Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 52853-52856 [2021-20407]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 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: ■ lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH: Docket No. FAA–2021–0826; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00300–R. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by November 8, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P2+, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 52853 EC135P3, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters, certificated in any category, as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021–0066, dated March 8, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0066). operator elects to do so), provided the outboard load system is not used until the applicable corrective actions required by paragraph (4) of EASA AD 2021–0066 are completed. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2550, Cargo Compartments. (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(2) 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. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by reports that certain aft and forward fitting assemblies, which are not approved for installation on certain helicopters, were installed on those helicopters as part of the outboard load system. Operators of those helicopters might not be aware of the applicable overhaul or life limits for those fitting assemblies. The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of affected aft and forward fitting assemblies and consequent loss of external cargo, resulting in personal injury or injury to persons on the ground. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Requirements Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2021–0066. (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0066 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0066 requires compliance in terms of flight hours, this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (2) Where EASA AD 2021–0066 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (3) Where paragraph (4) of, and the service information referenced in, EASA AD 2021– 0066, specify contacting Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH for applicable instructions if any damage (which may be indicated by signs of corrosion, mechanical damage, loose rivets, or cracks) is found, the corrective action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (4) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0066 specifies to discard certain parts, this AD requires removing the parts from service instead. (5) This AD does not require the ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0066. (l) Related Information (1) For EASA AD 2021–0066, contact Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.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. This material may be found in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0826. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Darren Gassetto, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228–7323; email Darren.Gassetto@faa.gov. Issued on September 15, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20413 Filed 9–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0066 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. 14 CFR Part 39 (j) 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 helicopter can be inspected (if the Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0796; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00098–R] RIN 2120–AA64 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 52854 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). ACTION: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of mechanical deformation found on the protective cover (also referred to as switch guard) of the ‘‘SHEAR’’ control pushbutton installed on a co-pilot collective stick of a Model EC225LP helicopter, caused by incorrect handling; due to having an identical design switch guard installed on the pilot collective stick, Model AS355NP helicopters are also affected. This proposed AD would require replacement of the protective cover of the ‘‘SHEAR’’ control pushbutton, and re-identification of the pilot collective stick, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 8, 2021. DATES: 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 EASA material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact 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 the EASA 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. This material is also available at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0796. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0796; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the EASA AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L’Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267–9167; email: hal.jensen@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2021–0796; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00098–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposal because of those comments. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L’Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267–9167; email: hal.jensen@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. Background The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021–0027R1, dated January 22, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0027R1), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) Model AS355NP helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of mechanical deformation found on the protective cover of the ‘‘SHEAR’’ control pushbutton installed on a co-pilot collective stick of a Model EC225LP helicopter, caused by incorrect handling; due to having an identical design switch guard installed on the pilot collective stick, Model AS355NP helicopters are also affected. The FAA is proposing this AD to address mechanical deformation on the protective cover of the ‘‘SHEAR’’ control pushbutton installed on the pilot collective stick. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in unintended shearing of the hoist cable, possibly resulting in injury to hoisted person(s). See EASA AD 2021–0027R1 for additional background information. FAA AD 2020–15–15, Amendment 39–21178 (85 FR 45765, July 30, 2020), which was prompted by EASA AD 2018–0106, dated May 10, 2018, addresses the unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France, and Aerospatiale) Model EC225LP helicopters. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2021–0027R1 requires replacement of the protective cover of the ‘‘SHEAR’’ control pushbutton, and re-identification of the pilot collective stick. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. FAA’s Determination These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 52855 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules European Union, EASA has notified the FAA about the unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type design. Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2021–0027R1, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Explanation of Required Compliance Information In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2021–0027R1 by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021– 0027R1 in its entirety through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section in EASA AD 2021–0027R1 does not mean that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to ‘‘all required actions and compliance times,’’ compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled ‘‘Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)’’ in EASA AD 2021–0027R1. Service information required by EASA AD 2021–0027R1 for compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0796 after the FAA final rule is published. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would affect 2 helicopters of U.S. registry. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators 2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170 .......................................................................................... $360 $530 $1,060 According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs in the cost estimate. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 Regulatory Findings The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA–2021– 0796; Project Identifier MCAI–2021– 00098–R. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by November 8, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopters, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6700, Rotorcraft Flight Control. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report of mechanical deformation found on the protective cover (also referred to as switch guard) of the ‘‘SHEAR’’ control pushbutton installed on a co-pilot collective stick of a Model EC225LP helicopter, caused by incorrect handling; due to having an E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 52856 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules identical design switch guard installed on the pilot collective stick, Model AS355NP helicopters are also affected. The FAA is issuing this AD to address mechanical deformation on the protective cover of the ‘‘SHEAR’’ control pushbutton installed on the pilot collective stick. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in unintended shearing of the hoist cable, possibly resulting in injury to hoisted person(s). For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222–5110. This material may be found in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0796. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L’Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267–9167; email: hal.jensen@faa.gov. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. Issued on September 15, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. (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 2021–0027R1, dated January 22, 2021 (EASA AD 2021– 0027R1). [FR Doc. 2021–20407 Filed 9–22–21; 8:45 am] (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0027R1 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0027R1 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) This AD does not require the ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021– 0027R1. (i) Flight Condition Limitation As of the effective date of this AD: Do not perform external load operations until the modification required by Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021–0027R1 is complete. (j) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0027R1 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 (k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (l) Related Information (1) For EASA AD 2021–0027R1, contact 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 view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0797; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00218–R] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by reduced life limits being established for certain part-numbered tail rotor (TR) blades. This proposed AD would require determining the total hours time-in-service (TIS) of certain part-numbered TR blades, establishing a life limit for certain part-numbered TR blades, removing from service any TR blade that has reached or exceeded its life limit, creating a component history card, re-identifying certain partnumbered TR blades, and removing any TR blade from service before reaching its retirement life. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing certain TR blades on certain model helicopters. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 8, 2021. DATES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this NPRM, 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. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0797 or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228–7330; email andrea.jimenez@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2021–0797; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00218–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposal because of those comments. E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 182 (Thursday, September 23, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 52853-52856]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20407]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0796; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00098-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

