2018-10918. Airworthiness Directives; AgustaWestland S.p.A. Helicopters  

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    AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for AgustaWestland S.p.A. (AgustaWestland) Model AW189 helicopters. This proposed AD would require replacing the tail plane lower fitting with an improved tail plane lower fitting. This proposed AD is prompted by reports of cracks on the tail plane fittings of Model AW189 helicopters. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 23, 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-2017-1081; 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 Start Printed Page 23828other 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 Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/​-/​bulletins. 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.

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    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations & Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email martin.r.crane@faa.gov.

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    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. 2016-0161, dated August 8, 2016, to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo Helicopters (previously Finmeccanica S.p.A, AgustaWestand) Model AW189 helicopters. EASA advises that some cracks have been reported in-service on the tail plane fitting of AW189 helicopters following an onset of abnormal play. According to EASA, this condition, if not detected and corrected, could jeopardize structural integrity of the helicopter. EASA further advises that Leonardo Helicopters developed a tail plane lower fitting with an improved design (part number 8G0000P00511). Accordingly, EASA AD No. 2016-0161 requires repetitive inspections of the tail plane lower fitting assembly until the improved tail plane lower fitting is installed.

    Because the FAA is in the process of updating AgustaWestland's name changes to Finmeccanica S.p.A. and then to Leonardo Helicopters on its FAA type certificate, this proposed AD specifies AgustaWestland as the type certificate holder.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Italy, 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

    We reviewed Leonardo Helicopters Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 189-038, Revision B, dated October 13, 2016, which specifies repetitively inspecting the tail plane assembly for a crack.

    We also reviewed BT No. 189-070, Revision A, dated October 13, 2016, which provides instructions for replacing the tail plane lower fitting with the improved tail plane lower fitting, retromodification part number (P/N) 8G0000P00511.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require, within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS), replacing the tail plane fitting with tail plane retromodification kit P/N 8G0000P00511.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD requires inspecting the tail plane lower fitting for play within 50 flight hours and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 25 flight hours. If a crack or other damage exists, the EASA AD requires the improved tail plane lower fitting be installed within 10 flight hours. If no crack exists, the EASA AD requires that the improved tail plane lower fitting be installed within 200 flight hours or 2 months, whichever occurs first. This proposed AD would not require inspections and would require installing the improved tail plane lower fitting within 50 hours TIS.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 2 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect that replacing the tail plane lower fitting with an improved tail plane lower fitting would require 64 work-hours and parts would cost $15,424 for a total cost of $20,864 per helicopter and $41,728 for the U.S. fleet.

    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; andStart Printed Page 23829

    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.

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    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    • Air transportation
    • Aircraft
    • Aviation safety
    • Incorporation by reference
    • Safety
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    The Proposed Amendment

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

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    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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

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

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    AgustaWestland S.p.A.: Docket No. FAA-2017-1081; Product Identifier 2017-SW-090-AD.

    (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to AgustaWestland S.p.A. Model AW189 helicopters, certificated in any category, with a tail plane lower fitting P/N 8G5350A07051 installed.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack on a tail plane fitting, which could result in failure of the tail plane fitting and loss of helicopter control.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 23, 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, install tail plane retromodification kit part number 8G0000P00511.

    (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: Martin R. Crane, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations & Policy 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

    (1) Leonardo Helicopters Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 189-038, Revision B, and BT No. 189-070, Revision A, both dated October 13, 2016, which are not incorporated by reference, contain additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Leonardo S.p.A. Helicopters, Matteo Ragazzi, Head of Airworthiness, Viale G.Agusta 520, 21017 C.Costa di Samarate (Va) Italy; telephone +39-0331-711756; fax +39-0331-229046; or at http://www.leonardocompany.com/​-/​bulletins. 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.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0161, dated August 8, 2016. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 5510, Horizontal Stabilizer Structure.

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    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 15, 2018.

    Scott A. Horn,

    Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

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    [FR Doc. 2018-10918 Filed 5-22-18; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

Document Information

Published:
05/23/2018
Department:
Transportation Department
Agency:
Federal Aviation Administration
EntryType:
Proposed Rule
Action:
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
Document Number:
2018-10918
Dates:
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 23, 2018.
Pages:
23827-23829 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. FAA-2017-1081, Product Identifier 2017-SW-090-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:
2018-10918.pdf
CFR: (1)
14 CFR 39.13