Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 57550-57552 [2021-22472]

Download as PDF 57550 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 198 / Monday, October 18, 2021 / Rules and Regulations November 29, 2021. The DNFSB received one comment. The DNFSB evaluated the comment against the criteria described in the direct final rule and determined that the comment was not significant and adverse. Specifically, the commentator opposed the legal authority granted in the NDAA, not the implementation of said authority in the DNFSB’s regulations. The comment was therefore out of scope, and the direct final rule will become effective as scheduled. The comment is publicly available as part of the rulemaking docket at https://www.dnfsb.gov/officegeneral-counsel. Dated: October 13, 2021. Joyce Connery, Chair. [FR Doc. 2021–22665 Filed 10–15–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3670–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0453; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00377–R; Amendment 39–21754; AD 2021–20–16] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021–04– 15, which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model AS350B3 helicopters. AD 2021– 04–15 required repetitive visual inspections of the right-hand side of the vertical fin spar for discrepancies (cracking), and corrective action if necessary. This AD retains the requirements of AD 2021–04–15, and requires repetitive cleaning and repetitive detailed inspections for cracking of the vertical fin spar and vertical fin upper attachments, and corrective action if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD also expands the applicability to include additional Model AS350B3 helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled post-flight inspection of the tail cone area, a crack was found in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures were jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Oct 15, 2021 Jkt 256001 found in the two front attachment screws. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective November 22, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 22, 2021. ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@ easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this 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–2021–0453. 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– 0453; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3218; email kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021–0099, dated April 9, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0099) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and all Model PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 AS350B3 helicopters except those that have that embodied Airbus Helicopters Modification 073148 in production. EASA stated that recent analysis identified that AS350B3 helicopters modified through Eurocopter AS350 Service Bulletin 55.00.14 (any revision) in service might also be affected by the identified unsafe condition. The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2021–04–15, Amendment 39–21437 (86 FR 13165, March 8, 2021) (AD 2021–04–15). AD 2021–04–15 applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model AS350B3 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2021 (86 FR 30395). Since the FAA issued AD 2021–04–15, the FAA has determined that additional actions are required to address the unsafe condition. The NPRM proposed to retain the requirements of AD 2021–04– 15, and require repetitive cleaning and repetitive detailed inspections for cracking of the vertical fin spar and vertical fin upper attachments, and corrective action if necessary, as specified in an EASA AD. The NPRM also proposed to expand the applicability to include additional Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the front attachment screws. This condition could lead to in-flight separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss of control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive Comments The FAA received one comment from a commenter. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response. Request To Allow Pilots To Do Visual Inspection The commenter requested that pilots be allowed to perform the proposed repetitive visual inspections of the righthand side of the vertical fin spar for cracking at intervals not to exceed 10 hours time-in-service. The commenter suggested that only if a crack is suspected that a mechanic be notified. The commenter stated that it is a burden on operators to get a mechanic to a helicopter every 10 hours time-inservice to do the inspection. The E:\FR\FM\18OCR1.SGM 18OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 198 / Monday, October 18, 2021 / Rules and Regulations commenter also remarked that certain current FAA ADs allow pilots to perform visual inspections because those inspections do not require specialized tools, training, or any disassembly and that the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021–0099 mentions that a pilot can perform the visual inspection. The FAA does not agree with the commenter’s request. Although there are instances where the FAA does allow a pilot to do a visual check, for this AD, the FAA is not allowing this due to the criticality of the crack location, the lack of definition of what pilot training is sufficient to do this visual inspection, and because the area being inspected is likely to need cleaning prior to each inspection. The FAA has revised paragraph (h) of this AD to clarify that a pilot cannot do the visual check and that it must be performed by a qualified mechanic. Conclusion The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed. Except for minor editorial changes, this AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM. None of the changes will increase the economic burden on any operator. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2021–0099 specifies procedures for repetitive visual 57551 inspections of the right-hand side of the vertical fin spar for cracking; repetitive cleaning and repetitive detailed inspections for cracking of the vertical fin spar and vertical fin upper attachments; and corrective action. The corrective action includes repair. 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. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 650 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Action Retained actions from AD 2021–04–15. New actions ............................ Labor cost Parts cost 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595, per inspection/ cleaning cycle. 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340, per inspection/ cleaning cycle. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators $0 $595, per inspection/cleaning cycle. $386,750, per inspection/ cleaning cycle. 