[[Page 52854]]


ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopters. This proposed AD 
was prompted by a report of mechanical deformation found on the 
protective cover (also referred to as switch guard) of the ``SHEAR'' 
control pushbutton installed on a co-pilot collective stick of a Model 
EC225LP helicopter, caused by incorrect handling; due to having an 
identical design switch guard installed on the pilot collective stick, 
Model AS355NP helicopters are also affected. This proposed AD would 
require replacement of the protective cover of the ``SHEAR'' control 
pushbutton, and re-identification of the pilot collective stick, as 
specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which 
is proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). The FAA is proposing 
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 8, 
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 EASA material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact 
EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 
8999 000; email: [email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find the EASA 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. This material is also 
available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0796.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0796; or in person at 
Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the EASA AD, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
Docket Operations is listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hal Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, 
Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 
950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 20024; phone: (202) 267-9167; 
email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0796; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00098-R'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposal because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Hal 
Jensen, Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 
20024; phone: (202) 267-9167; 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.

Background

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0027R1, dated January 22, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0027R1), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus 
Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) Model AS355NP helicopters.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report of mechanical deformation 
found on the protective cover of the ``SHEAR'' control pushbutton 
installed on a co-pilot collective stick of a Model EC225LP helicopter, 
caused by incorrect handling; due to having an identical design switch 
guard installed on the pilot collective stick, Model AS355NP 
helicopters are also affected. The FAA is proposing this AD to address 
mechanical deformation on the protective cover of the ``SHEAR'' control 
pushbutton installed on the pilot collective stick. The unsafe 
condition, if not addressed, could result in unintended shearing of the 
hoist cable, possibly resulting in injury to hoisted person(s). See 
EASA AD 2021-0027R1 for additional background information.
    FAA AD 2020-15-15, Amendment 39-21178 (85 FR 45765, July 30, 2020), 
which was prompted by EASA AD 2018-0106, dated May 10, 2018, addresses 
the unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter, 
Eurocopter France, and Aerospatiale) Model EC225LP helicopters.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0027R1 requires replacement of the protective cover of 
the ``SHEAR'' control pushbutton, and re-identification of the pilot 
collective stick. This material is reasonably available because the 
interested parties have access to it through their normal course of 
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for 
operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral 
agreement with the

[[Page 52855]]

European Union, EASA has notified the FAA about the unsafe condition 
described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all 
known relevant information and determining that the unsafe condition 
described previously is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters 
of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2021-0027R1, described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this proposed AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation 
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance 
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been 
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the 
FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2021-0027R1 by reference in the FAA 
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with 
EASA AD 2021-0027R1 in its entirety through that incorporation, except 
for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of 
this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading 
of a particular section in EASA AD 2021-0027R1 does not mean that 
operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD 
requirement refers to ``all required actions and compliance times,'' 
compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section 
titled ``Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)'' in EASA AD 2021-
0027R1. Service information required by EASA AD 2021-0027R1 for 
compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0796 after the FAA final 
rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 2 helicopters of U.S. registry. Based on these numbers, the FAA 
estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
                          Labor cost                              Parts cost        product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 work-hours x $85 per hour = $170...........................            $360             $530           $1,060
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

Regulatory Findings

    The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed 
regulation:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Proposed Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13   [Amended]

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

Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2021-0796; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00098-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by November 8, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355NP 
helicopters, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6700, Rotorcraft 
Flight Control.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of mechanical deformation found 
on the protective cover (also referred to as switch guard) of the 
``SHEAR'' control pushbutton installed on a co-pilot collective 
stick of a Model EC225LP helicopter, caused by incorrect handling; 
due to having an

[[Page 52856]]

identical design switch guard installed on the pilot collective 
stick, Model AS355NP helicopters are also affected. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to address mechanical deformation on the protective 
cover of the ``SHEAR'' control pushbutton installed on the pilot 
collective stick. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could 
result in unintended shearing of the hoist cable, possibly resulting 
in injury to hoisted person(s).

(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 
2021-0027R1, dated January 22, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0027R1).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0027R1

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0027R1 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) This AD does not require the ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 
2021-0027R1.

(i) Flight Condition Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD: Do not perform external 
load operations until the modification required by Paragraph (1) of 
EASA AD 2021-0027R1 is complete.

(j) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0027R1 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, 
this AD does not include that requirement.

(k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

(l) Related Information

    (1) For EASA AD 2021-0027R1, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 
3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: 
[email protected]; internet: www.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. This material may be found in the AD docket at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2021-0796.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Hal Jensen, 
Aerospace Engineer, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 950 L'Enfant Plaza N SW, Washington, DC 
20024; phone: (202) 267-9167; email: [email protected].

    Issued on September 15, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-20407 Filed 9-22-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P