Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 13637-13640 [2021-04869]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 45 / Wednesday, March 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone 800–232–0323 or Fax: 972–641– 3775; or at https://www.airbus.com/ helicopters/services/technical-support.html. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email fedreg.legal@nara.gov, or go to: https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued on February 8, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–04806 Filed 3–9–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0096; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00040–R; Amendment 39–21440; AD 2021–04–18] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020–23– 02, which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. AD 2020–23–02 required repetitive inspections of the bearing in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly for discrepancies (ceramic balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both) and, depending on the findings, replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable main rotor mast assembly. Since the FAA issued AD 2020–23–02, the FAA has determined additional main rotor mast assemblies are affected by the unsafe condition. This AD continues to require the actions specified in AD 2020–23–02, and also includes additional affected main rotor mast assemblies; as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:13 Mar 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD becomes effective March 25, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 25, 2021. The FAA must receive comments on this AD by April 26, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +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– 0096. 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– 0096; 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, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 13637 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3218; email: kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion The FAA issued AD 2020–23–02, Amendment 39–21318 (85 FR 73607, November 19, 2020) (AD 2020–23–02), which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. AD 2020– 23–02 required repetitive inspections of the bearing in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly for discrepancies (ceramic balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both) and, depending on the findings, replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable main rotor mast assembly. The FAA issued AD 2020–23–02 to address defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly, which could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. Actions Since AD 2020–23–02 Was Issued Since the FAA issued AD 2020–23– 02, the FAA has determined that additional main rotor mast assemblies are affected by the unsafe condition. The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020–0264, dated December 2, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0264) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. EASA AD 2020– 0264 supersedes EASA AD 2020–0079, dated April 1, 2020 (which corresponds to FAA AD 2020–23–02). This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control issue regarding the ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly. The FAA is issuing this AD to address defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly, which could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. Explanation of Retained Requirements Although this AD does not explicitly restate the requirements of AD 2020– E:\FR\FM\10MRR1.SGM 10MRR1 13638 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 45 / Wednesday, March 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 23–02, this AD retains all of the requirements of AD 2020–23–02. Those requirements are referenced in EASA AD 2020–0264, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of this AD. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2020–0264 describes procedures for repetitive inspections of the main rotor mast swashplate assembly for discrepancies (ceramic balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both), and replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable main rotor mast assembly. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. FAA’s Determination This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD because the FAA has evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of products of the same type design. Requirements of This AD This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2020– 0264 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. 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, in EASA AD 2020–0264 is incorporated by reference in this AD. This AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2020–0264 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:13 Mar 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 2020–0264 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020–0264 is available on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0096. Interim Action The FAA considers this AD interim action and further AD action may follow. FAA’s Justification and Determination of the Effective Date Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ‘‘good cause’’ finds that those procedures are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. This AD adds other affected main rotor mast assemblies to those identified in AD 2020–23–02. In addition, the compliance time for the initial instance of the repetitive inspections is 50 hours time-in-service, a time period of less than 2 months based on the average flight-hour utilization rate of these helicopters. Accordingly, the compliance time for the required action is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the final rule. Therefore, 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) PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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– 2021–0096; Project Identifier MCAI– 2021–00040–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule. 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, Aerospace 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 which 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 E:\FR\FM\10MRR1.SGM 10MRR1 13639 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 45 / Wednesday, March 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 30 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Actions Labor cost Retained actions from AD 2020-23-02 ........... New actions .................................................... 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 ............. 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 ............. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition action that would be required based on the results of any required action. The FAA has no way of determining the Cost per product Parts cost $0 0 Cost on U.S. operators $340 340 $10,200 10,200 number of helicopters that might need this on-condition action: ESTIMATED COSTS OF ON-CONDITION ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product 100 work-hours × $85 per hour = $8,500 ............................................................................................................... (*) * $8,500 * Airbus Helicopters informed the FAA that the parts cost will vary for each aircraft, and be determined by several factors, including the condition of the returned assembly. Airbus Helicopters provided information indicating the cost may be as low as $270,000 per aircraft. For the purposes of this AD, the FAA estimates the average cost will be between $270,000 and $500,000 per aircraft. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings The FAA determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:13 Mar 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska. any category, all manufacturer serial numbers. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. (d) Subject Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control issue regarding the ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly. The FAA is issuing this AD to address defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly, which could lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. 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 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2020–23–02, Amendment 39–21318 (85 FR 73607, November 19, 2020), and adding the following new AD: 2021–04–18 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–21440; Docket No. FAA–2021–0096; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00040–R. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective March 25, 2021. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2020–23–02, Amendment 39–21318 (85 FR 73607, November 19, 2020) (AD 2020–23–02). (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters, certificated in Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 (e) Reason (f) Compliance [Amended] ■ PO 00000 Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6230, Main Rotor Mast/Swashplate. Sfmt 4700 Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Requirements Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0264, dated December 2, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0264). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020–0264 (1) Where EASA AD 2020–0264 refers to April 15, 2020 (the effective date of EASA AD 2020–0079), this AD requires using December 4, 2020 (the effective date of AD 2020–23–02). (2) Where Table 1 of EASA AD 2020–0264 specifies a column heading of ‘‘FH Accumulated,’’ for this AD use hours timein-service accumulated as of December 4, 2020 (the effective date of AD 2020–23–02). E:\FR\FM\10MRR1.SGM 10MRR1 13640 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 45 / Wednesday, March 10, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (3) Where Table 2 of EASA AD 2020–0264 specifies a column heading of ‘‘FH Accumulated,’’ for this AD use hours timein-service accumulated as of the effective date of this AD. (4) Where EASA AD 2020–0264 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (5) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2020–0264 does not apply to this AD. (6) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0264 specifies to return certain parts, this AD requires removing those parts from service instead. (7) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0264 specifies ‘‘compliance with the works steps concerned with the check is described in a video’’ this AD requires a complete rotation of the swashplate in both directions using a rate of one revolution per minute. (8) Where EASA AD 2020–0264 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD requires using hours time-in-service. The guidance provided by Note 1 to Table 1 and Table 2 in EASA AD 2020–0264 is still applicable. (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0264 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (j) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are not allowed. (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Strategic Policy Rotorcraft Section, 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 Strategic Policy Rotorcraft Section, send it to: Manager, Strategic Policy Rotorcraft Section, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: 817–222–5110. Information may be emailed to: 9-ASW-FTW-AMOCRequests@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 Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace 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. (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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:13 Mar 09, 2021 Jkt 253001 (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 2020–0264, dated December 2, 2020. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2020–0264, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +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–2021–0096. (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. 2021–04869 Filed 3–9–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0673; Product Identifier 2020–NM–076–AD; Amendment 39–21395; AD 2021–02–12] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; correction. AGENCY: The FAA is correcting an airworthiness directive (AD) that published in the Federal Register. That AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A330–200 series airplanes, Model A330–200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330–300 series airplanes, Model A330–900 series airplanes, Model A340–200 series airplanes, Model A340–300 series airplanes, Model A340–500 series airplanes, Model A340–600 series airplanes, Model A380–800 series airplanes; and Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes. As published, multiple references to a SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD number are incorrect throughout the AD. This document corrects those errors. In all other respects, the original document remains the same. DATES: This correction is effective March 30, 2021. The effective date of AD 2021–02–12 remains March 30, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 30, 2021 (86 FR 10787, February 23, 2021). ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 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 IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0673. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 0673; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3225; email: dan.rodina@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AD 2021– 02–12, Amendment 39–21395 (86 FR 10787, February 23, 2021) (AD 2021– 02–12), currently requires repair of each affected part, or replacement with a serviceable part, as specified in an EASA AD. AD 2021–02–12 applies to all Airbus SAS Model A330–200 series airplanes, Model A330–200 Freighter series airplanes, Model A330–300 series E:\FR\FM\10MRR1.SGM 10MRR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 45 (Wednesday, March 10, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13637-13640]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-04869]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0096; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00040-R; 
Amendment 39-21440; AD 2021-04-18]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020-23-
02, which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. 
AD 2020-23-02 required repetitive inspections of the bearing in the 
swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly for discrepancies 
(ceramic balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both) 
and, depending on the findings, replacement of an affected main rotor 
mast assembly with a serviceable main rotor mast assembly. Since the 
FAA issued AD 2020-23-02, the FAA has determined additional main rotor 
mast assemblies are affected by the unsafe condition. This AD continues 
to require the actions specified in AD 2020-23-02, and also includes 
additional affected main rotor mast assemblies; 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 25, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 25, 
2021.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by April 26, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 
the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +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-2021-0096.

