[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 205 (Tuesday, October 23, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 64699-64701]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25896]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0448; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-016-AD; 
Amendment 39-17223; AD 2012-21-07]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Agusta S.p.A. Helicopters

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Agusta 
S.p.A. (Agusta) Model A109S helicopters to require modifying the 
electrical power distribution system to carry a higher electrical load. 
This AD was prompted by an electrical failure on an Agusta Model A109E 
helicopter that resulted from ``inadequate functioning of the 35 
amperes (amps) BATT BUS circuit breaker.'' The actions of this AD are 
intended to require modifying the electrical power distribution system 
to prevent failure of the circuit breaker, loss of electrical power to 
instruments powered by the ``BATT BUS'' system, and subsequent loss of 
control of the helicopter.

DATES: This AD is effective November 27, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of November 27, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Agusta, S.p.A., Via Giovanni Agusta 520, 21017 Cascina Costa di 
Samarate (VA), Italy, ATTN: Giovanni Cecchelli; telephone 39-0331-
711133; fax 39-0331-711180; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bullettins. You may review the referenced service information 
at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 
Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.
    Examining the AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket 
Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday

[[Page 64700]]

through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this 
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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark F. Wiley, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 
2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5110; 
email mark.wiley@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    On May 9, 2012, at 77 FR 27144, the Federal Register published our 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an AD that would apply to Agusta Model A109S 
helicopters, serial numbers up to and including 22151. That NPRM 
proposed to require compliance with specified portions of the 
manufacturer's service bulletin to modify the electrical power 
distribution system by installing a ``BATT BUS'' Circuit Breaker 
Modification Kit, part number 109-0824-73-107, and testing for proper 
functioning of the electrical system. The proposed requirements were 
intended to prevent failure of the circuit breaker, loss of electrical 
power to instruments powered by the ``BATT BUS'' system, and subsequent 
loss of control of the helicopter.
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA AD No. 
2009-0137, dated June 23, 2009, for the Agusta Model A109E helicopter 
to correct an unsafe electrical condition caused by an inadequately 
functioning circuit breaker that was not within design requirements. 
That EASA AD required installing a ``BATT BUS'' circuit breaker 
modification kit on Model A109E helicopters. Based on the unsafe 
condition created by this circuit breaker as described in EASA AD No. 
2009-0137, the FAA issued AD 2010-20-21 (75 FR 61341, October 5, 2010; 
Correction published at 75 FR 65224, October 22, 2010) to require 
installing a ``BATT BUS'' circuit breaker modification kit on Model 
A109E helicopters in the United States. Subsequently, EASA issued AD 
No. 2009-0264, dated December 15, 2009, to correct the same unsafe 
condition on the Agusta Model A109S helicopter due to the design 
commonality between the electrical power distribution system of the 
Model A109E and A109S helicopters. The FAA is issuing this AD for the 
Model A109S helicopter to correct this same unsafe condition.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD, but we did not receive any comments on the NPRM (77 FR 27144, 
May 9, 2012).

FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of 
Italy and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to 
our bilateral agreement with Italy, 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 provided by 
EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist 
or develop on other helicopters of the 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

    This AD does not reference the calendar date of June 30, 2010, 
which has already passed.

Related Service Information

    Agusta has issued Bollettino Tecnico No. 109S-35, dated December 
11, 2009 (BT), which specifies modifying and testing the ``BATT BUS'' 
circuit breaker installation. EASA classified this BT as mandatory and 
issued AD No. 2009-0264, dated December 15, 2009, to ensure the 
continued airworthiness of these helicopters.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 15 helicopters of U.S. 
Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in 
order to comply with this AD. It will take about 8 work-hours per 
helicopter to install the ``BATT BUS'' circuit breaker modification kit 
at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour and required parts will 
cost about $471 per helicopter. Based on these figures, we estimate the 
total cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators to be $17,265.
    According to the Agusta service information, some of the costs of 
this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact 
on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage by Agusta. 
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 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.

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:

[[Page 64701]]

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2012-21-07--AGUSTA S.p.A. (Agusta): Amendment 39-17223; Docket No. 
FAA-2012-0448; Directorate Identifier 2010-SW-016-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Agusta Model A109S helicopters, serial 
numbers up to and including 22151, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of the 35 ampere 
(amp) ``BATT BUS,'' which could result in an electrical failure and 
fire, loss of electrical power to instruments powered by the ``BATT 
BUS'' system, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective November 27, 2012.

(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, modify the electrical power 
distribution system by installing the ``BATT BUS'' Circuit Breaker 
Modification Kit, part number 109-0824-73-107, as depicted in 
Figures 1 through 3 and by following the Compliance Instructions, 
paragraphs 4. through 7., of Agusta Bollettino Tecnico No. 109S-35, 
dated December 11, 2009 (ASB). Thereafter, operationally test the 
electrical system by following paragraphs 19.1 through 19.7 of the 
ASB.

(f) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 14 CFR 
21.197 and 21.199 to operate the helicopter to a location where the 
requirements of this AD can be accomplished provided that you do not 
simultaneously operate the landing light and the search light.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Safety Management Group, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
for this AD. Send your proposal to: Mark F. Wiley, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 
2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-
5110; email mark.wiley@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 European Aviation Safety 
Agency AD No. 2009-0264, dated December 15, 2009.

(i) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2460, DC Power/
Distribution System.

 (j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) 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) Agusta Bollettino Tecnico No. 109S-35, dated December 11, 
2009.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (3) For Agusta service information identified in this AD, 
contact Agusta, S.p.A., Via Giovanni Agusta 520, 21017 Cascina Costa 
di Samarate (VA), Italy, ATTN: Giovanni Cecchelli; telephone 39-
0331-711133; fax 39-0331-711180; or at http://www.agustawestland.com/technical-bullettins.
    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the 
Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, 
Fort Worth, Texas 76137. 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 12, 2012.
Kim Smith,
Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-25896 Filed 10-22-12; 8:45 am]
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