0 $340, per inspection/cleaning cycle. $221,000, per inspection/ cleaning cycle. the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of helicopters that might need these on-condition actions: ESTIMATED COSTS OF ON-CONDITION ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 ...................................................................................................................... $17,052 $17,392 jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Oct 15, 2021 Jkt 256001 develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. Regulatory Findings This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by: a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021–04–15, Amendment 39– 21437 (86 FR 13165, March 8, 2021); and ■ ■ E:\FR\FM\18OCR1.SGM 18OCR1 57552 ■ Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 198 / Monday, October 18, 2021 / Rules and Regulations b. Adding the following new AD: 2021–20–16 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39–21754; Docket No. FAA–2021–0453; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00377–R. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective November 22, 2021. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2021–04–15, Amendment 39–21437 (86 FR 13165, March 8, 2021) (AD 2021–04–15). (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters specified in paragraph (c)(1) and (2) of this AD, certificated in any category. (1) Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters, all serial numbers. (2) Model AS350B3 helicopters, all serial numbers except those that have embodied Airbus Helicopters Modification 073148 in production. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5531, Vertical Stabilizer, Spar/Rib. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled post-flight inspection of the tail cone area of an Airbus Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopter, a crack was found in the spar of the upper fin and fractures were found in the two front attachment screws. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the front attachment screws. This condition could lead to in-flight separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss of control of the helicopter. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with RULES1 (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 2021–0099, dated April 9, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0099). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0099 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0099 refers to its effective date or to July 12, 2017, (the effective date of EASA AD 2017–0114, dated June 28, 2017), this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0099. (3) Where EASA AD 2021–0099 requires compliance in terms of flight hours, this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (4) Where paragraph (4) of EASA AD 2021– 0099 specifies to contact the manufacturer for approved repair instructions, for this AD, if any cracking is detected during any inspection, repair before further flight using a method approved by the Manager, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Oct 15, 2021 Jkt 256001 International Validation Branch, FAA. For a repair method to be approved by the Manager, International Validation Branch, as required by this paragraph, the Manager’s approval letter must specifically refer to this AD. (5) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021–0099 specifies to perform a visual inspection for cracking on the ‘‘RH side of spar (a)’’ and ‘‘if you are not sure’’ remove the rear and the tail rotor gear box (TGB) fairings to perform a detailed inspection and do a dye-penetrant inspection, those actions are required by this AD if any crack indication (e.g., paint chips, dents, or swelling) is found during any inspection done without removing the rear and the TGB fairings. (6) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021–0099 specifies to perform a visual check for cracks in the ‘‘spars (a) of the top and bottom fins’’ and ‘‘if you are not sure’’ do a dye-penetrant inspection, the dye-penetrant inspection is required by this AD if any crack indication (e.g., paint chips, dents, or swelling) is found during any visual check (inspection). (7) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021–0099 specifies to check the integrity of the two thrust pad attachment screws for damage, for this AD, damage includes loosening, deformation, and nicks. (8) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021–0099 specifies that the visual check can be performed by an airframe technician or pilot, this AD requires that the visual check be performed by a qualified mechanic. (i) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are prohibited. (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 Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax (206) 231–3218; email kathleen.arrigotti@faa.gov. (l) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (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 2021–0099, dated April 9, 2021. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For EASA AD 2021–0099, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; Internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0453. (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 September 23, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–22472 Filed 10–15–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0876; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–01031–T; Amendment 39–21767; AD 2021–21–07] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A330–841 and A330–941 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of incorrect takeoff computations for crosswinds above 20 knots. This AD requires amending the existing aircraft flight manual (AFM), as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is incorporated by reference. The SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18OCR1.SGM 18OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 198 (Monday, October 18, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57550-57552]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-22472]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0453; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00377-R; 
Amendment 39-21754; AD 2021-20-16]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-04-
15, which applied to all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, 
AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model 
AS350B3 helicopters. AD 2021-04-15 required repetitive visual 
inspections of the right-hand side of the vertical fin spar for 
discrepancies (cracking), and corrective action if necessary. This AD 
retains the requirements of AD 2021-04-15, and requires repetitive 
cleaning and repetitive detailed inspections for cracking of the 
vertical fin spar and vertical fin upper attachments, and corrective 
action if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety 
Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD also 
expands the applicability to include additional Model AS350B3 
helicopters. This AD was prompted by a report that, during an 
unscheduled post-flight inspection of the tail cone area, a crack was 
found in the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures 
were found in the two front attachment screws. The FAA is issuing this 
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective November 22, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 22, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, 
contact the 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 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-2021-0453.

