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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Model Falcon 2000, Mystere-Falcon 900, Falcon 900EX, Fan Jet Falcon, Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 20, Mystere-Falcon 200, and Falcon 10 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 all Dassault Model Falcon 2000, Mystere-Falcon 900, Falcon 900EX, Fan Jet Falcon, Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 20, Mystere-Falcon 200, and Falcon 10 series airplanes. This proposal would require repetitive tests and inspections to detect discrepancies of the overwing emergency exit; 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 failure of the overwing emergency exits to open, and consequent injury to passengers or crew members during an emergency evacuation.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 24, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-56-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.

Information pertaining to this proposed rule 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. Start Printed Page 21680

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-56-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-56-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all Dassault Model Falcon 2000, Mystere-Falcon 900, Falcon 900EX, Fan Jet Falcon, Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 20, Mystere-Falcon 200, and Falcon 10 series airplanes. The DGAC advises that service experience has shown that the overwing emergency exits on Dassault Falcon series airplanes may not operate correctly. This incorrect operation may be caused by interference between the emergency exit and the upper part of the airframe structure, or between the emergency exit and the interior accommodation. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the overwing emergency exits to open, and consequent injury to passengers or crew members during an emergency evacuation.

Related French Airworthiness Directives

The DGAC issued French airworthiness directives 1999-213-025(B) (for Model Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 900, and Falcon 900EX series airplanes), 1999-212-024(B) (for Model Fan Jet Falcon, Mystere-Falcon 20, and Mystere-Falcon 200 series airplanes), 1999-211-023(B) (for Model Falcon 10 series airplanes), and 1999-210-009(B) (for Model Falcon 2000 series airplanes); all dated May 19, 1999. These French airworthiness directives require a test of the overwing emergency exit from inside the cabin, in accordance with the applicable maintenance manual procedures.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in France and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the DGAC, 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 repetitive tests and inspections to detect discrepancies of the overwing emergency exit; and corrective action, if necessary. Procedures for accomplishment of these actions are specified in the applicable aircraft maintenance manual.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 767 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. operators is estimated to be $46,020, or $60 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

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:

Dassault Aviation: Docket 2000-NM-56-AD.

Applicability: All Model Falcon 2000, Mystere-Falcon 900, Falcon 900EX, Fan Jet Falcon, Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 20, Mystere-Falcon 200, and Falcon 10 series airplanes; certificated in any category.

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 failure of the overwing emergency exits to open, and consequent injury to passengers or crew members during an emergency evacuation, accomplish the following:

Operational Test and Inspection

(a) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, perform an operational test and detailed visual inspection of the overwing emergency exit from inside the cabin to detect discrepancies (including separation, tearing, wearing, Start Printed Page 21681arcing, cracking) in the areas and components listed in Chapter 5 (ATA Code 52) of the applicable airplane maintenance manual (AMM). Accomplish the actions in accordance with the applicable AMM. If any discrepancy is detected during any test or inspection required by this paragraph, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with Chapter 5 (ATA Code 52) of the applicable AMM. Repeat the operational test and inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 13 months.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed visual inspection is defined as: “An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.”

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 3:

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 sections 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 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directives 1999-213-025(B), 1999-212-024(B), 1999-211-023(B), and 1999-210-009(B); all dated May 19, 1999.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 18, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-10164 Filed 4-21-00; 8:45 am]

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