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Airworthiness Directives; Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd., Model 1125 Westwind Astra Series Airplanes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd., Model 1125 Westwind Astra series airplanes. This action requires revising the Airplane Flight Manual to provide the flight crew with operational guidance under certain failure conditions and a limitation not to engage the long-range navigation system during takeoff, approach, or landing. This action is necessary to prevent the loss of primary attitude and directional gyros, which relate position information to the flight crew. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective September 29, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 29, 2000.

Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before October 16, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-287-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-anm-iarcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-287-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate. Comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Galaxy Aerospace Corporation, One Galaxy Way, Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Fort Worth, Texas 76177. This information may be examined 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.

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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:

The Civil Aviation Administration of Israel (CAAI), which is the airworthiness authority for Israel, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd., Model 1125 Westwind Astra series airplanes. The CAAI reported a recent incident in which failure of a single alternating current (AC) inverter resulted in the simultaneous in-flight failure of all primary attitude and directional gyros on board.

On these airplanes, AC power to the whole avionics system is supplied by the left inverter when the long-range navigation/flight management system is selected for navigation. When this inverter fails, all screens of the electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) could lose power. In addition, internal gyro fuses could burn out. The system to detect AC power failure is activated when the voltage drops below 65 volts. There are several inverter failure modes that could cause the voltage to drop to slightly less than 100 volts; in that case, the avionics systems could fail, but no AC power failure would be announced. The CAAI advises that proper and timely corrective action (transferring all the loads to the alternate inverter) would alleviate the problem.

In the subject incident, a single inverter failed and all EFIS screens temporarily lost power. Both primary gyros failed due to internal fuse burnout caused by low voltage. The flight crew was left with use of only the standby attitude indicator and magnetic compass to control the airplane. AC power was Start Printed Page 55451eventually restored, except for gyro information.

Unless proper and timely corrective action is taken, failure of the left inverter could result in the loss of power to the EFIS screens and internal gyros during takeoff, approach, or landing, and consequent loss of primary position information to the flight crew.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd. has issued Astra Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) Temporary Revision No. 9, dated May 21, 2000, which provides the flight crew with operational guidance under certain failure conditions and a limitation not to engage the long-range navigation system during takeoff, approach, or landing. The CAAI classified this temporary revision as mandatory and issued Israeli airworthiness directive 34-00-07-04, dated July 10, 2000, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Israel.

FAA's Conclusions

This airplane model is manufactured in Israel 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 CAAI has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the CAAI, 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 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, this AD is being issued to prevent loss of primary attitude and directional gyros, which relate position information to the flight crew. This AD requires revising the Limitations and Abnormal Procedures Sections of the FAA-approved AFM to provide operational guidance for the flight crew under certain failure conditions and a limitation not to engage the long-range navigation system during takeoff, approach, or landing.

Interim Action

This is considered to be interim action. The manufacturer has advised that it may develop a modification that will positively address the unsafe condition addressed by this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, the FAA may consider additional rulemaking.

Difference Between AD and Israeli Airworthiness Directive

This AD requires that the AFM be revised within 10 days. The parallel Israeli airworthiness directive recommends that the AFM be revised within 1 month. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this AD, the FAA considered not only the CAAI's recommendation, but the degree of urgency associated with addressing the subject unsafe condition, and the average utilization of the affected fleet. In light of these factors, the FAA finds a 10-day compliance time for initiating the required actions to be warranted, in that it represents an appropriate interval of time allowable for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety.

Determination of Rule's Effective Date

Since a situation exists that requires the immediate adoption of this regulation, it is found that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are impracticable, and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

Although this action is in the form of a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and, thus, was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment, comments are invited on this rule. Interested persons are invited to comment on this 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 under the caption ADDRESSES. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered, and this rule may be amended in light of the comments received. Factual information that supports the commenter's ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the AD action and determining whether additional rulemaking action would be needed.

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 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 rule that might suggest a need to modify the 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 that summarizes each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this AD will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this rule must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-287-AD.” The postcard will be date-stamped and returned to the commenter.

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.

The FAA has determined that this regulation is an emergency regulation that must be issued immediately to correct an unsafe condition in aircraft, and that it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. It has been determined further that this action involves an emergency regulation under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). If it is determined that this emergency regulation otherwise would be significant under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures, a final regulatory evaluation will be prepared and placed in the Rules Docket. A copy of it, if filed, 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

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows: Start Printed Page 55452

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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 adding the following new airworthiness directive:

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2000-18-11 Israel Aircraft Industries, LTD.: Amendment 39-11896. Docket 2000-NM-287-AD.

Applicability: Model 1125 Westwind Astra series airplanes, certificated in any category; serial numbers 004 through 029 inclusive and 031 through 041 inclusive.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent the loss of primary attitude and directional gyros, which relate position information to the flight crew, accomplish the following:

AFM Revision

(a) Within 10 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the Limitations and Abnormal Procedures Sections of the Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd. Astra Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) by inserting a copy of Temporary Revision No. 9, dated May 21, 2000, into the AFM.

Note 1:

When the temporary revision required by paragraph (a) of this AD has been incorporated into the general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be inserted into the AFM, provided that the information contained in the general revisions is identical to that specified in the temporary revision.

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. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Operations 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.

Incorporation by Reference

(d) The actions shall be done in accordance with Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd. Astra Airplane Flight Manual Temporary Revision No. 9, dated May 21, 2000. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from Galaxy Aerospace Corporation, One Galaxy Way, Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Fort Worth, Texas 76177. 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 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Israeli airworthiness directive 34-00-07-04, dated July 10, 2000.

(e) This amendment becomes effective on September 29, 2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 5, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-23205 Filed 9-13-00; 8:45 am]

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