Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, 26198-26201 [2021-09992]

Download as PDF 26198 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Proposed Rules (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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: ■ a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2020–23–13, Amendment 39– 21330 (85 FR 73407, November 18, 2020), and ■ b. Adding the following new AD: ■ ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Re´gional: Docket No. FAA–2021–0366; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00080–T. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by June 28, 2021. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2020–23–13, Amendment 39–21330 (85 FR 73407, November 18, 2020) (AD 2020–23–13). (c) Applicability This AD applies to all ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Re´gional Model ATR42–200, –300, and –320 airplanes, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 31, Instruments. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by false activation of the stall warning system due to wiring damage on the wire bundle between an angle of attack (AOA) probe and the crew alerting computer, and the development of a wiring modification and aircraft flight manual (AFM) update to address the unsafe condition. The FAA is issuing this AD to address this condition, which could result in loss of control of the airplane during take-off and landing phases. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:36 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 (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 2021–0024, dated January 19, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0024). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0024 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0024 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) Where EASA AD 2021–0024 refers to ‘‘the effective date of EASA AD 2020–0221,’’ this AD requires using December 3, 2020 (the effective date of AD 2020–23–13). (3) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0024 does not apply to this AD. (4) Paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2021–0024 specifies to report inspection results to ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Re´gional within a certain compliance time. For this AD, report inspection results at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(4)(i) or (ii) of this AD. (i) If the inspection was done on or after December 3, 2020 (the effective date of AD 2020–23–13): Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection. (ii) If the inspection was done before December 3, 2020 (the effective date of AD 2020–23–13): Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD. (5) Paragraphs (5) and (6) of EASA AD 2021–0024 specify amending ‘‘the applicable AFM [aircraft flight manual] of that aeroplane by inserting the AFM change provided in Appendix 1 of this [EASA] AD,’’ but this AD requires amending ‘‘the existing AFM and applicable corresponding operational procedures to incorporate the limitations and procedures specified in Appendix 1 of EASA AD 2021–0024.’’ (6) Where paragraphs (5) and (6) of EASA AD 2021–0024 specify to ‘‘inform all flight crews, and, thereafter, operate the aeroplane accordingly,’’ this AD does not require those actions as those actions are already required by existing FAA operating regulations. (i) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Large Aircraft Section, 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 responsible Flight Standards Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the responsible Flight Standards Office. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Re´gional’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOAauthorized signature. (j) Related Information (1) For information about EASA AD 2021– 0024, 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 EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this 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. 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–2021–0366. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206–231–3220; email: shahram.daneshmandi@faa.gov. Issued on May 7, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–10015 Filed 5–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0364; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00274–R] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Leonardo S.p.a. (Leonardo) Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters with a certain part-numbered vertical fin vibration absorber installation installed. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the vertical fin vibration absorber installation and the surrounding structure and depending on SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13MYP1.SGM 13MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Proposed Rules the inspection results, removing certain parts from service. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing certain part-numbered vertical fin vibration absorber installations. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of cracks and damage detected on the vertical fin absorber installation and surrounding structure during scheduled inspections. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 28, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ‘‘Mail’’ address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39–0331–225074; fax +39–0331–229046; or at https:// www.leonardocompany.com/en/home. You may view the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. 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– 0364; 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 NPRM, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristin Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email Kristin.Bradley@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:36 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2021–0364; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00274–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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 proposal 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 NPRM. 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 NPRM 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 NPRM, 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 NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Kristin Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email Kristin.Bradley@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Background EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA AD 2014–0150, dated June 18, 2014 (EASA AD 2014– 0150), to correct an unsafe condition for certain AgustaWestland S.p.A. (now PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 26199 Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters) (formerly Agusta S.p.A.) Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters, with absorber part number (P/N) 109–B810–79– 101installed. EASA advises that during a scheduled inspection on Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters, cracks and damage were detected on the vertical fin vibration absorber installation and the surrounding structure. EASA states investigation results determined the cracks and damage were likely related to the design of the vertical fin vibration absorber installation and incorrect installation. Accordingly, EASA AD 2014–0150 required repetitive inspections and removal of the affected part. After EASA AD 2014–0150 was issued, EASA determined certain helicopters were not included in the applicability and may also be subject to the unsafe condition. Accordingly, EASA issued EASA AD 2019–0294, dated December 4, 2019 (EASA AD 2019–0294), which supersedes EASA AD 2014–0150. EASA AD 2019–0294 retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014–0150, and expands the applicability, prohibits vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109– B810–79–101 from being installed on any helicopter, and considers removal of the affected part to constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections. EASA states this condition if not detected and corrected could affect the structural integrity of the helicopter. 