Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, 46766-46769 [2021-17976]

Download as PDF 46766 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 159 / Friday, August 20, 2021 / Rules and Regulations Issued on August 12, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–17974 Filed 8–18–21; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0686; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00687–R; Amendment 39–21701; AD 2021–17–18] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the tail rotor (TR) mast. This AD requires an inspection of certain TR sleeve assemblies for discrepancies, an inspection of certain TR shaft assemblies for discrepancies, a repetitive measurement of the position of the bushing of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch change slider assembly, and corrective actions if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD becomes effective September 7, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 7, 2021. The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 4, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 Aug 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 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– 0686. 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– 0686; 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: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228–7330; email: andrea.jimenez@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021–0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0144) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the TR mast. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies procedures for an inspection of certain TR sleeve assemblies for discrepancies; PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 an inspection of certain TR shaft assemblies for abnormal wear condition, corrosion, fretting, crack, and damage; a repetitive measurement of the position of the bushing of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch change slider assembly for any dimensional change; a repetitive inspection of a certain inspection area of the TR gearbox for discrepancies; and corrective actions. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. FAA’s Determination These products have been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD after evaluating all pertinent information and determining that the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. Requirements of This AD This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2021– 0144, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between this AD and the MCAI.’’ Explanation of Required Compliance Information In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2021– 0144 is incorporated by reference in this FAA final rule. This AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2021–0144 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 E:\FR\FM\20AUR1.SGM 20AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 159 / Friday, August 20, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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 2021–0144 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2021–0144 is available on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0686. Differences Between This AD and the MCAI Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies the inspection must be done within 25 flight hours or 3 months, whichever occurs first. However, this AD requires the inspection to be done within 25 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD. Paragraphs (5) and (9) of EASA AD 2021–0144 require a repetitive inspection and corrective actions. The FAA is considering requiring these actions. However, the planned compliance time would allow enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment on the merits of those actions. Interim Action The FAA considers this AD interim action. The inspection reports that are required by this AD will enable the manufacturer to obtain better insight into the nature, cause, and extent of the cracking, and eventually to develop final action to address the unsafe condition. Once final action has been identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking. Additionally, the FAA is considering further rulemaking to require the repetitive inspections and corrective actions specified in paragraphs (5) and (9) of EASA AD 2021–0144. FAA’s Justification and Determination of the Effective Date Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) 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 issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days, upon a finding of good cause. 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 foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because cracking on the TR mast could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the helicopter. Additionally, based on the average flight-hour utilization rates of these helicopters, the initial inspections must be completed within about 2 months. 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 the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days, for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and comment. 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– 2021–0686; Project Identifier MCAI– 2021–00687–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the 46767 following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this AD. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this AD contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this AD, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228–7330; email: andrea.jimenez@ faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 133 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Action Inspections/Measurements. Up to 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 per inspection/measurement cycle. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition VerDate Sep<11>2014 Parts cost Labor cost 16:42 Aug 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 Cost per product $0 Up to $510 per inspection/measurement cycle. actions (replacements, repairs, and reporting) that would be required based PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Cost on U.S. operators Up to $67,830 per inspection/measurement cycle. on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the E:\FR\FM\20AUR1.SGM 20AUR1 46768 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 159 / Friday, August 20, 2021 / Rules and Regulations number of helicopters that might need these on-condition actions: ESTIMATED COSTS OF ON-CONDITION ACTIONS * Action Labor cost Parts cost Replacements .................................. Reporting ......................................... 19 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,615 ................................................... 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 ............................................................ $88,760 0 Cost per product $90,375 85 * The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this AD. According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs in the cost estimate. Paperwork Reduction Act A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120–0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177– 1524. 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. (c) Applicability Regulatory Findings Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6400, Tail Rotor System. 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 this regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, and (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 Aug 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ 2021–17–18 Leonardo S.p.a.: Amendment 39–21701; Docket No. FAA–2021–0686; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00687–R. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective September 7, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This AD applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters, certificated in any category, all serial numbers. (d) Subject (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the tail rotor (TR) mast. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent 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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021–0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0144). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0144 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0144 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0144 does not apply to this AD. (3) Where EASA AD 2021–0144 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (4) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021– 0144 specifies a compliance time of 25 FH or 3 months, whichever occurs first, this AD requires compliance within 25 hours time-inservice after the effective date of this AD. (5) Where Note 1 of EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies a tolerance of 30 FH, this AD does not allow a tolerance. (6) Where paragraph (6) of EASA AD 2021– 0144 states the term ‘‘discrepancies,’’ for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include dents, corrosion, elongation, scratches, wear, excessive wear (web visible), fretting, or stepping. (7) Where paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021– 0144 states the term ‘‘discrepancies,’’ for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include abnormal wear condition, corrosion, fretting, crack, or damage (including dents, elongation, scratches, or stepping). (8) Paragraphs (5) and (9) of EASA AD 2021–0144 do not apply to this AD. E:\FR\FM\20AUR1.SGM 20AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 159 / Friday, August 20, 2021 / Rules and Regulations (9) Where EASA AD 2021–0144 defines ‘‘serviceable part,’’ and that definition specifies instructions that are ‘‘approved under Leonardo Design Organization Approval (DOA) or by EASA,’’ for this AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (10) Where Note 2, and paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021–0144 specify instructions that are ‘‘approved under Leonardo DOA or by EASA,’’ for this AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (11) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies to contact the manufacturer for corrective action, this AD requires the repair to be done in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (12) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies to discard a certain part, this AD requires removing that part from service. (i) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199 to operate the helicopter to a location where the actions of this AD can be performed, provided no passengers are onboard. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD 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 Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228–7330; email: andrea.jimenez@faa.gov. (l) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 Aug 19, 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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021–0144, dated June 17, 2021. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2021–0144, 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–2021–0686. (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 fr.inspection@nara.gov, or go to https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued on August 13, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–17976 Filed 8–18–21; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0683; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00614–R; Amendment 39–21696; AD 2021–17–13] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; PZL Swidnik S.A. Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain PZL Swidnik S.A. Model PZL W–3A helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report of a damaged wheel braking system pneumatic line fitting installed on the left-hand (LH) main landing gear (MLG) leg. This AD requires modifying the LH MLG leg. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 This AD becomes effective September 7, 2021. The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 4, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this final rule, contact WSK ‘‘PZLS´widnik’’ S.A., Al. Lotniko´w Polskich 1, 21–045 S´widnik, Poland; telephone (+48) 81722 5716; fax (+48) 81722 5625; email: PL-CustomerSupport.AW@ leonardocompany.com; or at https:// www.pzlswidnik.pl/en/home. 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. DATES: Examining the AD Docket DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PO 00000 46769 Sfmt 4700 You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0683; 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 Aviation Safety Agency (now 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: Fred Guerin, Aerospace Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 S 216th St, Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone (202) 267–7457; email fred.guerin@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018–0274, dated December 13, 2018 (EASA AD 2018–0274), to correct an unsafe condition for Wytwo´rnia Sprze˛tu Komunikacyjnego (WSK) ‘‘PZL- E:\FR\FM\20AUR1.SGM 20AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 159 (Friday, August 20, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 46766-46769]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-17976]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0686; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00687-R; 
Amendment 39-21701; AD 2021-17-18]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP 
helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the tail 
rotor (TR) mast. This AD requires an inspection of certain TR sleeve 
assemblies for discrepancies, an inspection of certain TR shaft 
assemblies for discrepancies, a repetitive measurement of the position 
of the bushing of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch 
change slider assembly, and corrective actions if necessary, as 
specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which 
is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD becomes effective September 7, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 7, 
2021.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 4, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 
the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; 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-2021-0686.

