Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 13159-13162 [2021-04803]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (3) If all 48 fasteners were replaced before the effective date of this AD by following the instructions in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, then the initial and recurring inspections detailed in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD are not required provided you report the information required by paragraph (h) of this AD. 208B5344, 208B5346 through 208B5350, 208B5353, 208B5354, 208B5356 through 208B5359, 208B5362 through 208B5366, 208B5401, 208B5403, 208B5404, and 208B5408; certificated in any category. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code: 5520, Elevator Structure. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by reports of loose elevator torque tube attach fasteners. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct loosening and eventual failure of the elevator torque tube attach fasteners. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in loss of elevator control, resulting in loss of control of the airplane. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Inspection and Fastener Replacement (1) At the following compliance times, inspect each inboard and outboard elevator torque tube attach fastener for looseness and fretting by following sections 2.C. and 2.D. of Task 27–30–00–290, Left and Right Elevator Torque Tube Attach Points (Borescope) Special Detailed Inspection, dated October 1, 2018, of the Cessna Model 208 Maintenance Manual. You must also inspect for incorrectly installed fasteners. (i) For airplanes that have accumulated less than 800 hours time-in-service (TIS) as of the effective date of this AD, complete the initial inspection before the airplane accumulates 800 hours TIS or within 200 hours TIS after the effective date of the AD, whichever occurs later. Thereafter, repeat the visual inspection at intervals not to exceed 200 hours TIS until the airplane has accumulated 4,000 hours TIS or until all 48 elevator torque tube attach fasteners are replaced, whichever occurs first. (ii) For airplanes that have accumulated 800 or more hours TIS but less than 4,000 hours TIS as of the effective date of this AD, complete the initial inspection within 200 hours TIS after the effective date of the AD. Thereafter, repeat the visual inspection at intervals not to exceed 200 hours TIS until the airplane has accumulated 4,000 hours TIS or until all 48 elevator torque tube attach fasteners are replaced, whichever occurs first. (iii) For airplanes that have accumulated 4,000 or more hours TIS as of the effective date of this AD, complete a one-time visual inspection within 200 hours TIS after the effective date of the AD. No repetitive inspections are required after completion of the one-time visual inspection. (2) If there are any loose, fretting, or incorrectly installed fasteners, remove the elevator and replace all 48 elevator torque tube attach fasteners (24 per side, with 12 each on the inboard and outboard elevator torque tube attach point) before further flight. Maintain proper alignment by marking each part prior to removal and by replacing one fastener at a time. Replacing all 48 fasteners is terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (ii) of this AD. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 (h) Reporting Requirement Within 30 days after doing the initial inspection (regardless if loose, fretting, or incorrectly installed fasteners were found) or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, and then within 30 days after each inspection where loose, fretting, or incorrectly installed fasteners were found, report the following information to the FAA at Wichita-COS@faa.gov: (1) Name and address of owner. (2) Date of the inspection. (3) Name, address, phone number, and email address of person submitting the report. (4) Airplane serial number, registration number, and total hours TIS on the airplane at the time of the inspection. (5) If an earlier inspection identified loose, fretting, or incorrectly installed fasteners, identify the hours TIS on the airplane and which fasteners were replaced, if known, or if all fasteners were replaced. (6) If loose, fretting, or incorrectly installed fasteners were found, detailed information including a sketch or picture showing the location of the loose, fretting, or incorrectly installed fasteners and identification of any installed supplemental type certificates (STCs), alterations, repairs, or field approvals affecting the area of concern. (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Wichita ACO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD. (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. (j) Related Information For more information about this AD, contact Bobbie Kroetch, Aviation Safety Engineer, Wichita ACO Branch, FAA, 1801 Airport Road, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: 316–946–4155; fax: 316–946–4107; email: bobbie.kroetch@faa.gov or Wichita-COS@ faa.gov. (k) 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. PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 13159 (i) Task 27–30–00–290, Left and Right Elevator Torque Tube Attach Points (Borescope) Special Detailed Inspection, dated October 1, 2018, of the Cessna Model 208 Maintenance Manual. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For Textron Aviation, Inc. service information identified in this AD, contact Textron Aviation Inc., One Cessna Boulevard, Wichita, KS 67215; phone: 316– 517–5800; email: teamturbopropsupport@ txtav.com; website: https:// support.cessna.com. (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust St., Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816–329–4148. (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. Issued on February 8, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–03478 Filed 3–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0095; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01658–R; Amendment 39–21439; AD 2021–04–17] 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 certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, and AS355N helicopters. This AD was prompted by two reports of debonding of the tail rotor (T/R) blade leading edge protection shields. This AD requires repetitively inspecting certain T/R blades and depending on the inspection results, replacing the T/ R blade, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference (IBR). This AD also prohibits installing certain T/R blades. The FAA is issuing SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 13160 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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 IBR material in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@ easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may 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–2021–0095. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 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– 0095; 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: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 Discussion Requirements of This AD The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020–0224R1, dated November 11, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0224R1), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B1, AS350 B2, AS 350 D, AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, and AS 355 N helicopters. EASA AD 2020–0224R1 revises EASA AD 2020–0224–E, dated October 16, 2020, to expand the list of serviceable parts (post-mod 075580). This AD was prompted by two reports of large debonding of the T/R blade leading edge protection shields. According to EASA, the design and assembly procedure of the affected part (pre-mod 075580) is such that rapid debonding can occur if humidity/liquid water reaches the bonding surface between the leading edge and blade spar. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the T/R blade, which could result in loss of tail rotor control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. See the EASA AD for additional background information. This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2020– 0224R1, 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 EASA AD.’’ Additionally, the owner/operator (pilot) may perform the required visual checks but must enter compliance with the applicable paragraph of this AD in the helicopter maintenance records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform these checks because they only involve visually checking affected T/R blade leading edge protection shields and bonding strips. This action can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. This check is an exception to the FAA’s standard maintenance regulations. Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2020–0224R1 specifies repetitively visually inspecting each T/ R blade leading edge protection shield and repetitively tap inspecting each T/ R blade leading edge. EASA AD 2020– 0224R1 also prohibits the installation of an affected part and specifies a longerterm modification to replace each affected part with a serviceable part. EASA AD 2020–0224R1 states that replacing all affected parts with serviceable parts on a helicopter constitutes terminating action for the repetitive visual and tap 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 helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA about the unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 2020–0224R1 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020–0224R1 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 2020–0224R1 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020– 0224R1 is available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0095. Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD The EASA AD applies to all Model AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 350 B1, AS350 B2, AS 350 D, AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, and AS 355 N helicopters, whereas this AD applies to Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, and AS355N helicopters with certain partnumbered T/R blades installed instead. This AD does not apply to Model AS 350 BB because this model is not FAA type-certificated. The EASA AD requires visually inspecting each T/R blade leading edge protection shield. This AD requires visually checking each T/R blade leading edge protection shield and bonding strip instead and allows a pilot to accomplish these visual checks. The EASA AD requires a longer-term modification of replacing each affected part with a serviceable part, whereas this AD does not. The FAA plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to give the public an opportunity to comment on this longer-term requirement. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 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 the visual repetitive checks must be done before each flight and the initial instance of the repetitive tap inspections must be done within 30 hours time-in-service, a time period of up to about 1.5 months based on the average flight-hour utilization rate of these helicopters. Accordingly, the compliance time for the required actions is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the final rule. 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, 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 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– 2021–0095; Project Identifier MCAI– 2020–01658–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 Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 13161 without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 450 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD. Visually checking the T/R blades takes about 0.25 work-hour for an estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and $9,450 for the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle. Tap inspecting the T/R blades takes about 0.5 work-hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and $19,350 for the U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle. Replacing a T/R blade takes about 12 work-hours and parts cost about $10,000 for an estimated cost of $11,020 per T/R blade. 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. E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1 13162 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 43 / Monday, March 8, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ 2021–04–17 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–21439; Docket No. FAA–2021–0095; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01658–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 Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, and AS355N helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail rotor (T/R) blade part number (P/N) listed in Appendix 1, Table 1, of European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0224R1, dated November 11, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0224R1) (pre-mod 075580). (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6410, Tail Rotor Blades. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by two reports of debonding of the T/R blade leading edge protection shields. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the T/R blade, which could result in loss of tail rotor control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES (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 2020–0224R1. (h) Exceptions to EASA AD EASA AD 2020– 0224R1 (1) Where EASA AD 2020–0224R1 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD requires using hours time-in-service. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:10 Mar 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 (2) Where EASA AD 2020–0224R1 refers to October 20, 2020 (the effective date of the original issuance of its AD (EASA AD 2020– 0224–E, dated October 16, 2020)) and its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (3) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020– 0224R1 specifies visually inspecting each T/ R blade leading edge protection shield with instructions in the service information, this AD requires visually checking each T/R blade leading edge protection shield and bonding strip for a distortion, dent, and scratch; visually checking the area surrounding each T/R blade leading edge protection along the skin length for a gap; and visually checking the area surrounding the bonding strip for a crack. These visual checks may be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439. (4) Where paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2020– 0224R1 specifies the modification of replacing each affected part with a serviceable part, this AD does not require this modification. (5) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2020–0224R1 does not apply to this AD. (i) Parts Installation Prohibition As of the effective date of this AD, do not install a T/R blade identified in paragraph (c) of this AD on any helicopter. (j) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits are prohibited if an installed T/R blade does not pass the visual or tap inspections. (k) 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 (l)(1) 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. (l) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. (m) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (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 2020–0224R1, dated November 11, 2020. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2020–0224R1, 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–2021–0095. (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 10, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–04803 Filed 3–4–21; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0682; Product Identifier 2017–SW–028–AD; Amendment 39–21433; AD 2021–04–12] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Robinson Helicopter Company Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Robinson Helicopter Company (Robinson) Model R66 helicopters. This AD was prompted by reports of tail rotor (T/R) drive shaft forward hanger bearing failures. This AD requires installing a certain part numbered kit and removing parts from service or replacing a certain part-numbered T/R drive shaft assembly. This AD also prohibits the installation of certain parts. The FAA is SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08MRR1.SGM 08MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 43 (Monday, March 8, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13159-13162]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-04803]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0095; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01658-R; 
Amendment 39-21439; AD 2021-04-17]
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 
certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, 
AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, and AS355N helicopters. This 
AD was prompted by two reports of debonding of the tail rotor (T/R) 
blade leading edge protection shields. This AD requires repetitively 
inspecting certain T/R blades and depending on the inspection results, 
replacing the T/R blade, as specified in a European Union Aviation 
Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference (IBR). This 
AD also prohibits installing certain T/R blades. The FAA is issuing

