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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 Series Airplanes

Action

Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Nprm).

Summary

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as: Surface defects were visually detected on the rudder of one A319 and one A321 in-service aeroplane. Investigation has determined that the defects reported on both rudders corresponded to areas that had been reworked in production. The investigation confirmed that the defects were a result of de-bonding between the skin and honeycomb core. An extended de-bonding, if not detected and corrected, may degrade the structural integrity of the rudder. The loss of the rudder leads to degradation of the handling qualities and reduces the controllability of the aeroplane.

The proposed AD would require actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

Unified Agenda

Airworthiness Directives

1 action from November 2013

  • November 2013
    • Actions Will Continue Through
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 17, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-40, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; e-mail: account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221 or 425-227-1152.

Examining the AD Docket Back to Top

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 through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Comments Invited Back to Top

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2010-0279; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-148-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

We have lengthened the 30-day comment period for proposed ADs that address MCAI originated by aviation authorities of other countries to provide adequate time for interested parties to submit comments. The comment period for these proposed ADs is now typically 45 days, which is consistent with the comment period for domestic transport ADs.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion Back to Top

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2009-0141, dated July 2, 2009 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Surface defects were visually detected on the rudder of one A319 and one A321 in-service aeroplane.

Investigation has determined that the defects reported on both rudders corresponded to areas that had been reworked in production. The investigation confirmed that the defects were a result of de-bonding between the skin and honeycomb core.

An extended de-bonding, if not detected and corrected, may degrade the structural integrity of the rudder. The loss of the rudder leads to degradation of the handling qualities and reduces the controllability of the aeroplane.

This AD requires inspections of specific areas and, when necessary, the application of corrective actions for those rudders where production reworks have been identified.

Inspections include vacuum loss inspections for de-bonding of the rudders in reinforced areas and other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/other specified locations), and elasticity laminate checks for de-bonding of the rudders in the trailing edge area and other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/other specified locations). Corrective actions include contacting Airbus for further instruction and doing the repair. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information Back to Top

Airbus has issued All Operators Telex A320-55A1038, Revision 02, dated September 28, 2009. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD Back to Top

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information Back to Top

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. But we might have found it necessary to use different words from those in the MCAI to ensure the AD is clear for U.S. operators and is enforceable. In making these changes, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information.

We might also have proposed different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a NOTE within the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance Back to Top

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 155 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 11 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $144,925, or $935 per product.

Authority for This Rulemaking Back to Top

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 Back to Top

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 above, 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); 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.

We prepared a regulatory 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 Back to Top

The Proposed Amendment Back to Top

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

begin regulatory text

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES Back to Top

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 adding the following new AD:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2010-0279; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-148-AD.

Comments Due Date Back to Top

(a) We must receive comments by May 17, 2010.

Affected ADs Back to Top

(b) None.

Applicability Back to Top

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes; certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers (S/Ns), if equipped with carbon fiber reinforced plastic rudders having part numbers (P/Ns) and S/Ns as listed in Table 1 of this AD.

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Note 1:

Only rudder P/N D554 71000 010 00 having affected rudder S/Ns TS-1069 and TS-1090 and rudder P/N D554 71000 012 00 having affected rudder S/N TS-1227, have a core density of 24 kilogram (kg)/meters cubed (m³).

Subject Back to Top

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55: Stabilizers.

Reason Back to Top

(e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

Surface defects were visually detected on the rudder of one A319 and one A321 in-service aeroplane.

Investigation has determined that the defects reported on both rudders corresponded to areas that had been reworked in production. The investigation confirmed that the defects were a result of de-bonding between the skin and honeycomb core.

An extended de-bonding, if not detected and corrected, may degrade the structural integrity of the rudder. The loss of the rudder leads to degradation of the handling qualities and reduces the controllability of the aeroplane.

This AD requires inspections of specific areas and, when necessary, the application of corrective actions for those rudders where production reworks have been identified.

Inspections include vacuum loss inspections for de-bonding of the rudders in reinforced areas and other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/other specified locations), and elasticity laminate checks for de-bonding of the rudders in the trailing edge area and other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/other specified locations). Corrective actions include contacting Airbus for further instruction and doing the repair.

Compliance Back to Top

(f) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Actions Back to Top

(g) For rudders with a honeycomb core density of 24 kg/m³ (rudder P/N D554 71000 010 00 having affected rudder S/Ns TS-1069 and TS-1090 and rudder P/N D554 71000 012 00 having affected rudder S/N TS-1227), do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), and (g)(4) of this AD, in accordance with Airbus All Operators Telex (AOT) A320-55A1038, Revision 02, dated September 28, 2009, for the locations defined in the AOT.

