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Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Model A109E Helicopters

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109E helicopters that requires modifying the passenger compartment sliding doors by installing certain locking mechanism kits. This amendment is prompted by accidental opening of a passenger compartment sliding door (door) in flight due to a door locking mechanism that is too easy to accidentally open. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent accidental opening of a door in flight and subsequent loss of objects that could damage the rotor system.

DATES:

Effective November 7, 2001.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 7, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Agusta, 21017 Cascina Costa di Samarate (VA) Italy, Via Giovanni Agusta 520, telephone 39 (0331) 229111, fax 39 (0331) 229605-222595. This information may be examined at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 Start Printed Page 50307North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard Monschke, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Rotorcraft Standards Staff, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5116, fax (817) 222-5961.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD for Agusta Model A109E helicopters was published in the Federal Register on June 25, 2001 (66 FR 33651). That action proposed to require modifying the doors installed on Agusta S.p.A. Model A109E helicopters up to and including serial number 11099 by installing door-locking mechanism kits, part number 109-0823-03-101 and -102, within 90 days.

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 11 helicopters of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD and that it will take approximately 8 work hours per helicopter to modify the doors. The average labor rate is $60 per work hour. The manufacturer states in its alert service bulletin that it will reimburse 8 work hours at $40 per work hour and will supply the parts to modify the locking mechanism on the doors. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $1760.

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 location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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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]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive to read as follows:

2001-20-04 Agusta S.p.A.: Amendment 39-12450. Docket No. 2001 SW-09 AD.

Applicability: Model A109E helicopters, up to and including serial number 11099, 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 accidental opening of a passenger compartment door (door) during flight, accomplish the following:

(a) Modify each passenger compartment sliding door by installing locking mechanism kits, part number (P/N) 109-0823-03-101 and -102, in accordance with the Compliance Instructions of Agusta Bollettino Tecnico No. 109EP-16, dated December 21, 2000.

(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, FAA. 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 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199 to operate the helicopter to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

(d) The modification shall be done in accordance with the Compliance Instructions of Agusta Bollettino Tecnico No. 109EP-16, dated December 21, 2000. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from Agusta, 21017 Cascina Costa di Samarate (VA) Italy, Via Giovanni Agusta 520, telephone 39 (0331) 229111, fax 39 (0331) 229605-222595. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

(e) This amendment becomes effective on November 7, 2001.

The subject of this AD is addressed in Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile (Italy) AD 2001-019, dated January 5, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 24, 2001.

David A. Downey,

Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-24623 Filed 10-2-01; 8:45 am]

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