2018-09982. Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters  

  • Start Preamble Start Printed Page 21964

    AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model AS-365N2 and AS 365 N3 helicopters with a lower strobe light installed. This proposed AD would require installing a cable mount, inspecting the lower strobe light wiring harness, and re-routing the wiring harness. This proposed AD is prompted by reports of interference between the lower strobe light wiring harness and the helicopter structure. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to prevent an unsafe condition on these helicopters.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 10, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
    • Fax: 202-493-2251.
    • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0418; 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 proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    For service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/​website/​en/​ref/​Technical-Support_​73.html. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Start Further Info

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email george.schwab@faa.gov.

    End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2016-0258, dated December 16, 2016, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model AS 365 N2 and AS 365 N3 helicopters with certain serial numbers and configurations. EASA advises of in-production helicopters with lower strobe light wiring harnesses that were interfering with either the helicopter structure or the adjacent fuel tank support. EASA further states that an investigation determined that the electrical harnesses of these lower strobe lights were manufactured with additional length to facilitate removal and installation of the lower strobe light assembly. However, the additional length of wiring in the harness was not properly secured to the helicopter structure. According to EASA, this could result in chafing of the harness on the helicopter structure, creating an ignition source adjacent to the inboard fuel tank vapor space, and result in a fuel tank fire.

    To address this unsafe condition, the EASA AD requires installing a cable mount, inspecting the lower strobe light electrical harness for damage, and re-routing the electrical harness.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. AS365-05.00.73, Revision 1, dated December 12, 2016 (ASB AS365-05.00.73), which specifies procedures for inspecting the lower strobe light electrical harness for interference and chafing with the helicopter structure and also specifies procedures for installing a cable mount to secure the electrical harness. These procedures correspond to Airbus Helicopters modification (MOD) 365P084778.00.

    This service information 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.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require, within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS), installing a cable mount on the helicopter structure and inspecting the lower strobe light electrical harness and the electrical harness between the cut-off connector and Frame 2000 for torn spiral tape and for any chafing on the harness cables. If the spiral tape is torn, the proposed AD would require, before further flight, replacing the spiral tape. Start Printed Page 21965If there is any chafing on the cable the proposed AD would require, before further flight, replacing the harness.

    Helicopters in a MOD 365P084778.00 configuration have already accomplished the actions required by this proposed AD.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD limits the applicability to helicopters with a lower strobe light installed and with certain serial numbers or that are in a configuration based upon a modification, service information, or engineering drawings. This proposed AD would apply to all Model AS 365 N2 and AS 365 N3 helicopters with a lower strobe light installed.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 30 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. At an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour, installing a cable mount and inspecting the strobe light wiring harnesses would require about 1 hour, and required parts would cost about $50, for a cost per helicopter of $135 and a total cost of $4,050 to all U.S. operators.

    If required, replacing torn spiral tape would require about 1 work-hour, and required parts would cost $45, for a cost per helicopter of $130.

    If required, replacing a chafed wiring harness between the cut-off connector and Frame 2000 would require about 3 work-hours, and required parts would cost $90, for a cost per helicopter of $345.

    If required, replacing a chafed lower strobe light wiring harness would require about 3 work-hours, and required parts would cost $154, for a cost per helicopter of $409

    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.

    We are 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

    We 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, I certify this proposed regulation:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

    2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction; and

    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    We prepared an economic evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    Start List of Subjects

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    • Air transportation
    • Aircraft
    • Aviation safety
    • Incorporation by reference
    • Safety
    End List of Subjects

    The Proposed Amendment

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

    Start Part

    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

    End Part Start Amendment Part

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

    End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

    End Authority
    [Amended]
    Start Amendment Part

    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

    End Amendment Part

    Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2018-0418; Product Identifier 2017-SW-016-AD.

    (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS-365N2 and AS 365 N3 helicopters, certificated in any category, with a lower strobe light installed.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as interference between the lower strobe light electrical harness wiring and the helicopter structure. This condition could result in chafing of an electrical harness adjacent to the inboard fuel tank vapor space, a fuel tank fire, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 10, 2018.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    Within 50 hours time-in-service:

    (1) Install cable mount part number (P/N) ASMS-A to the helicopter structure as depicted in Figure 1, Detail A and Detail C, of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS365-05.00.73, Revision 1, dated December 12, 2016 (ASB AS365-05.00.73).

    (2) Inspect the lower strobe light harness and the harness between the cut-off connector and Frame 2000 for tears in the spiral tape and for chafing of the harness wires. If there is a tear in the spiral tape, before further flight, replace the spiral tape. If there is any chafing, before further flight, replace the chafed harness.

    (3) Route the lower strobe light harness and the harness between the cut-off connector and Frame 2000 and secure as depicted in Figure 1, Detail A and Section B-B, of ASB AS365-05.00.73.

    Note 1 to paragraph (e) of this AD:

    Airbus Helicopters identifies the actions in ASB AS365-05.00.73 as Modification 365P084778.00.

    (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: George Schwab, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 9-ASW-FTW-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov.

    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

    (g) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0258, dated December 30, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.Start Printed Page 21966

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 3340 Lights.

    Start Signature

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 1, 2018.

    Lance T. Gant,

    Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

    End Signature End Supplemental Information

    [FR Doc. 2018-09982 Filed 5-10-18; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

Document Information

Published:
05/11/2018
Department:
Transportation Department
Agency:
Federal Aviation Administration
EntryType:
Proposed Rule
Action:
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
Document Number:
2018-09982
Dates:
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 10, 2018.
Pages:
21964-21966 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. FAA-2018-0418, Product Identifier 2017-SW-016-AD
RIN:
2120-AA64: Airworthiness Directives
RINLinks:
https://www.federalregister.gov/regulations/2120-AA64/airworthiness-directives
SectionNoes:
39.13
Topics:
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety
PDF File:
2018-09982.pdf
Supporting Documents:
» Supporting AD Documents
CFR: (1)
14 CFR 39.13