Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 36635-36638 [2021-14775]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 13, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 9 months’’, this AD requires a compliance time of within 108 hours time-in-service. (5) Where paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2015– 0017 specifies a compliance time of ‘‘within 3 months’’, this AD requires a compliance time of within 36 hours time-in-service. (6) Where paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2015– 0017 specifies replacing a part with a serviceable part, this AD requires removing the part from service. (7) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2015–0017 specifies to use tooling, equivalent tooling may be used. (8) Where the service information referenced in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2015–0017 specifies a visual check of the control grip coiled cable, this AD requires, before next flight after the effective date of this AD involving a hoist operation, visually checking the control grip with coiled cable for mechanical damage including deformed or damaged switches, damaged housing, abrasion, cracks, and cuts. These visual checks may be performed by the owner/ operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 121.380, or 135.439. (9) Where EASA AD 2015–0017 refers to November 10, 2014, the effective date of EASA AD 2014–0235, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (10) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2015–0017 does not apply to this AD. (i) 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 (j) 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. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES (j) Related Information For more information about this AD, contact Blaine Williams, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety & Environmental Systems Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, CA 90712; telephone (562) 627–5371; email blaine.williams@faa.gov. (k) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jul 12, 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 Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2015–0017, dated February 4, 2015. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2015–0017, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222–5110. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0308. (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 June 16, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–14778 Filed 7–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–1033; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01393–R; Amendment 39–21622; AD 2021–13–17] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017–17– 01, which applied to certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. AD 2017–17–01 required repetitive inspections of the main rotor blade (MRB) attachment pins. This AD continues to require the repetitive inspections of the MRB attachment pins, and also requires repetitive measurement of the attachment pin chamfer at certain intervals after corrosion removal, as specified in a European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36635 Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD was prompted by the FAA’s determination that it is necessary to measure the attachment pin chamfer after corrosion removal, that replacement of an attachment pin after four corrosion removals is no longer necessary, and that all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters are affected by the unsafe condition. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective August 17, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 17, 2021. ADDRESSES: 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–2020–1033. 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– 1033; 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: Katherine Venegas, Aviation Safety Engineer, Cabin Safety, Mechanical and Environmental Systems Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712–4137; phone: 562–627–5353; email: katherine.venegas@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1 36636 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 13, 2021 / Rules and Regulations European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018–0172, dated August 7, 2018 (EASA AD 2018–0172) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. EASA AD 2018– 0172 superseded EASA AD 2015–0016, dated January 30, 2015 (which prompted FAA AD 2017–17–01, Amendment 39–18991 (82 FR 39506, August 21, 2017) (AD 2017–17–01)). The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2017–17–01. AD 2017–17–01 applied to certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 24, 2020 (85 FR 74931). The NPRM was prompted by the FAA’s determination that it is necessary to measure the attachment pin chamfer after corrosion removal, that replacement of an attachment pin after four corrosion removals is no longer necessary, and that all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters are affected by the unsafe condition. The NPRM proposed to continue to require the repetitive inspections of the MRB attachment pins, as specified in an EASA AD. The NPRM also proposed to require repetitive measurement of the attachment pin chamfer at certain intervals after corrosion removal, as specified in an EASA AD. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracked MRB attachment pins which could result in loss of an MRB and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Comments The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to each comment. Request To Allow Rework of Corrosion Pits Air Center Helicopters, Inc. (ACH) and Airbus Helicopters (AH) requested that the FAA allow rework of corrosion pits. ACH disagreed with the FAA’s determination to disallow blade pin rework, and stated that scrapping blade pins due to disallowing rework is fiscally irresponsible, due to substantial replacement costs (each main rotor hub has 10 blade pins). ACH pointed out that since the FAA issued AD 2017–17– 01, ACH has removed and reworked numerous corrosion pitted EC225 blade VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jul 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 pins from service in accordance with Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC225–05A040. ACH discussed that in many cases the corrosion pitting was nearly undetectable using 10X magnification, and that additional inspections were done using a 0.005 inch ball gauge. ACH also mentioned that visible corrosion pitting was often undetectable using the ball gauge, and pointed out that to ACH, the undetectable