MCAI.’’ The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020–0079, dated April 1, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0079) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control issue 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 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\19NOR1.SGM 19NOR1 73608 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 224 / Thursday, November 19, 2020 / Rules and Regulations and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020–0079 is incorporated by reference in this final rule. This AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2020–0079 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this 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 2020–0079 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020–0079 is available on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0978. Difference Between This AD and the MCAI Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0079 specifies to return affected parts to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. In addition, the compliance time for the required action is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the final rule. Therefore, the FAA finds good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reasons stated above, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days. Comments Invited Interim Action The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then. FAA’s Justification and Determination of the Effective Date Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ‘‘good cause’’ finds that those procedures are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking. This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, the FAA invites you to send any written comments, data, or views about this AD. 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 submit only one copy of the comments. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2020–0978; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00459–R’’ 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 AD. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date for comments. The FAA may amend this AD 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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Kathleen Arrigotti, Aviation Safety Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206– 231–3218; email: kathleen.arrigotti@ faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 30 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Labor cost 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340, per inspection .. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition action that would be required based on VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 18, 2020 Cost per product Parts cost Jkt 253001 $0 $340 Cost on U.S. operators $10,200, per inspection. the results of any required action. The FAA has no way of determining the PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 number of helicopters that might need this on-condition action: E:\FR\FM\19NOR1.SGM 19NOR1 73609 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 224 / Thursday, November 19, 2020 / Rules and Regulations ESTIMATED COSTS OF ON-CONDITION ACTION * Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 ...................................................................................................................... (*) * $340 * The FAA has not received any definitive data regarding the parts cost, therefore this table does not include estimated costs for parts. 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 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, and (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 18, 2020 Jkt 253001 § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ 2020–23–02 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–21318; Docket No. FAA–2020–0978; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00459–R. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective December 4, 2020. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6230, Main Rotor Mast/Swashplate. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control issue regarding the ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly. The FAA is issuing this AD to address defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly, which could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. (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, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0079, dated April 1, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0079). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020–0079 (1) Where EASA AD 2020–0079 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2020–0079 does not apply to this AD. (3) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0079 specifies to return affected parts to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (4) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0079 specifies PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ‘‘compliance with the works steps concerned with the check is described in a video’’ this AD requires a complete rotation of the swashplate in both directions using a rate of one revolution per minute. Note 1 to paragraph (h)(4): Refer to the video specified in the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0079 for guidance. (5) Where EASA AD 2020–0079 refers to flight hours, this AD requires using hours time-in-service. The guidance provided by Note 1 to Table 1 in EASA AD 2020–0079 is still applicable. (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0079 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) The Manager, International Validation 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 International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov. 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. (k) Related Information For more information about this AD, Kathleen Arrigotti, Aviation Safety Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3218; email: kathleen.arrigotti@ faa.gov. (l) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) 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 this AD specifies otherwise. (i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0079, dated April 1, 2020. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2020–0079, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet E:\FR\FM\19NOR1.SGM 19NOR1 73610 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 224 / Thursday, November 19, 2020 / Rules and Regulations www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. (4) 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. (5) You may view this material 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/ibr-locations.html. Issued on October 27, 2020. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. Examining the AD Docket [FR Doc. 2020–25466 Filed 11–18–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0987; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01205–R; Amendment 39–21323; AD 2020–23–07] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for all Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This AD requires removing certain emergency life raft (raft) reservoirs (reservoirs) from service, inspecting the reservoirs and raft actuator cables (actuator cables), and depending on the inspection results, replacing the reservoir or adjusting the actuator cable. This AD was prompted by the inadvertent activation and deployment of a raft while the helicopter was in flight. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD becomes effective December 4, 2020. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of December 4, 2020. The FAA must receive comments on this AD by January 4, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:24 Nov 18, 2020 Jkt 253001 online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ‘‘Mail’’ address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0987; 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 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 listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this final rule, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39–0331–225074; fax +39– 0331–229046; or at https:// www.leonardocompany.com/en/home. 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. It is also available on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0987. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel E. Moore, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations & Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5110; email daniel.e.moore@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and the FAA did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to provide your comments prior to it becoming effective. However, the FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit them only one time. 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 file in the docket all comments received, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this rulemaking during the comment period. The FAA will consider all the comments received and may conduct additional rulemaking based on 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 final rule 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 final rule, 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 final rule. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Daniel E. Moore, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations & Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5110; email daniel.e.moore@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 EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2020– 0185, dated August 19, 2020, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A, AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.; and AgustaWestland Philadelphia Corporation, formerly Agusta Aerospace Corporation Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters, all serial numbers, if equipped with emergency flotation kit part number (P/ E:\FR\FM\19NOR1.SGM 19NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 224 (Thursday, November 19, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73607-73610]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-25466]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0978; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00459-R; 
Amendment 39-21318; AD 2020-23-02]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD was prompted by a 
report of a manufacturing and control issue regarding the ceramic balls 
in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor 
mast assembly. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the bearing 
in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly for 
discrepancies (ceramic balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial 
play or both) and, depending on the findings, replacement of an 
affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable main rotor mast 
assembly, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency 
(EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this 
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD becomes effective December 4, 2020.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 4, 
2020.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by January 4, 2021.

