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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Type Certificate Previously Held by The New Piper Aircraft Inc.) Airplanes

Action

Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Nprm).

Summary

We propose to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. (type certificate previously held by The New Piper Aircraft Inc.) Models PA-31T and PA-31T1 airplanes. The existing AD currently requires correcting a model identification error on the aircraft data plate. Since we issued that AD, we have become aware that some owner/operators of the affected airplanes modified the aircraft data plate in error because of confusion in the serial number applicability. Because of the confusion, the manufacturer has issued new service information to clarify affected airplane serial numbers. This proposed AD would require determining the airplane model based on the serial number and modifying the aircraft data plate to properly identify the airplane model. This proposed AD would also require doing a detailed search for all applicable airworthiness related documents that apply to any airplane that has an incorrectly marked data plate and take necessary corrective actions based on the search findings. We are proposing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

Unified Agenda

Airworthiness Directives

1 action from November 2013

  • November 2013
    • Actions Will Continue Through
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

Tables Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 23, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: (772) 567-4361; Internet: www.piper.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

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 Management Facility 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 Office (phone: 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

Gregory “Keith” Noles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5551; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: gregory.noles@faa.gov.

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-2012-0251; Directorate Identifier 2012-CE-002-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 because of 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

On May 27, 1980, AD 80-11-06, amendment 39-3776 (45 FR 35309), was published in the Federal Register for certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. (type certificate previously held by The New Piper Aircraft Inc.) Models PA-31T and PA-31T1 airplanes. That AD requires correcting a model identification error on the aircraft data plate. Certain Model PA-31T airplanes have been improperly identified as a Model PA-31T1 airplane on the aircraft data plate.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued Back to Top

Since we issued AD 80-11-06 (45 FR 35309, May 27, 1980), we have become aware that the aircraft data plate on some of the affected airplanes have been modified in error because of confusion in the serial number applicability.

The requirements in AD 80-11-06 (45 FR 35309, May 27, 1980), match those in Piper Service Bulletin 670, issued December 3, 1979. Also, the type certificate data sheet (TCDS) did not clearly distinguish the serial numbers for the Models PA-31T and PA-31T1 airplanes.

As a result of the confusion, Piper Aircraft, Inc. has issued a new service bulletin to clarify the affected serial numbers. We are also working with Piper Aircraft, Inc. to clarify the serial numbers in the TCDS.

Relevant Service Information Back to Top

We reviewed Piper Aircraft Inc. Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 1235, dated November 3, 2011. The service bulletin describes procedures for determining the airplane model based on the serial number and provides instructions for modifying the aircraft data plate to properly identify the airplane model.

FAA's Determination Back to Top

We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements Back to Top

This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 80-11-06 (45 FR 35309, May 27, 1980). This proposed AD would clarify the serial number applicability of the affected model airplanes. This proposed AD would also require a detailed search for all applicable airworthiness related documents that apply to any airplane that has an incorrectly marked aircraft data plate and take necessary corrective actions.

Costs of Compliance Back to Top

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 158 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs Back to Top
Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators
Inspect the aircraft data plate 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Not applicable $85 $13,430

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary modification and/or records search that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need modification:

On-Condition Costs Back to Top
Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product
Modify the aircraft data plate 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 Not applicable $85
Detailed search for all applicable airworthiness related documents that apply to any airplane that has an incorrectly marked aircraft data plate 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 Not applicable 340

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 have 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 that the 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, 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.

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 removing airworthiness directive (AD) 80-11-06, Amendment 39-3776 (45 FR 35309, May27, 1980), and adding the following new AD:

Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Type Certificate previously held by The New Piper Aircraft Inc.): Docket No. FAA-2012-0251; Directorate Identifier 2012-CE-002-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date Back to Top

The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by April 23, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs Back to Top

This AD supersedes AD 80-11-06, Amendment 39-3776 (45 FR 35309, May 27, 1980).

(c) Applicability Back to Top

This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certificated in any category.

(1) Model PA-31T airplanes, serial numbers 31T-7820001, 31T-7820002, 31T-7820003, 31T-7820004, 31T-7820005, 31T-7820006, 31T-7820007, 31T-7820008, 31T-7820009, 31T-7820010, 31T-7820011, 31T-7820012, 31T-7820013, 31T-7820014, 31T-7820015, 31T-7820016, 31T-7820017, 31T-7820018, 31T-7820019, 31T-7820020, 31T-7820021, 31T-7820022, 31T-7820023, 31T-7820024, 31T-7820025, 31T-7820026, 31T-7820027, 31T-7820028, 31T-7820029, 31T-7820030, 31T-7820031, 31T-7820032, 31T-7820033, 31T-7820034, 31T-7820035, 31T-7820036, 31T-7820037, 31T-7820038, 31T-7820039, 31T-7820040, 31T-7820041, 31T-7820042, 31T-7820043, 31T-7820044, 31T-7820045, 31T-7820046, 31T-7820047, 31T-7820048, 31T-7820049, 31T-7820050, 31T-7820051, 31T-7820052, 31T-7820053, 31T-7820054, 31T-7820055, 31T-7820056, 31T-7820057, 31T-7820058, 31T-7820059, 31T-7820060, 31T-7820061, 31T-7820062, 31T-7820063, 31T-7820064, 31T-7820065, 31T-7820066, 31T-7820067, 31T-7820068, 31T-7820069, 31T-7820070, 31T-7820071, 31T-7820072, 31T-7820073, 31T-7820074, 31T-7820075, 31T-7820076, 31T-7820077, 31T-7820078, 31T-7820079, 31T-7820080, 31T-7820081, 31T-7820082, 31T-7820083, 31T-7820084, 31T-7820085, 31T-7820086, 31T-7820087, 31T-7820088, 31T-7820089, 31T-7820090, 31T-7820091, 31T-7820092; and

