Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held2017-22-05
[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 213 (Monday, November 6, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-23193]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2015-4031; Product Identifier 2014-SW-072-AD; Amendment 39-19085; AD
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Type Certificate Previously Held by Eurocopter
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
Summary:We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-15-03 for Eurocopter France
Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350C, AS350D, and AS350D1
helicopters. AD 2013-15-03 required inspecting the hydraulic pump drive pulley bearing (bearing)
for leaks, rust, overheating, and condition. This new AD adds a requirement to grease the bearing and
inspect for bronze particles in the grease, and changes the inspection and inspection intervals of the
bearing until it is replaced with an improved bearing. This AD was prompted by additional reports of
hydraulic pump drive belt failure caused by bearing seizures. The actions of this AD are intended to
prevent an unsafe condition on these products.
Dates:This AD is effective December 11, 2017.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain
publication listed in this AD as of December 11, 2017.
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 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. It is also available on the Internet at
http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4031.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No.
FAA-2015-4031; or in person at the Docket Management Facility 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 information, the economic
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone:
800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE.,
Washington, DC 20590.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen Barbini, Manager, Safety Management
Section, Policy and Innovation Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177;
telephone (817) 222-5110; email email@example.com.
We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to remove AD
2013-15-03, Amendment 39-17519 (78 FR 44422, July 24, 2013) and add a new AD. AD 2013-15-
03 applied to Eurocopter France (now Airbus Helicopters) Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1,
AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350C, AS350D, and AS350D1 helicopters with a single hydraulic system
and a hydraulic pump drive installed. AD 2013-15-03 required repetitively inspecting the bearing for
leaks, rust, overheating, and condition. AD 2013-15-03 was prompted by six reports of hydraulic
pump drive belt failure caused by bearing seizures. AD 2013-15-03 also was prompted by AD No.
2013-0044-E, dated February 27, 2013, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the
Member States of the European Union. EASA advised that hydraulic pump drive belt failures caused
by seizure of the bearing, for helicopters with a single hydraulic system, could lead to loss of
hydraulic servo assistance and an increase in pilot workload to the point that the helicopter needs to
land as soon as possible.
The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 29, 2016 (81 FR 25622). The NPRM was
prompted by EASA AD No. 2013-0284-E, dated December 2, 2013, which supersedes EASA AD
No. 2013-0044-E. EASA AD No. 2013-0284-E advises that the hydraulic pump drive failure was
caused by accidental indentation of the raceways from incorrect fitting of the bearing. Airbus
Helicopters then introduced a new bearing, part number (P/N) 704A33651269, to replace bearing P/N
704A33651243. This replacement corrects the unsafe condition as it has a reduced pre-loading value,
which significantly improves its reliability. EASA revised AD No. 2013-0284-E with AD No. 2013-
0284R1, dated July 25, 2014, to exclude helicopters that had replaced the bearing with bearing P/N
704A33651269. EASA then superseded AD No. 2013-0284R1 with EASA AD No. 2014-0233, dated
October 23, 2014, to retain the inspections and require replacement of bearing P/N 704A33651243
with bearing P/N 704A33651269. Installation of the new bearing constitutes terminating action for
the repetitive inspections.
As a result, the NPRM proposed to retain the inspection requirements in AD 2013-15-03, add a
requirement to grease the bearing and inspect for bronze particles in the grease, and change the
inspection and inspection intervals of the bearing until it is replaced with the improved bearing.
Since the NPRM was issued, the FAA's Aircraft Certification Service has changed its
organizational structure. The new structure replaces product directorates with functional divisions.
We have revised some of the office titles and nomenclature throughout this Final rule to reflect the
new organizational changes. Additional information about the new structure can be found in the
Notice published on July 25, 2017 (82 FR 34564).
After our NPRM was published, we received a comment from Airbus Helicopters.
Airbus Helicopters requested that we revise the Applicability section of the AD to eliminate
confusion. Specifically, Airbus Helicopters requested we change the AD to apply to helicopters with
“Single Hydraulics pre mod 079568 with Hydraulic pump drive assembly part number 350A35-0132-
00 with bearing part number 704A33651243 installed.”