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 an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type designs. Related Service Information The FAA reviewed AgustaWestland S.p.A. Bollettino Technico (BT) No. 109S–58 for Model A109S helicopters, and AgustaWestland S.p.A BT No. 109SP–074 for Model AW109SP helicopters, each dated May 7, 2014. This service information specifies instructions for removing the vertical fin vibration absorber installation, inspecting the rib assembly and vertical fin vibration absorber installation and depending on the inspection results, removing certain parts from service. E:\FR\FM\13MYP1.SGM 13MYP1 26200 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Proposed Rules Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM This proposed AD would require within 30 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter every 100 hours TIS, removing the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109–B810–79– 101, and using a mirror and light source, inspecting the rib assembly and depending on the inspection results, removing certain parts from service. This proposed AD would also require inspecting the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109–B810–79– 101 for hole elongation; for fretting between the plate and the masses, and in-between the masses; for fretting on the doubler; and the bolts for scratches and corrosion. Depending on the inspection results, this proposed AD would require removing the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109– B810–79–101 from service. This proposed AD would also require, within 12 months TIS after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplished, removing the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109–B810–79– 101 from service. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing an affected part on any helicopter, and would provide a terminating action for the 100 hour TIS repetitive inspections. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD EASA AD 2019–0294 applies to certain serial-numbered Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters, whereas this proposed AD would apply to all serialnumbered Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters with a certain partnumbered vertical fin vibration absorber installation installed. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 96 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Removing and inspecting the vertical fin vibration absorber installation and surrounding structure would take about 8 work-hours for an estimated cost of $680 per helicopter per inspection cycle and $65,280 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle. Replacing the rib assembly, shim, doubler, and bracket would take about 16 work-hours and parts would cost about $10,000 for an estimated cost of $11,360 per helicopter. According to Leonardo some of the costs of this proposed AD may be VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:36 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage by Leonardo. Accordingly, all costs are included in this cost estimate. ■ Authority for This Rulemaking § 39.13 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 proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed 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, I certify this proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, 2. Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and 3. Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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. [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: Leonardo S.p.a.: Docket No. FAA–2021– 0364; Project Identifier MCAI–2020– 00274–R. (a) Comments Due The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by June 28, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109S helicopters and AW109SP helicopters, certificated in any category, with vertical fin vibration absorber installation part number (P/N) 109–B810–79–101 installed. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2740, Stabilizer Control System. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as cracks or damage on the vertical fin vibration absorber installation and surrounding structure. This condition could affect the structural integrity of the helicopter and lead to subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Required Actions (1) Within 30 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS: (i) Remove the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109–B810–79–101, and using a mirror and light source, visually inspect the rib assembly P/N 109–0372–53– 201 for hole elongation, fretting, and cracks. If there is any hole elongation, fretting, or cracks, before further flight, remove rib assembly P/N 109–0372–53–201, shim P/N 109–0372–53–211, doubler P/N 109–0372– 53–213, and bracket P/N 109–0373–02–113 from service and replace with airworthy parts. (ii) Inspect the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109–B810–79–101 for hole elongation; for fretting between the plate and the masses and in-between the masses; for fretting on doubler P/N 109– 0372–53–213; and the bolts for scratches and corrosion. If there is any hole elongation; fretting between the plate and the masses or in-between the masses; fretting on doubler P/ E:\FR\FM\13MYP1.SGM 13MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 91 / Thursday, May 13, 2021 / Proposed Rules N 109–0372–53–213; or bolts with scratches or corrosion, before further flight, remove the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/ N 109–B810–79–101 from service. (2) Within 12 months TIS after the effective date of this AD unless already accomplished per paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD, remove the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/ N 109–B810–79–101 from service. (3) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109–B810–79–101 on any helicopter. (4) Removing the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109–B810–79–101 from service, as described in paragraphs (g)(1)(ii) or (2) of this AD provides a terminating action for the 100 hour TIS repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD. (h) 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:36 May 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 (i)(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. (i) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kristin Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email Kristin.Bradley@faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 26201 Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C. Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39–0331– 225074; fax +39–0331–229046; or at https:// www.leonardocompany.com/en/home. You may view this referenced 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. (3) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019–0294, dated December 4, 2019. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA–2021–0364. Issued on May 6, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–09992 Filed 5–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P E:\FR\FM\13MYP1.SGM 13MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 91 (Thursday, May 13, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 26198-26201]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09992]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0364; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-00274-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for Leonardo S.p.a. (Leonardo) Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters with 
a certain part-numbered vertical fin vibration absorber installation 
installed. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the 
vertical fin vibration absorber installation and the surrounding 
structure and depending on

