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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney Canada Turboprop Engines

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:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) models PW118, PW118A, PW118B, PW119B, PW119C, PW120, PW120A, PW121, PW121A, PW123, PW123B, PW123C, PW123D, PW123E, PW123AF, PW124B, PW125B, PW126, PW126A, PW127, PW127B, PW127E, PW127F, PW127G, PW127H, and PW127J turboprop engines. This proposal would require replacing certain part number (P/N) fuel heaters with redesigned fuel heaters. This proposal is prompted by several field incidents in which one or more of the three studs that attach the fuel filter bowl to the fuel heater have been partially or completely pulled free of the fuel heater housing. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent the separation of the fuel filter bowl from the fuel heater, which could result in a pressurized fuel leak and possible engine fire.

DATES:

Comments must be received by September 3, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NE-34-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 Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp., 1000, Marie-Victorin, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada J4G 1A1; Telephone 450-677-9411. 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Keith Mead, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299; telephone (781) 238-7744; fax (781) 238-7199.

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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 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 2001-NE-34-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 FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NE-34-AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299.

Discussion

Transport Canada, which is the airworthiness authority for Canada, recently notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on PWC models PW118, PW118A, PW118B, PW119B, PW119C, PW120, PW120A, PW121, PW121A, PW123, PW123B, PW123C, PW123D, PW123E, PW123AF, PW124B, PW125B, PW126, PW126A, PW127, PW127B, PW127E, PW127F, PW127G, PW127H, and PW127J turboprop engines. Transport Canada (TC) advises that there have been several field incidents in which one or more of the three studs that attach the fuel bowl to the fuel heater main housing had been pulled partially or completely free of the associated mounting lug, resulting in fuel leaks. Failure was attributed to overtorquing of the nuts that retain the fuel bowl to the housing and a decrease in the housing material hardness. Housing hardness may have been reduced due to high temperatures such as a heat treatment process used to remove the flame arrest coating from these parts.

Bilateral Agreement Information

This engine model is manufactured in Canada and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of § 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, TC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of TC, 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 This AD

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other PWC models PW118, PW118A, PW118B, PW119B, PW119C, PW120, PW120A, PW121, PW121A, PW123, PW123B, PW123C, PW123D, PW123E, PW123AF, PW124B, PW125B, PW126, PW126A, PW127, PW127B, PW127E, PW127F, PW127G, PW127H, and PW127J turboprop engines of the same type design that are used on airplanes registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require replacement of fuel heaters, part number (P/N) 3039183, with improved design fuel heaters, P/N 3039798, at the next removal of the engine low pressure fuel filter, but not later than December 31, 2002.

Economic Analysis

There are approximately 2,200 engines of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 1,238 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD. The FAA also estimates that it would take approximately 8 work hours per engine to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost Start Printed Page 44579approximately $12,172 per engine. Based on these figures, the total cost of the proposed AD to U.S. operators is estimated to be $15,663,176.

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.

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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:

Pratt & Whitney Canada: Docket No. 2001-NE-34-AD.

Applicability

This airworthiness directive (AD) is applicable to Pratt & Whitney Canada models PW118, PW118A, PW118B, PW119B, PW119C, PW120, PW120A, PW121, PW121A, PW123, PW123B, PW123C, PW123D, PW123E, PW123AF, PW124B, PW125B, PW126, PW126A, PW127, PW127B, PW127E, PW127F, PW127G, PW127H, and PW127J turboprop engines. These engines are installed on, but not limited to the following airplanes: Aerospatiale ATR-42 and -72; Bombardier DHC-8 series 100, 200, and 300, CL-215T and -415; Construcciones Aeronautics, S.A. (CASA) C-295; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S. A (EMBRAER) EMB-120; Fairchild Dornier 328, Fokker 50 and 60; Ilyushin IL-114-100; BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd. ATP; and XIAN MA-60.

Note 1:

This airworthiness directive (AD) applies to each engine 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 engines 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

Compliance with this AD is required as indicated, unless already done.

To prevent the separation of the fuel filter bowl from the fuel heater, which could result in a pressurized fuel leak and possible engine fire, do the following:

(a) Replace fuel heater, part number (P/N) 3039183, with fuel heater, P/N 3039798, at the next removal of the engine low pressure fuel filter, but not later than December 31, 2002.

(b) Do not install any fuel heater, P/N 3039183, after the effective date of this AD.

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, Engine Certification Office (ECO). Operators must submit their request through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, ECO.

Note 2:

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

Special Flight Permits

(d) 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 Transport Canada airworthiness directive CF-2000-34, dated November 23, 2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on June 24, 2002.

Francis A. Favara,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-16675 Filed 7-2-02; 8:45 am]

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