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-
0686; 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: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, 
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 
Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; 
email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA 
AD 2021-0144) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP 
helicopters.
    This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the TR mast. The FAA 
is issuing this AD to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead 
to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the 
helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies procedures for an inspection of certain 
TR sleeve assemblies for discrepancies; an inspection of certain TR 
shaft assemblies for abnormal wear condition, corrosion, fretting, 
crack, and damage; a repetitive measurement of the position of the 
bushing of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch change 
slider assembly for any dimensional change; a repetitive inspection of 
a certain inspection area of the TR gearbox for discrepancies; and 
corrective actions. This material is reasonably available because the 
interested parties have access to it through their normal course of 
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination

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

Requirements of This AD

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 
2021-0144, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except 
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of 
this AD and except as discussed under ``Differences Between this AD and 
the MCAI.''

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2021-0144 is 
incorporated by reference in this FAA final rule. This AD, therefore, 
requires compliance with EASA AD 2021-0144 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

[[Page 46767]]

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 2021-0144 that is required for compliance with 
EASA AD 2021-0144 is available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0686.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI

    Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies the inspection must be 
done within 25 flight hours or 3 months, whichever occurs first. 
However, this AD requires the inspection to be done within 25 hours 
time-in-service after the effective date of this AD.
    Paragraphs (5) and (9) of EASA AD 2021-0144 require a repetitive 
inspection and corrective actions. The FAA is considering requiring 
these actions. However, the planned compliance time would allow enough 
time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment on the 
merits of those actions.