[[Page 26199]]

the inspection results, removing certain parts from service. This 
proposed AD would also prohibit installing certain part-numbered 
vertical fin vibration absorber installations. This proposed AD was 
prompted by a report of cracks and damage detected on the vertical fin 
absorber installation and surrounding structure during scheduled 
inspections. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 28, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
     Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact 
Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, 
Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone 
+39-0331-225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or at https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/home. You may view the referenced service 
information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest 
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

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-
0364; 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 NPRM, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any 
comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket 
Operations is listed above.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0364; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2020-00274-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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 proposal 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 NPRM.

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 NPRM 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 NPRM, 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 NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to 
Kristin Bradley, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft 
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., 
Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
[email protected]. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is 
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket 
for this rulemaking.

Background

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, issued EASA AD 2014-0150, dated June 18, 2014 (EASA AD 
2014-0150), to correct an unsafe condition for certain AgustaWestland 
S.p.A. (now Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters) (formerly Agusta S.p.A.) Model 
A109S and AW109SP helicopters, with absorber part number (P/N) 109-
B810-79-101installed. EASA advises that during a scheduled inspection 
on Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters, cracks and damage were detected 
on the vertical fin vibration absorber installation and the surrounding 
structure. EASA states investigation results determined the cracks and 
damage were likely related to the design of the vertical fin vibration 
absorber installation and incorrect installation. Accordingly, EASA AD 
2014-0150 required repetitive inspections and removal of the affected 
part.
    After EASA AD 2014-0150 was issued, EASA determined certain 
helicopters were not included in the applicability and may also be 
subject to the unsafe condition. Accordingly, EASA issued EASA AD 2019-
0294, dated December 4, 2019 (EASA AD 2019-0294), which supersedes EASA 
AD 2014-0150. EASA AD 2019-0294 retains the requirements of EASA AD 
2014-0150, and expands the applicability, prohibits vertical fin 
vibration absorber installation P/N 109-B810-79-101 from being 
installed on any helicopter, and considers removal of the affected part 
to constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections. EASA 
states this condition if not detected and corrected could affect the 
structural integrity of the helicopter.

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 an 
unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of 
the same type designs.

Related Service Information

    The FAA reviewed AgustaWestland S.p.A. Bollettino Technico (BT) No. 
109S-58 for Model A109S helicopters, and AgustaWestland S.p.A BT No. 
109SP-074 for Model AW109SP helicopters, each dated May 7, 2014. This 
service information specifies instructions for removing the vertical 
fin vibration absorber installation, inspecting the rib assembly and 
vertical fin vibration absorber installation and depending on the 
inspection results, removing certain parts from service.