corrosion pitting indicated that the blade pin was salvageable with a minimum of rework. ACH agreed with not allowing blade pin rework in FAA AD 2017–17–01 because Revision 0 of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC225–05A040 did not specify a method to determine dimensional airworthiness after rework. ACH stated that Revision 1 of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC225–05A040, included post rework inspection procedures and dimensional criteria for post rework blade pin airworthiness, and that Revision 2 of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC225–05A040 introduced a maximum radius to the caliper points of 0.6 mm (0.0236 inch) to ensure the point seats properly within the external blade pin blend radius ensuring accurate wall thickness measurements. ACH specified that Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC225–05A040 provides a definitive procedure for inspection and verification of blade pin airworthiness after corrosion pitting rework, and that the procedure was approved by EASA. ACH and AH argued that the term ‘‘corrosion’’ in Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC225–05A040, is intended to include corrosion pitting. AH pointed out that the service information is currently at Revision 2, that the revision was based on research and feedback from customer reports, and implemented detailed inspection procedures and measurements to determine airworthiness of the blade pins. AH then stated that the FAA did not reflect the intentions of the latest service information. The FAA disagrees with the request. Although the MCAI and service information specify rework in case corrosion is found, neither clearly address action in the case of corrosion pitting. Corrosion pitting is different than uniform corrosion and can be more dangerous. Additionally, the FAA does not agree with the inference that the intention of the service information is to allow rework of corrosion pits. The FAA has not revised this AD in this regard. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Conclusion The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes: • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2018–0172 specifies procedures for repetitive inspections for corrosion and cracking of the attachment pins and corrective actions if necessary, and repetitive conditional measurement of the thickness of the chamfer of the attachment pins at certain intervals after corrosion removal. Corrective actions include corrosion removal and replacement of the attachment pins. 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. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI EASA AD 2018–0172 requires an inspection of the affected part in accordance with the applicable service information. The service information for Model AS332L2 helicopters and the service information for Model EC225LP helicopters both describe procedures for an inspection for corrosion and cracking of the attachment pins. However, the service information for Model AS332L2 helicopters also describes an inspection of the protective coating of each attachment pin for scratches and missing protective coating and sanding if necessary; the service information for Model EC225LP helicopters does not describe those actions. Although EASA AD 2018–0172 requires corrective actions if there is corrosion or cracking of the attachment pins, EASA AD 2018–0172 does not require any corrective actions if there is any scratch or any missing protective coating. This AD requires inspecting the protective coating of each attachment pin for scratches and missing protective coating, and sanding if there is any scratch or any missing protective coating, for all affected helicopters. EASA AD 2018–0172 requires removing corrosion but does not E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 13, 2021 / Rules and Regulations provide a corrective action if there are corrosion pits. This AD requires replacing an attachment pin that has any corrosion pitting. The service information referenced in EASA AD 2018–0172 specifies to do a non-destructive inspection if in doubt about whether there is a crack; that action is not required by this AD. The service information referenced in EASA AD 2018–0172 specifies contacting Airbus Helicopters if any attachment pin with a crack is found and returning that part to Airbus 36637 Helicopters; those actions are not required by this AD. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 28 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Action Labor cost Retained actions from AD 2017-17-01. 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition measurements (new action), corrosion removal, and replacements that would Parts cost Cost per product $0 $85 per inspection cycle ... be required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of helicopters that might need these on- Cost on U.S. operators $2,380 per inspection cycle. condition measurements, corrosion removal, and replacements: ESTIMATED COSTS OF ON-CONDITION ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Up to 11 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $935 ...................................................... Up to $5,720 ...................... Authority for This Rulemaking jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 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. (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Codes 6200, Main Rotor System. Adoption of the Amendment (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report of three cracked main rotor blade (MRB) attachment pins. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracked MRB attachment pins which could result in loss of an MRB and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. 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, ■ ■ Jkt 253001 (b) Affected ADs This AD removes AD 2017–17–01, Amendment 39–18991 (82 FR 39506, August 21, 2017) (AD 2017–17–01). List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 § 39.13 15:52 Jul 12, 2021 Up to $6,655. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters, certificated in any category. Regulatory Findings VerDate Sep<11>2014 Cost per product [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by: a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2017–17–01, Amendment 39–18991 (82 FR 39506, August 21, 2017); and ■ b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: 2021–13–17 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–21622; Docket No. FAA–2020–1033; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01393–R. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective August 17, 2021. PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (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 Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 2018–0172, dated August 7, 2018 (EASA AD 2018–0172). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2018–0172 (1) Where EASA AD 2018–0172 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) Where EASA AD 2018–0172 refers to February 13, 2015 (the effective date of EASA AD 2015–0016, dated January 30, 2015), this AD requires using September 25, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017–17–01). E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1 36638 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 13, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (3) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2018–0172 does not apply to this AD. (4) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2018– 0172 specifies to inspect each affected part, for this AD, prior to the inspection for corrosion, inspect the protective coating on the inside of the attachment pin for scratches and missing protective coating. If there is any scratch or any missing protective coating, prior to the inspection for corrosion, sand the attachment pin to remove the varnish in the area depicted as ‘‘Area A’’ in Figure 1 of the ‘‘applicable ASB’’ as defined in EASA AD 2018–0172. (5) Where paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2018– 0172 requires removing corrosion, for this AD, if there is any corrosion pitting, before further flight, replace the affected attachment pin. Do not sand the attachment pin to remove a corrosion pit. (6) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2018–0172 specifies to do a non-destructive inspection if in doubt about whether there is a crack, that action is not required by this AD. (7) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2018–0172 specifies contacting Airbus Helicopters if any attachment pin with a crack is found and returning that part to Airbus Helicopters, those actions are not required by this AD. (8) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2018–0172 specifies discarding certain parts, that action is not required by this AD. (9) Where EASA AD 2018–0172 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (i) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are not allowed. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (k) Related Information For more information about this AD, contact Katherine Venegas, Aviation Safety Engineer, Cabin Safety, Mechanical and Environmental Systems Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712–4137; phone: 562–627–5353; email: katherine.venegas@faa.gov. (l) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jul 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 (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 Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2018–0172, dated August 7, 2018. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2018–0172, 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–2020–1033. (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 June 17, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–14775 Filed 7–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0195; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00262–R; Amendment 39–21624; AD 2021–13–19] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014–11– 02 for Airbus Helicopters Model SA– 365N, SA–365N1, AS–365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2014–11–02 required repetitively inspecting frame number (No.) 9 for a crack. This AD was prompted by Airbus Helicopters developing a modification that provides an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by AD 2014–11–02. This AD retains the SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 requirements of AD 2014–11–02, provides an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections, and reduces the applicability by excluding certain post-modified helicopters. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective August 17, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 17, 2021. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 North Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641–0000 or (800) 232– 0323; fax (972) 641–3775; or at https:// www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/ technical-support.html. 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. Service information that is incorporated by reference is also available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0195. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.govby searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0195; 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, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, 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: Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email matthew.fuller@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2014–11–02, Amendment 39–17852 (79 FR 33050, June 10, 2014) (AD 2014–11–02). AD 2014–11–02 applied to Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter E:\FR\FM\13JYR1.SGM 13JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 131 (Tuesday, July 13, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36635-36638]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-14775]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-1033; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01393-R; 
Amendment 39-21622; AD 2021-13-17]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-17-
01, which applied to certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and 
EC225LP helicopters. AD 2017-17-01 required repetitive inspections of 
the main rotor blade (MRB) attachment pins. This AD continues to 
require the repetitive inspections of the MRB attachment pins, and also 
requires repetitive measurement of the attachment pin chamfer at 
certain intervals after corrosion removal, as specified in a European 
Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) 
(EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD was prompted by 
the FAA's determination that it is necessary to measure the attachment 
pin chamfer after corrosion removal, that replacement of an attachment 
pin after four corrosion removals is no longer necessary, and that all 
Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters are affected 
by the unsafe condition. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective August 17, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 17, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: 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-2020-1033.

