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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330 and A340 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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Airbus Model A330 and A340 series airplanes. This proposal would require identifying the part and serial numbers of the pressure reducing valve on each air pressurization unit, testing pressure reducing valves and air pressurization units having affected serial numbers, and replacing faulty valves or units with new parts. This action is necessary to prevent the simultaneous failure of two air pressurization units, which could result in loss of three hydraulic circuits and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by January 4, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-118-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 be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-118-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 the proposed rule may be obtained from Airbus Industrie, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Norman B. Martenson, Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, 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 action 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 No. 2000-NM-118-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. 2000-NM-118-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A330 and A340 series airplanes. The DGAC advises that air pressurization units (“Pressurization Units, Air” or “PUA”) have failed on three Model A330 series airplanes. Two potential failure modes, linked to defects in the seal quality of the internal pressure reducing valve, have been identified on these air pressurization units. The simultaneous failure of two units could result in the loss of three hydraulic circuits and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

Similar Model

The same air pressurization units are installed on Model A330 and A340 series airplanes. Therefore, Model A340 series airplanes are also subject to the unsafe condition identified by this proposed AD.Start Printed Page 75878

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletins A330-29A3073 and A340-29A4058, both Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 10, 2000. The service bulletins describe procedures for a one-time special detailed visual inspection to identify the part and serial numbers of the pressure reducing valve on each air pressurization unit, testing affected valves and units, repairing a faulty valve by replacing either the valve or the entire unit with a new part, and reidentifying functional air pressurization units. These procedures are intended to detect air pressurization units that might contain defective pressure reducing valves. Replacing defective valves or units improves the reliability of the reservoir's pressurization system. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The DGAC classified these service bulletins as mandatory and issued French airworthiness directives 2000-138-118(B) and 2000-139-143(B), both dated March 22, 2000, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

The Airbus service bulletins refer to Le Bozec Filtration & Systems Service Bulletin 4020Q8-29-03, dated December 17, 1999, as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the actions specified by this proposed AD.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in France and are 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 DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the DGAC, 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 Proposed 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, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins described previously. The actions would be required to be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletin described previously.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 5 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD. It would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to inspect it, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $60 per airplane. However, the FAA has been advised that all affected airplanes currently on the U.S. Register are in compliance with the actions of this proposed AD.

The cost impact figure discussed above is 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. The cost impact figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform the specific actions actually required by the AD. These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other administrative actions.

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:

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

End Authority
[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Airbus Industrie: Docket 2000-NM-118-AD.

Applicability: Model A330 and A340 series airplanes, certificated in any category; fitted with any air pressurization unit (“Pressurization Unit, Air” or “PUA”) having part number (P/N) 4020 Q8-3.

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 (c) 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 the simultaneous failure of two air pressurization units, which could result in loss of three hydraulic circuits and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to determine the P/N and serial number (S/N) of the pressure reducing valve on each air pressurization unit, per Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29A3073 (for Model A330 series airplanes) or A340-29A4058 (for Model A340 series airplanes), both Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 10, 2000; as applicable.

(1) If no P/N or S/N is identified as affected equipment per the applicable service bulletin, you have fulfilled the requirements of this AD.

(2) If any P/N or S/N is identified as affected equipment per the applicable service bulletin: Prior to further flight, perform applicable tests and repairs in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed visual inspection is defined as: “An Start Printed Page 75879intensive 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.”

Note 3:

An inspection per Airbus Service Bulletin A330-29A3073, dated January 18, 2000 (for Model A330 series airplanes), or A340-29A4058, dated January 20, 2000 (for Model A340 series airplanes), is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this AD.

Note 4:

The Airbus service bulletins refer to Le Bozec Filtration & Systems Service Bulletin 4020Q8-29-03, dated December 17, 1999, as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the actions specified by this AD.

Spares

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, you may not install any air pressurization unit having P/N 4020 Q8-3 on any airplane, unless all actions have been accomplished for that part in accordance with the requirements of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(c) 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, 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 5:

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

(d) 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 6:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directives 2000-138-118(B) and 2000-139-143(B), both dated March 22, 2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 29, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 00-30951 Filed 12-4-00; 8:45 am]

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