[[Page 26200]]

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require within 30 hours time-in-service 
(TIS) after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter every 100 
hours TIS, removing the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/
N 109-B810-79-101, and using a mirror and light source, inspecting the 
rib assembly and depending on the inspection results, removing certain 
parts from service. This proposed AD would also require inspecting the 
vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109-B810-79-101 for 
hole elongation; for fretting between the plate and the masses, and in-
between the masses; for fretting on the doubler; and the bolts for 
scratches and corrosion. Depending on the inspection results, this 
proposed AD would require removing the vertical fin vibration absorber 
installation P/N 109-B810-79-101 from service. This proposed AD would 
also require, within 12 months TIS after the effective date of this AD, 
unless already accomplished, removing the vertical fin vibration 
absorber installation P/N 109-B810-79-101 from service. This proposed 
AD would also prohibit installing an affected part on any helicopter, 
and would provide a terminating action for the 100 hour TIS repetitive 
inspections.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    EASA AD 2019-0294 applies to certain serial-numbered Model A109S 
and AW109SP helicopters, whereas this proposed AD would apply to all 
serial-numbered Model A109S and AW109SP helicopters with a certain 
part-numbered vertical fin vibration absorber installation installed.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 96 helicopters 
of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the 
following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs 
are estimated at $85 per work-hour.
    Removing and inspecting the vertical fin vibration absorber 
installation and surrounding structure would take about 8 work-hours 
for an estimated cost of $680 per helicopter per inspection cycle and 
$65,280 for the U.S. fleet per inspection cycle.
    Replacing the rib assembly, shim, doubler, and bracket would take 
about 16 work-hours and parts would cost about $10,000 for an estimated 
cost of $11,360 per helicopter.
    According to Leonardo some of the costs of this proposed AD may be 
covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected 
individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage by Leonardo. 
Accordingly, all costs are included in this cost estimate.

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 proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed 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, I certify this proposed regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866,
    2. Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    3. Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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:

Leonardo S.p.a.: Docket No. FAA-2021-0364; Project Identifier MCAI-
2020-00274-R.

(a) Comments Due

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by June 28, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109S helicopters and 
AW109SP helicopters, certificated in any category, with vertical fin 
vibration absorber installation part number (P/N) 109-B810-79-101 
installed.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2740, Stabilizer 
Control System.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as cracks or damage on the 
vertical fin vibration absorber installation and surrounding 
structure. This condition could affect the structural integrity of 
the helicopter and lead to subsequent loss of control of the 
helicopter.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

    (1) Within 30 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective 
date of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours 
TIS:
    (i) Remove the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 
109-B810-79-101, and using a mirror and light source, visually 
inspect the rib assembly P/N 109-0372-53-201 for hole elongation, 
fretting, and cracks. If there is any hole elongation, fretting, or 
cracks, before further flight, remove rib assembly P/N 109-0372-53-
201, shim P/N 109-0372-53-211, doubler P/N 109-0372-53-213, and 
bracket P/N 109-0373-02-113 from service and replace with airworthy 
parts.
    (ii) Inspect the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/
N 109-B810-79-101 for hole elongation; for fretting between the 
plate and the masses and in-between the masses; for fretting on 
doubler P/N 109-0372-53-213; and the bolts for scratches and 
corrosion. If there is any hole elongation; fretting between the 
plate and the masses or in-between the masses; fretting on doubler 
P/

[[Page 26201]]

N 109-0372-53-213; or bolts with scratches or corrosion, before 
further flight, remove the vertical fin vibration absorber 
installation P/N 109-B810-79-101 from service.
    (2) Within 12 months TIS after the effective date of this AD 
unless already accomplished per paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD, 
remove the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109-
B810-79-101 from service.
    (3) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install vertical 
fin vibration absorber installation P/N 109-B810-79-101 on any 
helicopter.
    (4) Removing the vertical fin vibration absorber installation P/
N 109-B810-79-101 from service, as described in paragraphs 
(g)(1)(ii) or (2) of this AD provides a terminating action for the 
100 hour TIS repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g)(1) of 
this AD.

(h) 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 (i)(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.

(i) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Kristin Bradley, 
Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort 
Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 
[email protected].
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, Emanuele Bufano, Head of Airworthiness, 
Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C. Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone 
+39-0331-225074; fax +39-0331-229046; or at https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/home. You may view this referenced 
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.
    (3) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Union 
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0294, dated December 4, 2019. 
You may view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0364.

    Issued on May 6, 2021.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-09992 Filed 5-12-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P