Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters, 6091-6094 [2022-02073]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 23 / Thursday, February 3, 2022 / Proposed Rules § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive: ■ Piper Aircraft, Inc.: Docket No. FAA–2022– 0222; Project Identifier AD–2020–01264– A. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by March 21, 2022. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to Piper Aircraft, Inc., Model PA–34–200 airplanes, serial numbers 34–7250001 through 34–7450220, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 3220, Nose/Tail Landing Gear. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by the determination that the life limit for alternate bolts that attach the drag link to the nose gear were not included as airworthiness limitations. The FAA is issuing this AD to establish a life limit on bolt part numbers 693–215 and NAS6207–50D that attach the drag link to the nose gear trunnion. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the nose landing gear and lead to loss of airplane control during takeoff, landing, or taxi operations. or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (i) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact John Marshall, Aviation Safety Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; phone: (404) 474–5524; email: john.r.marshall@faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32960; phone: (772) 299–2141; website: https:// www.piper.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222–5110. Issued on January 27, 2022. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2022–02072 Filed 2–2–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2022–0024; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00994–R] (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. RIN 2120–AA64 (g) Actions (1) Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, incorporate into the maintenance records required by 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2) or 135.439(a)(2) for your airplane a life limit of 500 hours for bolt part numbers 693–215 and NAS6207–50D. Note to paragraph (g)(1): Piper Seneca Service Manual, Airworthiness Limitations, 753–817, page 1–1, dated November 30, 2019, contains the life limit in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD. (2) Thereafter, except as provided in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, no alternative replacement times may be approved for these bolts. AGENCY: (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Atlanta ACO 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 certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 02, 2022 Jkt 256001 Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021–17–18, which applies to all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. AD 2021–17–18 requires an inspection of certain tail rotor (TR) sleeve assemblies for discrepancies, an inspection of certain TR shaft assemblies for discrepancies, a repetitive measurement of the position of the bushing of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch change slider assembly, and corrective actions if necessary. Since the FAA issued AD 2021–17–18, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to require repetitive inspections of certain TR sleeve assemblies and corrective actions. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2021–17–18; and would also require repetitive inspections of the TR sleeve assemblies, and corrective actions if necessary, as SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 6091 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. The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 21, 2022. DATES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact the EASA, KonradAdenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 000; email: ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. It is also available in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2022–0024. ADDRESSES: Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2022–0024; 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. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228–7330; email: andrea.jimenez@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 6092 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 23 / Thursday, February 3, 2022 / Proposed Rules 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–2022–0024; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00994–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 proposal. Confidential Business Information khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 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, 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. TR sleeve assemblies for discrepancies, an inspection of certain TR shaft assemblies for discrepancies, a repetitive measurement of the position of the bushing of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch change slider assembly, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA issued AD 2021– 17–18 to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the helicopter. Actions Since AD 2021–17–18 Was Issued The preamble to AD 2021–17–18 explains that the FAA was considering further rulemaking to address the actions specified in paragraphs (5) and (9) of EASA AD 2021–0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0144). The FAA has now determined that further rulemaking is indeed necessary, and this proposed AD follows from that determination. The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021–0144 (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Leonardo S.p.a. (formerly Finmeccanica S.p.A, AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.) Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that additional actions are required to address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD was also prompted by a report of a crack on the TR mast. The FAA is proposing this AD to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information. Background Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 This proposed AD would require EASA AD 2021–0144, which the Director of the Federal Register approved for incorporation by reference as of September 7, 2021 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021). 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. The FAA issued AD 2021–17–18, Amendment 39–21701 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021) (AD 2021–17–18), which applies to all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. AD 2021– 17–18 requires an inspection of certain FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD These products have been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the bilateral agreement with the State of VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 02, 2022 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all the relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2021–0144 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ‘‘Difference Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.’’ Explanation of Required Compliance Information In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2021– 0144 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021–0144 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 the EASA AD 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 the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2021–0144 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2021–0144 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2022–0024 after the FAA final rule is published. Difference Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies the inspection must be done within 25 flight hours or 3 months, whichever occurs first. However, this AD requires the inspection to be done within 25 hours time-in-service after E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 6093 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 23 / Thursday, February 3, 2022 / Proposed Rules September 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021–17–18). will enable the manufacturer to obtain better insight into the nature, cause, and extent of the cracking, and eventually to develop final action to address the unsafe condition. Once final action has been identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking. Interim Action The FAA considers this proposed AD interim action. The inspection reports that are required by this proposed AD Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 133 helicopters of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Action Labor cost Retained Inspections/from AD 2021– 17–18. Up to 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 per inspection/measurement cycle. Up to 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle. New proposed Repetitive Inspections The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions (replacements, repairs, and Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Up to $510 per inspection/measurement cycle. Up to $85 per inspection cycle. Up to $67,830 per inspection/measurement cycle. Up to $11,305 per inspection cycle. Parts cost $0 0 reporting) 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 * Action Labor cost Parts cost Retained Replacements ............... Retained Reporting ....................... 