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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-6 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 to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. (Pilatus) Model PC-6 airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to inspect the aileron assembly for correct configuration and modify as necessary. This proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Switzerland. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to correct improper aileron assembly configuration, which could result in failure of the aileron mass balance weight. Such failure could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this proposed rule on or before September 13, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-CE-08-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-08-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 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Liaison Manager, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: +41 41 619 63 19; facsimile: +41 41 619 6224; or from Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd., Product Support Department, 11755 Airport Way, Broomfield, Colorado 80021; telephone: (303) 465-9099; facsimile: (303) 465-6040. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; 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-08-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What Events Have Caused This Proposed AD?

The Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA), which is the airworthiness authority for Switzerland, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Pilatus Model PC-6 airplanes. The FOCA reported an instance where unapproved mass balance weights and an improper aileron configuration were found on a Model PC-6 airplane. The FOCA determined the cause as improper configuration control and tracking.

What Are the Consequences if the Condition Is Not Corrected?

This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the aileron mass balance weights. Such failure could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

Is There Service Information That Applies to This Subject?

Pilatus has issued Service Bulletin No. 62B, dated May 1967, and Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 57-001, dated December 20, 2001.

What Are the Provisions of This Service Information?

These service bulletins include procedures for inspecting the aileron assembly for correct configuration and modifying the aileron assembly if necessary.

What Action Did the FOCA Take?

The FOCA classified these service bulletins as mandatory and issued Swiss AD HB 2002-001, dated February 8, 2002, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Switzerland.

Was This in Accordance With the Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement?

This airplane model is manufactured in Switzerland and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Start Printed Page 53762Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement.

Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the FOCA 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 FOCA; 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 Pilatus Model PC-6 airplanes 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 airplanes; 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 information.

Cost Impact

How Many Airplanes Would This Proposed AD Impact?

We estimate that this proposed AD affected 35 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

What Would be the Cost of This Proposed AD on Owners/Operators of the Affected Airplanes?

We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed inspection:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
1 workhour×$60 per hour=$60No parts required$60$60×35=$2,100.

We estimate the following costs to accomplish any necessary modifications that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need such modification:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
16 workhours×$60 = $960$419$419+$960 = $1,379.

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 30 days after the effective date of this AD.”

Why Is the Compliance Time Presented in Calendar Time Instead of Hours Time-in-Service (TIS)?

This unsafe condition is not a result of the number of times the airplane is operated. The chance of this situation occurring is the same for an airplane with 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) as it would be for a airplane with 500 hours TIS. For this reason, the FAA has determined that a compliance based on calendar time should be utilized in this AD in order to assure that the unsafe condition is addressed on all airplanes in a reasonable time period.

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:

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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. FAA amends § 39.13 by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD) to read as follows:

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.: Docket No. 2002-CE-08-AD

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Model PC-6 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers (MSN) up to and including 939, that are certificated in any category.

(b) Who must comply with this AD? Anyone who wishes to operate any of the airplanes 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 correct improper aileron assembly configuration, which could result in failure of the aileron mass balance weight. Such failure could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

(d) What actions must I accomplish to address this problem? To address this problem, you must accomplish the following: Start Printed Page 53763

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Inspect the aileron assembly for proper configurationWithin the next 30 days after the effective date of this ADIn accordance with Pilatus Service Bulletin No. 62B, dated May 1967, as specified in Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 57-001, dated December 20, 2001.
(2) If the aileron assembly configuration incorporates aileron part number (P/N) 6106.10.xxx or P/N 6106.0010.xxx, modify the assembly in accordance with Pilatus Service Bulletin No. 62B, dated May 1967, and install a placardPrior to further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this ADModify in accordance with Pilatus Service Bulletin No. 62B, dated paragraph May 1967. Install the placard in accordance with Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 57-001, dated December 20, 2001.
(3) If the aileron assembly configuration differs from that specified in Pilatus Service Bulletin No. 62B, dated May 1967, or if the part numbers are missing and cannot be verified: (i) obtain a repair scheme from the manufacturer through the FAA at the address specified in paragraph (f) of this AD; and (ii) incorporate this repair schemePrior to further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this ADIn accordance with Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 57-001, dated December 20, 2001.
(4) Do not install any aileron assembly unless the inspection, modification, placard, and repair requirements (as applicable) of paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3), (d)(3)(i), and (d)(3)(ii) of this AD are accomplishedAs of the effective date of this ADIn accordance with Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 57-001, dated December 20, 2001.

(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 airplane 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 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 (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 Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

(g) What if I need to fly the airplane 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 airplane 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 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Liaison Manager, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: +41 41 619 63 19; facsimile: +41 41 619 6224; or from Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd., Product Support Department, 11755 Airport Way, Broomfield, Colorado 80021; telephone: (303) 465-9099; facsimile: (303) 465-6040. 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 Swiss AD HB 2002-001, dated February 8, 2002.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 2, 2002.

Dorenda D. Baker,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-20933 Filed 8-16-02; 8:45 am]

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