(2) Model PA-31T1 airplanes, serial numbers 31T-7804001, 31T-7804002, 31T-7804003, 31T-7804004, 31T-7804005, 31T-7804006, 31T-7804007, 31T-7804008, 31T-7804009, 31T-7804010, 31T-7804011, 31T-7904001, 31T-7904002, 31T-7904003, 31T-7904004, 31T-7904005, 31T-7904006, 31T-7904007, 31T-7904008, 31T-7904009, 31T-7904010, 31T-7904011, 31T-7904012, 31T-7904013, 31T-7904014, 31T-7904015, 31T-7904016, 31T-7904017, 31T-7904018, 31T-7904019, 31T-7904020, 31T-7904021, 31T-7904022, 31T-7904023, 31T-7904024, 31T-7904025, 31T-7904026, 31T-7904027, 31T-7904028, 31T-7904029, 31T-7904030, 31T-7904031, 31T-7904032, 31T-7904033, 31T-7904034, 31T-7904035, 31T-7904036, 31T-7904037, 31T-7904038, 31T-7904039, 31T-7904040, 31T-7904041, 31T-7904042, 31T-7904043, 31T-7904044, 31T-7904045, 31T-7904046, 31T-7904047, 31T-7904048, 31T-7904049, 31T-7904050, 31T-7904051, 31T-7904052, 31T-7904053, 31T-7904056, 31T-7904057.

(d) Subject Back to Top

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 1100, Placards and Markings.

(e) Unsafe Condition Back to Top

This AD was prompted by reports that some owner/operators of the affected airplanes modified the aircraft data plate in error because of confusion in the serial number applicability. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

(f) Compliance Back to Top

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspect the Aircraft Data Plate Back to Top

Within the next 100 hours after the effective date of this AD, inspect the markings on the aircraft data plate. Do the inspection following Part I of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 1235, dated November 3, 2011.

(1) If the aircraft data plate is correctly marked, make a logbook entry showing compliance with this AD, and no further action is required.

(2) If the aircraft data plate is incorrectly marked, continue with paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD.

(h) Modify the Aircraft Data Plate Back to Top

Before further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (g) of this AD, modify the aircraft data plate following Part II of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 1235, dated November 3, 2011.

(i) Detailed Aircraft Records Search Back to Top

Before further flight after the modification required in paragraph (h) of this AD:

(1) Do a detailed search of the aircraft maintenance records and documents to include, but not limited to, ADs, special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs), service bulletins (SBs), and other service documents; installed supplemental type certificates (STCs) and parts manufacturing approval (PMAs); and instructions for continued airworthiness (ICAs). Each document found must be assessed to ensure proper actions have been made to maintain airworthiness as affected by the model number of the aircraft. Part 135 operators and other operators utilizing FAA-approved maintenance programs will need to address changes to their inspection programs and related documents.

Note:

Although some of the above documents may not be mandatory for compliance, it is still necessary to evaluate them to ensure that any voluntary compliance does not negatively affect the airworthiness of the airplane.

(2) Identify all discrepant conditions for misidentified aircraft and coordinate with the geographic Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and the Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) to determine necessary corrective actions. Also, coordinate with the geographic FSDO to arrange for revisions to the airworthiness certificate, registration, and other potential document/certificate revisions. The following is a list of example discrepant conditions that may be found during the records search:

(i) An AD was complied with that was applicable to the incorrect model, but not applicable to the corrected model.

(ii) A required AD for the corrected model was not complied with.

(iii) A maintenance action was performed that was recommended, but not mandatory, for the incorrect model, but not applicable to the corrected model.

(iv) A PMA part was installed that was applicable for the incorrect model, but not for the corrected model.

(v) An STC was installed that was applicable for the incorrect model, but not for the corrected model.

(vi) An STC was installed that was applicable for both the incorrect and corrected model, but all related, applicable ADs for the corrected model were not complied with.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) Back to Top

(1) The Manager, Atlanta ACO, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD.

(2) 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.

(3) AMOCs approved for AD 80-11-06 (45 FR 35309, May 27, 1980), are approved as AMOCs for this AD.

(k) Related Information Back to Top

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Gregory “Keith” Noles, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5551; fax: (404) 474-5606; email: gregory.noles@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: (772) 567-4361; Internet: www.piper.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 5, 2012.

John Colomy,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2012-5801 Filed 3-8-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

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