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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-605R, B4-622R, and F4-605R (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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment revises an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to all Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-605R, B4-622R, and F4-605R (collectively called A300-600) series airplanes, that currently requires repetitive ultrasonic inspections to detect cracks on the forward fittings in the radius of frame 40 adjacent to the tension bolts in the center section of the wings, and various follow-on actions. That AD was prompted by reports of cracking due to fatigue-related stress in the radius of frame 40 adjacent to the tension bolts at the center/outer wing junction. The actions specified by that AD are intended to detect and correct fatigue cracking on the forward fittings in the radius of frame 40 adjacent to the tension bolts in the center section of the wings, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings. This amendment removes airplanes from the applicability of the existing AD.

DATES:

Effective August 3, 2001.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications, as listed in the regulations, was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 28, 2000 (65 FR 8642, February 22, 2000).

ADDRESSES:

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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Norman B. Martenson, Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2110; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) by revising AD 2000-03-20, amendment 39-11580 (65 FR 8642, February 22, 2000), which is applicable to Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-605R, B4-622R, and F4-605R (collectively called A300-600) series airplanes, was published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2001 (66 FR 1919). The action proposed to continue to require repetitive ultrasonic inspections to detect cracks on the forward fittings in the radius of frame 40 adjacent to the tension bolts in the center section of the wings, and various follow-on actions. The action also proposed to remove Model A300 F4-622R from the applicability of the existing AD.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. No comments were submitted in response to the proposal or the FAA's determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

The FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed.

Cost Impact

Since this AD merely deletes Model A300 F4-622R airplanes from the applicability of AD 2000-03-02, it adds no additional costs, and will require no additional work to be performed by affected operators. The current costs associated with this AD are reiterated in their entirety (as follows) for the convenience of affected operators:

The FAA estimates that 35 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 2 work hours per airplane (1 work hour per side) to accomplish the required ultrasonic inspection, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the required inspection on U.S. operators is estimated to be $4,200, or $120 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the 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 Start Printed Page 34531figures 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 final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

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) 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 final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from 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

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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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]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-11580 (

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2000-03-20 R1 Airbus Industries: Amendment 39-12298. Docket 2000-NM-306-AD. Revises AD 2000-03-20, Amendment 39-11580.

Applicability: All Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-605R, B4-622R, and F4-605R series airplanes, certificated in any category.

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 (d)(1) 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 detect and correct fatigue cracking on the forward fittings in the radius of frame 40 adjacent to the tension bolts in the center section of the wings, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings, accomplish the following:

Inspections and Corrective Actions

(a) Perform an ultrasonic inspection to detect cracking on the forward fittings in the radius of frame 40 adjacent to the tension bolts in the center section of the wings, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6062, Revision 02, dated January 29, 1997, at the applicable time specified in either paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes that have accumulated fewer than 9,100 total landings or 22,300 total flight hours as of March 28, 2000 (the effective date of AD 2000-03-20, amendment 39-11580): Inspect at the later of the times specified in either paragraph (a)(1)(i) or (a)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Prior to the accumulation of 7,250 total landings or 17,700 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) Within 1,500 landings after March 28, 2000.

(2) For airplanes that have accumulated 9,100 total landings or more and 22,300 total flight hours or more as of March 28, 2000: Inspect within 750 landings after March 28, 2000.

Note 2:

Inspections that were accomplished prior to March 28, 2000, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6062, Revision 1, dated July 23, 1995, are considered acceptable for compliance with paragraph (a) of this AD.

(b) If no crack is detected during the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, repeat the ultrasonic inspection required by that paragraph thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,500 landings or 16,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first; in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6062, Revision 02, dated January 29, 1997.

(c) If any crack is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (a) or (b) of this AD, prior to further flight, install an access door, and perform an eddy current inspection to confirm the presence of a crack; in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6062, Revision 02, dated January 29, 1997. Accomplishment of this eddy current inspection terminates the repetitive inspection requirement of paragraph (b) of this AD.

(1) If no crack is detected during the eddy current inspection, repeat the eddy current inspection, in accordance with the service bulletin, thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,500 landings or 16,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(2) If any crack is detected during any eddy current inspection performed in accordance with paragraph (c) or (c)(1) of this AD, prior to further flight, blend out the crack and repeat the eddy current inspection in accordance with the service bulletin.

(i) If the eddy current inspection performed after the blend-out shows that the crack has been removed, and if the blend-out is equal to or less than 50 millimeters (mm) long and equal to or less than 2 mm deep, thereafter repeat the eddy current inspection at intervals not to exceed 2,800 landings or 7,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

(ii) If the eddy current inspection performed after the blend-out shows that the crack has not been removed, or if the blend-out is more than 50 mm long or more than 2 mm deep, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate; or the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (or its delegated agent).

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(d)(1) 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. 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.

(2) Operators may request an extension to the compliance times of this AD in accordance with the “adjustment-for-range” formula found in Paragraph 1.B.(5) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6062, Revision 02, dated January 29, 1997; and provided in A300-600 Maintenance Review Board, Section 5, Paragraph 5.4. The average flight time per flight cycle (landing) in hours used in this formula should be for an individual airplane. Average flight time for a group of airplanes may be used if all airplanes of the group have flight times differing by no more than 10 percent. If compliance times are based on the average flight time for a group of airplanes, the flight times for individual airplanes of the group must be included for FAA review.

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

(e) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 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. Start Printed Page 34532

Incorporation by Reference

(f) Except as provided by paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6062, Revision 02, dated January 29, 1997. This incorporation by reference was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 28, 2000 (65 FR 8642, February 22, 2000). Copies may be obtained from Airbus Industrie, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Note 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 1995-063-177(B) R4, dated July 12, 2000.

Effective Date

(g) This amendment becomes effective on August 3, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 21, 2001.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-16202 Filed 6-28-01; 8:45 am]

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