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

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Stemme GmbH & Co. KG (Stemme) Model S10-VT sailplanes. This AD requires you to modify the engine compartment fuel and oil system and firewall. This AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. 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.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective on December 20, 2002.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations as of December 20, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

You may get the service information referenced in this 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 view this information at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-CE-29-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

What events have caused this 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 sailplanes. The LBA reports an incident of an in-flight fire on a Model 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 is the potential impact if FAA took no action? 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.

Has FAA taken any action to this point? We issued a proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an AD that would apply to certain Stemme Model sailplanes. This proposal was published in the Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on August 2, 2002 (67 FR 50383). The NPRM proposed to require you to modify the engine compartment fuel and oil system and modify the firewall by sealing all gaps.

Was the public invited to comment? The FAA encouraged interested persons to participate in the making of this amendment. We did not receive any comments on the proposed rule or on our determination of the cost to the public.

FAA's Determination

What is FAA's final determination on this issue? After careful review of all available information related to the subject presented above, we have determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed except for minor editorial corrections. We have determined that these minor corrections:

—Provide the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

—Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Cost Impact

How many sailplanes does this AD impact? We estimate that this AD affects 41 sailplanes in the U.S. registry.

What is the cost impact of this AD on owners/operators of the affected sailplanes? We estimate the following costs to accomplish the modifications:

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

Compliance Time of This AD

What will be the compliance time of this AD? The compliance time of this 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 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 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

Does this AD impact various entities? The regulations adopted herein will 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 final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

Does this AD involve a significant rule or regulatory action? For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this 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) will not have a significant economic Start Printed Page 66548impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A copy of the final 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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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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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]
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2. FAA amends § 39.13 by adding a new AD to read as follows:

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2002-22-04 Stemme GmbH & Co. KG: Amendment 39-12928; 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 December 20, 2002 (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 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 Manager, Standards Office, 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 Manager, Standards Office.

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) Are any service bulletins incorporated into this AD by reference? Actions required by this AD must be done in accordance with Stemme Service Bulletin A31-10-057, dated June 7, 2001, Stemme Service Bulletin A31-10-061, dated April 22, 2002, and Stemme Installation Instruction A34-10-061E, dated April 22, 2002. The Director of the Federal Register approved this incorporation by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may get copies 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 view copies at the FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Note 2:

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

(i) When does this amendment become effective? This amendment becomes effective on December 20, 2002.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 22, 2002.

David R. Showers,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-27420 Filed 10-31-02; 8:45 am]

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