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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model AS 365 N3 helicopters. This AD requires inspecting the cabin and cockpit for labels, placards, or markings that provide jettison procedure instructions for cabin doors, removing any labels, placards, or markings that are in an incorrect location, and installing placards where they are missing. This AD is prompted by the determination that placards had not been installed according to specifications on newly manufactured helicopters. The actions are intended to provide exit procedures during an emergency.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 2, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of August 2, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/​techpub. 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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-6033.

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-2015-6033; 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 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:

David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email david.hatfield@faa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On March 11, 2016, at 81 FR 12836, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Airbus Helicopters Model AS 365 N3 helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting the cabin and cockpit for labels, placards, or markings that provide jettison procedure instructions for cabin doors, removing any labels, placards, or markings that are in an incorrect location, and installing placards in the correct locations. The proposed requirements were intended to provide exit procedures during an emergency.

The NPRM was prompted by AD No. 2015-0068-E, dated April 29, 2015, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for the Airbus Helicopters Model AS 365 N3 helicopters without external life rafts installed, except those helicopters modified in accordance with Airbus Helicopters modification (MOD) 0711B68, and Model AS 365 N3 helicopters with external life rafts installed, except those helicopters modified in accordance Airbus Helicopters MOD 0711B67 and MOD 0711B68. EASA advises that during helicopter delivery after manufacturing, Airbus Helicopters identified that placards providing jettison procedure instructions for the cabin doors were not systematically installed or not installed in a proper location. This condition, if not corrected, could prevent the timely evacuation of the helicopter during an emergency. The EASA AD consequently requires determining whether any placards are missing or incorrectly located, installing any missing placards, and replacing any incorrectly located placards.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM (81 FR 12836, March 11, 2016).

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, 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 Start Printed Page 41797provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of this same type design 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 14 days after the effective date of the EASA AD. This AD requires compliance within 50 hours time-in-service.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS365-11.00.02, Revision 2, dated April 23, 2015 (ASB). The service information describes procedures for replacing and installing cabin internal evacuation markings. The ASB reports that deviations in the locations of the cabin internal evacuation markings and missing markings were noted during the delivery of new helicopters. The ASB provides instructions about the locations of, characteristics of, and information contained in the markings.

This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 15 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work-hour. Based on these estimates, we expect that inspecting the helicopter to determine the proper location and presence of cabin door jettison procedure placards and replacing and installing them requires 4 work-hours and that parts cost $70. We estimate a total cost of $410 per helicopter, and $6,150 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 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

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
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:

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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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2016-13-07 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-18571; Docket No. FAA-2015-6033; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-019-AD.

(a) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS 365 N3 helicopters, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as missing or incorrectly located information for exiting a helicopter. This condition could result in failure to jettison cabin doors during an emergency, resulting in death or injury of helicopter occupants.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective August 2, 2016.

(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 cabin and cockpit for labels, placards, and markings that provide jettison procedure instructions for cabin doors.

(2) For the left and right side, remove any existing label, placard, and marking and install placards in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2 and Figures 1 through 6, of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS365-11.00.02, Revision 2, dated April 23, 2015.

(f) Credit for Previously Completed Actions

Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Airbus Helicopters Modification (MOD) 0711B68 for helicopters without external life rafts or MOD 0711B68 and MOD 0711B67 for helicopters with external life rafts are considered acceptable for compliance with this AD.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, 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.

(h) Additional Information

The subject of this AD is addressed in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2015-0068-E, dated April 29, 2015. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2015-6033.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 1100, Placards and Markings.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.Start Printed Page 41798

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

(i) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS365-11.00.02, Revision 2, dated April 23, 2015.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/​techpub.

(4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. 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 June 17, 2016.

Scott A. Horn,

Acting Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-14972 Filed 6-27-16; 8:45 am]

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