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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Fairchild Aircraft, Inc., SA226 Series and SA227 Series

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.

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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 all Fairchild Aircraft, Inc. (Fairchild Aircraft) SA226 and SA227 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to inspect the fuel boost pump wiring for any chafing, cracked insulation material, or evidence of bare wire(s) (referred to herein as damage), and replace any damaged wiring. This proposed AD would also require you to install a protective tubing around the fuel boost pump wiring harness. This proposed AD is the result of reports of chafed fuel boost pump wiring to either the inboard or outboard boost pump wiring. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to prevent the fuel boost pump wiring from chafing, which could result in electrical arcing. This could serve as an ignition source inside the fuel tank and result in fire or explosion.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this proposed rule on or before December 16, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-CE-45-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 Start Printed Page 63574“Docket No. 2000-CE-45-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 Fairchild Aircraft, Inc., P.O. Box 790490, San Antonio, Texas 78279-0490; telephone: (210) 824-9421; facsimile: (210) 820-8609. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ingrid Knox, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Airplane Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0150; telephone: (817) 222-5139; facsimile: (817) 222-5960.

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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. 2000-CE-45-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What Events Have Caused This Proposed AD?

The FAA has received reports indicating problems with 6 Fairchild Aircraft SA227-AC airplanes. Evidence of chafing to either the inboard or outboard fuel boost pump wiring has been found on all 6 airplanes. In one case, evidence of arcing between the chafed wiring and the fuel check valve was found.

All airplane models within the Fairchild Aircraft SA226 and SA227 series incorporate this fuel boost pump wiring design.

What Are the Consequences If the Condition Is Not Corrected?

Damage to the fuel boost pump wiring, if not detected and corrected, could result in electrical arcing. This could serve as an ignition source inside the fuel tank and result in fire or explosion.

Is There Service Information That Applies to This Subject?

Fairchild Aircraft has issued the following service letters:

—Service Letter 226-SL-023, dated September 6, 2000, which applies to model SA226-T, SA226-AT, SA226-T(B), and SA226-TC airplanes;

—Service Letter 227-SL-039, dated September 6, 2000, which applies to model SA227-AT, SA227-TT, SA227-AC (C-26A), SA227-PC, and SA227-BC (C-26A) airplanes; and

—Service Letter CC7-SL-031, dated September 6, 2000, which applies to model SA227-CC and SA227-DC (C-26B) airplanes.

What Are the Provisions of This Service Information?

These service letters:

—Include procedures for inspecting the fuel boost pump wiring;

—Specify replacing any damaged wire(s) in accordance with the appropriate wiring manual; and

—Include procedures for installing a protective tubing around the fuel boost pump wiring harness.

The FAA's Determination and an Explanation of the Provisions of This Proposed AD

What Has FAA Decided?

After examining the circumstances and reviewing all available information related to the incidents described above, we have determined that:

—The unsafe condition referenced in this document exists or could develop on other Fairchild Aircraft SA226 and SA227 series airplanes of the same type design;

—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 affects 490 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

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

We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed inspection of the fuel boost pump wiring:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
2 workhours × $60 per hour = $120$96$120 + $96 = $216$216 × 490 = $105,840

We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed installation of the convoluted tubing:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. Operators
1 workhour × $60 per hour = $60$48$60 + $48 =$108$108 × 490 = $52,920
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The FAA has no method of determining the number of repairs or replacements each owner/operator would incur based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need such repair. The extent of damage may vary on each airplane.

Compliance Time of this Proposed AD

What Would Be the Compliance Time of this Proposed AD?

The compliance time of this proposed AD is whichever of the following that occurs first:

—Within the next 3 months after the effective date of this AD; or

—Within the next 600 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD.

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

Chafing damage is a direct result of airplane usage. However, chafing damage is not necessarily a result of repetitive airplane operation. For example, damage could occur on an affected airplane within a short period of airplane operation while you could operate another affected airplane for a considerable amount of time without experiencing wiring damage. Therefore, to assure that any damaged wiring is detected and corrected in a timely manner without inadvertently grounding any of the affected airplanes, we are utilizing a compliance based upon both hours TIS and calendar 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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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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.

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Fairchild Aircraft, Inc.: Docket No. 2000-CE-45-AD

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects the following airplane models, all serial numbers, that are certificated in any category:

Models

SA226-T, SA226-AT, SA226-T(B), SA226-TC, SA227-AT, SA227-TT, SA227-AC (C-26A), SA227-PC, SA227-BC (C-26A), SA227-CC, and SA227-DC(C-26B)

(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 prevent the fuel boost pump wiring from chafing, which could result in electrical arcing. This could serve as an ignition source inside the fuel tank and result in fire or explosion.

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

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Visually inspect the left-hand and right-hand main/auxiliary fuel boost pump wiring for evidence of chafing, damage, or exposed bare wire(s)Within the next 3 calendar months after the effective date of this AD or within the next 600 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs firstAccomplish the inspection in accordnace with the Accomplishment Instructions in Fairchild Service Letter 226-SL-023; Fairchild Service Letter 227-SL-039, or Fairchild Service Letter CC7-SL-031, all dated September 6, 2000, as applicable.
(2) Replace any chafed, damaged or exposed bare wire(s)Prior to further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this ADAccomplish replacement(s) in accordance with the applicable wiring manual as specified in the applicable Fairchild Service Letter.
(3) Install HEYCO-FLEX V, Slit Convoluted Tubing, part-number (P/N) 1634, around each fuel boost pump wiring harnessPrior to further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this ADAccomplish the installation in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in Fairchild Service Letter 226-SL-023; Fairchild Service Letter 227-SL-039; or Fairchild Service Letter CC7-SL-031, all dated September 6, 2000, as applicable.

(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 Manager, Fort Worth Airplane Certification Office (ACO), approves your alternative. Submit your request through an FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Fort Worth ACO.

Note:

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) Start Printed Page 63576of 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 Ingrid Knox, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Airplane Certification Office, 2601 Meacham Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76193-0150; telephone: (817) 222-5139; facsimile: (817) 222-5960.

(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 Fairchild Aircraft, Inc., P.O. Box 790490, San Antonio, Texas 78279-0490. You may view these documents at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 7, 2002.

Michael Gallagher,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-26053 Filed 10-11-02; 8:45 am]

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