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Airworthiness Directives; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ 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 adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ series airplanes, that requires a one-time inspection to detect corrosion of the flap structure and machined ribs, corrective actions if necessary, and reprotection of the rib boss bores. This action is necessary to detect and correct corrosion in the flap structure and machined ribs, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective March 21, 2002.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 21, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. 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:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on October 4, 2001 (66 FR 50586). That action proposed to require a one-time inspection to detect corrosion of the flap structure and machined ribs, corrective actions if necessary, and reprotection of the rib boss bores.

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.

Explanation of Change to Final Rule

For conditions where corrosion is detected, paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of the proposed AD specifies eventual repetition of the detailed visual inspection in paragraph (a) of the proposed AD (following the accomplishment of corrective actions and reprotection of the boss bores). However, paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of the proposed AD does not make clear that any follow-on actions to the detailed visual inspection must also be accomplished. Therefore, for clarification, we have revised paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this final rule to require eventual repetition of the detailed visual inspection and accomplishment of applicable follow-on actions. We find that this change does not expand the scope of the proposed AD but merely provides clarification of the requirements of this AD.

Conclusion

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

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 60 Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ series airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 160 work hours per airplane (including access, testing, and close-up) to accomplish the required inspection, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the inspection required by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $576,000, or $9,600 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. 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 Start Printed Page 6853the 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

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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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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2002-03-07 BAE Systems (Operations) Limited (Formerly British Aerospace Regional Aircraft): Amendment 39-12648. Docket 2001-NM-224-AD.

Applicability: Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ series airplanes, certificated in any category; except those modified in accordance with BAE Systems Modification HCM01694F.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise 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) 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 corrosion in the flap structure and machined ribs, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 6 years since the date of manufacture of the airplane, or within 2 years after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Perform a detailed visual inspection to detect corrosion of the flap structure and machined ribs, in accordance with BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-066, dated May 15, 2001.

(1) If no corrosion is detected: Prior to further flight, reprotect the boss bores in accordance with the service bulletin.

(2) If any corrosion is detected: Except as required by paragraph (b) of this AD, accomplish the actions required by paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Prior to further flight: Perform corrective actions and reprotect the boss bores in accordance with the service bulletin.

(ii) Within 3 years but not sooner than 2 years following the reprotection specified by paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this AD: Repeat the detailed visual inspection and applicable follow-on actions.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed visual inspection is defined as: “An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.”

(b) If any inspection required by this AD reveals any corrosion or other discrepancy for which the service bulletin specifies to contact the manufacturer for appropriate action: Prior to further flight, repair per a method approved by either the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) (or its delegated agent).

Note 3:

BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-066 recommends that operators submit a report of their inspection findings to the manufacturer. Although operators may submit such a report, this AD does not require it.

Spares

(c) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a flap on any affected airplane, unless the inspection and applicable corrective actions have been accomplished in accordance with the requirements of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(d) 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.

Note 4:

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.

Incorporation by Reference

(f) Except as provided by paragraph (b) of this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-066, dated May 15, 2001. 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 British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. 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 5:

The subject of this AD is addressed in British airworthiness directive 002-05-2001.

Effective Date

(g) This amendment becomes effective on March 21, 2002.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 5, 2002.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-3287 Filed 2-13-02; 8:45 am]

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