Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; SOCATA-Groupe AEROSPATIALE Models TB 9, TB 10, TB 20, TB 21, and TB 200 Airplanes

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.

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 all SOCATA—Groupe AEROSPATIALE (Socata) Models TB 9, TB 10, TB 20, TB 21, and TB 200 airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to inspect the aileron control gimbal joint for correct alignment and correct operation, and replace any misaligned or defective gimbal joint. This proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for France. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to prevent failure of the aileron control gimbal joint. 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 January 3, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-CE-43-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 1 electronically must contain “Docket No. 2002-CE-43-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 SOCATA Groupe AEROSPATIALE, Customer Support, Aerodrome Tarbes-Ossun-Lourdes, BP 930—F65009 Tarbes Cedex, France; telephone: 011 33 5 62 41 73 00; facsimile: 011 33 5 62 41 76 54; or the Product Support Manager, SOCATA—Groupe AEROSPATIALE, North Perry Airport, 7501 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023; telephone: (954) 893-1400; facsimile: (954) 964-4141. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; 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 Start Printed Page 69155report 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-43-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What Events Have Caused This Proposed AD?

The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all Socata Models TB 9, TB 10, TB 20, TB 21, and TB 200 airplanes. The DGAC reported an incident involving a Model TB 9 airplane. During flight, the pilot experienced loss of aileron control. Loss of aileron control resulted because the gimbal joint became disconnected from the aileron.

The gimbal joint became disconnected from the aileron because the safety pin broke. The cause of the safety pin breaking is being investigated by the manufacturer. The result of the investigation may result in a future design change.

What Are the Consequences if the Condition Is Not Corrected?

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

Is There Service Information That Applies to This Subject?

Socata has issued TB Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 10-130 27, dated April, 2002.

What Are the Provisions of This Service Information?

The service bulletin includes procedures for:

—Repetitively inspecting the aileron control gimbal joint for correct alignment and correct operation; and

—Replacing misaligned or defective gimbal joints.

What Action Did the DGAC Take?

The DGAC classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued French AD 2002-225(A), dated May 15, 2002, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

Was This in Accordance With the Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement?

These airplane models are manufactured in France and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of § 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement.

Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the DGAC 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 DGAC; 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 Socata Models TB 9, TB 10, TB 20, TB 21, and TB 200 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 bulletin.

Is There a Modification I Can Incorporate Instead of Repetitively Inspecting the Aileron Control Gimbal Joint?

The FAA has determined that long-term continued operational safety would be better assured by design changes that remove the source of the problem rather than by repetitive inspections or other special procedures. With this in mind, FAA will continue to work with Socata in collecting information and in performing fatigue analysis to determine whether a future design change may be necessary.

Cost Impact

How Many Airplanes Would This Proposed AD Impact?

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 346 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 initial inspection:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
2 workhour × $60 per hour = $120No parts required for the inspection$120$120 × 346 = $41,520.

The FAA has no method of determining the number of repetitive inspections each owner/operator would incur over the life of each of the affected airplanes so the cost impact is based on the initial inspection.

We estimate the following costs to accomplish any necessary replacements 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 replacement:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
6 workhours × $60 per hour = $360$469$360 + $469 = $829.
Start Printed Page 69156

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:

SOCATA—Groupe AEROSPATIALE: Docket No. 2002-CE-43-AD

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Models TB 9, TB 10, TB 20, TB 21, and TB 200 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 failure of the aileron control gimbal joint. 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:

ActionsCompliance
(1) Inspect the aileron control gimbal joint for correct alignment and correct operationUpon accumulating 300 hours time-in-service (TIS) on the aileron control gimbal joint or within the next 30 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. Repetitively inspect thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS
(2) Replace misaligned or defective gimbal joints during any inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this ADPrior to further flight after the inspection where a misaligned or defective gimbal joint was found. The inspection requirements of paragraph (d)(1) start over after each replacement

(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 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 Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; 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 §§ 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 SOCATA Groupe AEROSPATIALE, Customer Support, Aerodrome Tarbes-Ossun-Lourdes, BP 930-F65009 Tarbes Cedex, France; telephone: 011 33 5 62 41 73 00; facsimile: 011 33 5 62 41 76 54; or the Product Support Manager, SOCATA Groupe AEROSPATIALE, North Perry Airport, 7501 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023; telephone: (954) 893-1400; facsimile: (954) 964-4141. 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 French AD 2002-225(A), dated May 15, 2002.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 8, 2002.

Michael Gallagher,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-29004 Filed 11-14-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P