(1) Within 200 days after the effective date of this AD, perform a vacuum loss inspection on the rudder reinforced area.

(2) Within 20 months after the effective date of this AD, perform an elasticity laminate checker inspection on the rudder trailing edge area. Repeat the inspection two times, at intervals not to exceed 4,500 flight cycles but not sooner than 4,000 flight cycles after the last inspection.

(3) Within 200 days after the effective date of this AD, perform an elasticity laminate checker inspection of the other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/and other specified locations). Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 1,500 flight cycles or 200 days, whichever comes first.

(4) Within 20 months after the effective date of this AD, perform a vacuum loss inspection of the other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/other specified locations). Accomplishment of the action specified in paragraph (g)(4) of this AD terminates the requirements of paragraph (g)(3) of this AD.

(h) For rudders that do not have a honeycomb core density of 24 kg/m³ (all rudders identified in Table 1 of this AD, except: Rudder P/N D554 71000 010 00 having affected rudder S/Ns TS-1069 and TS-1090 and rudder P/N D554 71000 012 00 having affected rudder S/N TS-1227), do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), and (h)(4) of this AD, in accordance with Airbus AOT A320-55A1038, Revision 02, dated September 28, 2009, for the locations defined in the AOT. For this AD, “reference date” is defined as the effective date of this AD or the date when the rudder will accumulate 20,000 total flight cycles from its first installation on an airplane, whichever occurs later.

(1) Within 200 days after the reference date, perform a vacuum loss inspection on the rudder reinforced area.

(2) Within 20 months after the reference date, perform an elasticity laminate checker inspection on the rudder trailing edge area. Repeat the inspection two times at intervals not to exceed 4,500 flight cycles but not sooner than 4,000 flight cycles after the last inspection.

(3) Within 200 days after the reference date, perform an elasticity laminate checker inspection of the other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/other specified locations). Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 1,500 flight cycles or 200 days, whichever comes first.

(4) Within 20 months after the reference date, perform a vacuum loss inspection of the other areas (splice/lower rib/upper edge/leading edge/other specified locations). Accomplishment of the actions specified in this paragraph terminates the requirements of paragraph (h)(3) of this AD.

(i) In case of de-bonding found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD, before further flight, contact Airbus for further instructions and apply the associated instructions and corrective actions in accordance with the approved data provided.

(j) At the applicable time specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD, submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative), of each inspection required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD. The report must include the inspection results, as specified in Airbus Technical Disposition TD/K4/S2/27086/2009, Issue E, dated September 17, 2009. For positive findings, submit the report to the Manager, Seer1/ Seer2/Seer3 Customer Services; fax +33 (0)5 61 93 28 73; e-mail region1.structurerepairsupport@airbus.com, region2.structurerepairsupport@airbus.com, or region3.structurerepairsupport@airbus.com. For negative findings, submit the report to Nicolas Seynaeve, Sees1, Customer Services; telephone +33 (0)5 61 93 34 38; fax +33 (0)5 61 93 36 14; e-mail nicolas.seynaeve@airbus.com.

(1) For any inspection done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

(2) For any inspection done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(k) All rudders that have passed the inspection specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), (g)(4), (h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), and (h)(4) of this AD, before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Airbus AOT A320-55A1038, dated April 22, 2009; AOT A320-55A1038, Revision 01, dated June 10, 2009; or Airbus Technical Disposition TD/K4/S2/27051/2009, Issue B, dated February 25, 2009; are compliant with this AD for the areas inspected; except additional areas requiring inspection, as defined in Section 0, “Reason for Revision,” of Airbus AOT A320-55A1038, Revision 02, dated September 28, 2009, must be inspected as specified in paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD. For all areas, the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD remain applicable.

(l) After the effective date of this AD, no rudder listed in Table 1 of this AD may be installed on any airplane, unless the rudder is in compliance with the requirements of this AD.

FAA AD Differences Back to Top

Note 2:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: No differences.

Other FAA AD Provisions Back to Top

(m) The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your principal maintenance inspector (PMI) or principal avionics inspector (PAI), as appropriate, or lacking a principal inspector, your local Flight Standards District Office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

Related Information Back to Top

(n) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2009-0141, dated July 2, 2009; Airbus All Operators Telex A320-55A1038, Revision 02, dated September 28, 2009; and Airbus Technical Disposition TD/K4/S2/27086/2009, Issue E, dated September 17, 2009; for related information.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 25, 2010.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2010-7461 Filed 4-1-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

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