[[Page 13160]]

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 IBR material 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-2021-0095.

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-
0095; 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: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 
telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0224R1, dated November 11, 2020 
(EASA AD 2020-0224R1), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus 
Helicopters Model AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS 350 B1, AS350 B2, 
AS 350 D, AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, and AS 355 N 
helicopters. EASA AD 2020-0224R1 revises EASA AD 2020-0224-E, dated 
October 16, 2020, to expand the list of serviceable parts (post-mod 
075580).
    This AD was prompted by two reports of large debonding of the T/R 
blade leading edge protection shields. According to EASA, the design 
and assembly procedure of the affected part (pre-mod 075580) is such 
that rapid debonding can occur if humidity/liquid water reaches the 
bonding surface between the leading edge and blade spar. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to prevent failure of the T/R blade, which could result 
in loss of tail rotor control and subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter. See the EASA AD for additional background information.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0224R1 specifies repetitively visually inspecting each 
T/R blade leading edge protection shield and repetitively tap 
inspecting each T/R blade leading edge. EASA AD 2020-0224R1 also 
prohibits the installation of an affected part and specifies a longer-
term modification to replace each affected part with a serviceable 
part. EASA AD 2020-0224R1 states that replacing all affected parts with 
serviceable parts on a helicopter constitutes terminating action for 
the repetitive visual and tap 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 helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for 
operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral 
agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA about the 
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD 
after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that 
the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop 
on other helicopters of these same type designs.

Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 
2020-0224R1, 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 EASA AD.'' Additionally, the owner/operator (pilot) may perform the 
required visual checks but must enter compliance with the applicable 
paragraph of this AD in the helicopter maintenance records in 
accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 91.417(a)(2)(v). A 
pilot may perform these checks because they only involve visually 
checking affected T/R blade leading edge protection shields and bonding 
strips. This action can be performed equally well by a pilot or a 
mechanic. This check is an exception to the FAA's standard maintenance 
regulations.

