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Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter Deutschland Model EC135 P1 and T1 Helicopters

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.


Final rule.


This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to Eurocopter Deutschland Model EC135 P1 and T1 helicopters. That AD currently requires visual and dye-penetrant inspections for a cracked stator blade of the fenestron tail rotor (tail rotor). That AD also requires either stop drilling a cracked blade or, as necessary, replacing an unairworthy stator blade with an airworthy stator blade. This amendment requires replacing the existing stator blade assembly with a new stator blade assembly that incorporates a reinforced base and modified riveting and limits the applicability to certain serial numbered tail booms. This amendment is prompted by additional reports of cracked stator blades of the tail rotor. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent failure of the tail rotor and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.


January 26, 2001.

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Richard Monschke, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137, telephone (817) 222-5116, fax (817) 222-5961.

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A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) by superseding AD 97-20-13, Amendment 39-10240 (62 FR 65198), which is applicable to Eurocopter Deutschland Model EC135 P1 and T1 helicopters, was published in the Federal Register on September 18, 2000 (65 FR 56276). That action proposed to require replacing any stator blade assembly, part number (P/N) L 535A4201 052, with a stator blade assembly, P/N L 535A4201 053, that incorporates a reinforced base and modified riveting. That action also proposed limiting the applicability to certain serial numbered tail booms.

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. No comments were received on the proposal or the FAA's determination of the cost to the public. The FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed.

The FAA estimates that 25 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 12 work hours per helicopter to accomplish the required actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. The manufacturer states in its service bulletin that parts and labor will be furnished at no cost. Based on that information, there is no cost impact from the AD on U.S. operators.

The regulations adopted herein will 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. Therefore, it is determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) 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. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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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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2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendment 39-10240 (

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2000-26-02 Eurocopter Deutschland: Amendment 39-12049. Docket No. 2000-SW-19-AD. Supersedes AD 97-20-13, Amendment 39-10240, Docket No. 97-SW-46-AD.

Applicability: Model EC135 P1 and T1 helicopters, with tail boom serial number EVL 001 through EVL 045, installed, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each helicopter identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For helicopters that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (b) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Compliance: Required within 90 days, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of the stator blades of the fenestron tail rotor and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, accomplish the following:

(a) Replace stator blade assembly, part number (P/N) L 535A4201 052, with stator blade assembly, P/N L 535A4201 053.

(b) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Regulations Group, Rotorcraft Directorate. Operators shall submit their requests through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may concur or comment and then send it to the Manager, Regulations Group.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Regulations Group.

(c) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the helicopter to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

(d) This amendment becomes effective on January 26, 2001.

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Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 11, 2000.

Henry A. Armstrong,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-32553 Filed 12-21-00; 8:45 am]