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-
0453; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this final rule, any comments received, and other information. The 
address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Arrigotti, Program Manager, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, Compliance & 
Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 
98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218; 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 2021-0099, dated April 9, 2021 (EASA 
AD 2021-0099) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, 
AS355N, and AS355NP helicopters; and all Model AS350B3 helicopters 
except those that have that embodied Airbus Helicopters Modification 
073148 in production. EASA stated that recent analysis identified that 
AS350B3 helicopters modified through Eurocopter AS350 Service Bulletin 
55.00.14 (any revision) in service might also be affected by the 
identified unsafe condition.
    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2021-04-15, Amendment 39-21437 (86 FR 
13165, March 8, 2021) (AD 2021-04-15). AD 2021-04-15 applied to all 
Airbus Helicopters Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and 
AS355NP helicopters; and certain Model AS350B3 helicopters. The NPRM 
published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2021 (86 FR 30395). Since 
the FAA issued AD 2021-04-15, the FAA has determined that additional 
actions are required to address the unsafe condition. The NPRM proposed 
to retain the requirements of AD 2021-04-15, and require repetitive 
cleaning and repetitive detailed inspections for cracking of the 
vertical fin spar and vertical fin upper attachments, and corrective 
action if necessary, as specified in an EASA AD. The NPRM also proposed 
to expand the applicability to include additional Airbus Helicopters 
Model AS350B3 helicopters.
    The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking in the spar of the 
upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the front attachment 
screws. This condition could lead to in-flight separation of the upper 
part of the vertical fin, resulting in loss of control of the 
helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

    The FAA received one comment from a commenter. The following 
presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response.

Request To Allow Pilots To Do Visual Inspection

    The commenter requested that pilots be allowed to perform the 
proposed repetitive visual inspections of the right-hand side of the 
vertical fin spar for cracking at intervals not to exceed 10 hours 
time-in-service. The commenter suggested that only if a crack is 
suspected that a mechanic be notified. The commenter stated that it is 
a burden on operators to get a mechanic to a helicopter every 10 hours 
time-in-service to do the inspection. The

[[Page 57551]]

commenter also remarked that certain current FAA ADs allow pilots to 
perform visual inspections because those inspections do not require 
specialized tools, training, or any disassembly and that the service 
information referred to in EASA AD 2021-0099 mentions that a pilot can 
perform the visual inspection.
    The FAA does not agree with the commenter's request. Although there 
are instances where the FAA does allow a pilot to do a visual check, 
for this AD, the FAA is not allowing this due to the criticality of the 
crack location, the lack of definition of what pilot training is 
sufficient to do this visual inspection, and because the area being 
inspected is likely to need cleaning prior to each inspection. The FAA 
has revised paragraph (h) of this AD to clarify that a pilot cannot do 
the visual check and that it must be performed by a qualified mechanic.