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-
0224R1 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This AD 
would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0224R1 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 
2020-0224R1 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0224R1 is 
available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching 
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0095.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to all Model AS 350 B, AS 350 BA, AS 350 BB, AS

[[Page 13161]]

350 B1, AS350 B2, AS 350 D, AS 355 E, AS 355 F, AS 355 F1, AS 355 F2, 
and AS 355 N helicopters, whereas this AD applies to Model AS350B, 
AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, 
and AS355N helicopters with certain part-numbered T/R blades installed 
instead. This AD does not apply to Model AS 350 BB because this model 
is not FAA type-certificated. The EASA AD requires visually inspecting 
each T/R blade leading edge protection shield. This AD requires 
visually checking each T/R blade leading edge protection shield and 
bonding strip instead and allows a pilot to accomplish these visual 
checks. The EASA AD requires a longer-term modification of replacing 
each affected part with a serviceable part, whereas this AD does not. 
The FAA plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to give the 
public an opportunity to comment on this longer-term requirement.

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 the visual repetitive checks must be done before each flight 
and the initial instance of the repetitive tap inspections must be done 
within 30 hours time-in-service, a time period of up to about 1.5 
months based on the average flight-hour utilization rate of these 
helicopters. Accordingly, the compliance time for the required actions 
is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and for 
publication of the final rule. 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, 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

    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-2021-0095; Project Identifier MCAI-
2020-01658-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 Kristi 
Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft 
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., 
Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; 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 450 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on 
these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this AD.
    Visually checking the T/R blades takes about 0.25 work-hour for an 
estimated cost of $21 per helicopter and $9,450 for the U.S. fleet, per 
inspection cycle. Tap inspecting the T/R blades takes about 0.5 work-
hour for an estimated cost of $43 per helicopter and $19,350 for the 
U.S. fleet, per inspection cycle. Replacing a T/R blade takes about 12 
work-hours and parts cost about $10,000 for an estimated cost of 
$11,020 per T/R blade.

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.

[[Page 13162]]

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:

2021-04-17 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21439; Docket No. FAA-
2021-0095; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01658-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 Model AS350B, AS350BA, 
AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350D, AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, and 
AS355N helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail rotor 
(T/R) blade part number (P/N) listed in Appendix 1, Table 1, of 
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-0224R1, dated 
November 11, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0224R1) (pre-mod 075580).

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6410, Tail Rotor 
Blades.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by two reports of debonding of the T/R 
blade leading edge protection shields. The FAA is issuing this AD to 
prevent failure of the T/R blade, which could result in loss of tail 
rotor control and subsequent loss of 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, EASA AD 2020-0224R1.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD EASA AD 2020-0224R1

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0224R1 refers to flight hours (FH), this 
AD requires using hours time-in-service.
    (2) Where EASA AD 2020-0224R1 refers to October 20, 2020 (the 
effective date of the original issuance of its AD (EASA AD 2020-
0224-E, dated October 16, 2020)) and its effective date, this AD 
requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (3) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0224R1 specifies 
visually inspecting each T/R blade leading edge protection shield 
with instructions in the service information, this AD requires 
visually checking each T/R blade leading edge protection shield and 
bonding strip for a distortion, dent, and scratch; visually checking 
the area surrounding each T/R blade leading edge protection along 
the skin length for a gap; and visually checking the area 
surrounding the bonding strip for a crack. These visual checks may 
be performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a 
private pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft 
records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 
43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must 
be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439.
    (4) Where paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2020-0224R1 specifies the 
modification of replacing each affected part with a serviceable 
part, this AD does not require this modification.
    (5) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0224R1 does not 
apply to this AD.

(i) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, do not install a T/R blade 
identified in paragraph (c) of this AD on any helicopter.

(j) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits are prohibited if an installed T/R blade 
does not pass the visual or tap inspections.

(k) 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 (l)(1) 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.

(l) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kristi Bradley, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort 
Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
[email protected].

(m) 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 2020-0224R1, 
dated November 11, 2020.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2020-0224R1, 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-
2021-0095.
    (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 10, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-04803 Filed 3-4-21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P