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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

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ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH (Dornier) Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 airplanes. The proposed AD would require you to repetitively inspect the horizontal stabilizer skin and ribs for damage and cracks and repair any damaged skin or cracked ribs. The proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to detect and correct damage and fatigue cracks in the horizontal stabilizer skin and ribs. This condition could cause in-flight separation of the horizontal stabilizer skin with consequent loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this proposed rule on or before September 21, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-CE-19-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 Fairchild/Dornier, Customer Support, P.O. Box 1103, D-82230 Wessling, Federal Republic of Germany; telephone: (011) 49 8153 300; facsimile: (011) 49 8153 304463. This information also may be examined at the Rules Docket at the address above.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

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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 caption 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. 2001-CE-19-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What Events Have Caused This Proposed AD?

The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, recently notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Dornier Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 airplanes. The LBA reports two occurrences of cracks found around the riveted joints of the leading edge skin and ribs of the horizontal stabilizer during an inspection. The LBA reports that the cracks are caused by corrosion and material fatigue.

What Are the Consequences if the Condition is not Corrected?

If this condition is not detected and corrected, in-flight separation of the horizontal stabilizer skin could result with consequent loss of control of the airplane.

Is There Service Information That Applies to This Subject?

Dornier has issued Fairchild/Dornier Service Bulletin No. SB-228-234, dated October 13, 2000.

What are the Provisions of This Service Bulletin?

The service bulletin includes procedures for:

—inspecting the horizontal stabilizer ribs for cracks;

—inspecting the horizontal stabilizer skin for cracks and damage around the riveted joints;

—repairing or replacing any cracked ribs; and

—repairing any damaged skin.

What Action Did LBA Take?

The LBA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued German AD Number 2001-045, dated January 26, 2001, in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Germany.

Was This in Accordance With the Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement?

These airplane models are manufactured in Germany 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 LBA has kept FAA informed of the situation described above.

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

What has FAA Decided?

The FAA has examined the findings of the LBA; reviewed all available information, including the service information referenced above; and determined that:

—The unsafe condition referenced in this document exists or could develop on other Dornier Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 airplanes of the same type design;

—The actions specified in the previously-referenced service information should be accomplished on the affected airplanes; and Start Printed Page 43817

—AD action should be taken in order to correct this unsafe condition.

What Would the Proposed AD Require?

This proposed AD would require you to incorporate the actions in the previously-referenced service information.

Is There a Modification I can Incorporate Instead of Repetitively Inspecting the Horizontal Stabilizer Structure?

The FAA has determined that long-term continued operational safety would be better assured by design changes that remove the source of the problem rather than by repetitive inspections or other special procedures. With this in mind, FAA will continue to work with Dornier in collecting information and in performing fatigue analysis to determine whether a future design change may be necessary.

Compliance Time of the Proposed AD

What is the Compliance Time of the Proposed AD?

The compliance time of the proposed AD would be to accomplish the initial inspection “within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD”, repetitive inspections at “intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS”, and any necessary repairs or replacements “prior to further flight after the inspection.”

Why is the Initial Inspection Compliance Time of the German AD Different From the Initial Inspection Compliance Time in the Proposed AD?

The German AD requires (on Dornier Models 228-100, 228-101, 228-200, 228-201, 228-202, and 228-212 airplanes registered in Germany) the initial inspection within the next 10 flight hours. This is the compliance time specified in the service information. We do not have justification to require the initial inspection within 10 flight hours. We use a compliance time such as this when we have identified an urgent safety of flight situation. We believe that 100 hours TIS will give the owners/operators of the affected airplanes enough time to have the initial inspection and repairs and/or replacements accomplished without compromising the safety of the airplanes.

By accomplishing both the initial inspection and replacement at the same time, the owners/operators of the affected airplanes only have their airplanes out of service once instead of twice.

Cost Impact

How Many Airplanes Would the Proposed AD Impact?

We estimate that the proposed AD affects 14 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 inspection:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
4 Workhours × $60 per hour = 240No parts required for the inspection$240.$3,360.

The FAA has no method of determining the number of repetitive inspections each owner/operator would incur over the life of each of the affected airplanes so the cost impact is based on the initial inspection.

The FAA has no method of determining the number of repairs or replacements each owner/operator would incur over the life of each of the affected airplanes based on the results of the proposed inspections. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need such repair. The extent of damage may vary on each airplane.

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 proposed 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 caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under 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. FAA amends § 39.13 by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD) to read as follows:

Dornier Luftfahrt GMBH: Docket No. 2001-CE-19-AD.

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects the following airplane models and serial numbers that are certificated in any category;

ModelSerial numbers
228-1017003 through 7116, 7167 and 7168.
228-1017003 through 7116, 7167 and 7168.
228-200All serial numbers beginning with 8002.
228-201All serial numbers beginning with 8002.
228-202All serial numbers beginning with 8002.
228-212All serial numbers beginning with 8002.
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(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 detect and correct damage and fatigue cracks in the horizontal stabilizer skin and ribs. This condition could cause in-flight separation of the horizontal stabilizer skin with consequent loss of control of the airplane.

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

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Perform the following inspections:Within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not-to-exceed 100 hours TISIn accordance with the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS section of Fairchild-Dornier Service Bulletin No. SB228-234, dated October 13, 2000, and the applicable aircraft maintenance manual.
(i) Inspect, using a boroscope (or equivalent), the horizontal stabilizer ribs for cracks
(ii) Inspect the horizontal stabilizer skin for damage (cracks and/or loose rivets)
(2) Repair or replace any cracked rib and repair any damage to the horizontal stabilizer skin found during any inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this ADPrior to further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this ADIn accordance with the applicable structural repair manual.
(3) Report any cracks or damage found during the initial inspections required in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) and (d)(1)(ii) of this AD to Fairchild/Dornier Customer Support, through the FAA. Information collection requirements contained in this regulation have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and have been assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056Upon completion of the inspections required by this ADIn accordance with the ACCOMPLISHMENTS INSTRUCTIONS section of Fairchild/Dornier Service Bulletin No. SB-228-234, dated October 13, 2000. Fill out the compliance form. Send it to Fairchild/Dornier at the address specified in paragraph (h) of this AD and send a copy to FAA at the address in paragraph (f) of this AD.

(e) Can I comply with this AD in any other way? You may use an alternative method of compliance or adjust the compliance time if:

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

(2) The Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, approves your alternative. Submit your request through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Small Airplane Directorate.

Note 1:

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 Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

(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 Aviation 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 Fairchild/Dornier, Customer Support, P.O. Box 1103, D-82230 Wessling, Federal Republic of Germany; telephone: (011) 49 8153 300; facsimile: (011) 49 8153 304463. You may examine these documents at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

Note 2:

The subject of this AD is addressed in German AD Number 2001-045, dated January 26, 2001.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 15, 2001.

Michael Gallagher,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-21011 Filed 8-20-01; 8:45 am]

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