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this AD interim action. The inspection reports 
that are required by this AD will enable the manufacturer to obtain 
better insight into the nature, cause, and extent of the cracking, and 
eventually to develop final action to address the unsafe condition. 
Once final action has been identified, the FAA might consider further 
rulemaking. Additionally, the FAA is considering further rulemaking to 
require the repetitive inspections and corrective actions specified in 
paragraphs (5) and (9) of EASA AD 2021-0144.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) 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 
issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA authorizes agencies to 
make rules effective in less than thirty days, upon a finding of good 
cause.
    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 foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule 
because cracking on the TR mast could lead to failure of the TR mast, 
with consequent loss of control of the helicopter. Additionally, based 
on the average flight-hour utilization rates of these helicopters, the 
initial inspections must be completed within about 2 months. 
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 the public interest pursuant 
to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, the FAA finds that good cause 
exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective 
in less than 30 days, for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to 
forego notice and comment.

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-2021-0686; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-00687-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the AD, explain the reason for 
any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this 
AD because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this AD.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this AD contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this AD, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Andrea 
Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, 
Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, 
NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; email: [email protected]. Any 
commentary that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as 
CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good 
cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and 
comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt 
this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 133 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
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspections/Measurements........  Up to 6 work-hours x $85           $0  Up to $510 per       Up to $67,830 per
                                   per hour = $510 per                    inspection/          inspection/
                                   inspection/measurement                 measurement cycle.   measurement
                                   cycle.                                                      cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions (replacements, repairs, and reporting) that would be 
required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no 
way of determining the

[[Page 46768]]

number of helicopters that might need these on-condition actions:

                                    Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                   Action                                 Labor cost                Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Replacements...............................  19 work-hours x $85 per hour =              $88,760         $90,375
                                              $1,615.
Reporting..................................  1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85...               0              85
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates for the on-condition repairs
  specified in this AD.

    According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this AD 
may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on 
affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for 
affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs 
in the cost estimate.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for 
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of 
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control 
number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-
0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in 
the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for 
reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the 
collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with 
this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden 
and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to 
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

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 this regulation:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866, and
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13   [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive:

2021-17-18 Leonardo S.p.a.: Amendment 39-21701; Docket No. FAA-2021-
0686; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00687-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective September 7, 
2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, 
A109S, and AW109SP helicopters, certificated in any category, all 
serial numbers.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6400, Tail Rotor 
System.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the tail rotor 
(TR) mast. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking on the TR 
mast, which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent 
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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2021-0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0144).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0144

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0144 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2021-0144 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (3) Where EASA AD 2021-0144 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service.
    (4) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies a 
compliance time of 25 FH or 3 months, whichever occurs first, this 
AD requires compliance within 25 hours time-in-service after the 
effective date of this AD.
    (5) Where Note 1 of EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies a tolerance of 
30 FH, this AD does not allow a tolerance.
    (6) Where paragraph (6) of EASA AD 2021-0144 states the term 
``discrepancies,'' for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include 
dents, corrosion, elongation, scratches, wear, excessive wear (web 
visible), fretting, or stepping.
    (7) Where paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021-0144 states the term 
``discrepancies,'' for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include 
abnormal wear condition, corrosion, fretting, crack, or damage 
(including dents, elongation, scratches, or stepping).
    (8) Paragraphs (5) and (9) of EASA AD 2021-0144 do not apply to 
this AD.

[[Page 46769]]

    (9) Where EASA AD 2021-0144 defines ``serviceable part,'' and 
that definition specifies instructions that are ``approved under 
Leonardo Design Organization Approval (DOA) or by EASA,'' for this 
AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method approved by the 
Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.'s EASA DOA. If 
approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized 
signature.
    (10) Where Note 2, and paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021-0144 
specify instructions that are ``approved under Leonardo DOA or by 
EASA,'' for this AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method 
approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.'s 
EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-
authorized signature.
    (11) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0144 specifies to contact the manufacturer for corrective action, 
this AD requires the repair to be done in accordance with a method 
approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.'s 
EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-
authorized signature.
    (12) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0144 specifies to discard a certain part, this AD requires removing 
that part from service.

(i) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 14 CFR 
21.197 and 21.199 to operate the helicopter to a location where the 
actions of this AD can be performed, provided no passengers are 
onboard.

(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 Andrea Jimenez, 
Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational 
Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 
11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; email: [email protected].

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0144, 
dated June 17, 2021.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2021-0144, 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-
2021-0686.
    (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 August 13, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-17976 Filed 8-18-21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P