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Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Model A109E and A119 Helicopters

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109E and A119 helicopters. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the Technical Agent for Italy, with which we have a bilateral agreement, states in the MCAI: “Some cases of interference between the hydraulic pipe, P/N 109-0761-65-103, and the tail rotor control Start Printed Page 40961rod assembly have been detected on Model A109E helicopters * * * The interference, if not corrected, could damage the hydraulic pipes and lead to the loss of the hydraulic system No. 1 in flight. This AD * * * is issued to extend the same mandatory corrective actions to A119 model due to its design similarity with A109E.”

This AD requires actions that are intended to address this unsafe condition.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective on August 21, 2008.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 21, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations office, U.S. Department of Transportation, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

You may get the service information identified in this AD from Agusta, 21017 Cascina Costa di Samarate (VA) Italy, Via Giovanni Agusta 520, telephone 39 (0331) 229111, fax 39 (0331) 229605-222595.

Examining The AD Docket: The AD docket contains the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address and operating hours for the Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) are in the ADDRESSES section of this AD. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after they are received.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Uday Garadi, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5123, fax (817) 222-5961.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to Agusta Model A109E and A119 helicopters on March 10, 2008. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on March 19, 2008 (73 FR 14733). That NPRM proposed the following:

  • Within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS, inspecting for interference between the hydraulic lines, part number (P/N) 109-0761-64-103 and P/N 109-0761-65-103, and the tail rotor control rod assembly, P/N 109-0032-01-41, and, if interference is found, replacing the hydraulic lines with hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0763-96-101 and P/N 109-0763-97-101.
  • Within 180 days, replacing hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0761-64-103 and P/N 109-0761-65-103, with hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0763-96-101 and P/N 109-0763-97-101.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI and any related service information in the AD docket.

Comments

By publishing the NPRM, we gave the public an opportunity to participate in developing this AD. However, we received no comment on the NPRM or on our determination of the cost to the public. Therefore, based on our review and evaluation of the available data, we have determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Relevant Service Information

Agusta has issued Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 109EP-73, dated December 4, 2006, applicable to Model A109E helicopters, and BT No. 119-22, dated July 11, 2007, applicable to Model A119 helicopters. The actions described in the MCAI are intended to correct the same unsafe condition as that identified in the service information.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. However, this AD requires replacing the hydraulic lines within 180 days, unless previously accomplished, instead of replacing the hydraulic lines on the dates specified in the MCAI. In making this change, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information. This difference is highlighted in the “Differences Between This AD and the MCAI” section in the AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect about 78 helicopters of U.S. registry and that it will take about 2 work-hours per helicopter to inspect and 16 work-hours per helicopter to replace the hydraulic lines. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $562 per helicopter, assuming these parts are no longer under warranty. However, because the service information lists these parts as covered under warranty, we have assumed that there is no charge for these parts. Therefore, as we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $112,320, or $1,440 per helicopter.

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 product(s) identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD 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, I certify this AD:

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); 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.

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

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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, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

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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 AD:

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2008-14-05 Agusta. S.p.A.: Amendment 39-15600. Docket No. FAA-2008-0327; Directorate Identifier 2007-SW-21-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective on August 21, 2008.

Other Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Agusta S.p.A. Model A109E and A119 helicopters, with hydraulic lines, part number (P/N) 109-0761-64-103 or P/N 109-0761-65-103, installed, certificated in any category.

Reason

(d) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states: “Some cases of interference between the hydraulic pipe, P/N 109-0761-65-103, and the tail rotor control rod assembly have been detected on Model A109E helicopters * * * The interference, if not corrected, could damage the hydraulic pipes and lead to the loss of the hydraulic system No. 1 in flight. This AD * * * is issued to extend the same mandatory corrective actions to A119 model due to its design similarity with A109E.”

This AD requires actions that are intended to address this unsafe condition.

Actions and Compliance

(e) Within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS), unless accomplished previously, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS:

(1) Inspect for interference between the hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0761-64-103 and P/N 109-0761-65-103, and the tail rotor control rod assembly, P/N 109-0032-01-41, in accordance with the Compliance Instructions, Part I, paragraph 3, of Agusta Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 109EP-73, dated December 4, 2006 (BT A109E), which is applicable to Model A109E helicopters, or BT 119-22, dated July 11, 2007 (BT 119-22), which is applicable to Model A119 helicopters.

(2) If you find interference between the hydraulic lines and the tail rotor control rod assembly, replace the hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0761-64-103 and P/N 109-0761-65-103, with hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0763-96-101 and P/N 109-0763-97-101, respectively, in accordance with the Compliance Instructions, Part II of BT A109E or BT 119-22, whichever is applicable to your model helicopter.

(f) Within 180 days, replace hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0761-64-103 and P/N 109-0761-65-103, with hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0763-96-101 and P/N 109-0763-97-101, respectively, in accordance with the Compliance Instructions, Part II, of BT A109E or BT 119-22, whichever is applicable to your model helicopter.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI

(g) This AD requires replacement of hydraulic lines, P/N 109-0761-64-103 and P/N 109-0761-65-103, within 180 days, unless previously accomplished, instead of replacing the hydraulic lines on the dates specified in the MCAI.

Other Information

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Uday Garadi, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, Rotorcraft Directorate, Regulations and Guidance Group, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0110, telephone (817) 222-5123, fax (817) 222-5961.

Related Information

(i) MCAI EASA AD No 2007-0231, dated August 23, 2007, contains related information.

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Tracking Code

(j) ATA Code 2910—Main Hydraulic System.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(k) You must use the specified portions of Agusta Bollettino Tecnico No. 109EP-73, dated December 4, 2006, or No. 119-22, dated July 11, 2007, as applicable, to do the actions required.

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Agusta, 21017 Cascina Costa di Samarate (VA) Italy, Via Giovanni Agusta 520, telephone 39 (0331) 229111, fax 39 (0331) 229605-222595.

(3) You may review copies at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76193; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 19, 2008.

Judy I. Carl,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-14727 Filed 7-16-08; 8:45 am]

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