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-
0096; 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, Aerospace 
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 FAA issued AD 2020-23-02, Amendment 39-21318 (85 FR 73607, 
November 19, 2020) (AD 2020-23-02), which applied to all Airbus 
Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. AD 2020-23-02 required 
repetitive inspections of the bearing in the swashplate assembly of the 
main rotor mast assembly for discrepancies (ceramic balls that have a 
hard point or sensitive axial play or both) and, depending on the 
findings, replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a 
serviceable main rotor mast assembly. The FAA issued AD 2020-23-02 to 
address defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the 
swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly, which could lead 
to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of 
function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, 
resulting in reduced control of the helicopter.

Actions Since AD 2020-23-02 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2020-23-02, the FAA has determined that 
additional main rotor mast assemblies are affected by the unsafe 
condition.
    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0264, dated December 2, 2020 
(EASA AD 2020-0264) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. EASA AD 2020-0264 
supersedes EASA AD 2020-0079, dated April 1, 2020 (which corresponds to 
FAA AD 2020-23-02).
    This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing and control 
issue regarding the ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the 
swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly. The FAA is issuing 
this AD to address defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in 
the swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly, which could 
lead to premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss 
of function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast 
scissor, resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. See the MCAI 
for additional background information.

Explanation of Retained Requirements

    Although this AD does not explicitly restate the requirements of AD 
2020-

[[Page 13638]]

23-02, this AD retains all of the requirements of AD 2020-23-02. Those 
requirements are referenced in EASA AD 2020-0264, which, in turn, is 
referenced in paragraph (g) of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0264 describes procedures for repetitive inspections 
of the main rotor mast swashplate assembly for discrepancies (ceramic 
balls that have a hard point or sensitive axial play or both), and 
replacement of an affected main rotor mast assembly with a serviceable 
main rotor mast assembly. This material is reasonably available because 
the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of 
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination

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

Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 
2020-0264 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except 
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of 
this AD.

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, in EASA AD 2020-
0264 is incorporated by reference in this AD. This AD, therefore, 
requires compliance with EASA AD 2020-0264 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 2020-0264 that is 
required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0264 is available on the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0096.

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this AD interim action and further AD action may 
follow.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.) 
authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for 
rules when the agency, for ``good cause'' finds that those procedures 
are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' 
Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a 
final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking
    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to 
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public 
justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule 
because defective ceramic balls in the bearing installed in the 
swashplate assembly of the main rotor mast assembly could lead to 
premature spalling of the ball itself and of the bearing, loss of 
function of the bearing, and overload of the main rotor mast scissor, 
resulting in reduced control of the helicopter. This AD adds other 
affected main rotor mast assemblies to those identified in AD 2020-23-
02. In addition, the compliance time for the initial instance of the 
repetitive inspections is 50 hours time-in-service, a time period of 
less than 2 months based on the average flight-hour utilization rate of 
these helicopters. Accordingly, the compliance time for the required 
action is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and 
for publication of the final rule. Therefore, 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-2021-0096; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-00040-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 final rule 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 final rule.

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, Aerospace 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 which 
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

[[Page 13639]]

without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.

Costs of Compliance

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

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on U.S.
                Actions                        Labor cost           Parts cost        product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retained actions from AD                4 work-hours x $85 per                $0            $340         $10,200
 2020[dash]23[dash]02.                   hour = $340.
New actions...........................  4 work-hours x $85 per                 0             340          10,200
                                         hour = $340.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

                 Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Cost per
              Labor cost                   Parts cost        product
------------------------------------------------------------------------
100 work-hours x $85 per hour = $8,500             (*)         * $8,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Airbus Helicopters informed the FAA that the parts cost will vary for
  each aircraft, and be determined by several factors, including the
  condition of the returned assembly. Airbus Helicopters provided
  information indicating the cost may be as low as $270,000 per
  aircraft. For the purposes of this AD, the FAA estimates the average
  cost will be between $270,000 and $500,000 per aircraft.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. 
Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight 
of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for 
practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary 
for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that 
authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to 
exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

    The FAA determined that this AD will not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a 
substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866, and
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13   [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 
2020-23-02, Amendment 39-21318 (85 FR 73607, November 19, 2020), and 
adding the following new AD:

2021-04-18 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21440; Docket No. FAA-
2021-0096; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00040-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective March 25, 
2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2020-23-02, Amendment 39-21318 (85 FR 73607, 
November 19, 2020) (AD 2020-23-02).

(c) Applicability

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

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

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

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2020-0264, dated December 2, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0264).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0264

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0264 refers to April 15, 2020 (the 
effective date of EASA AD 2020-0079), this AD requires using 
December 4, 2020 (the effective date of AD 2020-23-02).
    (2) Where Table 1 of EASA AD 2020-0264 specifies a column 
heading of ``FH Accumulated,'' for this AD use hours time-in-service 
accumulated as of December 4, 2020 (the effective date of AD 2020-
23-02).

[[Page 13640]]

    (3) Where Table 2 of EASA AD 2020-0264 specifies a column 
heading of ``FH Accumulated,'' for this AD use hours time-in-service 
accumulated as of the effective date of this AD.
    (4) Where EASA AD 2020-0264 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (5) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0264 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (6) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0264 specifies to return certain parts, this AD requires removing 
those parts from service instead.
    (7) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0264 specifies ``compliance with the works steps concerned with the 
check is described in a video'' this AD requires a complete rotation 
of the swashplate in both directions using a rate of one revolution 
per minute.
    (8) Where EASA AD 2020-0264 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service. The guidance provided by Note 
1 to Table 1 and Table 2 in EASA AD 2020-0264 is still applicable.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0264 
specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD 
does not include that requirement.

(j) Special Flight Permit

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

(k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Strategic Policy Rotorcraft Section, 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 Strategic Policy Rotorcraft Section, 
send it to: Manager, Strategic Policy Rotorcraft Section, FAA, 10101 
Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; phone: 817-222-5110. 
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 Kathleen 
Arrigotti, Aerospace 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].

(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 2020-0264, 
dated December 2, 2020.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2020-0264, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-
Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +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-
2021-0096.
    (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. 2021-04869 Filed 3-9-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P