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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB 340B and SAAB 2000 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

This document revises an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Saab Model SAAB 340B and SAAB 2000 series airplanes, that would have superseded an existing AD. That AD currently requires various inspections of fluorescent lamps and lampholders in the cabin area for discrepancies; corrections, if necessary; and reinspection of the lamps to ensure correct installation after replacement or reinstallation of the lamps or lampholders. The proposed AD would have added a requirement for replacement of the electronic light ballasts with improved ballasts, which would terminate the reinspections, and would have expanded the applicability of the existing AD. That proposal was prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. This new action revises the proposed rule to require a certain modification in accordance with revised procedures. The actions specified by this new proposed AD are intended to prevent electrical arcing between the fluorescent tube pins and the lampholders, which could burn the surrounding area and lead to smoke and fumes in the passenger compartment or lavatory area.

DATES:

Comments must be received by July 10, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 99-NM-354-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. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via the Internet must contain “Docket No. 99-NM-354-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate.

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.

Start Further Info

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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.

Submit comments using the following format:

  • Organize comments issue-by-issue. For example, discuss a request to change the compliance time and a request to change the service bulletin reference as two separate issues.
  • For each issue, state what specific change to the proposed AD is being requested.
  • Include justification (e.g., reasons or data) for each request.

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 99-NM-354-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. 99-NM-354-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to add an airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Saab Model SAAB 340B and SAAB 2000 series airplanes, was published as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on March 27, 2000 (65 FR 16154). That NPRM proposed to supersede AD 97-13-06, amendment 39-10052 (62 FR 33545, June 20, 1997), which is applicable to certain Saab Model SAAB 340B and SAAB 2000 series airplanes. That NPRM would have continued to require the actions specified in AD 97-13-06. That NPRM would have added a requirement for replacement of the electronic light ballasts with improved ballasts, which would terminate the requirement for reinspections of the lamps. That NPRM would also have expanded the applicability of the existing AD to include additional Model SAAB 340B and SAAB 2000 series airplanes that are also subject to the identified unsafe condition. That NPRM was prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority, advising that a terminating modification is available, and that additional airplanes may be subject to fluorescent lampholder charring due to the incorrect installation of the lamps in their holders. That condition, if not corrected, could burn the surrounding area and lead to smoke and fumes in the passenger compartment or lavatory area.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous Proposal

Since the issuance of that NPRM, the FAA has been advised that Saab has issued Service Bulletin 340-33-049, Revision 01, dated November 15, 1999, and Revision 02, dated February 2, 2000. The original issue of this service Start Printed Page 37088bulletin, dated January 21, 1999, was referenced as an appropriate source of service information in paragraph (d)(1) of the proposed AD, and describes procedures for modification of the ballasts to ensure sufficient clearance between the ballast and Passenger Service Unit (PSU) transistors. Revision 01 and Revision 02 of the service bulletin describe similar modification procedures, but include additional procedures for replacement of certain PSU circuit boards with different PSU circuit boards. The manufacturer advises that replacement of these PSU circuit boards is necessary in order to obtain adequate clearance between the ballast and transistors.

The FAA has determined that modification of the ballasts must be accomplished in accordance with Revision 02 of the service bulletin, and has revised paragraph (d)(1) of the AD accordingly. Additionally, a “NOTE 3” has been added to the proposed AD to give credit to operators that may have previously accomplished the modification in accordance with Revision 01 of the service bulletin, dated November 15, 1999.

Conclusion

Since this change expands the scope of the originally proposed rule, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 78 airplanes of U.S. registry that would be affected by this proposed AD.

The actions that are currently required by AD 97-13-06 take approximately 7 work hours per airplane to accomplish, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the currently required actions on U.S. operators is estimated to be $420 per airplane.

The new actions that are proposed in this AD action would take as much as 9 work hours per airplane to accomplish, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts would be provided free of charge by the manufacturer. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed requirements of this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be as much as $42,120, or $540 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are 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.

Start List of Subjects

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:

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-10052 (62 FR 33545, June 20, 1997), and by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD), to read as follows:

SAAB Aircraft AB: Docket 99-NM-354-AD. Supersedes AD 97-13-06, Amendment 39-10052.

