Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 13165-13168 [2021-04800]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOC) DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Danny Nguyen, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712; telephone 562–627–5247; email 9ANM-LAACO-AMOC-REQUESTS@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. Federal Aviation Administration (g) Related Information SUMMARY: For service information identified in this AD, contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505; telephone 310–539–0508; fax 310–539–5198; or at https://www.robinsonheli.com. You may view a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. (h) 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 the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Robinson KI–235 R66 TRDS Forward Yoke Assembly and Hanger Installation Kit Instructions, Revision A, dated June 23, 2015. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Robinson Helicopter Company, 2901 Airport Drive, Torrance, CA 90505; telephone 310–539–0508; fax 310– 539–5198; or at https:// www.robinsonheli.com. (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. (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/ ibr-locations.html. (i) Subject jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6510, Tail Rotor Drive Shaft. Issued on February 8, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–03656 Filed 3–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0094; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00100–R; Amendment 39–21437; AD 2021–04–15] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0094. Examining the AD Docket The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N and AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model AS350B3 helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled post-flight inspection of the tail cone area, a crack was found in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures were found in the two front attachment screws. This AD requires repetitive visual inspections of the right-hand side of the vertical fin spar for discrepancies (cracking), and corrective action if necessary, 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 March 23, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 23, 2021. The FAA must receive comments on this AD by April 22, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 PO 00000 13165 You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0094; 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: Discussion The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020–0186, dated August 20, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0186) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N and AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model AS350B3 helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled post-flight inspection of the tail cone area of an Airbus Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopter, a crack was found in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures were found in the two front attachment screws. Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters have a similar vertical fin configuration and are subject to comparable load levels as the affected Model AS355NP helicopter, therefore, this model may be subject to the same unsafe condition revealed on the Model AS355NP helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to address E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 13166 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations cracking in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the front attachment screws. This condition could lead to in-flight separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss of control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2020–0186 describes procedures for, among other actions, repetitive visual inspections of the righthand side of the vertical fin spar for cracking and corrective action. The corrective action includes repair. EASA AD 2020–0186 also describes procedures for an optional modification, which terminates the repetitive inspections. 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 These products have been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and are 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 after evaluating all pertinent information and determining that the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Requirements of This AD This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2020– 0186, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between this AD and the MCAI.’’ Explanation of Required Compliance Information In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020–0186 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This AD would, therefore, require compliance VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 with EASA AD 2020–0186 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 2020–0186 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020–0186 is available on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0094. required within 55 hours time-inservice, a time period of less than 3 months based on the average flight-hour utilization rate of these helicopters. Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, 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. Differences Between This AD and the MCAI Paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2020–0186 specifies doing repetitive cleaning and detailed inspections of the vertical fin spar and vertical fin upper attachments. The actions specified in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2020–0186 are not required by this AD because the planned compliance time for those actions would allow enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment on the merits of those actions. The FAA is considering additional rulemaking to address the actions specified in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2020–0186. Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA– 2021–0094; Project Identifier MCAI– 2021–00100–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this AD. 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 cracking in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the front attachment screws could lead to in-flight separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss of control of the helicopter. In addition, the initial inspection is 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 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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 13167 Costs of Compliance 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. The FAA estimates that this AD affects 650 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators 7 work-hour × $85 per hour = $595 ............................................................................................ $0 $595 $386,750 Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 ...................................................................................................................... $7,300 $7,980 ESTIMATED COSTS FOR OPTIONAL ACTIONS The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition action that would be required based on the results of any required or optional actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of helicopters that might need this on-condition action: ON-CONDITION COSTS Action Labor cost Replacement ................................................................. 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 ........................... