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

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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 all SOCATA—Groupe AEROSPATIALE (Socata) Models TB 9, TB 10, TB 20, TB 21, and TB 200 airplanes. This AD requires you to repetitively inspect the aileron control gimbal joint for correct alignment and correct operation, and replace any misaligned or defective gimbal joint. This AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for France. 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.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective on April 7, 2003.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations as of April 7, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

You may get the service information 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 this information at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-CE-43-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:

Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

What events have caused this AD? The Direction Générale 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 is the potential impact if FAA took no action? 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.

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 all Socata Models TB 9, TB 10, TB 20, TB 21, and TB 200 airplanes. This proposal was published in the Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on November 15, 2002 (67 FR 69154). The NPRM proposed to require you to repetitively inspect the aileron control gimbal joint for correct alignment and correct operation, and replace any misaligned or defective gimbal joint.

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.

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 does this AD impact? We estimate that this AD affects 346 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

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

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

The FAA has no method of determining the number of repetitive inspections each owner/operator will 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 will be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need such replacement: Start Printed Page 7901

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
6 workhours × $60 per hour = $360$469$360 + $469 = $829

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 impact, 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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2003-04-03 SOCATA—Groupe Aerospatiale: Amendment 39-13051; 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:

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(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 April 7, 2003 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs later. Repetitively inspect thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TISIn accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in Socata TB Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 10-130 27, dated April 2002.
(2) Replace misaligned or defective gimbal joints found 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 replacementIn accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in Socata TB Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 10-130 27, dated April 2002, and the applicable maintenance manual.

(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 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) Are any service bulletins incorporated into this AD by reference? Actions required by this AD must be done in accordance with Socata TB Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 10-130 27, dated April 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 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 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 French AD 2002-225(A), dated May 15, 2002.

(i) When does this amendment become effective? This amendment becomes effective on April 7, 2003.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 6, 2002.

Michael Gallagher,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-3614 Filed 2-18-03; 8:45 am]

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