Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters


Federal Register, Volume 83 Issue 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2018)

Federal Register Volume 83, Number 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2018)

Proposed Rules

Pages 26387-26389

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office

FR Doc No: 2018-12227



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

Docket No. FAA-2018-0517; Product Identifier 2017-SW-098-AD

RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).


SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (Airbus Helicopters) Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 and MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters. This proposed AD would require altering and re-identifying the overhead panel shock mount assembly (shock mount). This proposed AD is prompted by the manufacturer's stress recalculations. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to correct an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 6, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to 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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-

0517; 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 Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. 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 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email email protected.


Comments Invited

We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. 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.

We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.


EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD No. 2017-0026, dated February 14, 2017, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model MBB-

BK 117 C-2, MBB-BK117 C-2e, MBB-BK 117 D-2, and MBB-BK117 D-2m helicopters. EASA advises that a recent stress calculation identified that the shock mount may not withstand certification crash loads. EASA states that this condition, if not corrected, could lead to the overhead panel disconnecting during an emergency landing and injuring occupants. Accordingly, the EASA AD requires modifying and re-

identifying the shock mounts.

FAA's Determination

These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of Germany and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with Germany, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Page 26388

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) MBB-

BK117 C-2-24A-015 for Model MBB-BK117 C-2 helicopters and ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-24A-004 for Model MBB-BK117 Dhyphen2 helicopters, both Revision 0 and dated September 14, 2016. This service information contains procedures for altering the shock mounts by installing retaining plates and re-identifying the shock mounts by changing the last three digits of the part number (P/N) to -966.

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 installing a retaining plate on the shock mount and re-identifying the shock mount by changing the last three digits of the P/N to -966.

This proposed AD would also prohibit installing shock mount P/N B246M2035102 and P/N B246M2036101 on any helicopter.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

The EASA AD applies to Model MBB-BK117 D-2m helicopters, whereas this proposed AD would not since the Model MBB-BK117 D-2m is not FAA type-certificated. This proposed AD would also not include the Model MBB-BK117 C-2(e) in the applicability section because it is a marketing designation and not an FAA type-certificated model. However, this proposed AD would apply to those helicopters, as they are Model MBB-

BK117 C-2 helicopters. The EASA AD specifies particular helicopter serial numbers (S/Ns) that may not be required to complete some of the requirements of the AD since the specified S/Ns were manufactured with shock mounts not affected by the unsafe condition. This proposed AD does not specify particular S/Ns.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 144 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per work-hour.

Installing retaining plates and re-identifying the four shock mounts would take about 3 work-hours and parts would cost about $184 for a total estimated cost of $439 per helicopter and $63,216 for the U.S. fleet.

According to Airbus Helicopter's service information, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage by Airbus. Accordingly, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

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.

Regulatory Findings

We 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. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the 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 proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

    The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:



  5. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

    Sec. 39.13 Amended


  6. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

    Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH: Docket No. FAA-2018-0517; Product Identifier 2017-SW-098-AD.

    (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 and Model MBB-BK 117 D-2 helicopters, certificated in any category, with an overhead panel shock mount assembly part number (P/N) B246M2035102 or P/N B246M2036101 installed.

    Note 1 to paragraph (a) of this AD: Helicopters with an MBB-

    BK117 C-2e designation are Model MBB-BK117 C-2 helicopters.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of an overhead panel shock mount assembly (shock mount). This condition could result in detachment of the overhead panel and injury to occupants during an emergency landing.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 6, 2018.

    (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) Within 300 hours time-in-service:

    (i) Install a retaining plate on each shock mount by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 3.B.2.1. through 3.B.2.4, of Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) MBB-

    BK117 C-2-24A-015, Revision 0, dated September 14, 2016 (ASB MBB-

    BK117 C-2-24A-015), or ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-24A-004, Revision 0, dated September 14, 2016 (ASB MBB-BK117 D-2-24A-004), as applicable to your model helicopter.

    (ii) Re-identify shock mount P/N B246M2035102 as P/N B246M2035966 and shock mount P/N B246M2036101 as P/N B246M2036966 using permanent ink. When the ink is dry, apply varnish over the P/


    (iii) Re-install each shock mount.

    (2) After the effective date of this AD, do not install a shock mount P/N B246M2035102 or P/N B246M2036101 on any helicopter.

    Page 26389

    (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Matt Fuller, Senior Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Section, Rotorcraft Standards Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email email protected.

    (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.

    (g) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2017-0026, dated February 14, 2017. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at in the AD Docket.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2400, Electrical Power System.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on May 31, 2018.

    James A. Grigg,

    Acting Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

    FR Doc. 2018-12227 Filed 6-6-18; 8:45 am

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P