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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. Model P-180 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 all Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. (PIAGGIO) Model P-180 airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to inspect and determine whether any firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve with a serial number in a certain range are installed and would require you to replace any valve that has a serial number within this range. The proposed AD would allow the pilot to check the logbook and would not require additional action if the check showed that one of these valves was definitely not installed. This proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Italy. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to prevent a faulty firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve from developing cracks and leaking fuel. This could result in an engine fire.

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. 2002-CE-46-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 get service information that applies to this proposed AD from Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A, Via Cibrario 4, 16154 Genoa, Italy; telephone: +39 010 6481 856; facsimile: +39 010 6481 374. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

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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.

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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 comments, you must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard. On the postcard, write “Comments to Docket No. 2002-CE-46-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What Events Have Caused This Proposed AD?

The Ente Nazionale per l' Aviazione Civile (ENAC), which is the airworthiness authority for Italy, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all PIAGGIO Model P-180 airplanes. The ENAC reports an incident of a ground fire on the left-hand engine nacelle of one of the affected airplanes. Investigation revealed that the fire was caused by a cracked crossfeed valve that had leaked fuel.

Further analysis led the ENAC to determine that the part number (P/N) EM484-3 valve was part of a manufacturing batch of nonconforming valves. This batch incorporates serial numbers 148 through 302 of these P/N EM484-3 valves. These valves can be utilized as either firewall shutoff or crossfeed valves.

What Are the Consequences if the Condition Is Not Corrected?

If these valves are not removed from service, they could develop cracks and leak fuel. This could result in an engine fire.

Is There Service Information That Applies to This Subject?

PIAGGIO Aero Industries has issued:

—Alert Service Bulletin: 80-0173, Original Issue: February 8, 2002, which includes procedures for inspecting the three Electo Mech P/N EM484-3 firewall shutoff and crossfeed valves to determine whether they incorporate a serial number in the range of 148 through 302; and

—Service Bulletin: 80-0174, Original Issue: February 20, 2002, which includes procedures for modifying any valve incorporating a serial number in the range of 148 through 302 (the valve will be re-identified with a “A” at the end of the serial number).

What Action Did the ENAC Take?

The ENAC classified these service bulletins as mandatory and issued Italian RAI-AD 2002-442, dated February 21, 2002, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Italy.

Was This in Accordance With the Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement?

This airplane model is manufactured in Italy 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 ENAC 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 ENAC; 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 PIAGGIO Model P-180 airplanes of the same type design that are on the U.S. registry;

—The actions specified in the previously-referenced service Start Printed Page 68783information 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 inspect and determine whether any firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve with a serial number in a certain range is installed and would require you to replace any valve that has a serial number within this range. The proposed AD would allow the pilot to check the logbook and would not require additional action if the check showed that one of these valves was definitely not installed.

Compliance Time of this AD

What Will Be the Compliance Time of This AD?

The inspection compliance time of this AD is “within the next 30 days after the effective date of the AD.”

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

The compliance of this AD is presented in calendar time instead of hours TIS because the affected shutoff and crossfeed valves are unsafe as a result of a quality control problem. The problem has the same chance of existing on an airplane with 50 hours TIS as it would for an airplane with 1,000 hours TIS. Therefore, we believe that a compliance time of 30 days will:

—Ensure that the unsafe condition does not go undetected for a long period of time on the affected airplanes; and

—Not inadvertently ground any of the affected airplanes.

Cost Impact

How Many Airplanes Would This Proposed AD Impact?

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 22 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:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
2 workhours × $60 per hour = $120Not applicable$120$2,640

We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed replacement/modification:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
8 workhours × $60 per hour = $480Manufacturer will provide free of charge$480

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.

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[Amended]

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

Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A.: Docket No. 2002-CE-46-AD.

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Model P-180 airplanes, all serial numbers, 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 prevent a faulty firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve from developing cracks and leaking fuel. This could result in an engine fire.

(d) What actions must I accomplish to address this problem? To address this problem, you must accomplish the following:Start Printed Page 68784

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Maintenance Records Check:
(i) Check the maintenance records to determine whether an Electo Mech part number (P/N) EM484-3 firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve with a serial number in the range of 148 through 302 is installed. The owner/operator holding at least a private pilot certificate as authorized by section 43.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.7) may perform this check (ii) If, by checking the maintenance records, the owner/operator can definitely show that no Electo Mech P/N EM484-3 firewall shutoff or crossfeed valves with a serial number in the range of 148 through 302 are installed, then the inspection requirement of paragraph (d)(2) and the replacement requirement of paragraph (d)(3) of this AD do not apply. You must make an entry into the aircraft records that shows compliance with these portions of the AD in accordance with section 43.9 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.9)Within the next 30 days after the effective date of this AD, the unless already accomplishedNo special procedures required to check logbook.
(2) Inspection: Inspect the three Electo Mech P/N EM484-3 firewall shutoff and crossfeed valves to determine whether they incorporate a serial number in the range of 148 through 302Within the next 30 days after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in PIAGGIO Aero Industries S.p.A. Alert Service Bulletin: 80-0173, Original Issue: February 8, 2002.
(3) Replacement: If any Electro Mech P/N EM484-3 firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve is found that incorporates a serial number in the range of 148 through 302, accomplish one of the following: (i) Install valve(s) that does not (do not) incorporate a serial number in the range of 148 through 302; or (ii) Modify any valve(s) that incorporates (incorporate) a serial number in the range of 148 through 302. The valve will be re-identified with an “A” at the end of the serial numberAccomplish any necessary replacements or modifications prior to further flight after the inspection required by paragraph (d)(2) of this AD, unless already accomplishedReplace in accordance with applicable maintenance manual. Modify in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in PIAGGIO Aero Industries S.p.A. Service Bulletin: 80-0174, Original Issue: February 20, 2002.
(4) Spares: Do not install, on any airplane, any Electro Mech P/N EM484-3 firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve that incorporates a serial number in the range of 148 through 302, unless it has been modified as specified in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this ADAs of the effective date of this ADNot 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, 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, Small Airplane Directorate.

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 PIAGGIO AERO INDUSTRIES S.p.A, Via Cibrario 4, 16154 Genoa, Italy; telephone: +39 010 6481 856; facsimile: +39 010 6481 374. 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 Italian RAI-AD 2002-442, dated February 21, 2002.

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Start Printed Page 68785

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 5, 2002.

Michael Gallagher,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-28750 Filed 11-12-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P