Conclusion

    The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment 
received, and determined that air safety and the public interest 
require adopting this AD as proposed. Except for minor editorial 
changes, this AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM. None of the 
changes will increase the economic burden on any operator. Accordingly, 
the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these 
products.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0099 specifies procedures for repetitive visual 
inspections of the right-hand side of the vertical fin spar for 
cracking; repetitive cleaning and repetitive detailed inspections for 
cracking of the vertical fin spar and vertical fin upper attachments; 
and corrective action. The corrective action includes repair.
    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.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 650 helicopters of U.S. 
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost        Parts cost      Cost per product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retained actions from AD 2021-04-  7 work-hours x $85               $0  $595, per            $386,750, per
 15.                                per hour = $595,                     inspection/          inspection/
                                    per inspection/                      cleaning cycle.      cleaning cycle.
                                    cleaning cycle.
New actions......................  4 work-hours x $85                0  $340, per            $221,000, per
                                    per hour = $340,                     inspection/          inspection/
                                    per inspection/                      cleaning cycle.      cleaning cycle.
                                    cleaning cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

                 Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Cost per
              Labor cost                   Parts cost        product
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 work-hours x $85 per hour = $340....         $17,052          $17,392
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

Regulatory Findings

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-04-15, Amendment 39-21437 
(86 FR 13165, March 8, 2021); and

[[Page 57552]]

0
b. Adding the following new AD:

2021-20-16 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-21754; Docket No. FAA-
2021-0453; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00377-R.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective November 22, 
2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2021-04-15, Amendment 39-21437 (86 FR 13165, 
March 8, 2021) (AD 2021-04-15).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters specified in paragraph 
(c)(1) and (2) of this AD, certificated in any category.
    (1) Model AS355E, AS355F, AS355F1, AS355F2, AS355N, and AS355NP 
helicopters, all serial numbers.
    (2) Model AS350B3 helicopters, all serial numbers except those 
that have embodied Airbus Helicopters Modification 073148 in 
production.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5531, Vertical 
Stabilizer, Spar/Rib.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that, during an unscheduled 
post-flight inspection of the tail cone area of an Airbus 
Helicopters Model AS355NP helicopter, a crack was found in the spar 
of the upper fin and fractures were found in the two front 
attachment screws. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking in 
the spar of the upper part of the vertical fin and fractures in the 
front attachment screws. This condition could lead to in-flight 
separation of the upper part of the vertical fin, resulting in 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 
2021-0099, dated April 9, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0099).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0099

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0099 refers to its effective date or to 
July 12, 2017, (the effective date of EASA AD 2017-0114, dated June 
28, 2017), this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ``Remarks'' 
section of EASA AD 2021-0099.
    (3) Where EASA AD 2021-0099 requires compliance in terms of 
flight hours, this AD requires using hours time-in-service.
    (4) Where paragraph (4) of EASA AD 2021-0099 specifies to 
contact the manufacturer for approved repair instructions, for this 
AD, if any cracking is detected during any inspection, repair before 
further flight using a method approved by the Manager, International 
Validation Branch, FAA. For a repair method to be approved by the 
Manager, International Validation Branch, as required by this 
paragraph, the Manager's approval letter must specifically refer to 
this AD.
    (5) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021-
0099 specifies to perform a visual inspection for cracking on the 
``RH side of spar (a)'' and ``if you are not sure'' remove the rear 
and the tail rotor gear box (TGB) fairings to perform a detailed 
inspection and do a dye-penetrant inspection, those actions are 
required by this AD if any crack indication (e.g., paint chips, 
dents, or swelling) is found during any inspection done without 
removing the rear and the TGB fairings.
    (6) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021-
0099 specifies to perform a visual check for cracks in the ``spars 
(a) of the top and bottom fins'' and ``if you are not sure'' do a 
dye-penetrant inspection, the dye-penetrant inspection is required 
by this AD if any crack indication (e.g., paint chips, dents, or 
swelling) is found during any visual check (inspection).
    (7) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021-
0099 specifies to check the integrity of the two thrust pad 
attachment screws for damage, for this AD, damage includes 
loosening, deformation, and nicks.
    (8) Where the service information referred to in EASA AD 2021-
0099 specifies that the visual check can be performed by an airframe 
technician or pilot, this AD requires that the visual check be 
performed by a qualified mechanic.

(i) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 
21.199, are prohibited.

(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 Kathleen Arrigotti, 
Program Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 
Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2200 South 216th 
St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax (206) 231-3218; 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 2021-0099, 
dated April 9, 2021.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2021-0099, contact the 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 
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-
2021-0453.
    (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 September 23, 2021.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-22472 Filed 10-15-21; 8:45 am]
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