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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Models PC-12 and PC-12/45 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 to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Models PC-12 and PC-12/45 airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to replace the metered connector and oxygen tubing and related components in the rear seat bench. This proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Switzerland. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to correct for insufficient oxygen quantity available to occupants of the rear seat bench in some emergency conditions, which could result in reduced occupant safety at the rear bench seat location.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this proposed rule on or before February 19, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-CE-07-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. You may view any comments at this location between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

You may get service information that applies to this proposed AD from Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Liaison Manager, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: +41 41 619 63 19; facsimile: +41 41 619 6224; or from Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd., Product Support Department, 11755 Airport Way, Broomfield, Colorado 80021; telephone: (303) 465-9099; facsimile: (303) 465-6040. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

How do I comment on this 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 to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. We will consider all comments received on or before the closing date. We may amend this proposed rule in light of comments received. Factual information that supports your ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of this proposed AD action and determining whether we need to take additional rulemaking action.

Are there any specific portions of this proposed AD I should pay attention to? The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed rule that might suggest a need to modify the rule. You may view 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 contact we have with the public that concerns the substantive parts of this proposed AD.

How can I be sure FAA receives my comment? If you want FAA 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-07-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What events have caused this proposed AD? The Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA), which is the airworthiness authority for Switzerland, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Pilatus Models PC-12 and PC-12/45 airplanes. The FOCA reports that, because of a design problem, the flow of oxygen to each occupant on the rear seat bench is insufficient. The current configuration uses two-metered connectors, which restricts the flow of oxygen.

What are the consequences if the condition is not corrected? If not corrected, insufficient oxygen quantity available to occupants of the rear seat bench in some emergency conditions could occur which could result in reduced occupant safety at the rear bench seat location.

Is there service information that applies to this subject? Pilatus has issued Pilatus PC-12 Service Bulletin No: 35-002, dated December 19, 2000.

What are the provisions of this service information? The service bulletin includes procedures for replacing the two-metered connector and oxygen tubing with a system that incorporates a single-metered connector. This includes replacements in the following areas:

—The tubing assembly—oxygen (with coupling);

—Assembly—bracket and grommet; and

—Clamp-hose.

What action did the FOCA take? The FOCA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued Swiss AD Number HB 2001-001, dated December 28, 2000, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Switzerland.

Was this in accordance with the bilateral airworthiness agreement? These airplane models are manufactured in Switzerland 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 FOCA has kept FAA informed of the situation described above.

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

What has FAA decided? The FAA has examined the findings of the FOCA; 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 Pilatus Model PC-12 and PC-12/45 airplanes of the same type design that are on the U.S. registry;

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

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

What would this proposed AD require? This proposed AD would require you to incorporate the actions in the previously-referenced service bulletin. Start Printed Page 30

Cost Impact

How many airplanes would this proposed AD impact? We estimate that this proposed AD affects 5 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

What would be the cost impact of this proposed AD on owners/operators of the affected airplanes? We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed replacements:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
2 workhours at $60 per hour = $120$0. Pilatus will provide free parts$120 per airplane$600

Compliance Time of this Proposed AD

What would be the compliance time of this proposed AD? The compliance time of this proposed AD is within the next 30 calendar days after the effective date of this AD.

Why is the compliance time presented in calendar time instead of hours time-in-service (TIS)? The oxygen flow on the rear bench seat is reduced through two metered connectors when only one reduction is necessary. Because these parts of poor design could have been installed in the field or at the factory, the problem has the same chance of occurring on an airplane with 50 hours TIS as one with 1,000 hours TIS. Therefore, we believe that 30 calendar days will:

—Ensure that the unsafe condition does not go undetected for a long period of time on the affected airplanes; and

—Not inadvertently ground any of the affected airplanes.

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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

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:

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

Pilatus Aircraft LTD.: Docket No. 2001-CE-07-AD

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects the following airplane models and serial numbers with rear bench seats (part number 525.22.12.016) installed, that are certificated in any category:

ModelSerial numbers
All PC-12 and PC-12/45From 101 through 365

(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 correct for insufficient oxygen quantity available to occupants of the rear seat bench in some emergency conditions, which could result in reduced occupant safety at the rear bench seat location.

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

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Replace the tubing assembly—oxygen (with coupling) (P/N 957.10.25.231), assembly—bracket and grommet (P/N Service 525.22.12.044), and clamp—hose (946.33.21.301), or FAA-approved equivalent parts in the rear bench seat (part number (P/N) 525.22.12.016) with a new tubing assembly—oxygen (with coupling) (P/N 957.10.25.232), assembly—bracket and grommet (P/N 525.22.12.049), and clamp—hose (P/N 946.33.21.302), or FAA-approved equivalent partWithin the next 30 days after the effective date of this ADFollow the ACCOMPLISHMENT INSTRUCTIONS section of Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. PC-12 Service Bulletin, 35-002, dated December 19, 2000
(2) Do not install any rear bench seat (P/N 525.22.12.016), or any FAA-approved equivalent part unless installed with tubing assembly—oxygen (with coupling) (P/N 957.10.25.232), assembly—bracket and grommet (P/N 525.22.12.049), clamp—hose (946.33.21.302), or FAA-approved equivalent partsAs of the effective date of this ADNot Applicable
(3) Do not install tubing assembly—oxygen (with coupling) (P/N 957.10.25.231), assembly—bracket and grommet (P/N 525.22.12.044), clamp—hose (946.33.21.301), or FAA-approved equivalent partsAs of the effective date of this ADNot Applicable
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(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 Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; 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 get copies of the documents referenced in this AD from Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Liaison Manager, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: +41 41 619 63 19; facsimile: +41 41 619 6224; or from Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd., Product Support Department, 11755 Airport Way, Broomfield, Colorado 80021; telephone: (303) 465-9099; facsimile: (303) 465-6040. You may view 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 Swiss AD HB 2001-001, dated December 28, 2000.

End Part Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 21, 2001.

Michael K. Dahl,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-32151 Filed 12-31-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-U