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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A310 and Model A300 B4-600, A300 B4-600R, and A300 F4-600R (Collectively Called A300-600) 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.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This amendment proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Model A310 and Model A300 B4-600, A300 B4-600R, and A300 F4-600R (collectively called A300-600) series airplanes. This proposal would require replacement of the ejection jack on the ram air turbine (RAT). This action is necessary to prevent the ejection jack on the RAT from failing when the RAT is deployed at high airspeeds, leading to a loss of ability to properly restrain the movement of the RAT, possibly resulting in damage to the RAT itself and to other airplane components. In the event of an emergency, failure of the ejection jack on the RAT could also result in a reduction of hydraulic pressure or electrical power on the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by April 2, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-261-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-261-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. Start Printed Page 10235

The service information referenced in this AD 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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-116, 1601 Lind Ave., SW, Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149.

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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 action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-261-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-261-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 A310 and Model A300 B4-600, A300 B4-600R, and A300 F4-600R (collectively called A300-600) series airplanes.

The DGAC advises that an anomaly of the ejection jack of the ram air turbine (RAT) was found in production. Follow-up analyses showed that the nut at the end of the ejection jack piston rod has insufficient thread engagement to absorb impact loads when the RAT is deployed at high speed. This condition, if not corrected, could lead to a loss of ability to properly restrain the movement of the RAT, possibly resulting in damage to the RAT itself and to other airplane components. In the event of an emergency, failure of the ejection jack on the RAT could also result in a reduction of hydraulic pressure or electrical power on the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued service bulletin A300-29-6048, Revision 01 (for A300-600 series airplanes) and service bulletin A310-29-2086, Revision 01 (for A310 series airplanes), both dated July 12, 2000. These service bulletins describe procedures for replacing the ejection jack in the RAT and testing the modified RAT. Replacing the ejection jack reduces impact loads by dampening the deployment of the RAT. 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 directive 2000-284-317(B), dated July 12, 2000, to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

Explanation of Secondary Service Information

The Airbus service bulletins refer to Hamilton Sundstrand Service Bulletin No. ERPS03/04EJ-29-1 as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the modification of the RAT and testing of the modified RAT.

FAA's Conclusions

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 21.19) 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 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, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins described previously.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 117 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 6 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed modification, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. There would be no charge for required parts. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $42,120, or $360 per airplane.

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 proposed 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 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 proposal would not Start Printed Page 10236have 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 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.

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

Airbus Industrie: Docket 2000-NM-261-AD.

Applicability: Model A310 and Model A300 B4-600, A300 B4-600R, and A300 F4-600R (collectively called A300-600) series airplanes; certificated in any category, except for airplanes on which Airbus Modification 12259 has been embodied.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise 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 per 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 ejection jack on the ram air turbine (RAT) from failing when the RAT is deployed at high airspeeds, leading to a loss of ability to properly restrain the movement of the RAT, possibly resulting in damage to the RAT itself and to other airplane components and in reduced hydraulic pressure or electrical power, if such failure occurs during an emergency, accomplish the following:

Modification

(a) Within 34 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the RAT per Airbus Service Bulletin A310-29-2086, Revision 01 (for Model A310 series airplanes) or A300-29-6048, Revision 01 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes), both dated July 12, 2000, as applicable.

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person shall install on any airplane an ejection jack, part number 730820, unless it has been modified per paragraph (a) of this AD.

Note 2:

The Airbus service bulletins refer to Hamilton Sundstrand Service Bulletin No. ERPS03/04EJ-29-1, as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the modification of the RAT and testing of the modified RAT.

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, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA. 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 3:

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 per sections 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 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 2000-284-317(B), dated July 12, 2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 7, 2001.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-3676 Filed 2-13-01; 8:45 am]

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