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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters. This proposed AD would require various inspections of the left-hand side (LH) engine fuel supply (fuel supply) hose and depending on the inspection results, removing from service or reinstalling the hose. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing any LH fuel supply hose unless it is installed by following the service information. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of an incorrect installation of the LH fuel supply hose causing restricted fuel flow to the LH engine. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 23, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the “Mail” address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://Start Printed Page 63236www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0904; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

For service information identified in this proposed 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 https://www.airbus.com/​helicopters/​services/​technical-support.html. You may view the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James Blyn, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email james.blyn@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will file in the docket all comments received, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light of the comments received.

Confidential Business Information

Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as “PROPIN.” The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to James Blyn, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email james.blyn@faa.gov.

Discussion

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2019-0092, dated April 26, 2019 (EASA AD 2019-0092), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) Model EC 225 LP helicopters, all serial numbers. EASA advises that an occurrence was reported where during an in-flight single engine power check, the LH side engine experienced a power loss. EASA states that a subsequent investigation determined that the fuel flow to the affected engine was restricted by a twisted fuel supply hose. EASA states this condition if not detected and corrected could lead to a decrease of the LH engine power when accelerating to the power setting corresponding to One Engine Inoperative power, and subsequent reduced control of the helicopter. Accordingly, the EASA AD requires a one-time visual inspection of the fuel supply hose and depending on the inspection results, removing from service or replacing the affected part. EASA also introduces re-installation requirements for a fuel supply hose that is being replaced or reinstalled.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by EASA and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA about the unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this AD after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of the same type designs.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC225-71A019, Revision 1, dated February 28, 2019, which specifies procedures for removing the fuel supply hose from the LH power plant, visually inspecting the fuel supply hose for twisting, and depending on inspection results, performing an endoscope inspection on the inside of the hose. This service information also specifies procedures required to install a serviceable fuel supply hose.

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.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require compliance with certain procedures described in the manufacturer's service bulletin. For helicopters delivered to the first operator before November 30, 2018, and for helicopters delivered to the first operator on or after November 30, 2018 that have had the LH fuel supply hose replaced or reinstalled before May 10, 2019, this proposed AD would require visually inspecting the LH fuel supply hose for twisting, and if needed, borescope inspecting the entire length of the inside of the fuel supply hose for twisting and depending on the inspection results, reinstalling or removing the fuel supply hose from service. Additionally, this proposed AD would prohibit installing a certain part-numbered LH fuel supply hose on any helicopter unless that LH fuel supply hose is installed by following certain procedures described in the manufacturer's service bulletin.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

The EASA AD requires compliance within 110 flight hours or 6 months, whichever occurs first, while this proposed AD would require compliance within 110 hours time-in-service. The EASA AD requires reporting information to Airbus Helicopters if the LH fuel supply hose is twisted on the inside, while this proposed AD would not.Start Printed Page 63237

Interim Action

The FAA considers this proposed AD to be an interim action. An investigation is ongoing and if final action is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 96 helicopters of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Visually inspecting the LH fuel supply hose for twisting would take about 1 work-hour for an estimated cost of $85 per helicopter and $8,160 for the U.S. fleet. Replacing a LH fuel supply hose would take about 8 work-hours and parts would cost about $2,278 for an estimated replacement cost of $2,958 per replacement. Borescope inspecting the LH fuel supply hose would take about 8 work-hours for an estimated cost of $680 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.

The FAA is 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 products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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, I certify this proposed regulation:

1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.

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

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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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Airbus Helicopters: Docket No. FAA-2020-0904; Product Identifier 2019-SW-041-AD.

(a) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model EC225LP helicopters, certificated in any category, with left-hand side (LH) engine fuel supply (fuel supply) hose part number (P/N) 704A34416087 installed.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as incorrect installation of the LH fuel supply hose causing restricted fuel flow to the LH engine. This condition could result in a decrease of the LH engine power when accelerating to a power setting corresponding to One Engine Inoperative power and subsequent reduced control of the helicopter.

(c) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by November 23, 2020.

(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

(1) For helicopters delivered to the first operator before November 30, 2018; and for helicopters delivered to the first operator on or after November 30, 2018 that have had the LH fuel supply hose replaced or reinstalled before May 10, 2019:

(i) Within 110 hours time-in-service (TIS), visually inspect the LH fuel supply hose for twisting as shown in Figures 1 and 2 of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. EC225-71A019, Revision 1, dated February 28, 2019 (ASB EC225-71A019).

(ii) If the LH fuel supply hose has any twisting, before further flight, borescope inspect the entire length of the inside of the fuel supply hose for twisting as shown in Figures 3 through 5 of ASB EC225-71A019.

(A) If the inside of the LH fuel supply hose has any twisting, before further flight, remove the LH fuel supply hose from service and install an airworthy LH fuel supply hose by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.3.b of ASB EC225-71A019.

(B) If the LH fuel supply hose does not have any twisting, reinstall the LH fuel supply hose by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.3.b of ASB EC225-71A019.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install an LH fuel supply hose P/N 704A34416087 on any helicopter unless it is installed by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.3.b of ASB EC225-71A019.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: James Blyn, Aviation Safety Engineer, Regulations and Policy Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, 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, the FAA suggests 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.

(g) Additional Information

The subject of this AD is addressed in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2019-0092, dated April 26, 2019. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.

(h) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2820, Aircraft Fuel Distribution System.

Start Signature

Issued on October 1, 2020.

Lance T. Gant,

Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-22125 Filed 10-6-20; 8:45 am]

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