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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R Series Airplanes, and Model C4-605R Variant F Airplanes (Collectively Called A300-600 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:

[T]he FAA has published SFAR 88 (Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88).

In their letters referenced 04/00/02/07/01-L296, dated March 4th, 2002, and 04/00/02/07/03-L024, dated February 3rd, 2003, the JAA [Joint Aviation Authorities] recommended the application of a similar regulation to the National Aviation Authorities (NAA).

Under this regulation, all holders of type certificates for passenger transport aircraft * * * are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks.

During improvement of the protection of fuel pump wiring against short-circuit by accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A300-24-6094, a study led by the manufacturer concluded that the harness, installed through the wing panel needed to be protected to prevent possible damage in case of chafing which could potentially lead to short-circuit [and intermittent function or loss of the inner tank fuel pump. Loss of both inner tank fuel pumps could result in inability to use the remaining fuel supply in the inner tank. A short-circuit could also result in an ignition source in a flammable leakage zone].

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 March 24, 2011.

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 SAS—EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; 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.

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

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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-2011-0037; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-273-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 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 2010-0225, dated November 5, 2010 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

[T]he FAA has published SFAR 88 (Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88).

In their letters referenced 04/00/02/07/01-L296, dated March 4th, 2002, and 04/00/02/07/03-L024, dated February 3rd, 2003, the JAA [Joint Aviation Authorities] recommended the application of a similar regulation to the National Aviation Authorities (NAA).

Under this regulation, all holders of type certificates for passenger transport aircraft with either a passenger capacity of 30 or more, or a payload capacity of 3,402 kg (7,500 lb) or more, which have received their certification since January 1st, 1958, are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks.

During improvement of the protection of fuel pump wiring against short-circuit by accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A300-24-6094, a study led by the manufacturer concluded that the harness, installed through the wing panel needed to be protected to prevent possible damage in case of chafing which could potentially lead to short-circuit [and intermittent function or loss of the inner tank fuel pump. Loss of both inner tank fuel pumps could result in inability to use the remaining fuel supply in the inner tank. A short-circuit could also result in an ignition source in a flammable leakage zone].

For the reasons stated above, this [EASA] AD requires the replacement of bushes in the hydraulic reservoir panel.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

The FAA has examined the underlying safety issues involved in fuel tank explosions on several large transport airplanes, including the adequacy of existing regulations, the service history of airplanes subject to those regulations, and existing maintenance practices for fuel tank systems. As a result of those findings, we issued a regulation titled “Transport Airplane Fuel Tank System Design Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and Inspection Requirements” (66 FR 23086, May 7, 2001). In addition to new airworthiness standards for transport airplanes and new maintenance requirements, this rule included Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (“SFAR 88,” Amendment 21-78, and subsequent Amendments 21-82 and 21-83).

Among other actions, SFAR 88 requires certain type design (i.e., type certificate (TC) and supplemental type certificate (STC)) holders to substantiate that their fuel tank systems can prevent ignition sources in the fuel tanks. This requirement applies to type design holders for large turbine-powered transport airplanes and for subsequent modifications to those airplanes. It requires them to perform design reviews and to develop design changes and maintenance procedures if their designs do not meet the new fuel tank safety standards. As explained in the preamble to the rule, we intended to adopt airworthiness directives to mandate any changes found necessary to address unsafe conditions identified as a result of these reviews.

In evaluating these design reviews, we have established four criteria intended to define the unsafe conditions associated with fuel tank systems that require corrective actions. The percentage of operating time during which fuel tanks are exposed to flammable conditions is one of these criteria. The other three criteria address the failure types under evaluation: single failures, single failures in combination with a latent condition(s), and in-service failure experience. For all four criteria, the evaluations included consideration of previous actions taken that may mitigate the need for further action.

The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) has issued a regulation that is similar to SFAR 88. (The JAA is an associated body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who have agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures.) Under this regulation, the JAA stated that all members of the ECAC that hold type certificates for transport category airplanes are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks.

We have determined that the actions identified in this AD are necessary to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information Back to Top

Airbus has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-24-6102, Revision 01, dated September 24, 2010. 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 120 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 13 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $266 per product. Where the service information lists required parts costs that are covered under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these costs. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $164,520, or $1,371 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-2011-0037; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-273-AD.

Comments Due Date Back to Top

(a) We must receive comments by March 24, 2011.

Affected ADs Back to Top

(b) None.

Applicability Back to Top

(c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-622, B4-605R, B4-622R, F4-605R, F4-622R, and C4-605R Variant F airplanes, certificated in any category, all certified models, all serial numbers, except airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-24-6102 (Airbus Modification 13381) has been embodied.

Subject Back to Top

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24: Electrical Power.

Reason Back to Top

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

[T]he FAA has published SFAR 88 (Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88).

In their letters referenced 04/00/02/07/01-L296, dated March 4th, 2002, and 04/00/02/07/03-L024, dated February 3rd, 2003, the JAA [Joint Aviation Authorities] recommended the application of a similar regulation to the National Aviation Authorities (NAA).

Under this regulation, all holders of type certificates for passenger transport aircraft * * * are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks.

During improvement of the protection of fuel pump wiring against short-circuit by accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A300-24-6094, a study led by the manufacturer concluded that the harness, installed through the wing panel needed to be protected to prevent possible damage in case of chafing which could potentially lead to short-circuit [and intermittent function or loss of the inner tank fuel pump. Loss of both inner tank fuel pumps could result in inability to use the remaining fuel supply in the inner tank. A short-circuit could also result in an ignition source in a flammable leakage zone].

* * * * *

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) Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD, install Teflon bushes in the hydraulic reservoir panel at the lower left-hand side in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-24-6102, Revision 01, dated September 24, 2010.

Credit for Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service Information Back to Top

(h) Actions done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-24-6102, dated August 13, 2009, are acceptable for compliance with the corresponding requirements of this AD.

FAA AD Differences Back to Top

Note 1:

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

Other FAA AD Provisions Back to Top

(i) 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149. Information may be e-mailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. 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. 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.

Related Information Back to Top

(j) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2010-0225, dated November 5, 2010; and Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-24-6102, Revision 01, dated September 24, 2010; for related information.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 31, 2011.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2011-2612 Filed 2-4-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

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