Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters, 52851-52853 [2021-20413]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0827. (2) For more information about this AD, contact, Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3225; email dan.rodina@ faa.gov. Issued on September 16, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20405 Filed 9–22–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0826; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00300–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 EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters. This proposed 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. This proposed AD would require inspecting the aft and forward fitting assemblies of the outboard load system to determine the part number, re-identifying the part if necessary, inspecting each affected part for damage (which may be indicated by signs of corrosion, mechanical damage, loose rivets, or cracks) and, depending on the findings, corrective actions, 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. lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 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; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this 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. The EASA material is also available at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0826. ADDRESSES: Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0826; 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: 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. 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–2021–0826; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00300–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 52851 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 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. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Background EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021–0066, dated March 8, 2021 (EASA AD 2021– 0066), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH and Eurocopter Espan˜a S.A.) Model EC135 P2+, EC135 P3, EC135 T2+, EC135 T3, EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters, serial numbers (S/Ns) 0866 to 1166 inclusive, except S/Ns 1007, 1102, and 1145, and except helicopters on which Airbus Helicopters Service E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 52852 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 182 / Thursday, September 23, 2021 / Proposed Rules Bulletin EC135–85–063 has been embodied in service. Model EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet, except where the U.S. type certificate data sheet explains that the Model EC635T2+ helicopter having serial number 0858 was converted from Model EC635T2+ to Model EC135T2+. This proposed AD, therefore, does not include Model EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters in the applicability. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that aft and forward fitting assemblies, having part number L851M2810103, were installed as part of the outboard load system on helicopters having S/Ns 0886 and up. The affected fitting assemblies are not approved for installation on helicopters having those serial numbers. Operators of those helicopters might not be aware of the applicable overhaul or life limits for those fitting assemblies. The FAA is proposing 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. See EASA AD 2021–0066 for additional background information. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2021–0066 requires a onetime inspection of each aft and forward fitting assembly of the outboard load system to identify the part number, reidentifying the part number if necessary, a one-time inspection of an affected fitting assembly for damage, and corrective action. The corrective action includes replacing any damaged fitting. 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 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 2021–0066, 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 2021–0066 by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021–0066 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 2021–0066 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 2021–0066. Service information required by EASA AD 2021–0066 for compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0826 after the FAA final rule is published. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would affect 69 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD. ESTIMATED COSTS Parts cost Action Labor cost Inspection to determine fitting assembly part number. 0.50 work-hour × $85 per hour = $42.50 ......... The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary actions that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. The agency Cost per product $0 Cost on U.S. operators $42.50 $2,932.50 has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions: lotter on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 ON-CONDITION COSTS Parts cost Cost per product Action Labor cost Re-identification of affected fitting assembly with part number. Detailed inspection of affected fitting assembly ............. Replacement of damaged affected fitting assembly ...... 0.25 work-hour × $85 per hour = $21.25 ....................... $0 $21.25 1.75 work-hours × $85 per hour = $148.75 ................... 1.50 work-hours × $85 per hour = $127.50 ................... 0 1,363 148.75 1,490.50 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Sep 22, 2021 Jkt 253001 the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 E:\FR\FM\23SEP1.SGM 23SEP1 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

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 182 (Thursday, September 23, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 52851-52853]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20413]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0826; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00300-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH 
Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for certain Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P2+, 
EC135P3, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters. This proposed 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. This proposed AD 
would require inspecting the aft and forward fitting assemblies of the 
outboard load system to determine the part number, re-identifying the 
part if necessary, inspecting each affected part for damage (which may 
be indicated by signs of corrosion, mechanical damage, loose rivets, or 
cracks) and, depending on the findings, corrective actions, 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; telephone +49 221 
8999 000; email [email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this 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. The EASA material is also 
available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0826.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0826; 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: 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 [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-2021-0826; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00300-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 
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 [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

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0066, dated March 8, 2021 (EASA 
AD 2021-0066), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters 
Deutschland GmbH (formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH and Eurocopter 
Espa[ntilde]a S.A.) Model EC135 P2+, EC135 P3, EC135 T2+, EC135 T3, 
EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters, 
serial numbers (S/Ns) 0866 to 1166 inclusive, except S/Ns 1007, 1102, 
and 1145, and except helicopters on which Airbus Helicopters Service

[[Page 52852]]

Bulletin EC135-85-063 has been embodied in service. Model EC635 P2+, 
EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters are not 
certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type 
certificate data sheet, except where the U.S. type certificate data 
sheet explains that the Model EC635T2+ helicopter having serial number 
0858 was converted from Model EC635T2+ to Model EC135T2+. This proposed 
AD, therefore, does not include Model EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, 
EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters in the applicability.
    This proposed AD was prompted by reports that aft and forward 
fitting assemblies, having part number L851M2810103, were installed as 
part of the outboard load system on helicopters having S/Ns 0886 and 
up. The affected fitting assemblies are not approved for installation 
on helicopters having those serial numbers. Operators of those 
helicopters might not be aware of the applicable overhaul or life 
limits for those fitting assemblies. The FAA is proposing 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. See EASA AD 2021-0066 for additional 
background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0066 requires a one-time inspection of each aft and 
forward fitting assembly of the outboard load system to identify the 
part number, re-identifying the part number if necessary, a one-time 
inspection of an affected fitting assembly for damage, and corrective 
action. The corrective action includes replacing any damaged fitting.
    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 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 2021-0066, 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 2021-0066 by reference in the FAA 
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with 
EASA AD 2021-0066 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 2021-0066 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-
0066. Service information required by EASA AD 2021-0066 for compliance 
will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0826 after the FAA final rule is 
published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 69 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates the following 
costs to comply with this proposed AD.

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on U.S.
                 Action                          Labor cost           Parts cost      product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspection to determine fitting          0.50 work-hour x $85 per             $0          $42.50       $2,932.50
 assembly part number.                    hour = $42.50.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary actions 
that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. 
The agency has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might 
need these actions:

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                     Action                                  Labor cost               Parts cost      product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Re-identification of affected fitting assembly   0.25 work-hour x $85 per hour =              $0          $21.25
 with part number.                                $21.25.
Detailed inspection of affected fitting          1.75 work-hours x $85 per hour =              0          148.75
 assembly.                                        $148.75.
Replacement of damaged affected fitting          1.50 work-hours x $85 per hour =          1,363        1,490.50
 assembly.                                        $127.50.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

[[Page 52853]]

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 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+, 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).

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2550, Cargo 
Compartments.

(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.

(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.

(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 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.

(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 2021-0066, contact Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 
Cologne, Germany; telephone +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-2021-0826.
    (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 [email protected].

    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]
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