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 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 would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 For the reasons discussed above, I certify this regulation: (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. The Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ 2021–04–15 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–21437; Docket No. FAA–2021–0094; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00100–R. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 $17,052 Cost per product $17,392 (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective March 23, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters specified in paragraph (c)(1) and (2) of this AD, certificated in any category. (1) Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters, all serial numbers. (2) Model AS350B3 helicopters, all serial numbers except those that have embodied Modification 07.3148 in production, or Eurocopter AS350 Service Bulletin 55.00.14 (any revision) in service. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5531, Vertical Stabilizer, Spar/Rib. PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES § 39.13 Parts cost (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled post-flight inspection of the tail cone area of an Airbus Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopter, a crack was found in the spar of the upper fin and fractures were found in the two front attachment screws. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the front attachment screws. This condition could lead to in-flight separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss of control of the helicopter. E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 13168 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Requirements Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2020–0186, dated August 20, 2020 (EASA AD 2020– 0186). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020–0186 (1) Where EASA AD 2020–0186 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2020–0186 does not apply to this AD. (3) The actions specified in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2020–0186 are not required by this AD. (4) Where paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2020– 0186 specifies to contact the manufacturer for approved repair instructions, for this AD, if any cracking is detected during any inspection, repair before further flight using a method approved by the Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA. For a repair method to be approved by the Manager, International Validation Branch, as required by this paragraph, the Manager’s approval letter must specifically refer to this AD. (5) Where EASA AD 2020–0186 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (6) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2020–0186 specifies to perform a visual inspection and ‘‘if in doubt’’ remove the rear and the tail rotor gear box (TGB) fairings to perform a detailed inspection and ‘‘carry out’’ a dye-penetrant inspection, those actions are required by this AD if any crack indication (e.g., paint chips, dents, or swelling) is found during any inspection done without removing the rear and the TGB fairings. (7) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0186 specifies to scrap certain parts, this AD requires removing those parts from service instead. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES (i) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are not allowed. (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) 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 manager of 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-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 (k) Related Information For more information about this AD, 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. (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 2020–0186, dated August 20, 2020. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2020–0186, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. (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. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0094. (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 February 9, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–04800 Filed 3–4–21; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0941; Airspace Docket No. 20–ASO–24] RIN 2120–AA66 Amendment and Cancellation of VOR Federal Airways V–49 and V–541 in the Vicinity of Decatur, AL Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This action modifies VHF Omni-directional Range Federal airway SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 V–541 and removes V–49, in the vicinity of Decatur, AL. This action is necessary due to the planned decommissioning of the Decatur, AL, VOR/Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) navigation aid, which provides navigation guidance for segments of the routes. This will provide for the safe and efficient use of navigable airspace within the National Airspace System (NAS) while reducing NAVAID dependencies throughout the NAS as part of the FAA VOR Minimum Operation Network program. DATES: Effective date 0901 UTC, August 12, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under 1 CFR part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments. ADDRESSES: FAA Order 7400.11E, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at https:// www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Rules and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11E at NARA, email: fedreg.legal@nara.gov or go to https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ ibr-locations.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Hook, Rules and Regulations Group, Office of Policy, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. 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. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would modify the VOR Federal airway route structure in the eastern United States to maintain the efficient flow of air traffic. E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 43 (Monday, March 8, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13165-13168]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-04800]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0094; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00100-R; 
Amendment 39-21437; AD 2021-04-15]
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 AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N and 
AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model AS350B3 helicopters. This AD was 
prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled post-flight inspection 
of the tail cone area, a crack was found in the spar of the upper part 
of the vertical fin and fractures were found in the two front 
attachment screws. This AD requires repetitive visual inspections of 
the right-hand side of the vertical fin spar for discrepancies 
(cracking), and corrective action if necessary, 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 March 23, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 23, 
2021.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by April 22, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 
the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 
221 8999 000; email [email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. 
You may find this material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, 
Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. It is also available in the AD 
docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for 
and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0094.

