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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Aerospatiale Model ATR42-200, -300, -320, -500, and ATR72 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 document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to all Aerospatiale Model ATR42-200, -300, -320, -500, and ATR72 series airplanes. This proposal would require a revision of the Airplane Flight Manual to add instructions that prohibit the flightcrew from selecting the reverse position on the engines in the event of propeller thrust dissymmetry. This action is necessary to ensure that the flightcrew is advised of the hazard associated with selecting reverse thrust during propeller thrust dissymmetry, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane during landing. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 31, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-380-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-380-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 Aerospatiale, 316 Route de Bayonne, 31060 Toulouse, Cedex 03, France. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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 No. 2000-NM-380-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 2000-NM-380-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 all Aerospatiale Model ATR42-200, -300, -320, -500, and ATR72 series airplanes. The DGAC advises of an incident in which a Model ATR42-320 series airplane swerved off the runway. At the time of the incident, the “low pitch” condition was not equally effective for both engines. The resulting propeller thrust dissymmetry, combined with the flightcrew's concurrent selection of reverse thrust, resulted in the reduced controllability of the airplane during landing.

The design of Model ATR42 and ATR72 series airplanes is similar, and these airplanes incorporate similar equipment including engines and propellers; therefore, these airplanes are subject to the identified unsafe condition.

FAA's Determination

In light of this information, the FAA finds that certain procedures should be amended in the FAA-approved airplane flight manual (AFM) for the affected airplanes prohibiting the flightcrew from selecting the reverse position on the engines in the event of propeller thrust dissymmetry. We have determined that the current AFMs for these airplanes do not adequately define such procedures.

The DGAC has mandated this AFM revision and issued French airworthiness directives 2000-436-080(B) and 2000-437-052(B), both dated October 18, 2000, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

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 us informed of the situation described above. We have 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.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

We have identified an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on other products of this same type design. Therefore, we are proposing to adopt this AD, which Start Printed Page 21700would require revising the Normal Procedures section of the AFM.

Cost of Compliance

We estimate that this AD would affect 69 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $4,140, or $60 per airplane.

We base these cost estimates on assumptions that no operator has yet done any of the actions in this proposed AD, and that no operator would do those actions in the future unless this proposed AD is adopted. The cost figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to do the specific actions required by the AD. These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required for access and close, or for planning or 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.

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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.

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[Amended]

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

Aerospatiale: Docket 2000-NM-380-AD.

Applicability: All Model ATR42-200, -300, -320, -500, and ATR72 series airplanes; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To ensure that the flightcrew is advised of the hazard associated with selecting reverse thrust during propeller thrust dissymmetry, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane during landing, accomplish the following:

Revision of Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)

(a) Within 5 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the Normal Procedures section of the FAA-approved AFM, under “APPROACH AND LANDING,” to include the following. This may be accomplished by inserting a copy of this AD into the AFM.

“NORMAL LANDING

  • After nose wheel touchdown

Both PL—GI

Both LO PITCH lights—Check illuminated

CAUTION: If a thrust dissymmetry occurs or if one LO PITCH light is not illuminated, the use of any reverse is not allowed.”

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 Operations Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116.

Note 1:

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.

Note 2:

French airworthiness directives 2000-436-080(B) and 2000-437-052(B), both dated October 18, 2000, also address the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 24, 2001.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-10725 Filed 4-30-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-U