Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Cessna Model 650 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Cessna Model 650 airplanes. This proposal would require a one-time inspection of the side brace mechanism assemblies of the left and right main landing gears (MLG) to detect any incorrect part number, and corrective actions if necessary. This action is necessary to prevent inadvertent disengagement of the locking mechanism of the side brace mechanism assembly, which could lead to collapse of the respective MLG, and result in a gear-up landing and possible injury to passengers and crew. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 13, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-388-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-388-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate. Comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Cessna Aircraft Co., P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, Kansas 67277. This information may be examined 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert P. Busto, 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) 946-4157; fax (316) 946-4407.

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 shall 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.

Submit comments using the following format:

  • Organize comments issue-by-issue. For example, discuss a request to change the compliance time and a request to change the service bulletin reference as two separate issues.
  • For each issue, state what specific change to the proposed AD is being requested.
  • Include justification (e.g., reasons or data) for each request.

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 Start Printed Page 14894submitted in response to this action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-388-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-388-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

Four incidents of main landing gear (MLG) collapse were reported on Cessna Model 650 airplanes upon landing. In one of those incidents, the right MLG became unlocked, while in two of those incidents, the left MLG became unlocked. In the fourth incident, the left MLG became unlocked, and, after the MLG struck a landing light fixture, the right MLG became unlocked. Another incident occurred during maintenance of an airplane, when the right outboard tire was overpressurized, causing failure of the tire/wheel in the hangar, and resulting in the right MLG becoming unlocked and consequent collapse of the MLG. Such conditions, if not corrected, could result in gear-up landing and possible injury to passengers and crew.

Background Information

The MLG actuators are operated hydraulically to retract and extend the MLGs during normal operation. During such operation, the actuators are retracted/extended by the airplane's hydraulic system. In addition, the emergency system is used to extend the actuators, while the MLG side brace incorporates a locking mechanism that locks the side brace in the extended position to prevent the MLG from collapsing when fully extended. When hydraulic pressure is applied to retract the MLG, the locking mechanism is unlocked.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved the technical content of the initial issue of Cessna Service Bulletin SB650-32-47, including Cessna Service Bulletin Supplemental Data SB650-32-47, both dated August 14, 2000, which describes procedures for replacing any side brace mechanism assembly having an incorrect part number with a new, improved assembly. The new assembly includes an improved actuator that minimizes the chance of inadvertent unlock of the MLG. This replacement action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

Explanation of Requirements of Proposed Rule

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other products of this same type design, the proposed AD would require a one-time inspection of the side brace mechanism assemblies of the left and right MLGs to detect any incorrect part number, and corrective actions if necessary. If an assembly having the correct part number is found, no further action is required by this proposed AD. However, if an assembly having an incorrect part number is found, corrective actions include removing the side brace mechanism assembly of the respective main landing gear; and installing a new, improved assembly having the correct part number. The proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin described previously, except as discussed below.

Difference Between Proposed Rule and Service Bulletin

The previously referenced service bulletin specifies a compliance time of approximately 1 year for accomplishing the replacement action. However, the FAA has determined that a 1-year compliance time would not address the identified unsafe condition in a timely manner because of the consequences of MLG failure, as described earlier. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this proposed AD, the FAA considered the degree of urgency associated with addressing the subject unsafe condition, the average utilization of the affected fleet, and the time necessary to perform the one-time inspection. In light of all of these factors, the FAA finds a 6-month compliance time for completing the required actions to be warranted, in that it represents an appropriate interval of time allowable for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 353 Model 650 series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 282 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 10 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $169,200, or $600 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the proposed requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this proposed 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 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 proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

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
Start Printed Page 14895
[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Cessna Aircraft Company: Docket 2000-NM-388-AD.

Applicability: Model 650 airplanes, serial numbers -0001 through -0241 inclusive, and serial numbers -7001 through -7112 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 inadvertent disengagement of the locking mechanism of the side brace mechanism assembly of the left or right main landing gear (MLG), which could lead to collapse of the respective MLG, and result in gear-up landing and possible injury to passengers and crew; accomplish the following:

One-Time Inspection

(a) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time inspection of the side brace mechanism assemblies of the left and right MLGs to detect any incorrect part number (P/N) found installed, as specified in Cessna Service Bulletin SB650-32-47, including Cessna Service Bulletin Supplemental Data SB650-32-47, both dated August 14, 2000.

(1) If the correct part number is found installed on the left side brace mechanism assembly, P/N 6217076-201, and on the right side brace mechanism assembly, P/N 6217076-202, no further action is required by paragraph (a) of this AD.

Corrective Action

(2) If incorrect P/N 6217076-2, 6217076-4, or 6217076-9 is found installed on either the left or right side brace mechanism assembly: Prior to further flight, replace any incorrect left side brace mechanism assembly with a new, improved assembly, P/N 6217076-201; and replace any incorrect right side brace mechanism assembly with a new, improved assembly, P/N 6217076-202; per Cessna Service Bulletin SB650-32-47, including Cessna Service Bulletin Supplemental Data SB650-32-47, both dated August 14, 2000. After the replacement action, no further action is required by this AD.

Spares

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person shall install a left or right MLG side brace mechanism assembly, P/N 6217076-2, 6217076-4, or 6217076-9, on any airplane.

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). 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 Permit

(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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 22, 2002.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-7428 Filed 3-27-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P