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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; SOCATA-Groupe AEROSPATIALE Model TBM 700 Airplanes

Document Details

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 SOCATA—Groupe AEROSPATIALE (Socata) Model TBM 700 airplanes. The proposed AD would require you to apply Loctite on attaching bolt threads of inboard, central, and outboard carriages; increase tightening torques; and replace central carriage attaching bolts. The proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for France. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent loose or the loss of flap attachment screws, which could cause rough or irregular control. Such rough or irregular control could lead to the loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this proposed rule by February 5, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Send three copies of your comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-CE-61-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. You may read comments at this location between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

You may get service information that applies to the proposed AD from SOCATA Groupe AEROSPATIALE, Customer Support, Aerodrome Tarbes-Ossun-Lourdes, BP 930—F65009 Tarbes Cedex, France; telephone: (33) (0)5.62.41.73.00; facsimile: (33) (0)5.62.41.76.54; or the Product Support Manager, SOCATA—Groupe AEROSPATIALE, North Perry Airport, 7501 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023; telephone: (954) 894-1160; facsimile: (954) 964-4191. You may also look at this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

How do I comment on the proposed AD? We invite your comments on the proposed rule. You may send whatever written data, views, or arguments you choose. You need to include the rule's docket number and send your comments in triplicate to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. We will consider all comments received by the closing date specified above, before acting on the proposed rule. We may change the proposals contained in this notice in light of the comments received.

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 require a change to the proposed rule. You may look at all comments we receive. We will file a report in the Rules Docket that summarizes each FAA contact with the public that concerns the substantive parts of this proposal.

We are 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 the ease of understanding this document, and Start Printed Page 65any 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.faa.gov/​language/​.

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. 2000-CE-61-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What events have caused this proposed AD? The Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Socata Model TBM 700 airplanes. The DGAC reports two occurrences on Socata model TBM 700 airplanes where, following a flight, a screw of a flap attachment fitting was found partly unscrewed and another was missing. These occurrences are the result of flap vibration.

What are the consequences if the condition is not corrected? Loose or the loss of flap attachment screws could result in rough or irregular control. Such rough or irregular control could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

Is there service information that applies to this subject? Socata has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin No. SB 70-087 57, dated September 2000.

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

—Applying Loctite on attaching bolt threads of inboard, central, and outboard carriages;

—Increasing the tightening torques; and

—Replacing central carriage attaching bolts.

What action did the DGAC take? The DGAC classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued French AD Number 2000-375(A), dated September 20, 2000, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

Was this in accordance with the bilateral airworthiness agreement? These airplane models are manufactured in France and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. In carrying out this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the DGAC has kept FAA informed of the situation described above.

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

What has FAA decided? The FAA has examined the findings of the DGAC; reviewed all available information, including the service information referenced above; and determined that:

—The unsafe condition referenced in this document exists or could develop on other Socata Model TBM 700 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 would the proposed AD require? This proposed AD would require you to incorporate the actions in the previously referenced service bulletin.

Cost Impact

How many airplanes would the proposed AD impact? We estimate that the proposed AD affects 75 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

What would be the cost impact of the proposed AD on owners/operators of the affected airplanes? We estimate the following costs to complete the actions of the service bulletin:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. airplane operators
6 workhours × $60 for each hour = $360$10$360 + $10 = $37075 × $370 = $27,750

Regulatory Impact

Would this proposed AD impact various entities? The regulations proposed 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.

Would this proposed AD involve a significant rule or regulatory action? For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed 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. You may get a copy of it 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 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.

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[Amended]

2. FAA amends § 39.13 by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD) to read as follows:

SOCATA—Groupe Aerospatiale:

Docket No. 2000-CE-61-AD.

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Model TBM 700 airplanes, serial numbers 1 thru 164, and 166 thru 173, that are certificated in any category.

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

(c) What problem does this AD address? The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent loose flap attachment screws or the loss of flap attachment screws that could cause rough or irregular control and Start Printed Page 66consequently the loss of control of the airplane.

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

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Apply Loctite on attaching bolt threads of inboard, central, and outboard carriages; increase tightening torques; and replace central carriage attaching bolts with new bolts, part number Z00.N5109337315Within the next 25 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, if not already doneDo this action following the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS paragraph in Socata Service Bulletin SB 70-087, dated September 2000 and the applicable maintenance manual.
(2) Do not install any central carriage attaching bolts that are not part number Z00.N5109337315 (or FAA-approved equivalent part number)As 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, Small Airplane Directorate, approves your alternative. Submit your request through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Small Airplane Directorate.

Note 1:

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 Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

(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 get copies of the documents referenced in this AD from SOCATA Groupe AEROSPATIALE, Customer Support, Aerodrome Tarbes-Ossun-Lourdes, BP 930—F65009 Tarbes Cedex, France; or the Product Support Manager, SOCATA—Groupe AEROSPATIALE, North Perry Airport, 7501 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023. You may look at these documents at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

Note 2:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French AD 2000-375(A), dated September 20, 2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 22, 2000.

Marvin R. Nuss,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-33405 Filed 12-29-00; 8:45 am]

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