Skip to Content

Rule

Airworthiness Directives; AgustaWestland S.p.A. (Type Certificate Previously Held by Agusta S.p.A.) Helicopters

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain AgustaWestland S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the nose landing gear (NLG) pin installations for incorrect assembly. This AD is prompted by reports of incorrectly installed pins discovered on in-service aircraft. These actions are intended to detect incorrectly installed pins, which could result in collapse of the NLG during taxi or landing.

DATES:

This AD is effective January 28, 2014.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of January 28, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Agusta Westland, Customer Support & Services, Via Per Tornavento 15, 21019 Somma Lombardo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Giovanni Cecchelli; telephone 39-0331-711133; fax 39 0331 711180; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/​technical-bullettins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the foreign authority's AD, any incorporated-by-reference service information, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone 817-222-5328; email robert.grant@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On July 12, 2013, at 78 FR 41888, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 to add an AD that would apply to certain serial-numbered AgustaWestland S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with an NLG pin part number 1661-0001 installed. The NPRM proposed to require, within 50 hours time in service (TIS), inspecting the pin installations in the left and right arms for correct installation of the pin, bolts, washers, and nuts.

  • If the installation is not correct, the NPRM proposed to require:

○ Inspecting the bolt and nut for corrosion and removing the bolt and nut from service if there is corrosion.

○ Inspecting the pin for corrosion, a crack, and damage, removing the corrosion and measuring the pin diameter if there is any corrosion, and removing the pin from service if the pin diameter is less than 25.36 mm (.998 in) or if there is a crack in the pin.

○ Dye penetrant inspecting the pin flange for surface cracks and removing the pin from service if there is a surface crack.

  • If the installation is correct, the NPRM proposed to require inspecting the bolt head and nut for corrosion and removing the bolt or nut from service if there is any corrosion.

The proposed requirements were intended to detect incorrectly installed pins, which could result in collapse of the NLG during taxi or landing.

The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2012-0262, dated December 14, 2012, issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for the Agusta Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. EASA advises that incorrectly installed NLG pins, part number 1661-0001, were discovered on several aircraft. Incorrectly installed pins create a pre-stress condition on the pin flange. According to EASA, a subsequent technical investigation by Agusta concluded that the incorrect installation could be present on a number of other helicopters. EASA states that this condition could lead to NLG structural failure and consequent collapse during landing or taxi, resulting in damage to the helicopter and injury to the occupants. EASA AD 2012-0262 requires inspecting the NLG pin installation on both the left and right arms to determine if the pin, washers, and nuts are correctly installed and, depending on findings, inspecting the bolts, nuts, and pins for corrosion, and also inspecting the pins for surface cracks, and correctly installing the pins.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM (78 FR 41888, July 12, 2013).Start Printed Page 77566

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 the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

The EASA AD requires compliance within 50 flight hours or 1 month, while this proposed AD requires compliance within 50 hours TIS.

Related Service Information

Agusta has issued Bollettino Tecnico No. 139-306, dated December 12, 2012 (BT 139-306), for Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters. BT 139-306 describes procedures to inspect for correct installation of the bolts, nuts, washers, and pins, inspecting the bolt head and nut for corrosion, and inspecting the pins for surface cracks.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 102 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 hour, inspecting the nose landing gear arm pins will require about 1 work hour, for a cost per helicopter of $85 and a total cost to U.S. operators of $8,670. If required, replacing a pin will require about 1 work hour, and required parts cost $1,680, for a cost per helicopter of $1,765. The cost to replace a bolt or nut is minimal.

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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

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.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

(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);

(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 AD and placed it in the AD docket.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

Adoption of the Amendment

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

2013-25-09 AGUSTAWESTLAND S.P.A. (TYPE CERTIFICATE FORMERLY HELD BY AGUSTA S.P.A.) HELICOPTERS: Amendment 39-17705; Docket No. FAA-2013-0604; Directorate Identifier 2012-SW-110-AD

(a) Applicability

This AD applies to AgustaWestland S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters, serial number 31005, 31006, 31008 through 31157, 31201 through 31398, 31400 through 31412, 31414, 31416, 31418, 31419, 31421, 31425, 31426, 31428, 31432, 31440, 41001 through 41023, 41201 through 41275, 41277 through 41286, 41288, 41293, 41300, 41301, 41303, 41307, 41308, and 41310, with a nose landing gear (NLG) pin part number 1661-0001 installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as an incorrect installation of an NLG pin, which could result in collapse of the NLG during taxi or landing.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective January 28, 2014.

(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) Inspect the NLG pin installations on the left and right arms to determine whether the bolt (item 2), washer (item 3) under the bolt head, washer (item 4) between the NLG arm and pin, pin (item 5), washer (item 6) under the nut, nut (item 7), and cotter pin (item 8) are installed as depicted in Figure 1 of Agusta Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 139-306, dated December 12, 2012 (BT 139-306).

(2) If any part is not installed as depicted in Figure 1 of BT 139-306, before further flight, disassemble items 2 through 8 and accomplish the following:

(i) Inspect each bolt and nut for corrosion. If there is any corrosion on a bolt or nut, remove the bolt and nut from service.

(ii) Inspect each pin for corrosion and damage. If there is any corrosion or damage:

(A) Remove the corrosion and damage with an abrasive stone or glass fiber brush.

(B) Measure the pin diameter. If the pin diameter is less than 25.36 mm (0.998 inch), remove the pin from service.

(iii) Inspect each pin for a crack. If there is a crack, remove the pin from service.

(iv) Dye penetrant inspect the pin flange for a crack. If there is a crack, remove the pin from service.

(3) If items 2 through 8 are installed as depicted in Figure 1 of BT 139-306, inspect each bolt head and nut for corrosion. If there is any corrosion on a bolt head or nut, before further flight, remove the bolt or nut from service.

(f) Special Flight Permits

Special flight permits are prohibited.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone 817-222-5328; email robert.grant@faa.gov.

(2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under Start Printed Page 7756714 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.

(h) Additional Information

(1) The Aircraft Maintenance Plan, DM No. 39-A-60-40-00-01A-351A-D, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Agusta Westland, Customer Support & Services, Via Per Tornavento 15, 21019 Somma Lombardo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Giovanni Cecchelli; telephone 39-0331-711133; fax 39 0331 711180; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/​technical-bullettins. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

(2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency AD No. 2012-0262, dated December 14, 2012, which you may view in the AD Docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. 2013-0604.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 3221: Nose Landing Gear Attach Section.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Agusta Bollettino Tecnico (BT) No. 139-306, dated December 12, 2012.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For Agusta service information identified in this AD, contact Agusta Westland, Customer Support & Services, Via Per Tornavento 15, 21019 Somma Lombardo (VA) Italy, ATTN: Giovanni Cecchelli; telephone 39-0331-711133; fax 39 0331 711180; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/​technical-bullettins.

(4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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 December 5, 2013.

Kim Smith,

Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-30187 Filed 12-23-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P