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Airworthiness Directives; Raytheon Model Beech 400A 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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Raytheon (Beech) Model 400A series airplanes, that requires replacement of certain bus bars connecting the battery and external power receptacle to the airframe ground with a new, improved bus bar. This amendment is prompted by reports of electrical arcing at the battery and external power receptacle of the airframe ground in the aft fuselage due to a deficiency in the bus bar and washer design. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent overheating or arcing of the ground connection in the aft fuselage area, which could result in a fire hazard due to ignition of fuel fumes during an engine start sequence.

DATES:

Effective November 15, 2001.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 15, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Raytheon Aircraft Company, Department 62, P.O. Box 85, Wichita, Kansas 67201-0085. This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas; 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:

Philip E. Petty, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Propulsion Branch, ACE-116W, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone (316) 946-4139; fax (316) 946-4407.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Raytheon Model Beech 400A series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on August 30, 1999 (64 FR 47142). That action proposed to require replacement of certain bus bars connecting the battery and external power receptacle to the airframe ground with a new, improved bus bar.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the single comment received.

The commenter requests that the “Spares” paragraph be revised to read as follows (added text in brackets): “(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person shall install on any [Raytheon Model Beech 400A series] airplane, a bus bar, P/N 128-364239-17 or P/N 101-361146-1.” The commenter states that the same part number is used on Raytheon (Beech) Models 300 and B300 and is not unsafe on those models. The “Spares” paragraph proposed in the NPRM could be interpreted in such a way as to prevent the use of the parts on Raytheon (Beech) Models 300 and B300.

The FAA concurs and has revised paragraph (b) of the final rule accordingly.

Explanation of Changes Made to Proposed AD

The final rule has also been revised to reflect the updated name of Raytheon Model Beech 400A series airplanes and the current address from which service information may be received.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comment noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the changes previously described. The FAA has determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 122 Model Beech 400A series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 110 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 11 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required replacement, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. The manufacturer has committed previously to its customers that it will bear the cost of replacement parts. As a result, the cost of those parts is not attributable to this AD. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $72,600, or $660 per airplane.

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. However, the FAA has been advised that manufacturer warranty remedies are available for labor costs associated with accomplishing the actions required by this AD. Therefore, the future economic cost impact of this rule on U.S. operators may be less than the cost impact figure indicated above.

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 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 Start Printed Page 51857“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 adding the following new airworthiness directive:

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2001-20-07 Raytheon Aircraft Company (Formerly Beech): Amendment 39-12455. Docket 99-NM-157-AD.

Applicability: Model 400A series airplanes, serial numbers RK-78, RK-87 through RK-207 inclusive, 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 electrical arcing or overheating of the ground connection in the aft fuselage area, which could result in a fire hazard due to ignition of fuel fumes during an engine start sequence, accomplish the following:

Replacement

(a) Within 50 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, replace the two bus bars, part number (P/N) 128-364239-17 and P/N 101-361146-1, with a new, improved bus bar, P/N 101-364046-231, in accordance with Raytheon Aircraft Service Bulletin SB 24-3253, dated January, 1999.

Spares

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person shall install on any Raytheon Model Beech 400A series airplane a bus bar having either P/N 128-364239-17 or P/N 101-361146-1.

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, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Wichita ACO.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Wichita ACO.

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.

Incorporation by Reference

(e) The replacement shall be done in accordance with Raytheon Aircraft Service Bulletin SB 24-3253, dated January 1999. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from Raytheon Aircraft Company, Department 62, P.O. Box 85, Wichita, Kansas 67201-0085. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Effective Date

(f) This amendment becomes effective on November 15, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 2, 2001.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 01-25181 Filed 10-10-01; 8:45 am]

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