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Airworthiness Directives; British Aerospace BAe Model ATP 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; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to all British Aerospace BAe Model ATP airplanes. This action requires repetitive inspections to detect damage of the torque link apex joint of the left-and right-hand main landing gear (MLG); and replacement of nuts, pins, and bolts with new parts, if necessary. This action is necessary to prevent separation of the top and bottom torque links, and consequent loss of directional control of the MLG. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective November 6, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 6, 2000.

Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before November 20, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-123-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Start Printed Page 63000Renton, 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 be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-an-iarcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-123-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 British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. 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 Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all British Aerospace BAe Model ATP airplanes. The CAA advises that it received reports of failures of the torque links of the main landing gear (MLG). The failures have occurred at the bolt assembly (apex joint) that attaches the top link to the bottom link. The failures are caused by wear in the threads of the pin and nut of the bolt assembly. This wear is caused by lateral oscillatory loading of the joint coupled with its normal movement as the MLG oleo compresses and extends. Excessive wear in the threads can result in loss of the nut and separation of the joint when the attachment pin migrates from its bushes in the torque links. Separation of the top and bottom torque links could result in loss of directional control of the MLG.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

British Aerospace has issued Service Bulletin ATP-32-99, dated February 21, 2000. The service bulletin references Messier-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-263, including Appendix A, dated February 1, 2000, as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the recommended actions. The Messier-Dowty service bulletin describes procedures for repetitive inspections to detect damage of the torque link apex joint of the left-and right-hand MLG; and replacement of nuts, pins, and bolts with new parts, if necessary.

The CAA classified the British Aerospace service bulletin as mandatory and issued British airworthiness directive 008-02-2000 in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the United Kingdom.

FAA's Conclusions

This airplane model is manufactured in the United Kingdom and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of § 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.19) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the CAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the CAA, 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 the 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 separation of the top and bottom torque links, and consequent loss of directional control of the MLG. This AD requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins described previously.

Cost Impact

None of the BAe Model ATP airplanes affected by this action are on the U.S. Register. All airplanes included in the applicability of this rule currently are operated by non-U.S. operators under foreign registry; therefore, they are not directly affected by this AD action. However, the FAA considers that this rule is necessary to ensure that the unsafe condition is addressed in the event that any of these subject airplanes are imported and placed on the U.S. Register in the future.

Should an affected airplane be imported and placed on the U.S. Register in the future, it would require approximately 2 work hours to accomplish the required actions, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this AD would be $120 per airplane.

Determination of Rule's Effective Date

Since this AD action does not affect any airplane that is currently on the U.S. register, it has no adverse economic impact and imposes no additional burden on any person. Therefore, prior notice and public procedures hereon are unnecessary and the amendment may be made effective in less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Comments Invited

Although this action is in the form of a final rule and was not preceded by notice and 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-123-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter. Start Printed Page 63001

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

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:

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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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2000-21-05 British Aerospace Regional Aircraft [Formerly Jetstream Aircraft Limited; British Aerospace (Commercial Aircraft) Limited]: Amendment 39-11937. Docket 2000-NM-123-AD.

Applicability: All BAe Model ATP 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 separation of the top and bottom torque links, and consequent loss of directional control of the main landing gear (MLG), accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 800 landings or 4 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Perform an inspection to detect damage of the torque link apex joint of the left- and right-hand MLG, in accordance with British Aerospace Service Bulletin ATP-32-99, dated February 21, 2000, and Messier-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-263, including Appendix A, dated February 1, 2000. If any damage exceeds the limit specified in the Messier-Dowty service bulletin, prior to further flight, replace the nut, bolt, and pin with new parts, as applicable, in accordance with that service bulletin. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,000 landings.

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 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 British Aerospace Service

Bulletin ATP-32-99, dated February 21, 2000, and Messier-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-263, including Appendix A, dated February 1, 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 British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. 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 British airworthiness directive 008-02-2000.

Effective Date

(e) This amendment becomes effective on November 6, 2000.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 12, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-26710 Filed 10-19-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P