Applicability: This AD applies to the following airplanes:

Model SAAB 340B series airplanes having serial numbers -342 and -359 through -460 inclusive, certificated in any category; except those on which Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-048, Revision 01, dated January 21, 1999 (Saab Modification No. 2936), has been incorporated; and

Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes having serial numbers -004 through -063 inclusive, certificated in any category; except those on which Saab Service Bulletin 2000-33-015, dated January 29, 1999 (Saab Modification No. 6148), has been incorporated.

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 (f)(1) 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 electrical arcing between the fluorescent tube pins and the lampholders, which could burn the surrounding area and lead to smoke and fumes in the passenger compartment or lavatory area, accomplish the following:

Restatement of Requirements of AD 97-13-06

Inspections

(a) For Model SAAB 340B series airplanes having serial numbers -342 and -359 through -439 inclusive; and Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes having serial numbers -004 through -059 inclusive: Within 30 days after July 7, 1997 (the effective date of AD 97-13-06, amendment 39-10052), accomplish the actions required by paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3), as applicable.

(1) For all airplanes: Inspect the fluorescent lamps installed in the ceiling/window of the lavatory and passenger compartment to ensure correct installation; and inspect the lampholders for discrepancies such as discoloration, evidence of electrical arcing at the light tube pins, charring or melting, or insecure back covers; in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-047, dated May 16, 1997 (for Model SAAB 340B series airplanes); or Saab Service Bulletin 2000-33-014, dated May 16, 1997 (for Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes); as applicable.

(i) If any lamp is installed incorrectly, prior to further flight, install the lamp correctly in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

(ii) If any discrepancy is found, prior to further flight, replace the lampholder with a new lampholder in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

(2) For Model SAAB 340B series airplanes on which a Page Aerospace lampholder having part number (P/N) D756-02-001 is installed: Install a retaining clip in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-040, Revision 02, dated February 20, 1997.

Note 2:

Installation of retaining clips on Page Aerospace lampholders that was Start Printed Page 37089accomplished prior to July 7, 1997, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-040, Revision 01, dated January 31, 1997, also is considered acceptable for compliance with the requirement of paragraph (a)(2) of this AD.

(3) For Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes on which a Page Aerospace lampholder having P/N C756-10-001 is installed: Install a retaining clip in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 2000-33-009, dated June 19, 1996.

Reinspections Following Replacement or Reinstallation

(b) Following the accomplishment of the requirements of paragraph (a) or paragraph (c) of this AD: If any fluorescent lamp or lampholder is replaced or reinstalled, within 7 days after accomplishing such replacement or reinstallation, reinspect the lamp to ensure it is still in the correct position, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-047, dated May 16, 1997, or Revision 01, dated June 26, 1998 (for Model SAAB 340B series airplanes); or Saab Service Bulletin 2000-33-014, dated May 16, 1997 (for Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes); as applicable. If any lamp is installed incorrectly, prior to further flight, make corrections to ensure correct installation in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

New Requirements of This AD

Inspections for Additional Airplanes

(c) For airplanes other than those specified in paragraph (a) of this AD: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (a) of this AD, and thereafter accomplish the requirements of paragraph (b) of this AD.

Terminating Modification

(d) For all airplanes: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this AD, as applicable. Accomplishment of the actions required by the applicable paragraph constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD.

(1) For Model SAAB 340B series airplanes: Replace the electronic light ballasts with improved ballasts, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-048, Revision 01, dated January 21, 1999. Concurrent with the replacement, modify the ballasts to ensure sufficient clearance between the ballast and certain transistors, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-049, Revision 02, dated February 2, 2000.

(2) For Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes: Replace the electronic light ballasts with improved ballasts, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 2000-33-015, dated January 29, 1999.

Note 3:

Modification of the ballasts for sufficient clearance in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-33-049, Revision 01, dated November 15, 1999, is acceptable for compliance with the modification requirement of paragraph (d)(1) of the AD.

Spares

(e) As of the effective date of this AD, no person shall install a fluorescent lampholder having Page Aerospace P/N D756-02-001 or Page Aerospace P/N C756-10-001 on any Model SAAB 340B or SAAB 2000 series airplane, unless the lampholder has been modified in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this AD, as applicable.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(f)(1) 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.

(2) Alternative methods of compliance, approved previously in accordance with AD 97-13-06, amendment 39-10052, are approved as alternative methods of compliance with this AD.

Note 4:

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

(g) 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 5:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Swedish airworthiness directives 1-113R1 and 1-114R1, both dated September 8, 1998.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 7, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-14883 Filed 6-12-00; 8:45 am]

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