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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Stemme GmbH & Co. KG Model S10-VT Sailplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Stemme GmbH & Co. KG (Stemme) Model S10-VT sailplanes. This proposed AD would require you to modify the engine compartment fuel and oil system and firewall. This Start Printed Page 50384proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to reduce the potential for a fire to ignite in the engine compartment and increase the containment of an engine fire in the engine compartment. A fire in the engine compartment could lead to loss of control of the sailplane.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this proposed rule on or before September 3, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-CE-29-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. You may view any comments at this location between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

You may also send comments electronically to the following address: 9-ACE-7-Docket@faa.gov. Comments sent electronically must contain “Docket No. 2002-CE-29-AD” in the subject line. If you send comments electronically as attached electronic files, the files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.

You may get service information that applies to this proposed AD from Stemme GmbH & Co. KG, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, D-13355 Berlin, Germany; telephone: 49.33.41.31.11.70; facsimile: 49.33.41.31.11.73. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

How Do I Comment on This Proposed AD?

The FAA invites comments on this proposed rule. You may submit whatever written data, views, or arguments you choose. You need to include the rule's docket number and submit your comments to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. We will consider all comments received on or before the closing date. We may amend this proposed rule in light of comments received. Factual information that supports your ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of this proposed AD action and determining whether we need to take additional rulemaking action.

Are There Any Specific Portions of This Proposed AD I Should Pay Attention To?

The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed rule that might suggest a need to modify the rule. You may view all comments we receive before and after the closing date of the rule in the Rules Docket. We will file a report in the Rules Docket that summarizes each contact we have with the public that concerns the substantive parts of this proposed AD.

How Can I Be Sure FAA Receives My Comment?

If you want FAA to acknowledge the receipt of your mailed comments, you must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard. On the postcard, write “Comments to Docket No. 2002-CE-29-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What Events Have Cauaused This Proposed AD?

The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Stemme Model S10-VT sailplanes. The LBA reports an incident of an in-flight fire on a Model S10-VT sailplane. The accident investigation revealed that the fire was not contained in the engine compartment. The manufacturer conducted a design review and determined that modifications to the fuel and oil system and the firewall design will significantly reduce the potential for a fire to ignite in the engine compartment and increase the containment of an engine fire in the engine compartment.

What Are the Consequences if the Condition Is Not Corrected?

If this condition is not corrected, there is potential for a fire to ignite in the engine compartment and spread into the cockpit. Such a condition could lead to loss of control of the sailplane.

Is There Service Information That Applies to This Subject?

Stemme has issued Service Bulletin Document Number A31-10-057, dated June 7, 2001, Service Bulletin Document Number A31-10-061, dated April 22, 2002, and Installation Instruction Document Number A34-10-061E, dated April 22, 2002.

What Are the Provisions of This Service Information?

These service documents include procedures for:

—Modifying the engine compartment fuel and oil system; and

—Modifying the firewall by sealing all gaps.

What Action Did the LBA Take?

The LBA classified this service information as mandatory and issued German AD 2002-156, dated June 13, 2002, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these sailplanes in Germany.

Was This in Accordance With the Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement?

This sailplane model is manufactured in Germany 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 LBA has kept FAA informed of the situation described above.

The FAA's Determination and an Explanation of the Provisions of This Proposed AD What Has FAA Decided?

The FAA has examined the findings of the LBA; reviewed all available information, including the service information referenced above; and determined that:

—The unsafe condition referenced in this document exists or could develop on other Stemme Model S10-VT sailplanes of the same type design that are on the U.S. registry;

—The actions specified in the previously-referenced service information should be accomplished on the affected sailplanes; and

—AD action should be taken in order to correct this unsafe condition.

What Would This Proposed AD Require?

This proposed AD would require you to incorporate the actions in the previously-referenced service bulletins.

Cost Impact

How Many Sailplanes Would This Proposed AD Impact?

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 41 sailplanes in the U.S. registry.

What Would Be the Cost Impact of This Proposed AD on Owners/Operators of the Affected Sailplanes?

We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed modifications: Start Printed Page 50385

Labor costParts costTotal cost per sailplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators Sailplane
10 workhours × $60 per hour = $600$620.$1,220.$1,220 × 41 = $50,020.

Compliance Time of this Proposed AD

What Would Be the Compliance Time of This Proposed AD?

The compliance time of this proposed AD is “within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.”

Why Is the Compliance Time of This Proposed AD Presented in Both Hours TIS and Calendar Time?

The unsafe condition on these sailplanes is not a result of the number of times the sailplane is operated. Sailplane operation varies among operators. For example, one operator may operate the sailplane 50 hours TIS in 3 months while it may take another operator 12 months or more to accumulate 50 hours TIS. For this reason, the FAA has determined that the compliance time of this proposed AD should be specified in both hours time-in-service (TIS) and calendar time in order to ensure this condition is not allowed to go uncorrected over time.

Regulatory Impact

Would This Proposed AD Impact Various Entities?

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 proposed rule would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

Would This Proposed AD Involve a Significant Rule or Regulatory Action?

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed 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) 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 has been placed 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, under 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. FAA amends § 39.13 by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD) to read as follows:

Stemme GMBH & Co. KG: Docket No. 2002-CE-29-AD

(a) What sailplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Model S10-VT sailplanes, serial numbers 11-002 through 11-072, that are certificated in any category.

(b) Who must comply with this AD? Anyone who wishes to operate any of the sailplanes identified in paragraph (a) of this AD must comply with this AD.

(c) What problem does this AD address? The actions specified by this AD are intended to reduce the potential for a fire to ignite in the engine compartment and increase the containment of an engine fire in the engine compartment. A fire in the engine compartment could lead to loss of control of the sailplane.

(d) What actions must I accomplish to address this problem? To address this problem, you must accomplish the following:

ActionsComplianceProcedures
Modify the firewall by sealing all gaps and modify the fuel and oil lines in the engine compartmentWithin the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs firstModify the firewall in accordance with Stemme Service Bulletin A31-10-057, dated June 7, 2001, as specified in Stemme Service Bulletin A31-10-061, dated April 22, 2002. Modify the fuel and oil lines in accordance with Stemme Service Bulletin A31-10-061, dated April 22, 2002, and Stemme Installation Instruction A34-10-061E, dated April 22, 2002.

(e) Can I comply with this AD in any other way? You may use an alternative method of compliance or adjust the compliance time if:

(1) Your alternative method of compliance provides an equivalent level of safety; and

(2) The Standards Office Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, approves your alternative. Submit your request through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Standards Office Manager.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each sailplane identified in paragraph (a) of this AD, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For sailplanes 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 (e) 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 you have not eliminated the unsafe condition, specific actions you propose to address it.

(f) Where can I get information about any already-approved alternative methods of compliance? Contact Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4144; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

(g) What if I need to fly the sailplane to another location to comply with this AD? The FAA can issue a special flight permit under sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate your sailplane to a location where you can accomplish the requirements of this AD.

(h) How do I get copies of the documents referenced in this AD? You may get copies of the documents referenced in this AD from Start Printed Page 50386Stemme GmbH & Co. KG, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, D-13355 Berlin, Germany; telephone: 49.33.41.31.11.70; facsimile: 49.33.41.31.11.73. You may view these documents at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

Note 2:

The subject of this AD is addressed in German AD 2002-156, dated June 13, 2002.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 25, 2002.

James E. Jackson,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-19570 Filed 8-1-02; 8:45 am]

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