We do not agree. Airbus Helicopters' request does not make the Applicability section clearer
because the unsafe condition lies with the bearing, which is also installed in hydraulic pump drive
assembly part number 350A35-0132-00 V. Leaving the original Applicability language makes this
We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an 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 applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350BB helicopters, and this AD does not
because the Model AS350BB has no FAA-issued type certificate. This AD applies to Model
AS350D1 and AS350C helicopters, while the EASA AD does not.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Airbus Helicopters ASB No. AS350-63.00.24, Revision 0, dated October 21, 2014
(ASB), for Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350BB, AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350D, and
military Model AS350L1 helicopters with a single hydraulic system and a hydraulic pump drive
assembly P/N 350A35-0132-00. The ASB calls for mandatory replacement of bearing P/N
704A33651243 with bearing P/N 704A33651269 and introduces a preventative maintenance
operation for bearing P/N 704A33651243 until it is replaced.
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 729 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average
$85 per work hour. Based on these estimates, we expect the following costs:
• Greasing and visually inspecting the bearing requires 1.5 work hours and no parts are needed.
We estimate a total cost of $128 per helicopter and $93,312 for the U.S. fleet per inspection
• Inspecting and manually rotating the bearing requires 2 work hours, and no parts are needed.
We estimate a total cost of $170 per helicopter and $123,930 for the U.S. fleet per inspection
• Replacing the bearing requires 2 work hours and $1,571 for parts, for a total cost of $1,741
per helicopter and $1,269,189 for the U.S. fleet.
• Replacing the hydraulic pump drive assembly requires 2 work hours and $8,543 for parts, for
a total cost of $8,713 per helicopter and $6,351,777 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 products identified in this rulemaking action.
We have 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.
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 a regulatory distinction is
(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.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.
Adoption of the Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR
part 39 as follows:
PART 39–AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.
§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-15-03, Amendment
39-17519 (78 FR 44422, July 24, 2013), and adding the following new AD:
2017-22-05 Airbus Helicopters (Previously Eurocopter France): Amendment 39-19085; Docket
No. FAA-2015-4031; Product Identifier 2014-SW-072-AD.
This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B, AS350BA, AS350B1, AS350B2,
AS350B3, AS350C, AS350D, and AS350D1 helicopters with a hydraulic pump drive bearing
(bearing) part number (P/N) 704A33651243 installed, certificated in any category.
(b) Unsafe Condition
This AD defines the unsafe condition as the seizure of the bearing. This condition could result in
hydraulic pump drive belt failure, loss of hydraulic servo assistance, and subsequent loss of control of
(c) Affected ADs
This AD supersedes AD 2013-15-03, Amendment 39-17519 (78 FR 44422, July 24, 2013).
(d) Effective Date
This AD becomes effective December 11, 2017.
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.
(f) Required Actions
(1) For each bearing with less than 115 hours time-in-service (TIS), before accumulating 150
hours TIS, and for each bearing with 115 or more hours TIS, within 50 hours TIS, and for all
helicopters thereafter at intervals not to exceed 150 hours TIS:
(i) Grease each bearing in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.2.b.,
of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS350-63.00.24, Revision 0, dated October 21,
(ii) Perform a test ground run. Inspect all grease that comes out of the bearing during the ground
run and all grease around the bearing for bronze particles.
(iii) If there are any bronze particles in the grease, before further flight, replace the bearing with
bearing P/N 704A33651269. This constitutes terminating action for the inspections in this AD.
Note 1 to paragraph (f)(1)(iii) of this AD: Hydraulic pump drive assembly P/N 350A35-0132-01
is fitted with bearing P/N 704A33651269.
(2) Within 600 hours TIS and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 hours TIS:
(i) Visually inspect the bearing for bronze particles in the grease. If there are any bronze particles
in the grease, before further flight, replace the bearing with bearing P/N 704A33651269. This
constitutes terminating action for the inspections in this AD.
(ii) Manually rotate the bearing and inspect for a friction point, brinelling, and a noise from the
bearing. If there is a hard point, any brinelling, or any noise from the bearing, before further flight,
replace the bearing with bearing P/N 704A33651269.
(3) Replacing bearing P/N 704A33651243 with bearing P/N 704A33651269, or replacing
hydraulic pump drive assembly P/N 350A35-0132-00 with hydraulic pump drive assembly P/N
350A35-0132-01, constitutes terminating action for the inspections required by this AD.
(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)
(1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send
your proposal to: Stephen Barbini, Manager, Safety Management Section, Policy and Innovation
Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email 9-
(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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2014-
0233, dated October 23, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at
http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2015-4031.
Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2913, Hydraulic Pump (Electric/Engine), Main.
(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) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin No. AS350-63.00.24, Revision 0, dated October 21,
(3) For Airbus Helicopters service information identified in this AD, contact 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.
Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 17, 2017.
James A. Grigg,
Acting Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,
Aircraft Certification Service.
This is a partial extract of the full document - please refer to the actual report for full information.