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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A319-131 and -132; A320-231, -232, and -233; and A321-131 and -231 Series 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.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

This document revises an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Airbus Model A319-131 and -132; A320-231, -232, and -233; and A321-131 and -231 series airplanes, that would have required installing new anti-swivel plates and weights on the engine fan cowl door latches. This new action revises the proposed rule by adding airplanes to the applicability and a requirement to install a new hold-open device. This action specified by this new proposed AD is necessary to prevent separation of the engine fan cowl door from the airplane in flight, which could result in damage to the airplane and hazards to persons or property on the ground. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by December 16, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-411-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-411-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate. Comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Airbus Industrie, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications shall identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this action may be changed in light of the comments received.

Submit comments using the following format:

  • Organize comments issue-by-issue. For example, discuss a request to change the compliance time and a request to change the service bulletin reference as two separate issues.
  • For each issue, state what specific change to the proposed AD is being requested.
  • Include justification (e.g., reasons or data) for each request.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report summarizing each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-411-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-411-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to add an airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Airbus Model A319-131 and “132; A320-231, -232, and “233; and A321-131 and -231 series airplanes, was published as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on September 4, 2001 (66 FR 46246). That NPRM would have required installing new anti-swivel plates and weights on the engine fan cowl door latches. That NPRM was prompted by several incidents in which the fan cowl door on an International Aero Engine Model V2500 engine separated from the airplane during takeoff because the door was not fully latched prior to dispatch. That condition, if not corrected, could result in damage to the airplane and hazards to persons or property on the ground.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous Proposal

Due consideration has been given to the comment received in response to the NPRM:

One commenter requests that the NPRM be revised to mandate Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001, and to update the applicability, as specified in French airworthiness directive, 2001-381(B), dated September 5, 2001. The commenter states that French airworthiness directive 2001-381(B) supersedes French airworthiness directive 2000-444-156(B), dated October 31, 2000, which was referenced in the NPRM.

The FAA agrees. Since the issuance of the NPRM, the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, issued French airworthiness directive 2001-381(B) to introduce an additional fan cowl latch improvement by installing a hold-open device and to revise the service information referenced in the applicability. That French airworthiness directive cancels French airworthiness directive 2000-444-156(B), which was referenced in the original NPRM.

In addition, Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001, which describes procedures for modification of the door latches of the fan cowl of both engines (i.e., installation of new anti-swivel plates and weights), and installation of a new hold-open device; as applicable. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is Start Printed Page 70193intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

The DGAC classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued French airworthiness directive 2001-381(B) in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France. Therefore, we have revised this supplemental NPRM to parallel that French airworthiness directive.

Conclusion

Since these changes expand the scope of the originally proposed rule, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 154 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

For certain airplanes, it would take approximately 5 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed modification (i.e., installation of new anti-swivel plates and weights), and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $1,400 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the modification proposed by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $1,700 per airplane.

For all airplanes, it would take approximately 3 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed installation of the hold-open device, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $100 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $43,120, or $280 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the proposed requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this AD were not adopted. The cost impact figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform the specific actions actually required by the AD. These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other administrative actions.

Regulatory Impact

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 proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed regulation (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under the 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 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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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to 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. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Airbus: Docket 2000-NM-411-AD.

Applicability: Model A319-131 and -132; A320-231, -232, and -233; and A321-131 and -231 series airplanes; certificated in any category; except those airplanes on which the following have been incorporated: Airbus Modifications 21948/P6222 and 30869 in production; Airbus Modifications 24259/P6222 and 30869 in production; Airbus Modifications 24259/P6222 and 24259/P6473 in production; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001, in-service.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise 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 (b) 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 the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent separation of the engine fan cowl door from the airplane in flight, which could result in damage to the airplane and hazards to persons or property on the ground, accomplish the following:

Modification and/or Installation

(a) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, do the action(s) specified in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) For Configuration 01 airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001: Modify the door latches of the fan cowl of both engines (i.e., installation of new anti-swivel plates and weights), and install a new hold-open device, per the service bulletin.

(2) For Configuration 02 airplanes identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1028, dated March 23, 2001: Install a new hold-open device per the service bulletin.

Alternative Method Of Compliance

(b) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the International Branch, ANM-116.

Special Flight Permits

(c) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 2001-381(B), dated September 5, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 15, 2002.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-29679 Filed 11-20-02; 8:45 am]

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