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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; EXTRA Flugzeugbau GmbH Models EA-300/200, EA-300L, and EA-300S 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 EXTRA Flugzeugbau GmbH (EXTRA) Models EA-300/200, EA-300L, and EA-300S airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to inspect the fuel selector valve for leakage and the wing for structural damage and correct any damage or leakage. This proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to detect and correct fuel leakage in the wings, which could lead to structural damage of the wings and possible reduced structural margins. Reduced structural margins could lead to eventual structural failure.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any Start Printed Page 23428comments on this proposed rule on or before June 9, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-CE-14-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 electronically must contain “Docket No. 2003-CE-14-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 EXTRA Flugzeugbau GmbH, Flugplatz Dinslaken, D-46569 Hünxe, Federal Republic of Germany; telephone: (0 28 58) 91 37-00; facsimile: (0 28 58) 91 37-30. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

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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.

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 proposed 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 mailed comments, you must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard. On the postcard, write “Comments to Docket No. 2003-CE-14-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What events have caused this proposed AD? The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all EXTRA Models EA-300/200, EA-300L, and EA-300S airplanes. The LBA reports several occurrences where the fuel selector valve did not operate correctly. When the wing tanks are selected, the acro/center tank is not completely shut-off. The result is fuel draining into the wing tanks that must be empty for acrobatics. This failure of the fuel selector valve to correctly operate is caused by the deterioration of the “O”-rings in the valve.

What are the consequences if the condition is not corrected? Acrobatic operation with fuel in the wings could lead to structural damage of the wings and possibly reduced structural margins. Reduced structural margins could lead to eventual structural failure.

Is there service information that applies to this subject? EXTRA has issued Service Letter No. 300-09-02, Issue: A, dated September 19, 2002, which includes procedures for inspecting the fuel selector valve for leakage.

What action did the LBA take? The LBA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued German AD Number AD 2002-48, dated January 9, 2003, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Germany.

Was this in accordance with the bilateral airworthiness agreement? These airplane models are manufactured in Germany 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 LBA 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 LBA; 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 Models EA-300/200, EA-300L, and EA-300S 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 inspect the fuel selector valve for leakage and the wing for structural damage and correct any damage or leakage.

How does the revision to 14 CFR part 39 affect this proposed 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 airplanes would this proposed AD impact? We estimate that this proposed AD affects 184 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 this proposed inspection of the fuel selector valve:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
4 workhours × $60 per hour = $240Not applicable$240$240 × 184 = $44,160.
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We estimate the following costs to accomplish any necessary valve repair that would be required based on the results of this proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need such repair:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
5 workhours × $60 per hour = $300$122.50$422.50.

We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed external inspection of the wings:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
1 workhour × $60 per hour = $60Not Applicable$60$60 × 184 = $11,040.

We are unable to estimate the costs to accomplish any necessary wing repair that would be required based on the results of this proposed inspection. EXTRA will evaluate the damage of each affected airplane and develop an appropriate repair scheme.

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.

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Extra Flugzeugbau GmbH: Docket No. 2003-CE-14-AD

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects all Models EA-300/200, EA-300L, and EA-300S 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 detect and correct fuel leakage in the wings, which could lead to structural damage of the wings and possible reduced structural margins. Reduced structural margins could lead to eventual structural failure.

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

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) For all affected airplanes, inspect the fuel selector valve for leakage. Do not use compressed gas to check the valve since it is possible that use of compressed gas will damage or dislodge the valve “O”-rings. Refer to the caution on page 1 of the service letterWithin the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordance with EXTRA Flugzeugbau GmbH Service Letter No. 300-09-02, Issue: A, dated September 19, 2002, and the applicable airplane maintenance manual.
(2) For all affected airplanes, if any leakage is found during the inspection required by this AD, repair the damagePrior to further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (d)(1) of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordance with the applicable airplane maintenance manual.
(3) For all affected airplanes, inspect the external wing for structural damage:Within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordance with the applicable airplane maintenance manual.
(i) Cracks
(ii) Delamination
(iii) Fuel leakage
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(4) For all affected airplanes, if any cracks, delamination, or fuel leakage is found during the inspection required by this AD, accomplish the following:Prior to further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (d)(3) of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordancae with a repair scheme obtained from EXTRA Flugzeugbau GmbH, Flugplatz Dinslaken, D-46569 Hünxe, Federal Republic of Germany; telephone: (0 28 58) 91 37-00; facsimile: (0 28 58) 91 37-30. Obtain this repair scheme through the FAA at the address specified in paragraph (e) of this AD.
(i) obtain a repair scheme from the manufacturer;
(ii) incorporate this repair scheme; and
(iii) accomplish any follow-up actions as directed by the FAA

(e) Can I comply with this AD in any other way? To use an alternative method of compliance or adjust the compliance time, follow 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 Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

(f) How do I get copies of the documents referenced in this AD? You may get copies of the documents referenced in this AD from EXTRA Flugzeugbau GmbH, Flugplatz Dinslaken, D-46569 Hünxe, Federal Republic of Germany; telephone: (0 28 58) 91 37-00; facsimile: (0 28 58) 91 37-30. You may view these documents at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

Note:

The subject of this AD is addressed in German AD 2002-48, dated January 9, 2003.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 25, 2003.

James E. Jackson,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-10846 Filed 5-1-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P