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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Raytheon Aircraft Company Beech Models 60, A60, and B60 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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Raytheon Aircraft Company (Raytheon) Beech Models 60, A60, and B60 airplanes. The proposed AD would require you to inspect for the existence of any lower forward wing bolts with the Mercury Aerospace trademark, and replace any such bolt with an FAAapproved bolt without this trademark. The proposed AD is the result of a report that wing bolts supplied by Mercury Aerospace may not meet the required Rockwell hardness specifications. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to detect and correct wing bolts that do not meet strength requirements. Continued airplane operation with such bolts could result in fatigue failure of the bolts with consequent separation of the wing from the airplane.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this rule on or before December 5, 2000.

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ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 99-CE-74-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Comments may be inspected at this location between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, holidays excepted.

Service information that applies to the proposed AD may be obtained from Raytheon Aircraft Company, P.O. Box 85, Wichita, Kansas 67201-0085; telephone: (800) 429-5372 or (316) 676-3140. This information also may be examined at the Rules Docket at the address above.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. T.N. Baktha, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4155; facsimile: (316) 946-4407.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

How do I comment on the proposed AD? The FAA invites comments on this proposed rule. You may submit whatever written data, views, or arguments you choose. You need to include the rule's docket number and submit your comments in triplicate to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. The FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing date. We may amend the proposed rule in light of comments received. Factual information that supports your ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed AD action and determining whether we need to take additional rulemaking action.

Are there any specific portions of the proposed AD I should pay attention to? The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule that might suggest a need to modify the rule. You may examine all comments we receive before and after the closing date of the rule in the Rules Docket. We will file a report in the Rules Docket that summarizes each FAA contact with the public that concerns the substantive parts of the proposed AD.

The FAA is re-examining the writing style we currently use in regulatory documents, in response to the Presidential memorandum of June 1, 1998. That memorandum requires federal agencies to communicate more clearly with the public. We are interested in your comments on whether the style of this document is clearer, and any other suggestions you might have to improve the clarity of FAA communications that affect you. You can get more information about the Presidential memorandum and the plain language initiative at http://www.plainlanguage.gov.

How can I be sure FAA receives my comment? If you want us to acknowledge the receipt of your comments, you must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard. On the postcard, write “Comments to Docket No. 99-CE-74-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What events have caused this AD? The FAA has received a report indicating that about 70 lower forward wing bolts that Mercury Aerospace supplied for certain Raytheon Models 60, A60, and B60 airplanes may not meet Rockwell hardness specifications. The bolts were distributed between 1995 and 1996. An independent test lab has confirmed that the bolts do not meet the structural requirements for an MS21250-14034 bolt.

Specifically, these wing bolts are required to meet Rockwell hardness specifications of C39-C43. Laboratory tests indicate that bolts from this manufacturing batch are below these specifications.

What are the consequences if the condition is not corrected? Continued airplane operation with such bolts could result in fatigue failure of the bolts with consequent separation of the wing from the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

Is there service information that applies to this subject? Raytheon has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin No. SB 57-3328, Issued: July, 1999.

What are the provisions of this service bulletin? The service bulletin includes procedures for:

—Inspecting all lower forward wing bolts for the Mercury Aerospace trademark; and

—Replacing any of these bolts, along with the nuts and washers.

The FAA's Determination and an Explanation of the Provisions of the Proposed AD

What has FAA decided? After examining the circumstances and reviewing all available information related to the conditions described above, we have determined that:

—the unsafe condition referenced in this document exists or could develop on Raytheon Beech Models 60, A60, and B60 airplanes of the same type design;

—the actions specified in the previously-referenced service information should be accomplished on the affected airplanes; and

—AD action should be taken in order to correct this unsafe condition.

What does the proposed AD require? This proposed AD would require you to inspect for the existence of any lower forward wing bolt with the Mercury Aerospace trademark and replace such bolt with an FAA-approved bolt without this trademark.

Cost Impact

How many airplanes does the proposed AD impact? We estimate that the proposed AD affects 593 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

What is the cost impact of the proposed AD on owners/operators of the affected airplanes? We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed inspection:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. airplane operators
1 workhour × $60 per hour = $60Not applicable$60 per airplane$35,580.

We estimate the following costs to accomplish any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. Based on manufacturer data from its warranty program, 10 bolts were replaced, which leaves 60 suspect bolts still in the field. Start Printed Page 60601

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
8 workhours × $60 per hour = $480Approximately $500 per airplane. NOTE: Warranty credit has expired$980 per airplane.

Regulatory Impact

Does this proposed AD impact various entities? 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 proposed rule would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

Does this proposed AD involve a significant rule or regulatory action? 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) 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 has been placed 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, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations 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. FAA amends § 39.13 by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD) to read as follows:

Raytheon Aircraft Company: Docket No. 99-CE-74-AD

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Beech Models 60, A60, and B60 airplanes, serial numbers P-4 through P-596, that are certificated in any category.

(b) Who must comply with this AD? Anyone who wishes to operate any of the above airplanes on the U.S. Register must comply with this AD.

(c) What problem does this AD address? The actions specified by this AD are intended to detect and correct wing bolts that do not meet strength requirements. Continued airplane operation with such bolts could result in fatigue failure of the bolts with consequent separation of the wing from the airplane.

(d) What actions must I accomplish to address this problem? To address this problem, you must accomplish the following:

ActionCompliance timeProcedures
(1) Inspect the lower forward wing bolts (left and right) for the Mercury Aerospace trademarkWithin the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this ADUse the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS section of Raytheon Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 57-3328, Issued: July, 1999.
(2) Replace any lower forward wing bolt that has the Mercury Arospace trademark with an FAA-approved bolt that does not have this trademark. Replace the associated nuts and washersPrior to further flight after the inspectionUse the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS section of Raytheon Mandatory Service bulletin SB 57-3328, Issued: July, 1999, and the instructions in the applicable maintenance manual.
(3) Do not install, on any affected airplane, a forward wing bolt that has the Mercury Aerospace trademarkAs of the effective date of this ADNot Applicable.

(e) Can I comply with this AD in any other way? You may use an alternative method of compliance or adjust the compliance time if:

(1) Your alternative method of compliance provides an equivalent level of safety; and

(2) The Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), approves your alternative. Submit your request through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Wichita ACO.

Note:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in paragraph (a) of this AD, 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 (e) 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 you have not eliminated the unsafe condition, specific actions you propose to address it.

(f) Where can I get information about any already-approved alternative methods of compliance? Contact Mr. T.N. Baktha, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4155; facsimile: (316) 946-4407.

(g) What if I need to fly the airplane to another location to comply with this AD? The FAA can issue a special flight permit under sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate your airplane to a location where you can accomplish the requirements of this AD.

(h) How do I get copies of the documents referenced in this AD? You may obtain copies of the documents referenced in this AD from Raytheon Aircraft Company, P.O. Box 85, Wichita, Kansas 67201-0085. You may examine these documents at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 5, 2000.

Marvin R. Nuss,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate,, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-26238 Filed 10-11-00; 8:45 am]

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