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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, 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 1000; 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-2020-0978.

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-
0978; 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, 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: Kathleen Arrigotti, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 
2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-
3218; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0079, dated April 1, 2020 (EASA 
AD 2020-0079) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe 
condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This AD 
was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control issue regarding 
the ceramic balls of the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly 
of the main rotor mast assembly.
    The FAA is issuing this AD to address defective ceramic balls in 
the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast 
assembly, which could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and 
of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the 
main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the 
helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0079 describes procedures for repetitive inspections 
of the main rotor mast swashplate assembly for discrepancies (ceramic 
balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both), and 
replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable 
main rotor mast assembly. 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.

FAA's Determination

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

Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 
2020-0079 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 ``Difference Between this 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

[[Page 73608]]

and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, 
EASA AD 2020-0079 is incorporated by reference in this final rule. This 
AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2020-0079 in its 
entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences 
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this 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 
2020-0079 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0079 is 
available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching 
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0978.

Difference Between This AD and the MCAI

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0079 
specifies to return affected parts to the manufacturer, this AD does 
not include that requirement.

Interim Action

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

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.) 
authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for 
rules when the agency, for ``good cause'' finds that those procedures 
are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' 
Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a 
final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking.
    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to 
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public 
justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule 
because defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the 
swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly could lead to 
premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of 
function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, 
resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. In addition, the 
compliance time for the required action is shorter than the time 
necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the final 
rule. Therefore, the FAA finds good cause that notice and opportunity 
for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the 
reasons stated above, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 
5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 
days.

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public 
comment. However, the FAA invites you to send any written comments, 
data, or views about this AD. 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 submit only one 
copy of the comments. Send your comments to an address listed under the 
ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2020-0978; Project 
Identifier MCAI-2020-00459-R'' 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 AD. The FAA will consider all comments 
received by the closing date for comments. The FAA may amend this AD 
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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to 
Kathleen Arrigotti, Aviation Safety Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, 
WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3218; email: 
[email protected]. Any commentary that the FAA receives that 
is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public 
docket for this rulemaking.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good 
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and 
comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt 
this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 30 helicopters of U.S. 
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Cost per
                  Labor cost                      Parts cost        product          Cost on U.S. operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 work-hours x $85 per hour = $340, per                     $0            $340  $10,200, per inspection.
 inspection.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

[[Page 73609]]



                Estimated Costs of On-Condition Action *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Cost per
              Labor cost                   Parts cost        product
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 work-hours x $85 per hour = $340....             (*)           * $340
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The FAA has not received any definitive data regarding the parts cost,
  therefore this table does not include estimated costs for parts.

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 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, and
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.

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:

2020-23-02 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21318; Docket No. FAA-
2020-0978; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00459-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective December 4, 
2020.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters, 
certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6230, Main Rotor 
Mast/Swashplate.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control 
issue regarding the ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the 
swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to address defective ceramic balls in the bearing 
installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast 
assembly, which could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself 
and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of 
the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the 
helicopter.

(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, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2020-0079, dated April 1, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0079).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0079

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0079 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0079 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (3) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0079 specifies to return affected parts to the manufacturer, this AD 
does not include that requirement.
    (4) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0079 specifies ``compliance with the works steps concerned with the 
check is described in a video'' this AD requires a complete rotation 
of the swashplate in both directions using a rate of one revolution 
per minute.

    Note 1 to paragraph (h)(4): Refer to the video specified in the 
service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0079 for guidance.

    (5) Where EASA AD 2020-0079 refers to flight hours, this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service. The guidance provided by Note 
1 to Table 1 in EASA AD 2020-0079 is still applicable.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0079 
specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD 
does not include that requirement.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, International Validation 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 International Validation Branch, send it to the 
attention of the person identified in paragraph (k) of this AD. 
Information may be emailed to: [email protected]. 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.

(k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, Kathleen Arrigotti, Aviation 
Safety Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 
Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and 
fax: 206-231-3218; email: [email protected].

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) 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 this AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-0079, 
dated April 1, 2020.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2020-0079, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-
Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email 
[email protected]; internet

[[Page 73610]]

www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at 
https://ad.easa.europa.eu.
    (4) 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.
    (5) You may view this material 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 27, 2020.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-25466 Filed 11-18-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P