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-2021-
0094; 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 2020-0186, dated August 20, 2020 
(EASA AD 2020-0186) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, 
AS355N and AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model AS350B3 helicopters.
    This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled post-
flight inspection of the tail cone area of an Airbus Helicopters Model 
AS355NP helicopter, a crack was found in the spar of the upper part of 
the vertical fin and fractures were found in the two front attachment 
screws. Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters have a similar 
vertical fin configuration and are subject to comparable load levels as 
the affected Model AS355NP helicopter, therefore, this model may be 
subject to the same unsafe condition revealed on the Model AS355NP 
helicopter. The FAA is issuing this AD to address

[[Page 13166]]

cracking in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and 
fractures in the front attachment screws. This condition could lead to 
in-flight separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting 
in loss of control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional 
background information.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0186 describes procedures for, among other actions, 
repetitive visual inspections of the right-hand side of the vertical 
fin spar for cracking and corrective action. The corrective action 
includes repair. EASA AD 2020-0186 also describes procedures for an 
optional modification, which terminates the repetitive inspections.
    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

    These products have been approved by the aviation authority of 
another country, and are 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 after 
evaluating all pertinent information and determining that the unsafe 
condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of 
these same type designs.

Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 
2020-0186, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except 
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of 
this AD and except as discussed under ``Differences Between this AD and 
the MCAI.''

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-0186 
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This AD would, 
therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0186 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 2020-0186 that is 
required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0186 is available on the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0094.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI

    Paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2020-0186 specifies doing repetitive 
cleaning and detailed inspections of the vertical fin spar and vertical 
fin upper attachments. The actions specified in paragraph (2) of EASA 
AD 2020-0186 are not required by this AD because the planned compliance 
time for those actions would allow enough time to provide notice and 
opportunity for prior public comment on the merits of those actions. 
The FAA is considering additional rulemaking to address the actions 
specified in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2020-0186.

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 cracking in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and 
fractures in the front attachment screws could lead to in-flight 
separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss of 
control of the helicopter. In addition, the initial inspection is 
required within 55 hours time-in-service, a time period of less than 3 
months based on the average flight-hour utilization rate of these 
helicopters. Therefore, notice and opportunity for prior public comment 
are impracticable and contrary to public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B). In addition, 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

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under 
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0094; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-00100-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for 
any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this 
AD because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this AD.

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

[[Page 13167]]

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

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
                          Labor cost                              Parts cost        product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7 work-hour x $85 per hour = $595............................              $0             $595         $386,750
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                  Estimated Costs for Optional Actions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Cost per
              Labor cost                   Parts cost        product
------------------------------------------------------------------------
8 work-hours x $85 per hour = $680....          $7,300           $7,980
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                    Action                                 Labor cost               Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Replacement...................................  4 work-hours x $85 per hour =            $17,052         $17,392
                                                 $340.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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:

2021-04-15 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21437; Docket No. FAA-
2021-0094; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00100-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective March 23, 
2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters specified in paragraph 
(c)(1) and (2) of this AD, certificated in any category.
    (1) Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP 
helicopters, all serial numbers.
    (2) Model AS350B3 helicopters, all serial numbers except those 
that have embodied Modification 07.3148 in production, or Eurocopter 
AS350 Service Bulletin 55.00.14 (any revision) in service.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5531, Vertical 
Stabilizer, Spar/Rib.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled 
post-flight inspection of the tail cone area of an Airbus 
Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopter, a crack was found in the spar 
of the upper fin and fractures were found in the two front 
attachment screws. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking in 
the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the 
front attachment screws. This condition could lead to in-flight 
separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss 
of control of the helicopter.

[[Page 13168]]

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, EASA AD 2020-0186, dated August 20, 2020 (EASA AD 
2020-0186).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0186

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0186 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0186 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (3) The actions specified in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2020-0186 
are not required by this AD.
    (4) Where paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2020-0186 specifies to 
contact the manufacturer for approved repair instructions, for this 
AD, if any cracking is detected during any inspection, repair before 
further flight using a method approved by the Manager, International 
Validation Branch, FAA. For a repair method to be approved by the 
Manager, International Validation Branch, as required by this 
paragraph, the Manager's approval letter must specifically refer to 
this AD.
    (5) Where EASA AD 2020-0186 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service.
    (6) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2020-
0186 specifies to perform a visual inspection and ``if in doubt'' 
remove the rear and the tail rotor gear box (TGB) fairings to 
perform a detailed inspection and ``carry out'' a dye-penetrant 
inspection, those actions are required by this AD if any crack 
indication (e.g., paint chips, dents, or swelling) is found during 
any inspection done without removing the rear and the TGB fairings.
    (7) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0186 specifies to scrap certain parts, this AD requires removing 
those parts from service instead.

(i) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 
21.199, are not allowed.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) 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 manager of 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].
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.

(k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, 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].

(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 2020-0186, 
dated August 20, 2020.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2020-0186, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-
Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email 
[email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this 
EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu.
    (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. This material may be 
found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-
2021-0094.
    (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 February 9, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-04800 Filed 3-4-21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P