Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters, 59653-59655 [2021-23236]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 206 / Thursday, October 28, 2021 / Proposed Rules Signed in Washington, DC, on October 20, 2021. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2021–23242 Filed 10–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0886; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00341–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 EC120B helicopters. This proposed 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 were also found. This proposed AD would require an inspection (dimensional check) to verify conformity, and replacement of certain TRBs if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed for incorporation by reference (IBR). This proposed AD would also prohibit rework, repair, or modification of affected parts in the affected area of the TRB assembly root. 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. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For EASA material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may find the EASA material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222–5110. This material is also available at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0886. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0886; 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: 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. 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–2021–0886; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00341–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:// PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 59653 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 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. Any commentary that the FAA receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Background The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021–0079, dated March 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0079), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Helicopters EC120B helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of geometrical non-conformities in the 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 nonconformities were also found. The FAA is proposing this AD to address geometrical non-conformities of the TRB root section which, if not addressed, could result in crack initiation and TRB failure, and possibly result in loss of control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2021–0079 for additional background information. E:\FR\FM\28OCP1.SGM 28OCP1 59654 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 206 / Thursday, October 28, 2021 / Proposed Rules Other Related Rulemaking EASA issued EASA AD 2020–0282, dated December 17, 2020, address this issue on Model EC135 P1, EC135 P2, EC135 P2+, EC135 P3, EC135 T1, EC135 T2, EC135 T2+, EC135 T3, EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters, and the FAA issued corresponding AD 2021–16–10, Amendment 39–21672 (86 FR 50242, September 8, 2021). EASA issued EASA AD 2020–0187, dated August 21, 2020, to address this issue on Model EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters, and the FAA issued corresponding AD 2021–10–25, Amendment 39–21558 (86 FR 29176, June 1, 2021). Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2021–0079 requires an inspection (dimensional check) to verify TRB conformity, and replacement of certain TRBs if necessary. EASA AD 2021–0079 also prohibits rework, repair, or modification of affected parts in the critical section (affected area of the TRB assembly root). 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 2021–0079, 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 2021–0079 by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021–0079 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 2021–0079 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 2021–0079. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0079 for compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0886 after the FAA final rule is published. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would affect 89 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD. ESTIMATED COSTS Action Labor cost Inspection ........................................................ 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 ............. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the Cost per product Parts cost results of the proposed inspection. The agency has no way of determining the $0 $340 Cost on U.S. operators $30,260 number of aircraft that might need these replacements: jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 ON-CONDITION COSTS Action Labor cost Blade Replacement ...................................................... 10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850 ......................... The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate. According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected operators. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 27, 2021 Jkt 256001 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 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Parts cost $4,000 Cost per product $4,850 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 E:\FR\FM\28OCP1.SGM 28OCP1 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

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 206 (Thursday, October 28, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59653-59655]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-23236]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0886; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00341-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 EC120B helicopters. This proposed 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 were also found. This 
proposed AD would require an inspection (dimensional check) to verify 
conformity, and replacement of certain TRBs if necessary, as specified 
in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed 
for incorporation by reference (IBR). This proposed AD would also 
prohibit rework, repair, or modification of affected parts in the 
affected area of the TRB assembly root. 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 EASA material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact 
EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 
8999 000; email: [email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find the EASA material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, 
Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110. This material is also 
available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2021-0886.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0886; 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: 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: [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-2021-0886; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00341-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 
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: [email protected]. Any commentary that the FAA 
receives that is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in 
the public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0079, dated March 17, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0079), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus 
Helicopters EC120B helicopters.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report of geometrical non-
conformities in the 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 were also 
found. The FAA is proposing this AD to address geometrical non-
conformities of the TRB root section which, if not addressed, could 
result in crack initiation and TRB failure, and possibly result in loss 
of control of the helicopter. See EASA AD 2021-0079 for additional 
background information.

[[Page 59654]]

Other Related Rulemaking

    EASA issued EASA AD 2020-0282, dated December 17, 2020, address 
this issue on Model EC135 P1, EC135 P2, EC135 P2+, EC135 P3, EC135 T1, 
EC135 T2, EC135 T2+, EC135 T3, EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 
T2+, and EC635 T3 helicopters, and the FAA issued corresponding AD 
2021-16-10, Amendment 39-21672 (86 FR 50242, September 8, 2021).
    EASA issued EASA AD 2020-0187, dated August 21, 2020, to address 
this issue on Model EC130B4 and EC130T2 helicopters, and the FAA issued 
corresponding AD 2021-10-25, Amendment 39-21558 (86 FR 29176, June 1, 
2021).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0079 requires an inspection (dimensional check) to 
verify TRB conformity, and replacement of certain TRBs if necessary. 
EASA AD 2021-0079 also prohibits rework, repair, or modification of 
affected parts in the critical section (affected area of the TRB 
assembly root).
    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 2021-0079, 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 2021-0079 by reference in the FAA 
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with 
EASA AD 2021-0079 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 2021-0079 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-
0079. Service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0079 for 
compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0886 after the FAA final 
rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 89 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at 
$85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, 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............................  4 work-hours x $85 per                $0            $340         $30,260
                                         hour = $340.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary 
replacements 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 replacements:

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                    Action                                 Labor cost               Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blade Replacement.............................  10 work-hours x $85 per hour =            $4,000          $4,850
                                                 $850.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate. 
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this 
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost 
impact on affected operators.

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

[[Page 59655]]

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-2021-0886; 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.

(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 were also found. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect 
and correct geometrical non-conformities 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: [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 2021-0079, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 
50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: 
[email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may view this 
material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest 
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
(817) 222-5110. This material may be found in the AD docket at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2021-0886.
    (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: [email protected].

    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]
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