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-
1033; 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: Katherine Venegas, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Cabin Safety, Mechanical and Environmental Systems Section, 
Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 
90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5353; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the

[[Page 36636]]

European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0172, dated August 7, 2018 
(EASA AD 2018-0172) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. EASA 
AD 2018-0172 superseded EASA AD 2015-0016, dated January 30, 2015 
(which prompted FAA AD 2017-17-01, Amendment 39-18991 (82 FR 39506, 
August 21, 2017) (AD 2017-17-01)).
    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2017-17-01. AD 2017-17-01 applied to 
certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters. The 
NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 24, 2020 (85 FR 
74931). The NPRM was prompted by the FAA's determination that it is 
necessary to measure the attachment pin chamfer after corrosion 
removal, that replacement of an attachment pin after four corrosion 
removals is no longer necessary, and that all Airbus Helicopters Model 
AS332L2 and EC225LP helicopters are affected by the unsafe condition. 
The NPRM proposed to continue to require the repetitive inspections of 
the MRB attachment pins, as specified in an EASA AD. The NPRM also 
proposed to require repetitive measurement of the attachment pin 
chamfer at certain intervals after corrosion removal, as specified in 
an EASA AD.
    The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracked MRB attachment pins 
which could result in loss of an MRB and subsequent loss of control of 
the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in 
developing this final rule. The following presents the comments 
received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Allow Rework of Corrosion Pits

    Air Center Helicopters, Inc. (ACH) and Airbus Helicopters (AH) 
requested that the FAA allow rework of corrosion pits. ACH disagreed 
with the FAA's determination to disallow blade pin rework, and stated 
that scrapping blade pins due to disallowing rework is fiscally 
irresponsible, due to substantial replacement costs (each main rotor 
hub has 10 blade pins). ACH pointed out that since the FAA issued AD 
2017-17-01, ACH has removed and reworked numerous corrosion pitted 
EC225 blade pins from service in accordance with Airbus Helicopters 
Alert Service Bulletin EC225-05A040. ACH discussed that in many cases 
the corrosion pitting was nearly undetectable using 10X magnification, 
and that additional inspections were done using a 0.005 inch ball 
gauge. ACH also mentioned that visible corrosion pitting was often 
undetectable using the ball gauge, and pointed out that to ACH, the 
undetectable corrosion pitting indicated that the blade pin was 
salvageable with a minimum of rework.
    ACH agreed with not allowing blade pin rework in FAA AD 2017-17-01 
because Revision 0 of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin EC225-
05A040 did not specify a method to determine dimensional airworthiness 
after rework. ACH stated that Revision 1 of Airbus Helicopters Alert 
Service Bulletin EC225-05A040, included post rework inspection 
procedures and dimensional criteria for post rework blade pin 
airworthiness, and that Revision 2 of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service 
Bulletin EC225-05A040 introduced a maximum radius to the caliper points 
of 0.6 mm (0.0236 inch) to ensure the point seats properly within the 
external blade pin blend radius ensuring accurate wall thickness 
measurements. ACH specified that Airbus Helicopters Alert Service 
Bulletin EC225-05A040 provides a definitive procedure for inspection 
and verification of blade pin airworthiness after corrosion pitting 
rework, and that the procedure was approved by EASA.
    ACH and AH argued that the term ``corrosion'' in Airbus Helicopters 
Alert Service Bulletin EC225-05A040, is intended to include corrosion 
pitting. AH pointed out that the service information is currently at 
Revision 2, that the revision was based on research and feedback from 
customer reports, and implemented detailed inspection procedures and 
measurements to determine airworthiness of the blade pins. AH then 
stated that the FAA did not reflect the intentions of the latest 
service information.
    The FAA disagrees with the request. Although the MCAI and service 
information specify rework in case corrosion is found, neither clearly 
address action in the case of corrosion pitting. Corrosion pitting is 
different than uniform corrosion and can be more dangerous. 
Additionally, the FAA does not agree with the inference that the 
intention of the service information is to allow rework of corrosion 
pits. The FAA has not revised this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

    The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments 
received, and determined that air safety and the public interest 
require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor 
editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2018-0172 specifies procedures for repetitive inspections 
for corrosion and cracking of the attachment pins and corrective 
actions if necessary, and repetitive conditional measurement of the 
thickness of the chamfer of the attachment pins at certain intervals 
after corrosion removal. Corrective actions include corrosion removal 
and replacement of the attachment pins. 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.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    EASA AD 2018-0172 requires an inspection of the affected part in 
accordance with the applicable service information. The service 
information for Model AS332L2 helicopters and the service information 
for Model EC225LP helicopters both describe procedures for an 
inspection for corrosion and cracking of the attachment pins. However, 
the service information for Model AS332L2 helicopters also describes an 
inspection of the protective coating of each attachment pin for 
scratches and missing protective coating and sanding if necessary; the 
service information for Model EC225LP helicopters does not describe 
those actions.
    Although EASA AD 2018-0172 requires corrective actions if there is 
corrosion or cracking of the attachment pins, EASA AD 2018-0172 does 
not require any corrective actions if there is any scratch or any 
missing protective coating.
    This AD requires inspecting the protective coating of each 
attachment pin for scratches and missing protective coating, and 
sanding if there is any scratch or any missing protective coating, for 
all affected helicopters.
    EASA AD 2018-0172 requires removing corrosion but does not

