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

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes, that currently requires repetitive inspections for discrepancies of the lock bolt for the pintle pin on the main landing gear (MLG), and follow-on corrective actions, if necessary. This amendment requires additional follow-on actions for certain airplanes. This amendment also provides for optional terminating action for the requirements of this AD. This amendment is prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. The actions specified by this AD are intended to detect and correct a rotated, damaged, or missing lock bolt, which could result in disengagement of the pintle pin from the pintle fitting bearing, and consequent collapse of the MLG during landing.

DATES:

Effective June 30, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of June 30, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain other publications, as listed in the regulations, was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 12, 1998 (63 FR 36834, July 8, 1998).

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Airbus Industrie, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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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:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) by superseding AD 98-14-11, amendment 39-10644 (63 FR 36834, July 8, 1998), which is applicable to all Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes, was published in the Federal Register on February 24, 2000 (65 FR 9225). The action proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for discrepancies of the lock bolt for the pintle pin on the main landing gear (MLG), and follow-on corrective actions, if necessary; and to require additional follow-on actions, including a retorque of the lock bolt for the pintle pin.

Comment Received

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the comment received.

Reference to Terminating Modification

Two commenters request that the proposed AD include reference to Airbus Modifications 28903 (for Model A319 and A320 series airplanes) and 30044 (for Model A321 series airplanes) as terminating action to the requirements of this AD. Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1213, dated March 21, 2000, describes procedures for accomplishment of the modification, which involves installation of a dual lock bolt configuration. One commenter notes that the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority of France, has approved this modification as terminating action for the inspections and actions described in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187.

The FAA concurs that the modification described in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1213 constitutes acceptable terminating action to the requirements of this AD. A new paragraph (c) has been added to the AD to provide this option to operators, and the applicability of the AD has been limited to those airplanes not having the modification. Additionally, since terminating action is now available, the FAA has removed the “Interim Action” discussion from the AD; however, the FAA may consider further rulemaking if Start Printed Page 34060a determination is made at a later date that the terminating modification should be mandated.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comment noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the changes previously described. The FAA has determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 341 airplanes of U.S. registry that will be affected by this AD. It will take approximately 2 work hours to accomplish the required inspection, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the inspection required by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $40,920, or $120 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the 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 adopted herein will 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 final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under 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. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from 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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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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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]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-10644 (

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2000-10-16 Airbus Industrie: Amendment 39-11740. Docket 99-NM-28-AD. Supersedes AD 98-14-11, Amendment 39-10644.

Applicability: Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes, certificated in any category, except those on which Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1213, dated March 21, 2000 (reference Airbus Modification 28903 or 30044), has been accomplished.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise 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 (d) 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 detect and correct a rotated, damaged, or missing lock bolt, which could result in disengagement of the pintle pin from the bearing, and consequent collapse of the main landing gear (MLG) during landing, accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Perform a detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies (rotation, damage, and absence) of the lock bolt for the pintle pin on the MLG, in accordance with Airbus All Operator Telex (AOT) 32-17, Revision 01, dated November 6, 1997, Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, dated June 17, 1998, or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, Revision 01, dated February 17, 1999, at the latest of the times specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) of this AD. If any discrepancy is detected, prior to further flight, perform corrective actions, as applicable, in accordance with the AOT or service bulletin. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,000 flight cycles or 15 months, whichever occurs first, unless the terminating action of paragraph (c) of this AD is accomplished. After the effective date of this AD, only Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, Revision 01, dated February 17, 1999, shall be used for compliance with this paragraph.

(1) Within 30 months since the airplane's date of manufacture or prior to the accumulation of 2,000 total flight cycles, whichever occurs first.

(2) Within 15 months or 1,000 flight cycles after the last gear replacement or accomplishment of Airbus Industrie Service Bulletin A320-32-1119, dated June 13, 1994, whichever occurs first.

(3) Within 500 flight cycles after August 12, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-14-11, amendment 39-10644).

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.”

One-Time Follow-On Actions

(b) For airplanes on which the actions described in paragraph 2.B.(2)(c) of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, Revision 01, dated February 17, 1999, have not been accomplished: At the time of the initial inspection or the next repetitive inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, perform the applicable one-time follow-on actions (including retorquing the forward pintle pin lock bolt and applying sealant to the head of the lock bolt), in accordance with section 2.B.(2)(c) of the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, Revision 01, dated February 17, 1999.

Optional Terminating Modification

(c) Modification of the lock bolts of the bolt for the pintle pin on the MLG in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1213, dated March 21, 2000, constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(d) 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 request 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.

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Special Flight Permits

(e) 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.

Incorporation by Reference

(f) The actions shall be done in accordance with Airbus All Operator Telex (AOT) 32-17, Revision 01, dated November 6, 1997; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, dated June 17, 1998; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, Revision 01, dated February 17, 1999.

(1) The incorporation by reference of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, dated June 17, 1998, and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1187, Revision 01, dated February 17, 1999, is approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) The incorporation by reference of Airbus All Operator Telex (AOT) 32-17, Revision 01, dated November 6, 1997, was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 12, 1998 (63 FR 36834, July 8, 1998).

(3) Copies may be obtained from Airbus Industrie, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Note 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 97-385-112(B)R1, dated October 21, 1998.

(g) This amendment becomes effective on June 30, 2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 16, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-12815 Filed 5-25-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-U