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Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model EMB-145 Series Airplanes

Document Details

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), applicable to certain EMBRAER Model EMB-145 series airplanes, that requires a one-time ultrasonic inspection of the maneuvering actuator piston rod of the main landing gear (MLG) to ensure adequate wall thickness of the piston rods, and replacement of any discrepant piston rod with a new piston rod. This amendment is prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent failure of the maneuvering actuator piston rod of the MLG, which would impede retraction of the MLG, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

Effective July 23, 2003.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 23, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), P.O. Box 343—CEP 12.225, Sao Jose dos Campos—SP, Brazil. This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; 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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain EMBRAER Model EMB-145 series airplanes was published as a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on June 5, 2000 (65 FR 35590). That action proposed to require a one-time ultrasonic inspection of the maneuvering actuator piston rod of the main landing gear (MLG) to ensure adequate wall thickness of the piston rods, and replacement of any discrepant piston rod with a new piston rod.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the comments received.

Request to Credit Work Done Per Earlier Service Bulletin Versions

Several commenters request that the supplemental NPRM be revised to allow credit for work accomplished in accordance with the original version of EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-32-0031, dated July 3, 1998; and Change 01, dated December 8, 1998. The commenters note that, if the inspection and related actions have been accomplished in accordance with either of those service bulletin versions, no additional work would be necessary to accomplish the actions specified in Change 02 of the service bulletin. The commenters suggest that failure to include this credit provision in the AD could unnecessarily require operators to request an alternative method of compliance to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the AD.

The FAA agrees. The procedures described in the original issue and Change 01 of EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-32-0031 are essentially the same as those described in Change 02. Therefore, the original issue and Change 01 of the service bulletin are also acceptable for compliance with this AD. Paragraph (a) of this final rule has been revised accordingly.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comment noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the change previously described. The FAA has determined that this change will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Changes to 14 CFR Part 39/Effect on the AD

On July 10, 2002, the FAA issued a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs the FAA's airworthiness directives system. The regulation now includes material that relates to altered products, special flight permits, and alternative methods of compliance. However, for clarity and consistency in this final rule, we have retained the language of the NPRM regarding that material.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 33 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this proposed AD, that it will take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the required actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators Start Printed Page 36455is estimated to be $1,980, or $60 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the 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 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.

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 final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from 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, pursuant to 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. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

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2003-12-11 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer): Amendment 39-13196. Docket 99-NM-98-AD.

Applicability: Model EMB-145 series airplanes, equipped with main landing gear maneuvering actuators, part and serial numbers as listed in EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-32-0031, Change No. 02, dated February 12, 1999; certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in thepreceding applicability provision, 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 (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 failure of the maneuvering actuator piston rod of the main landing gear (MLG), which would impede retraction of the MLG, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Ultrasonic Inspection and Replacement, If Necessary

(a) Within the next 100 landings after the effective date of this AD, perform an ultrasonic inspection of the maneuvering actuator piston rods of the MLG to ensure adequate wall thickness of the piston rods, in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-32-0031, Change No. 02, dated February 12, 1999. An inspection is also acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD if done in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-32-0031, dated July 3, 1998; or Change 01, dated December 8, 1999.

(1) If the thickness of any measurement point in any piston rod is greater than 2.0 mm (.079 inch), no further action is required by this AD.

(2) If the thickness of any measurement point in any piston rod is from 1.5 mm (.059 inch) to 2.0 mm (.079 inch): Within 500 landings after the effective date of this AD, replace the piston rod with a new rod having the correct part number as specified in the service bulletin.

(3) If the thickness of any measurement point in any piston rod is less than 1.5 mm (.059 inch): Within 50 landings after the effective date of this AD, replace the piston rod with a new rod having the correct part number as specified in the service bulletin.

Alternative Methods 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, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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.

Incorporation by Reference

(d) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions must be done in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-32-0031, Change No. 02, dated February 12, 1999. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), P.O. Box 343—CEP 12.225, Sao Jose dos Campos—SP, Brazil. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Brazilian airworthiness directive 98-09-01 R1, dated March 15, 1999.

Effective Date

(e) This amendment becomes effective on July 23, 2003.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 10, 2003.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-15222 Filed 6-17-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P