[[Page 36637]]

provide a corrective action if there are corrosion pits. This AD 
requires replacing an attachment pin that has any corrosion pitting.
    The service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-0172 specifies 
to do a non-destructive inspection if in doubt about whether there is a 
crack; that action is not required by this AD.
    The service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-0172 specifies 
contacting Airbus Helicopters if any attachment pin with a crack is 
found and returning that part to Airbus Helicopters; those actions are 
not required by this AD.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 28 helicopters of U.S. 
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost        Parts cost      Cost per product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retained actions from AD           1 work-hour x $85                $0  $85 per inspection   $2,380 per
 2017[dash]17[dash]01.              per hour = $85 per                   cycle.               inspection cycle.
                                    inspection cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition measurements (new action), corrosion removal, and 
replacements that would be required based on the results of any 
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of 
helicopters that might need these on-condition measurements, corrosion 
removal, and replacements:

                 Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Labor cost                 Parts cost       Cost per product
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up to 11 work-hours x $85 per      Up to $5,720......  Up to $6,655.
 hour = Up to $935.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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

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:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2017-17-01, Amendment 39-18991 (82 
FR 39506, August 21, 2017); and
0
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive:

2021-13-17 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21622; Docket No. FAA-
2020-1033; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01393-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective August 17, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD removes AD 2017-17-01, Amendment 39-18991 (82 FR 39506, 
August 21, 2017) (AD 2017-17-01).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS332L2 and 
EC225LP helicopters, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Codes 6200, Main Rotor 
System.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of three cracked main rotor 
blade (MRB) attachment pins. The FAA is issuing this AD to address 
cracked MRB attachment pins which could result in loss of an MRB and 
subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union 
Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD 2018-0172, dated August 7, 2018 
(EASA AD 2018-0172).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2018-0172

    (1) Where EASA AD 2018-0172 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where EASA AD 2018-0172 refers to February 13, 2015 (the 
effective date of EASA AD 2015-0016, dated January 30, 2015), this 
AD requires using September 25, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017-
17-01).

[[Page 36638]]

    (3) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2018-0172 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (4) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2018-0172 specifies to 
inspect each affected part, for this AD, prior to the inspection for 
corrosion, inspect the protective coating on the inside of the 
attachment pin for scratches and missing protective coating. If 
there is any scratch or any missing protective coating, prior to the 
inspection for corrosion, sand the attachment pin to remove the 
varnish in the area depicted as ``Area A'' in Figure 1 of the 
``applicable ASB'' as defined in EASA AD 2018-0172.
    (5) Where paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2018-0172 requires removing 
corrosion, for this AD, if there is any corrosion pitting, before 
further flight, replace the affected attachment pin. Do not sand the 
attachment pin to remove a corrosion pit.
    (6) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-
0172 specifies to do a non-destructive inspection if in doubt about 
whether there is a crack, that action is not required by this AD.
    (7) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-
0172 specifies contacting Airbus Helicopters if any attachment pin 
with a crack is found and returning that part to Airbus Helicopters, 
those actions are not required by this AD.
    (8) Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-
0172 specifies discarding certain parts, that action is not required 
by this AD.
    (9) Where EASA AD 2018-0172 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service.

(i) Special Flight Permit

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

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the 
authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the 
procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, 
send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight 
Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information 
directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send 
it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k) of 
this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected].
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.

(k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Katherine Venegas, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, Cabin Safety, Mechanical and Environmental 
Systems Section, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, 3960 Paramount 
Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5353; email: 
[email protected].

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2018-0172, dated 
August 7, 2018.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2018-0172, 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-
2020-1033.
    (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 June 17, 2021.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-14775 Filed 7-12-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P