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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Raytheon Aircraft Company Beech Models 35, 35R, A35, and B35 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98-13-02, which currently requires Start Printed Page 16419operating limitations on Raytheon Aircraft Company (Raytheon) Beech Models 35, 35R, A35, and B35 airplanes. This proposed AD is the result of Raytheon developing inspection and modification procedures that, when accomplished on the affected airplanes, would eliminate the need for the operating limitations. This proposed AD would retain the operating limitations for the affected airplanes until the recently developed inspection and modification procedures are accomplished. The proposed AD would also require repetitive inspections of the fuselage structure. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to continue to prevent structural failure of the V-tail, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this rule on or before May 25, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-CE-44-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 the Raytheon Aircraft Company, PO Box 85, Wichita, Kansas 67201-0085; telephone: (800) 625-7043 or (316) 676-4556. This information also may be examined at the Rules Docket at the address above.

Start Further Info

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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 heading 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.

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 whether the style of this document is clear, 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. 2000-CE-44-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

Has FAA taken any action on the Raytheon airplane ruddervator system to this point? AD 98-13-02, Amendment 39-10590 (63 FR 31916, June 11, 1998), currently requires the following on Raytheon Beech Models 35, A35, B35, and 35R airplanes:

—Fabricating a placard that restricts the never exceed speed (Vne) to no more than 144 miles per hour (MPH) or 125 knots (KTS) indicated airspeed (IAS), and installing this placard on the instrument panel within the pilot's clear view;

—Marking a red line on the airspeed indicator glass at 144 MPH (125 KTS);

—Marking a white slippage mark on the outside surface of the airspeed indicator between the glass and case; and

—Inserting a copy of this AD into the Limitations Section of the POH/AFM.

In addition, AD 94-20-04, Amendment 39-9032 (59 FR 49785, September 30, 1994), requires the following on certain Beech Models C35, D35, E35, F35, G35, H35, J35, K35, M35, N35, P35, S35, V35, V35A, and V35B airplanes, as well as the Beech Models 35, A35, B35, and 35R airplanes:

—Checking the ruddervator static balance and rebalancing the ruddervators when the balance is not in accordance with manufacturer's specifications or anytime the ruddervators are repaired or repainted;

—Repetitively inspecting the fuselage bulkheads for damage, and replacing any damaged parts;

—Installing stabilizer reinforcements for some airplane models, as applicable;

—Fabricating and installing airspeed limitation placards;

—Incorporating certain airspeed limitations into the airplane flight manual/pilot's operating handbook (POH/AFM);

—Inspecting the empennage, aft fuselage, and ruddervator control system for damage, and replacing or repairing any damaged parts; and

—Ensuring the accuracy of the airplane basic weight and balance information, and immediately correcting any discrepancies.

Accomplishment of these actions is required in accordance with the instructions to either Beech Kit No. 35-4016-3, 35-4016-5, 35-4016-7, or 35-4016-9, as applicable and as specified in Beech Service Bulletin No. 2188, dated May, 1987, and the applicable maintenance and shop manuals.

What has happened since AD 94-20-04 and AD 98-13-02 to initiate this action? AD 94-20-04 contains minor errors and FAA receives periodic calls from the public for clarification.

In addition, Raytheon has issued Recommended Service Bulletin No. SB 27-3358, Issued: February, 2000, which includes procedures for inspecting the aft fuselage, ruddervator, and related systems for acceptable condition and rebalancing the ruddervators to new specifications (upper limit reduced from 19.8 to 18 inch-pounds (tail heavy)). Accomplishing these inspections would eliminate the need for the operating limitations of AD 98-13-02. This service bulletin also includes the procedures necessary for continuing the repetitive inspections of the empennage, aft fuselage, and ruddervator control system (the inspections AD 94-20-04 currently require).

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

What has FAA decided? After examining the circumstances and reviewing all available information related to the incidents described above, we have determined that: Start Printed Page 16420

—The unsafe condition referenced in this document still exists or could develop on other Raytheon Beech Models 35, A35, B35, and 35R airplanes of the same type design;

—The inspections specified in Raytheon Recommended Service Bulletin No. SB 27-3358, Issued: February, 2000, should be accomplished on Beech Models 35, 35R, A35, and B35 airplanes;

—The repetitive inspections currently required on these airplanes by AD 94-20-04 should be removed from AD 94-20-04 and included in this proposed AD. These repetitive inspections should be accomplished in accordance with Raytheon Recommended Service Bulletin No. SB 27-3358, Issued: February, 2000; and

—AD action should be taken in order to continue to prevent structural failure of the V-tail, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

What would the proposed AD require? This proposed AD would supersede AD 98-13-02 with a new AD. The proposed AD would require you to inspect the aft fuselage, ruddervator, and related systems for acceptable condition on Beech Models 35, 35R, A35, and B35 airplanes; adjust ruddervator balance to the new limits; and repair or replace damaged parts, as necessary. This proposed inspection requirement along with the new proposed limits for the ruddervator balance (set forth in Raytheon SB 27-3358, Section 3.A) would terminate the need for the operating limitations for those airplanes.

Cost Impact

How many airplanes would the proposed AD impact? We estimate that the proposed AD affects 2,211 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 accomplish the proposed initial inspections:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
55 workhours at $60 per hour = $3,300$500 per airplane$3,800$8,401,800

The above figures are based only on the proposed initial inspections and do not take into account the cost of repetitive inspections or adjustments, repairs, or replacements that would be necessary based on the results of the inspections. We have no way of determining the number of repetitive inspections each owner/operator of the affected airplanes would incur or what adjustments, repairs, or replacements may be necessary based on the results of the inspections.

