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Airworthiness Directives; Leonardo S.p.a.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with 3-stretcher kit part number 139084-501 installed. This AD was prompted by a report of a design deficiency which affects the primary stretcher unit of the 3-stretcher kit. This AD requires installing a placard on the primary stretcher. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective June 22, 2021.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of June 22, 2021.

The FAA must receive comments on this AD by July 22, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:

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

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Aerolite AG, Aumühlestrasse 10, CH-6373 Ennetbürgen, Switzerland; phone: +41 (0)41 624 58 58; fax: +41 (0)41 624 58 59; email: info@aerolite.ch. You may view this service information at the 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. Service information that is incorporated by reference is also available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0452.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0452; 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 final rule, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Mail Stop: Room 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; email: andrea.jimenez@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0095, dated March 31, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0095), to correct an unsafe condition for Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with 3-stretcher kit part number 139084-501 installed by a certain supplemental type certificate (STC). EASA advises that a design deficiency was identified, affecting the primary stretcher unit, part number 002095-502, of the 3-stretcher kit part number 139084-501. This condition, if not addressed, could lead, in case of an emergency landing, to failure of the primary stretcher of the 3-stretcher kit, possibly resulting in injury to helicopter occupants.

Accordingly, EASA AD 2021-0095 requires installing a placard on the primary stretcher stating a limitation of 61 kg (134.5 lbs) for the maximum allowable weight of the occupant on the primary stretcher. EASA considers its AD an interim action and states that further AD action may follow. Although EASA AD 2021-0095 applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters with 3-stretcher kit part number 139084-501 installed by a certain STC, this AD applies to helicopters with an affected part installed instead.

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 issuing this AD after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of these same type designs.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Aerolite Alert Service Bulletin ASB-21-006, dated March 16, 2021. This service information specifies procedures for installing a weight limit placard on the primary stretcher unit of the 3-stretcher kit.

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.

AD Requirements

This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service information already described, except as discussed under “Differences Between the AD and the EASA AD.”Start Printed Page 30154

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

EASA AD 2021-0095 requires operators to “inform all affected flight crew and medical crew members” of the placard installation on the primary stretcher. However, this AD would not specifically require that action.

Interim Action

The FAA considers this AD to be an interim action. If final action is later identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking then.

Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective Date

Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency, for “good cause,” finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days, upon a finding of good cause.

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because a design deficiency which affects the primary stretcher unit of the 3-stretcher kit, if not addressed, could lead, in case of an emergency landing, to failure of the primary stretcher, possibly resulting in injury to helicopter occupants. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days, for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and comment.

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2021-0452; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00388-R” at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this final rule because of those comments.

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 post all comments received, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this final rule.

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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Mail Stop: Room 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; email: andrea.jimenez@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 129 helicopters of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD.

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Labor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85$10$95$12,255

The FAA has included all known costs in its cost estimate. According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected operators.

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

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.Start Printed Page 30155

For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, and

(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.

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 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:

End Amendment Part

2021-12-10 Leonardo S.p.a.: Amendment 39-21597; Docket No. FAA-2021-0452; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00388-R.

(a) Effective Date

This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective June 22, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Leonardo S.p.a. Model AB139 and AW139 helicopters, certificated in any category, with 3-stretcher kit part number 139084-501 installed.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by a report of a design deficiency which affects the primary stretcher unit of the 3-stretcher kit. The FAA is issuing this AD to address a design deficiency which affects the primary stretcher unit of the 3-stretcher kit. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could lead, in case of an emergency landing, to failure of the primary stretcher, possibly resulting in injury to helicopter occupants.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Required Actions

Within 30 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, install a placard on the primary stretcher in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Aerolite Alert Service Bulletin ASB-21-006, dated March 16, 2021.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Andrea Jimenez, Aerospace Engineer, COS Program Management Section, Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 1600 Stewart Ave., Mail Stop: Room 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (516) 228-7330; email: andrea.jimenez@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Aerolite AG, Aumühlestrasse 10, CH-6373 Ennetbürgen, Switzerland; phone: +41 (0)41 624 58 58; fax: +41 (0)41 624 58 59; email: info@aerolite.ch. You may view this referenced service information at the 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.

(3) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0095, dated March 31, 2021. You may view the EASA AD at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2021-0452.

(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.

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

(i) Aerolite Alert Service Bulletin ASB-21-006, dated March 16, 2021.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For Aerolite AG service information identified in this AD, contact Aerolite AG, Aumühlestrasse 10, CH-6373 Ennetbürgen, Switzerland; phone: +41 (0)41 624 58 58; fax: +41 (0)41 624 58 59; email: info@aerolite.ch.

(4) You may view this service information at the 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, email: fedreg.legal@nara.gov, or go to: https://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued on May 28, 2021.

Ross Landes,

Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-11961 Filed 6-3-21; 4:15 pm]

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