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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dornier Model 328-100 and -300 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 Dornier Model 328-100 and -300 series airplanes. This proposal would require inspecting the identification plate on the fire extinguisher bottle of the auxiliary power unit (APU), and replacing the existing actuating cartridge of the fire extinguisher bottle with a correct actuating cartridge, if necessary. This proposal also would require removing the fire extinguisher bottle equipped with the actuating cartridge from the APU, and reinstalling the fire extinguisher bottle equipped with the correct actuating cartridge into the APU. This action is necessary to prevent failure of the actuating cartridge on the APU fire extinguisher, which could result in the inability to extinguish an APU fire in-flight, and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 20, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NM-318-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 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. 2001-NM-318-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 Fairchild Dornier, Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH, P.O. Box 1103, D-82230 Wessling, Germany. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-1137; fax (425) 227-1149.

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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 submitted in response to this action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2001-NM-318-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. 2001-NM-318-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Dornier Model 328-100 and -300 series airplanes. The LBA advises that there was a failure of the actuating cartridge on the fire extinguisher of the auxiliary power unit (APU). This failure is considered to be an isolated event. The cause is unknown. This condition, if not corrected, could result in the inability to extinguish an APU fire in-flight, and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Dornier has issued Service Bulletin SB-328-26-342, dated November 2, 2000 (for Model 328-100 series airplanes), and Service Bulletin SB-328J-26-049, Revision 1, dated June 11, 2001 (for Model 328-300 series airplanes). The service bulletins describe procedures for inspecting the identification plate on the fire extinguisher bottle in the APU to verify if the correct actuating cartridge has been installed, and replacing the existing actuating cartridge of the fire extinguisher bottle with the correct actuating cartridge, if necessary. The service bulletins also describe procedures for removing the fire extinguisher bottle equipped with the actuating cartridge from the APU, and Start Printed Page 19133reinstalling the fire extinguisher bottle equipped with the correct actuating cartridge into the APU. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The LBA classified these service bulletins as mandatory and issued German airworthiness directives 2001-291 and 2001-292, both dated October 18, 2001, in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Germany.

Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-26-342, dated November 2, 2000; and Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328J-26-049, Revision 1, dated June 11, 2001; both reference Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin 33100016-26-1, dated November 15, 2000, as an additional source of service information for accomplishing the inspection and replacement.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in Germany 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 LBA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the LBA, 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.

Explanation of Requirements of Proposed Rule

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of the same type design registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the Dornier service bulletins described previously.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 88 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would be provided by the manufacturer at no cost to the operators. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $5,280, or $60 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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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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:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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]

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

Dornier Luftfahrt GMBH:

Docket 2001-NM-318-AD.

Applicability: Model 328-100 series airplanes, as listed in Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-26-342, dated November 2, 2000; and Model 328-300 series airplanes, as listed in Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328J-26-049, Revision 1, dated June 11, 2001; 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 (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: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of the actuating cartridge on the auxiliary power unit (APU) fire extinguisher, which could result in the inability to extinguish an APU fire in-flight, and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Removal, Inspection, Corrective Actions, and Reinstallation

(a) Within 45 days after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) of this AD, per Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-26-342, dated November 2, 2000 (for Model 328-100 series airplanes); or Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328J-26-049, Revision 1, dated June 11, 2001 (for Model 328-300 series airplanes); as applicable.

(1) Remove the fire extinguisher bottle equipped with the actuating cartridge from the APU.

(2) Inspect the identification plate on the fire extinguisher bottle to verify if the correct actuating cartridge (part number (P/N) 30903964) has been installed. If the correct actuating cartridge has not been installed, before further flight, replace the existing actuating cartridge with a correct actuating cartridge, P/N 30903964, and vibra etch the identification plate to indicate the new P/N, per the service bulletin.

(3) Reinstall the fire extinguisher bottle equipped with the correct actuating cartridge into the APU.

Note 2:

Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-26-342, dated November 2, 2000; and Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328J-26-049, Revision 1, dated June 11, 2001; both reference Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin 33100016-26-1, dated November 15, 2000, as an additional source of service information for accomplishing the inspection and replacement.

Note 3:

Accomplishment of the actions specified in Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328J-26-049, dated November 2, 2000, is acceptable for compliance with the actions required by paragraph (a) of this AD.

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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, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate. 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 Manager, International Branch, ANM-116.

Special Flight Permits

(c) 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.

Note 5:

The subject of this AD is addressed in German airworthiness directives 2001-291 and 2001-292, both dated October 18, 2001.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 11, 2002.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-9393 Filed 4-17-02; 8:45 am]

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