Regulatory Impact

Would 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.

Would 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 heading ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

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:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

2. FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98-13-02, Amendment 39-10590 (63 FR 31916, June 11, 1998), and by adding a new AD to read as follows:

Raytheon Aircraft Company (Beech Aircraft Corporation formerly held Type Certificate (TC) No. A-777): Docket No. 2000-CE-44-AD; Supersedes AD 98-13-02, Amendment 39-10590.

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Beech Models 35, 35R, A35, and B35 airplanes, all serial numbers, 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 structural failure of the V-tail, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

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

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Fabricate a placard that restricts the never exceed speed (Vne) to no more than 144 miles per hour (MPH) or 125 knots (KTS) indicated airspeed (IAS), and install this placard on the instrument panel within the pilot's clear view. The placard should utilize letters of at least 0.10-inch in height and contain the following words: “Never exceed speed, Vne, 144 MPH (125 KTS) IAS”Within the next 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) after July 7, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-13-02), unless already accomplishedNot Applicable.
Start Printed Page 16421
(2) Mark a red line on the airspeed indicator glass at 144 MPH (125 KTS) and mark a white slippage mark on the outside surface of the airspeed indicator between the glass and caseWithin the next 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) after July 7, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-13-02), unless already accomplishedNot Applicable.
(3) Insert a copy of this AD into the Limitations Section of the airplane flight manual (AFM)Within the next 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) after July 7, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-13-02), unless already accomplishedNot Applicable.
(4) The owner/operator holding at least a private pilot certificate as authorized by section 43.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.7) may fabricate and install the placard as required by paragraph (d)(1) of this AD and insert this AD into the Limitations Section of the AFM as required by paragraph (d)(3) of this ADWithin the next 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) after July 7, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-13-02), unless already accomplishedMake an entry into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with section 43.9 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.9).
(5) Visually inspect the empennage, aft fuselage, and ruddervator control system for damage. Repair or replace any damaged parts and set the elevator controls, rudder and tab system controls, cable tensions, and riggingInspect within the next 100 hours TIS after the last inspection required by AD 94-20-04 or within the next 25 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS. Accomplish any repairs, replacements, and adjustments prior to further flight after the applicable inspectionAccomplish the inspection and repairs or replacements in accordance with paragraphs (5)(a) through (5)(f) of the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS section of Raytheon Service Bulletin No. SB 27-3358, Issued: February, 2000.
(6) Verify the accuracy of the airplane basic weight and balance information and correct any discrepanciesAccomplish the airplane basic weight and balance accuracy verification within the next 100 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplished as previously required by AD 94-20-04. Correct any discrepancies prior to further flight after the verificationUse the procedures contained in the Appendix to this AD.
(7) Inspect the aft fuselage, ruddervator, and related systems for acceptable conditionAccomplish the inspections within the next 2 years after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplished. Accomplish any repair or replacement prior to further flight after the inspection. Accomplish any ruddervator rebalancing prior to further flight after the inspection and when the ruddervators are repaired or repainted (even if stripes are added or paint is touched up)Accomplish the inspection and repairs or replacements in accordance with all paragraphs in the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS section of Raytheon Service Bulletin No. SB 27-3358, Issued: February, 2000. Accomplish the rebalancing in accordance with Section 3A(8) of the service bulletin and use the procedure in Section 3 of Beech Shop Manual 35-590096B19 (or subsequent revision).
(i) Repair or replace any parts found unacceptable as specified in the service bulletin;
(ii) Rebalance the ruddervators to the new specifications that reduce the upper limit from 19.8 to 18 inch-pounds (tail heavy); and
(iii) Discontinue the placard and operating limitations required by paragraphs (d)(1) through (d)(4) of this AD.

(e) Can I comply with this AD in any other way?

(1) You may use an alternative method of compliance or adjust the compliance time if:

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

(ii) 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.

(2) Alternative methods of compliance approved in accordance with AD 98-13-02, which is superseded by this AD, are approved as alternative methods of compliance with this AD.

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 Start Printed Page 16422Aviation 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 the Raytheon Aircraft Company, PO 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.

(i) Does this AD action affect any existing AD actions? This amendment supersedes AD 98-13-02, Amendment 39-10590.

Appendix to Docket No. 2000-CE-44-AD

Weight and Balance Accuracy Method No. 1:

1. Review existing weight and balance documentation to assure completeness and accuracy of the documentation from the most recent FAA-approved weighing or from factory delivery to date of compliance with this AD.

2. Compare the actual configuration of the airplane to the configuration described in the weight and balance documentation; and

3. If equipment additions or deletions are not reflected in the documentation or if modification affecting the location of the center of gravity (e.g., paint or structural repairs) are not documented, determine the accuracy of the airplane weight and balance data in accordance with Method No. 2.

Weight and Balance Information Accuracy Method No. 2:

1. Determine the basic empty weight and center of gravity (CG) of the empty airplane using the Weighing Instructions in the Weight and Balance section of the airplane flight manual/pilot's operating handbook (AFM/POH).

2. Record the results in the airplane records, and use these new values as the basis for computing the weight and CG information as specified in the Weight and Balances section of the AFM/POH.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 19, 2001.

Michael Gallagher,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature
End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-7335 Filed 3-23-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-U