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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Model F.28 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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Start Preamble

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 Fokker Model F.28 series airplanes. This proposal would require replacing the main landing gear (MLG) torque link dampers with modified and reidentified dampers. This action is necessary to prevent degradation of the dampers, which could result in MLG high amplitude oscillation in a lateral torsional mode, and consequent MLG damage or separation of the MLG from the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by September 17, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NM-208-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. 2001-NM-208-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 Fokker Services B.V., P.O. Box 231, 2150 AE Nieuw-Vennep, the Netherlands. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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 2001-NM-208-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, Start Printed Page 43125ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NM-208-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Rijksluchtvaartdienst (RLD), which is the airworthiness authority for the Netherlands, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all Fokker Model F.28 series airplanes. The RLD advises that it has received a report of an incident involving a main landing gear (MLG) separation after landing on a Fokker F.28 Mark 0100 series airplane. Investigation revealed that performance degradation of a damper resulted in loss of damping capability. Further investigation revealed that the degradation was due to a combination of damper anomalies, i.e., a broken retainer ring, and a shim between housing and the cap, which was too thick. However, performance degradation of dampers is not detectable during normal operations. Such performance degradation of a damper, if not corrected, could result in MLG high amplitude oscillation in a lateral torsional mode, and consequent MLG damage or separation of the MLG from the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Fokker Services B.V. has issued Fokker Service Bulletin SBF28/32-157 (for Model F.28 Mark 1000 through 4000 series airplanes) and Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-114 (for Model F.28 Mark 0070/0100 series airplanes), both dated October 1, 1999, which describe procedures for replacing MLG torque link dampers having part number (P/N) 23700-1 or -3 with modified and reidentified dampers having P/N 23700-5. Dampers having P/N 23700-5 have stronger retainers to achieve an improved fatigue life, modified poppet springs for improved performance, and deletion of shims between housing and cap and increased torque value on assembly nuts, to ensure proper damping characteristics. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The RLD classified these service bulletins as mandatory and issued Dutch airworthiness directive 1999-138, dated October 29, 1999, in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the Netherlands.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in the Netherlands 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. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the RLD has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the RLD, 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 Proposed 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 bulletin described previously.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 147 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 replacement, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $1,910 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $333,690, or $2,270 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 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

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:

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

Fokker Services B.V.: Docket 2001-NM-208-AD.

Applicability: All Model F.28 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 (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 separation of the main landing gear (MLG) from the airplane, due to performance degradation of the torque link damper; accomplish the following:Start Printed Page 43126

Modification and Reidentification

(a) Replace MLG torque link dampers having part numbers (P/N) 23700-1 or -3 with dampers having P/N 23700-5, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Services SBF28/32-157 (for Models F.28 Mark 1000 through 4000 series airplanes) and Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-32-114 (for Model F.28 Mark 0070/0100 series airplanes), both dated October 1, 1999, as applicable; at the times specified in the following table:

Table 1.—Compliance Times

Fokker F.28 model (mark) designationMLG manufactured byMLG mod. statusCompliance required after the effective date of this AD
Mk.0100Dowty Aerospace; MDPre-Mod SB F100-32-50Within 15 months.
Mk.0100Dowty Aerospace; MDPost-Mod SB F100-32-50Within 21 months.
Mk.0100Menasco Aerospace[Reserved]Within 24 months.
Mk.0070Menasco Aerospace[Reserved]Within 24 months.
Mk.1000 through Mk.4000 seriesDowty Aerospace; MD[Reserved]Within 24 months.

Spares

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person shall install torque link damper having P/N 23700-1 or -3, on any airplane.

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 2:

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 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.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Dutch airworthiness directive 1999-138, dated October 29, 1999.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 13, 2001.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate,Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-20808 Filed 8-16-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P