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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; AeroSpace Technologies of Australia Pty Ltd. Models N22B and N24A 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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to all AeroSpace Technologies of Australia Pty Ltd. (ASTA) Models N22B and N24A airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to visually inspect the ailerons for damage and replace if necessary; adjust the engine power levers aural warning microswitches; set flap extension and flap down operation limitations; and fabricate and install cockpit flap extension and flap down operation restriction placards. This proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Australia. The actions specified by this proposed AD are intended to prevent damage to the aileron due to airplane operation and pre-existing and undetected damage, which could result in failure of the aileron. Such failure could lead to reduced or loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any comments on this proposed rule on or before September 19, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-CE-21-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-21-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 Nomad Operations, Aerospace Support Division, Boeing Australia, PO Box 767, Brisbane, QLD 4000 Australia; telephone 61 7 3306 3366; facsimile 61 7 3306 3111. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the address above.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ron Atmur, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5224; facsimile (562) 627-5210.

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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-21-AD.” We will date stamp and mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What events have caused this proposed AD? The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), which is the airworthiness authority for Australia, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all ASTA Models N22B and N24A airplanes. The CASA reports several incidents of ailerons incurring damage during flight. Extensive tests and analysis revealed that the cause of the damage to the ailerons is a result of operation outside approved limits and undetected pre-existing damage. This condition causes the aileron to flutter as well as damage and failure.

The CASA lowered the operational limits of the affected airplanes in order to prevent damage from occurring. Additional reports of aileron flutter have been received even when operating within these lower approved limits.

As a precautionary measure, the CASA is further restricting flight operations. Start Printed Page 49391

What are the consequences if the condition is not corrected? If this condition is not corrected, it could result in aileron failure. Such failure could lead to reduced or loss of control of the airplane.

Is there service information that applies to this subject? ASTA has issued Nomad Alert Service Bulletin ANMD-57-18, dated December 19, 2002.

What are the provisions of this service information? The service bulletin includes procedures for:

—Adjusting the engine power levers aural warning microswitches;

—Setting flap extension and flap down operation limitations; and

—Fabricating and installing cockpit flap extension and flap down operation restriction placards.

What action did the CASA take? The CASA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued Australian AD/GAF-N22/69, Amendment 4, dated February 27, 2003, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Australia.

Was this in accordance with the bilateral airworthiness agreement? These airplane models are manufactured in Australia and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement.

Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the CASA 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 CASA; 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 ASTA Models N22B and N24A 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 visually inspect the ailerons for damage and replace if necessary, and incorporate the actions in the previously-referenced service bulletin.

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 10 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 the proposed inspection:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
1 workhours × $60 per hour = $60Not applicable$6010 × $60 = $600

We estimate the following costs to accomplish any necessary replacements 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/replacement:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
10 workhours × $60 per hour = $600$1,250$600 + $1,250 = $1,850

We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed modifications:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
10 workhours × $60 per hour = $600$100$700$700 × 10 = $7,000

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.

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[Amended]

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

Aerospace Technologies of Australia PTY LTD.: Docket No. 2003-CE-21-AD

(a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects Models N22B and N24A 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 damage to the aileron due to airplane operation and pre-existing and undetected damage, which could result in failure of the aileron. Such failure could lead to reduced or 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) Visually inspect the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) ailerons for damage (i.e., distortion, bending, impact marks). Repair or replace any damaged aileron found.Inspect within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplished. Repair or replace prior to further flight after the inspectionIn accordance with the applicable maintenance manual.
(2) Adjust the engine power lever actuated landing gear “up” aural warning microswitches and then perform a ground testWithin the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordance with Nomad Alert Service Bulletin ANMD-57-18, dated December 19, 2002.
(3) For Model N22B airplanes: (i) Fabricate placards that incorporate the following words (using at least 1/8-inch letters) and install these placards on the instrument panel within the pilot's clear view: (A) “RECOMMENDED APPROACH FLAPS 10 OR 20 DEG AT 90 KIAS”; (B) “USE 10° or 20° FLAP FOR TAKE-OFF AND LANDING—WARNING—DO NOT EXCEED 20° FLAP EXTENSION DURING FLIGHT, LANDING GEAR UP WARNING WILL INITIATE FOR A TORQUE PRESSURE OF LESS THAN 30 PSI”; and (ii) Incorporate the following information into the limitation section of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM); (A) Limit the maximum flap extension to 20 degrees; and (B) Limit flaps down operations landing for 10° flap.Within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordance with Normad Alert Service Bulletin ANMD-57-18, dated December 19, 2002. Accomplish the limitations of paragraph (d)(4)(ii)(A) and (d)(4)(ii)(B) of this AD by inserting a copy of the AD into the Limitations Section of the flight manual. The owner/operator holding at least a private pilot certificate as authorized by section 43.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.7) may accomplish this flight manual insertion and the placard requirements of paragraph (d)(4)(i)(A) and (d)(4)(i)(B) of this AD. Make an entry into the aircraft records showing compliance wit these portions of the AD in accordance with section 43.9 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.9).
(4) For Model N24A airplanes: (i) Fabricate a placard that incorporates the following words (using at least 1/8-inch letters) and install this placard on the instrument panel within the pilot's clear view: (A) “USE 10° FLAP FOR TAKE-OFF AND LANDING—WARNING—DO NOT EXCEED 10° FLAP EXTENSION DURING FLIGHT, LANDING GEAR UP WARNING WILL INITIATE FOR A TORQUE PRESSURE OF LESS THAN 30 PSI”; and (ii) Incorporate the following information into the limitation section of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM): (A) Limit the maximum flap extension to 10 degrees; and (B) Limit flaps down operations for landing to 10° flap.Within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplishedIn accordance with Nomad Alert Service bulletin ANMD-57-18, dated December 19, 2002. Accomplish the limitations of paragraphs (d)(5)(ii)(A) and (d)(5)(ii)(B) of this AD by inserting a copy of the AD into the Limitations Section of the flight manual. the owner/operator holding at least a private pilot certificate as authorized by section 43.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.7) may accomplish this flight manual insertion and the placard requirement of paragraph (d)(5)(i)(A) of this AD. Make an entry into the aircraft records showing compliance with these portions of the AD in accordance with section 43.9 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.9).

(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 Ron Atmur, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5224; facsimile (562) 627-5210.

(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 Nomad Operations, Aerospace Support Division, Boeing Australia, PO Box 767, Brisbane, QLD 4000 Australia; telephone 61 7 3306 3366; facsimile 61 7 3306 3111. You Start Printed Page 49393may 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 Australian AD/GAF-N22/69, Amendment 4, dated February 27, 2003.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 12, 2003.

Diane K. Malone,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-20984 Filed 8-15-03; 8:45 am]

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