19 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,615 ............................................. 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 ...................................................... $88,760 0 Cost per product Up to $90,375. $85. * The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this proposed AD. However, the cost for restoring solid film lubricant is considered to be negligible. According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all known costs in the cost estimate. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Paperwork Reduction Act A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD is 2120– 0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this proposed AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 02, 2022 Jkt 256001 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177– 1524. 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 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 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: ■ 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 PO 00000 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. Sfmt 4702 Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by: a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021–17–18, Amendment 39– ■ ■ E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1 6094 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 23 / Thursday, February 3, 2022 / Proposed Rules 21701 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021); and ■ b. Adding the following new AD: Leonardo S.p.a.: Docket No. FAA–2022– 0024; Project Identifier MCAI–2021– 00994–R. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments by March 21, 2022. (b) Affected Airworthiness Directives (ADs) This AD replaces AD 2021–17–18, Amendment 39–21701 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021) (AD 2021–17–18). (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6400, Tail Rotor System. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the tail rotor (TR) mast. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the helicopter. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS (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 2021–0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0144). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0144 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0144 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using September 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021–17–18). (2) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0144 does not apply to this AD. (3) Where EASA AD 2021–0144 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD requires using hours time-in-service. (4) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021– 0144 specifies a compliance time of 25 FH or 3 months, whichever occurs first, this AD requires compliance within 25 hours time-inservice after September 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021–17–18). (5) Where Note 1 of EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies a tolerance of 30 FH, this AD does not allow a tolerance. (6) The initial compliance time for the inspection specified in paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2021–0144 is at the compliance time specified in paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2021–0144, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. (7) Where paragraph (6) of EASA AD 2021– 0144 states the term ‘‘discrepancies,’’ for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:46 Feb 02, 2022 Jkt 256001 dents, corrosion, elongation, scratches, wear, excessive wear (web visible), fretting, or stepping. (8) Where paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021– 0144 states the term ‘‘discrepancies,’’ for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include abnormal wear condition, corrosion, fretting, crack, or damage (including dents, elongation, scratches, or stepping). (9) Where EASA AD 2021–0144 defines ‘‘serviceable part,’’ and that definition specifies instructions that are ‘‘approved under Leonardo Design Organization Approval (DOA) or by EASA,’’ for this AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (10) Where Note 2 and paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021–0144 specify instructions that are ‘‘approved under Leonardo DOA or by EASA,’’ for this AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (11) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies to contact the manufacturer for corrective action, this AD requires the repair to be done in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (12) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0144 specifies to discard a certain part, this AD requires removing that part from service. (i) 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. (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: 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 (1) For EASA AD 2021–0144, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Cologne, Germany; phone: +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. 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 on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2022–0024. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228–7330; email: andrea.jimenez@faa.gov. Issued on January 27, 2022. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2022–02073 Filed 2–2–22; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD 20 CFR Part 220 RIN 3220–AB77 Consultative Examinations Railroad Retirement Board. Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Railroad Retirement Board proposes to amend its regulations concerning consultative examinations used in adjudication of claims for disability annuities. The amendment will permit psychological and psychiatric consultative examinations to be conducted through the use of video teleconferencing technology. The amendment will allow the remote conduct of examinations where physical contact is not required and will facilitate medical evaluations when physical proximity is not feasible. DATES: Submit comments on or before April 4, 2022. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, identified by RIN number, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: https:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for sending comments. Email: SecretarytotheBoard@RRB.gov. Include RIN 3220–AB77 in the subject line of the message. Mail: Secretary to the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 N Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611–1275. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marguerite P. Dadabo, (312) 751–4945, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03FEP1.SGM 03FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 23 (Thursday, February 3, 2022)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 6091-6094]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-02073]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2022-0024; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00994-R]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a. Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2021-17-18, which applies to all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, 
A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. AD 2021-17-18 requires an 
inspection of certain tail rotor (TR) sleeve assemblies for 
discrepancies, an inspection of certain TR shaft assemblies for 
discrepancies, a repetitive measurement of the position of the bushing 
of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch change slider 
assembly, and corrective actions if necessary. Since the FAA issued AD 
2021-17-18, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to require 
repetitive inspections of certain TR sleeve assemblies and corrective 
actions. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2021-17-
18; and would also require repetitive inspections of the TR sleeve 
assemblies, and corrective actions if necessary, 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 March 21, 
2022.

