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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB 340B Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Saab Model SAAB 340B series airplanes. This proposal would require a one-time inspection to detect discrepancies of the flight idle stop override mechanism, and corrective action, if necessary. This proposal is prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent increased braking distance for landings that require the flight idle stop override, resulting from the combination of failure of the override mechanism and inability of the power levers to be moved below the flight idle position after touchdown.

DATES:

Comments must be received by April 14, 2000.

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ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-13-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aircraft Product Support, S-581.88, Linkoping, Sweden. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Norman B. Martenson, Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2110; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications shall identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report summarizing each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this notice must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-13-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-13-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Luftfartsverket (LFV), which is the airworthiness authority for Sweden, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Saab Model SAAB 340B series airplanes. The LFV advises that it received a report of an incident in which a flight crew, when attempting to use the automatic flight idle stop override that was required during landing, discovered that the override knob was stuck in position in the control quadrant. Subsequent inspection of the override knob mechanism revealed that cablewire was stuck in its conduit between the knob and the uplock mechanism. It appeared that the cablewire may have become stuck during modification of the control quadrant for installation of the automatic flight idle stop. Similar sticking may occur on other airplanes that have been modified in a similar manner. This condition, if not corrected, could result in inability to move the power levers below the flight idle position after touchdown, which could result in increased braking distance.

Other Related Rulemaking

On April 6, 1998, the FAA issued AD 98-08-16, amendment 39-10465 (63 FR 5902, April 14, 1998), applicable to certain Saab Model SAAB SF340A and 340B series airplanes, which currently requires a one-time inspection to detect discrepancies of the flight idle stop override mechanism, and corrective action, if necessary. That AD was prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by the LFV (Swedish airworthiness directive 1-116, dated June 9, 1997). The actions required by that AD are intended to prevent increased braking distance for landings that require the flight idle stop override, resulting from the combination of failure of the override mechanism and inability of the power levers to be moved below the flight idle position after touchdown.

Since issuance of that AD, the FAA has determined that the same unsafe condition addressed in that AD may exist on certain additional Saab Model SAAB 340B series airplanes. Those airplanes (identified as serial numbers -380 through -404 inclusive, -406 through -408 inclusive, and -410 through -413 inclusive) were omitted inadvertently from the applicability of AD 98-08-16 (those airplanes had also been excluded inadvertently from the effectivity of Swedish airworthiness directive 1-116). Therefore, those additional airplanes are also subject to the same unsafe condition addressed in AD 98-08-16.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Saab has issued Service Bulletin 340-76-041, dated May 29, 1997, and Revision 01, dated July 2, 1997, which describe procedures for a one-time inspection to detect whether the override knob moves freely without scratching or jamming in the control quadrant. For any discrepant mechanism, this service bulletin describes procedures for replacement of the control quadrant with a new or serviceable control quadrant. The procedures in the original version and Revision 01 of the service bulletin are the same; Revision 01 was issued to incorporate certain minor clarifications of the procedures. The LFV classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued Swedish airworthiness directive SAD 1-148, dated November 18, 1999, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Sweden.

FAA's Conclusions

This airplane model is manufactured in Sweden and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of § 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the LFV has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the LFV, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Explanation of Requirements of Proposed Rule

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of the same type design registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin described previously.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 31 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. Start Printed Page 13923operators is estimated to be $1,860, or $60 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the proposed requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this AD were not adopted.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations proposed herein 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.

Therefore, it is determined that this proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that 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) if promulgated, 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. A copy of the draft regulatory evaluation prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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

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[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Saab Aircraft AB: Docket 2000-NM-13-AD.

Applicability: Model SAAB 340B series airplanes, certificated in any category; serial numbers -380 through -404 inclusive, -406 through -408 inclusive, and -410 through -413 inclusive.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For airplanes that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (b) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent increased braking distance for landings that require the flight idle stop override, resulting from the combination of failure of the override mechanism and inability of the power levers to be moved below the flight idle position after touchdown, accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, perform a one-time inspection of the flight idle stop override mechanism to detect any discrepancy, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-76-041, dated May 29, 1997, or Revision 01, dated July 2, 1997. If any discrepancy is found, prior to further flight, replace the control quadrant with a new or serviceable control quadrant in accordance with the service bulletin.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(b) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the International Branch, ANM-116.

Special Flight Permits

(c) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with §§ 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Swedish airworthiness directive 1-148, dated November 18, 1999.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 9, 2000.

Franklin Tiangsing,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-6332 Filed 3-14-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-U