Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 59655-59658 [2021-23233]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 206 / Thursday, October 28, 2021 / Proposed Rules 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: ■ Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA–2021– 0886; Project Identifier MCAI–2021– 00341–R. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by December 13, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Airbus Helicopters EC120B helicopters, certificated in any category. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 (d) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6410, Tail Rotor Blades. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report of geometrical non-conformities in the tail rotor blade (TRB) root section discovered during an accident investigation of a Model EC130B helicopter. Due to the similarity of design and production requirements, certain TRBs for the Model EC120B helicopters were inspected and geometrical non-conformities VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 were also found. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct geometrical nonconformities of the TRB root section. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in crack initiation and TRB failure, and possibly result 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 2021–0079, dated March 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0079). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0079 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0079 requires compliance in terms of flight hours, this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (2) Where EASA AD 2021–0079 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (3) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0079 specifies discarding a part, this AD requires removing that part from service. (4) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0079. (5) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0079 specifies to measure using the Smartphone application, the PowerPoint method, or ‘‘Contacting customer support with a specific procedure,’’ this AD requires determining the specified measurements but those methods of measurement are not required by this AD. (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0079 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 actions of this AD can be performed, provided no passengers are onboard. (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. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 59655 (l) Related Information (1) For EASA AD 2021–0079, 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. 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–2021–0886. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228–7330; email: andrea.jimenez@ faa.gov. Issued on October 19, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–23236 Filed 10–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0887; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00045–R] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found on the external tail boom skin, under the Very High Frequency (VHF) antenna. This proposed AD would require inspecting the tail boom at the VHF antenna attachments and depending on the results, repairing or modifying the tail boom skin, 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 December 13, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28OCP1.SGM 28OCP1 59656 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 206 / Thursday, October 28, 2021 / Proposed Rules 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 the EASA material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. For Airbus Helicopter 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 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– 0887. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0887; 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: Gregory Koenig, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe & Administrative Services Section, Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2300 E Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294–7127; email Gregory.L.Koenig@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2021–0887; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00045–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 Gregory Koenig, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe & Administrative Services Section, Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2300 E Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294–7127; email Gregory.L.Koenig@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 2021–0015, dated January 13, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0015), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France Model EC 120 B helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found on the PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 external tail boom skin, under the VHF antenna of an EC120B helicopter. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect corrosion in that area and prevent the degradation of the tail boom structure. See EASA AD 2021–0015 for additional background information. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2021–0015 requires a onetime inspection of the VHF antenna attachments to the tail boom and, depending on the results, corrective action or modification of the tail boom. 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. Other Related Service Information The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC120– 53A017, Revision 1, dated November 26, 2020. This service information specifies procedures for inspecting and modifying the VHF antenna attachments on the tail boom. The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. EC120– 53–018, Revision 0, dated November 26, 2020. This service information specifies procedures for repairing the tail boom if there is any corrosion or a crack at the VHF antenna attachments. 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 EASA AD 2021–0015. 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 these same type designs. Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2021–0015, described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD and except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between this Proposed AD and the EASA AD.’’ Explanation of Required Compliance Information In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD E:\FR\FM\28OCP1.SGM 28OCP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 206 / Thursday, October 28, 2021 / Proposed Rules 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 2021–0015 by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021–0015 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 2021–0015 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 2021–0015. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0015 for compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0887 after the FAA final rule is published. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0015 specifies ‘‘to check for corrosion under the VHF antenna base support,’’ this proposed AD would require inspecting for corrosion because that action must be accomplished by a mechanic that meets the requirements of 14 CFR part 65 subpart D. Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0015 specifies to ‘‘make sure that there is no aluminum oxide (white powder),’’ ‘‘make sure that there is no pitting corrosion,’’ and ‘‘make sure that there are no crack,’’ this proposed AD would require inspecting for any aluminum oxide (white powder), pitting corrosion, and cracks instead. Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0015 specifies discarding parts, this proposed AD would require removing those parts from service instead. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 89 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 Inspecting and modifying each tail boom at VHF attachment would take about 4 work-hours and parts would cost about $4,745, for an estimated cost of $5,085 per helicopter and $452,565 for the U.S. fleet. If required, repairing the VHF antenna attachment at the tail boom would take up to 15 work-hours and parts would cost up to $7,812, for an estimated cost of up to $9,087 per helicopter. 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, PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 59657 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: ■ Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA–2021– 0887; Project Identifier MCAI–2021– 00045–R. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by December 13, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5302, Rotorcraft Tail Boom. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found on the external tail boom skin of a Model EC120B helicopter under the Very High Frequency antenna. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect corrosion in that area and prevent the degradation of the tail boom structure. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in possible roll-over during landing. (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 AD 2021–0015, dated January 13, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0015). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0015 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0015 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) Where the service information referenced in paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021–0015 specifies to check for corrosion, including to ‘‘make sure that there is no aluminum oxide (white powder),’’ ‘‘make sure that there is no pitting corrosion,’’ and ‘‘make sure that there are no crack,’’ this AD requires inspecting for any aluminum oxide (white powder), pitting corrosion, and cracks. (3) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0015 specifies discarding parts, this AD requires removing those parts from service. E:\FR\FM\28OCP1.SGM 28OCP1 59658 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 206 / Thursday, October 28, 2021 / Proposed Rules (4) Where paragraph (4) of EASA AD 2021– 0015 requires certain actions prior to the installation of a tail boom on any helicopter, including inspecting the tail boom, for this AD, the requirements of paragraph (h)(2) of this AD also apply to the inspection of the tail boom. (5) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0015. (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0015 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (k) Related Information jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 (1) For EASA AD 2021–0015, 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 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–2021–0887. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Gregory Koenig, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe & Administrative Services Section, Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2300 E Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294–7127; email Gregory.L.Koenig@faa.gov. [FR Doc. 2021–23233 Filed 10–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0835; Project Identifier AD–2021–00971–E] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; International Aero Engines AG Turbofan Engines Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021–11–15, which applies to certain International Aero Engines AG (IAE) V2500 model turbofan engines. AD 2021–11–15 requires performance of an ultrasonic inspection (USI) of the highpressure turbine (HPT) 1st-stage disk and HPT 2nd-stage disk and, depending on the results of the inspections, replacement of the HPT 1st-stage disk or HPT 2nd-stage disk. Since the FAA issued AD 2021–11–15, the FAA determined the need to clarify the compliance time for inspection of any HPT 1st-stage disk or HPT 2nd-stage disk that is installed on a low-thrust model engine but had been previously operated on a high-thrust model engine. This proposed AD would require performance of a USI of the HPT 1ststage disk and HPT 2nd-stage disk and, depending on the results of the inspections, replacement of the HPT 1ststage disk or HPT 2nd-stage disk. 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 December 13, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this NPRM, contact International Aero Engines AG, 400 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: (800) 565– SUMMARY: (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)(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. Issued on October 19, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 0140; email: help24@prattwhitney.com; website: https:// connect.prattwhitney.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (781) 238– 7759. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0835; 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, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alberto Hernandez, Aviation Safety Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: (781) 238–7329; fax: (781) 238– 7199; email: Alberto.J.Hernandez@ 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–2021–0835; Project Identifier AD– 2021–00971–E’’ 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 the 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 we receive about this proposed AD. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM E:\FR\FM\28OCP1.SGM 28OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 206 (Thursday, October 28, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59655-59658]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-23233]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0887; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00045-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus 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 all Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters. This proposed AD 
was prompted by a report of corrosion found on the external tail boom 
skin, under the Very High Frequency (VHF) antenna. This proposed AD 
would require inspecting the tail boom at the VHF antenna attachments 
and depending on the results, repairing or modifying the tail boom 
skin, 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 December 
13, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR

[[Page 59656]]

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 the EASA material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. For Airbus Helicopter 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 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-2021-0887.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0887; 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: Gregory Koenig, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe & Administrative Services Section, Chicago ACO Branch, 
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2300 E Devon Ave., Des 
Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294-7127; 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-2021-0887; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00045-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 
Gregory Koenig, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe & Administrative Services 
Section, Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 
2300 E Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294-7127; 
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 2021-0015, dated January 13, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0015), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus 
Helicopters (AH), formerly Eurocopter, Eurocopter France Model EC 120 B 
helicopters.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found on the 
external tail boom skin, under the VHF antenna of an EC120B helicopter. 
The FAA is proposing this AD to detect corrosion in that area and 
prevent the degradation of the tail boom structure. See EASA AD 2021-
0015 for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0015 requires a one-time inspection of the VHF antenna 
attachments to the tail boom and, depending on the results, corrective 
action or modification of the tail boom.
    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.

Other Related Service Information

    The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. 
EC120-53A017, Revision 1, dated November 26, 2020. This service 
information specifies procedures for inspecting and modifying the VHF 
antenna attachments on the tail boom.
    The FAA also reviewed Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. 
EC120-53-018, Revision 0, dated November 26, 2020. This service 
information specifies procedures for repairing the tail boom if there 
is any corrosion or a crack at the VHF antenna attachments.

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 EASA AD 2021-0015. 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 these same type designs.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2021-0015, described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this proposed AD and except as discussed under 
``Differences Between this Proposed AD and the EASA AD.''

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD

[[Page 59657]]

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 2021-0015 by reference in the FAA 
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with 
EASA AD 2021-0015 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 2021-0015 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-
0015. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0015 for 
compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0887 after the FAA final 
rule is published.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0015 
specifies ``to check for corrosion under the VHF antenna base 
support,'' this proposed AD would require inspecting for corrosion 
because that action must be accomplished by a mechanic that meets the 
requirements of 14 CFR part 65 subpart D. Where the service information 
referenced in EASA AD 2021-0015 specifies to ``make sure that there is 
no aluminum oxide (white powder),'' ``make sure that there is no 
pitting corrosion,'' and ``make sure that there are no crack,'' this 
proposed AD would require inspecting for any aluminum oxide (white 
powder), pitting corrosion, and cracks instead. Where the service 
information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0015 specifies discarding parts, 
this proposed AD would require removing those parts from service 
instead.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 89 helicopters of 
U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on 
these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following 
costs in order to comply with this proposed AD.
    Inspecting and modifying each tail boom at VHF attachment would 
take about 4 work-hours and parts would cost about $4,745, for an 
estimated cost of $5,085 per helicopter and $452,565 for the U.S. 
fleet.
    If required, repairing the VHF antenna attachment at the tail boom 
would take up to 15 work-hours and parts would cost up to $7,812, for 
an estimated cost of up to $9,087 per helicopter.

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-2021-0887; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00045-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by December 13, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC120B helicopters, 
certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5302, Rotorcraft 
Tail Boom.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found on the 
external tail boom skin of a Model EC120B helicopter under the Very 
High Frequency antenna. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect 
corrosion in that area and prevent the degradation of the tail boom 
structure. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in 
possible roll-over during landing.

(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 AD 2021-0015, 
dated January 13, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0015).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0015

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0015 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where the service information referenced in paragraph (1) of 
EASA AD 2021-0015 specifies to check for corrosion, including to 
``make sure that there is no aluminum oxide (white powder),'' ``make 
sure that there is no pitting corrosion,'' and ``make sure that 
there are no crack,'' this AD requires inspecting for any aluminum 
oxide (white powder), pitting corrosion, and cracks.
    (3) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0015 specifies discarding parts, this AD requires removing those 
parts from service.

[[Page 59658]]

    (4) Where paragraph (4) of EASA AD 2021-0015 requires certain 
actions prior to the installation of a tail boom on any helicopter, 
including inspecting the tail boom, for this AD, the requirements of 
paragraph (h)(2) of this AD also apply to the inspection of the tail 
boom.
    (5) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ``Remarks'' 
section of EASA AD 2021-0015.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0015 
specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD 
does not include that requirement.

(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)(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.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For EASA AD 2021-0015, contact EASA, 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-2021-0887.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Gregory Koenig, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe & Administrative Services Section, 
Chicago ACO Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 2300 E 
Devon Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018; telephone (847) 294-7127; email 
[email protected].

    Issued on October 19, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-23233 Filed 10-27-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P