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 material that is proposed for IBR in this AD, contact the EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 8999 
000; email: [email protected]; internet: www.easa.europa.eu. You may 
find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, 
Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call 817-222-5110. It is also available in the AD 
docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2022-0024.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0024; 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. Comments will be available in the AD docket 
shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, 
COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 
Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; 
email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 6092]]

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-2022-0024; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00994-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 proposal.

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, 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 FAA issued AD 2021-17-18, Amendment 39-21701 (86 FR 46766, 
August 20, 2021) (AD 2021-17-18), which applies to all Leonardo S.p.a. 
Model A109C, A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters. AD 2021-17-
18 requires an inspection of certain TR sleeve assemblies for 
discrepancies, an inspection of certain TR shaft assemblies for 
discrepancies, a repetitive measurement of the position of the bushing 
of the TR sleeve assembly in relation to the pitch change slider 
assembly, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA issued AD 2021-
17-18 to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead to failure 
of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Actions Since AD 2021-17-18 Was Issued

    The preamble to AD 2021-17-18 explains that the FAA was considering 
further rulemaking to address the actions specified in paragraphs (5) 
and (9) of EASA AD 2021-0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0144). 
The FAA has now determined that further rulemaking is indeed necessary, 
and this proposed AD follows from that determination.
    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0144 (also referred to as the 
Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to 
correct an unsafe condition for all Leonardo S.p.a. (formerly 
Finmeccanica S.p.A, AgustaWestland S.p.A., Agusta S.p.A.) Model A109C, 
A109K2, A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that additional 
actions are required to address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD 
was also prompted by a report of a crack on the TR mast. The FAA is 
proposing this AD to address cracking on the TR mast, which could lead 
to failure of the TR mast, with consequent loss of control of the 
helicopter. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    This proposed AD would require EASA AD 2021-0144, which the 
Director of the Federal Register approved for incorporation by 
reference as of September 7, 2021 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021). 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 and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    These products have been approved by the aviation authority of 
another country, and are approved for operation in the United States. 
Pursuant to the bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, 
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI 
referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all the 
relevant information and determining the unsafe condition described 
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same 
type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2021-0144 described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ``Difference 
Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.''

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2021-0144 will be 
incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD 
would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021-0144 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 the EASA AD 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 the EASA AD. Service information specified 
in EASA AD 2021-0144 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2021-
0144 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov 
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0024 after the FAA 
final rule is published.

Difference Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies the inspection must be 
done within 25 flight hours or 3 months, whichever occurs first. 
However, this AD requires the inspection to be done within 25 hours 
time-in-service after

[[Page 6093]]

September 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021-17-18).

