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Airworthiness Directives; Stemme GmbH & Co. KG Models S10 and S10-V 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 all Stemme GmbH & Co. KG (Stemme) Models S10 and S10-V sailplanes. This AD requires you to modify the engine compartment fuel and oil system and firewall. This AD is the result of FAA's determination that the actions required in AD 2002-22-04 should also be accomplished on other sailplanes of similar type design. The actions specified by this AD are intended to reduce the potential for a fire to ignite in the engine compartment and to 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 May 22, 2003.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations as of May 22, 2003.

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-52-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, reported an incident of an in-flight fire on a Model S10-VT 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.

This condition caused us to issue AD 2002-22-04, Amendment 39-12928 (67 FR 66547, November 1, 2002). AD 2002-22-04 requires the following on certain Model S10-VT sailplanes:

—Modify the engine compartment fuel and oil system; and

—Modify the firewall by sealing all gaps.

Although Stemme Models S10 and S10-V sailplanes have a different engine installation (non-turbocharged), they are of similar type design as Stemme Model S10-VT sailplanes. We have determined that similar modifications should also be incorporated on these sailplanes. The LBA has determined that these modifications are not mandatory for Start Printed Page 16191sailplanes registered outside of the United States.

What Is the Potential Impact if FAA Took No Action?

If this condition is not prevented, 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 all Stemme Models S10 and S10-V sailplanes. This proposal was published in the Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on January 14, 2003 (68 FR 1805). The NPRM proposed to require you to modify the engine compartment fuel and oil system and firewall.

Was the Public Invited To Comment?

The FAA encouraged interested persons to participate in the making of this amendment. We received one comment in support of the NPRM.

FAA's Determination

What Is FAA's Final Determination on This Issue?

We carefully reviewed all available information related to the subject presented above and determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed except for the changes discussed above and minor editorial corrections. We have determined that these changes and 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.

How Does the Revision to 14 CFR Part 39 Affect This AD?

On July 10, 2002, FAA published a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs FAA's AD system. This regulation now includes material that relates to special flight permits, alternative methods of compliance, and altered products. This material previously was included in each individual AD. Since this material is included in 14 CFR part 39, we will not include it in future AD actions.

Cost Impact

How Many Sailplanes Does This AD Impact?

We estimate that this AD affects 15 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 airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
10 workhours × $60 per hour = $600$620$1,220$1,220 × 15 = $18,300.

What is the Compliance Time of This AD?

The compliance time of this AD is “within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) or 6 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 6 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 will be specified in both hours 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 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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2003-07-05 Stemme GmbH & Co. KG: Amendment 39-13101; Docket No. 2002-CE-52-AD.

(a) What sailplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Models S10 and S10-V sailplanes, all serial numbers, 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 to 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:Start Printed Page 16192

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 6 months after May 22, 2003 (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 A31-10-063, dated September 11, 2002. Modify the fuel and oil lines in accordance with Stemme Service Bulletin A31-10-063, dated September 11, 2002, and Stemme Installation Instruction A34-10-063E, dated August 26, 2002.

(e) Can I comply with this AD in any other way? To use an alternative method of compliance or adjust the compliance time, use the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Send these requests to the Manager, Standards Office, Small Airplane Directorate. For information on 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.

(f) 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 A31-10-063, dated September 11, 2002; and Stemme Installation Instruction A34-10-063E, dated August 26, 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.

(g) When does this amendment become effective? This amendment becomes effective on May 22, 2003.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, MO, on March 25, 2003.

Michael Gallagher,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-7744 Filed 4-2-03; 8:45 am]

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