Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dowty Aerospace Propellers, Models R354, R375, R389, and R390 Propellers

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to Dowty Aerospace Propellers, R354/4-123-F/13, R354/4-123-F/20, R375/4-123-F/21, R389/4-123-F/25, R389/4-123-F/26, and R390/4-123-F/27 propellers. This proposal would require a one-time inspection of the hub joint mating surfaces for fretting. This proposal is prompted by reports of fretting on the joint mating faces of propeller hubs. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent failure of the hub due to loose hub through bolts.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 21, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NE-18-AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299. Comments may be inspected, by appointment, at this location between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: “9-ane-adcomment@faa.gov”. Comments sent via the Internet must contain the docket number in the subject line. The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Dowty Aerospace Propellers, Anson Business Park, Cheltenham Road, East Gloucester GL2 9QN, UK; telephone 44 (0) 1452 716000; fax 44 (0) 1452 716001. This information may be examined, by appointment, at the FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Frank Walsh, Aerospace Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299; telephone (781) 238-7158; fax (781) 238-7199.

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 should 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.

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 2000-NE-18-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRM's

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the Start Printed Page 13295FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NE-18-AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299.

Discussion

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom (UK), recently notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Dowty propellers. The CAA advises that it has received a number of reports of fretting damage on the joint mating faces of certain Dowty propeller hubs. The CAA believes that the cause of the damage is excessive use of joint sealant during reassembly of the hub after repair or rework of the hub.

Manufacturer's Service Information

Dowty Aerospace Propellers has issued service bulletin (SB) SF340-61-96, dated April 18, 2000, that specifies procedures for inspecting certain propeller hubs for loose hub bolts, and if found, inspecting the mating faces of the hub joint for wear. The CAA classified this SB as mandatory and issued AD 005-04-2000 in order to assure the airworthiness of these Dowty propellers in the UK.

Bilateral Agreement Information

This propeller model is manufactured in the UK and is 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 CAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the CAA, 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.

Proposed Requirements of the AD

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other Dowty Aerospace Propellers, R354/4-123-F/13, R354/4-123-F/20, R375/4-123-F/21, R389/4-123-F/25, R389/4-123-F/26, and R390/4-123-F/27 propellers of the same type design that are used on airplanes registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require inspection of hubs that have been disassembled since being delivered from Dowty Aerospace Propellers for loose hub through bolts within 1,800 flying hours after the effective date of the proposed AD. The proposed AD would also require inspection of the mating faces of the hub joint for wear if any loose through bolts are found. These actions would be required to be done in accordance with the service bulletin described previously.

Economic Analysis

There are approximately 418 propellers of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 169 propellers installed on airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD. The FAA also estimates that it would take approximately 6 work hours per propeller to do the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. There are no required parts per propeller. Based on these figures, the total cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $60,840.

Regulatory Analysis

This proposed rule does not have federalism implications, as defined in Executive Order 13132, because it 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. Accordingly, the FAA has not consulted with state authorities prior to publication of this proposed rule.

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:

Dowty Aerospace Propellers: Docket No. 2000-NE-18-AD.

Applicability

This airworthiness directive (AD) is applicable to Dowty Aerospace Propellers, R354/4-123-F/13, R354/4-123-F/20, R375/4-123-F/21, R389/4-123-F/25, R389/4-123-F/26, and R390/4-123-F/27 propellers. These propellers are installed on, but not limited to, SAAB 340A and 340B airplanes.

Note 1:

This airworthiness directive (AD) applies to each propeller 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 propellers 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 (b) 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

Compliance with this AD is required within 1,800 flying hours after the effective date of this AD, unless already done.

To prevent failure of the hub due to loose hub through bolts, do the following:

One-time Inspection of the Propeller Hub

(a) If the propeller hub has not been disassembled since it was received from Dowty Aerospace Propellers, no further action is required. Otherwise, do the following:

(1) Within 1,800 flying hours after the effective date of this AD, perform a one-time inspection of the hub for loose hub through bolts in accordance with 3.A.(1) through 3.A.(10) of the Accomplishment Instructions of Dowty Aerospace Propellers service bulletin (SB) SF340-61-96, dated April 18, 2000.

(2) If wear exceeds the limits specified in 3.A.(8) of the Accomplishment Instructions of Dowty Aerospace Propellers service bulletin (SB) SF340-61-96, dated April 18, 2000, replace the hub with a serviceable part.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(b) 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, Boston Aircraft Certification Office (ACO). Operators must submit their request through an Start Printed Page 13296appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Boston ACO.

Note 2:

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

Special Flight Permits

(c) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with §§ 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 done.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in CAA airworthiness directive 005-04-2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on March 14, 2002.

Francis A. Favara,

Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-6914 Filed 3-21-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-U