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this proposed AD interim action. The inspection 
reports that are required by this proposed AD will enable the 
manufacturer to obtain better insight into the nature, cause, and 
extent of the cracking, and eventually to develop final action to 
address the unsafe condition. Once final action has been identified, 
the FAA might consider further rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 133 helicopters of 
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost        Parts cost      Cost per product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retained Inspections/from AD 2021- Up to 6 work-hours               $0  Up to $510 per       Up to $67,830 per
 17-18.                             x $85 per hour =                     inspection/          inspection/
                                    $510 per                             measurement cycle.   measurement cycle.
                                    inspection/
                                    measurement cycle.
New proposed Repetitive            Up to 1 work-hour x               0  Up to $85 per        Up to $11,305 per
 Inspections.                       $85 per hour = $85                   inspection cycle.    inspection cycle.
                                    per inspection
                                    cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions (replacements, repairs, and reporting) 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 *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Action                        Labor cost          Parts cost            Cost per product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retained Replacements................  19 work-hours x $85 per         $88,760  Up to $90,375.
                                        hour = $1,615.
Retained Reporting...................  1 work-hour x $85 per                 0  $85.
                                        hour = $85.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates for the on-condition repairs
  specified in this proposed AD. However, the cost for restoring solid film lubricant is considered to be
  negligible.

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for 
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of 
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control 
number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD 
is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has 
been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and 
includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and 
reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting 
associated with this proposed AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the 
accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should 
be directed to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal 
Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177-
1524.

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:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2021-17-18, Amendment 39-

[[Page 6094]]

21701 (86 FR 46766, August 20, 2021); and
0
b. Adding the following new AD:

Leonardo S.p.a.: Docket No. FAA-2022-0024; Project Identifier MCAI-
2021-00994-R.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments by March 21, 2022.

(b) Affected Airworthiness Directives (ADs)

    This AD replaces AD 2021-17-18, Amendment 39-21701 (86 FR 46766, 
August 20, 2021) (AD 2021-17-18).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Leonardo S.p.a. Model A109C, A109K2, 
A109E, A109S, and AW109SP helicopters, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 6400, Tail Rotor 
System.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of a crack on the tail rotor 
(TR) mast. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking on the TR 
mast, which could lead to failure of the TR mast, with consequent 
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 
2021-0144, dated June 17, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0144).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0144

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0144 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using September 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021-
17-18).
    (2) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2021-0144 does not apply 
to this AD.
    (3) Where EASA AD 2021-0144 refers to flight hours (FH), this AD 
requires using hours time-in-service.
    (4) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies a 
compliance time of 25 FH or 3 months, whichever occurs first, this 
AD requires compliance within 25 hours time-in-service after 
September 7, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021-17-18).
    (5) Where Note 1 of EASA AD 2021-0144 specifies a tolerance of 
30 FH, this AD does not allow a tolerance.
    (6) The initial compliance time for the inspection specified in 
paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2021-0144 is at the compliance time 
specified in paragraph (5) of EASA AD 2021-0144, or within 30 days 
after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.
    (7) Where paragraph (6) of EASA AD 2021-0144 states the term 
``discrepancies,'' for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include 
dents, corrosion, elongation, scratches, wear, excessive wear (web 
visible), fretting, or stepping.
    (8) Where paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021-0144 states the term 
``discrepancies,'' for the purposes of this AD discrepancies include 
abnormal wear condition, corrosion, fretting, crack, or damage 
(including dents, elongation, scratches, or stepping).
    (9) Where EASA AD 2021-0144 defines ``serviceable part,'' and 
that definition specifies instructions that are ``approved under 
Leonardo Design Organization Approval (DOA) or by EASA,'' for this 
AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method approved by the 
Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.'s EASA DOA. If 
approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized 
signature.
    (10) Where Note 2 and paragraph (7) of EASA AD 2021-0144 specify 
instructions that are ``approved under Leonardo DOA or by EASA,'' 
for this AD, the repair must be accomplished using a method approved 
by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.'s 
EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-
authorized signature.
    (11) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0144 specifies to contact the manufacturer for corrective action, 
this AD requires the repair to be done in accordance with a method 
approved by the Manager, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Leonardo S.p.a.'s 
EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-
authorized signature.
    (12) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0144 specifies to discard a certain part, this AD requires removing 
that part from service.

(i) 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.

(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 2021-0144, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-
Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +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. 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 
on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0024.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Andrea Jimenez, 
Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational 
Safety Branch, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 
11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; email: [email protected].

    Issued on January 27, 2022.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-02073 Filed 2-2-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P