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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300 B4-600 Series Airplanes, Model A300 B4-600R Series Airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F Airplanes, and Model A300 F4-605R 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 the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600 Series Airplanes, Model A300 B4-600R Series Airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F Airplanes, and Model A300 F4-605R Airplanes. This proposal would require modification of certain components of the 115 Volts Alternating Current (VAC) supply wiring and of the fuel gauging system. This action is necessary to prevent short circuits between 115 VAC wiring and certain fuel system electrical wire runs with subsequent overheating of the cadensicon sensor thermistor or fuel level sensor, which could be great enough to ignite fuel vapors in the fuel tank and cause an explosion. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by October 8, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-119-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2002-NM-119-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate. Comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 or 2000 or ASCII text.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Airbus Industrie, 1 Rond Point Maurice Start Printed Page 52863Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

Start Further Info

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications shall identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this action may be changed in light of the comments received.

Submit comments using the following format:

  • Organize comments issue-by-issue. For example, discuss a request to change the compliance time and a request to change the service bulletin reference as two separate issues.
  • For each issue, state what specific change to the proposed AD is being requested.
  • Include justification (e.g., reasons or data) for each request.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report summarizing each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2002-NM-119-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-119-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600 Series Airplanes, Model A300 B4-600R Series Airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F Airplanes, and Model A300 F4-605R Airplanes. The DGAC advises that review of the 115 Volts Alternating Current (VAC) supply wiring has shown unsatisfactory separation between power supply routes S and M. The DGAC also advises of the possibility of a short circuit between the 115 VAC electrical lines and the cadensicon electrical sensor circuits. If a short circuit occurs in these areas, significant overheating of the cadensicon sensor thermistor or of a fuel level sensor is possible. This condition, if not corrected, could result in ignition of fuel vapors in the fuel tank and an explosion.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-28-6066, dated November 8, 2000, which describes procedures to separate, by installing spacers and supports, electrical cable routes 2S and 2M where these cable are routed together on the leading edge of the right-hand wing at zone 623; and in the areas of track 4 and track 5, screwjack 3, rib 220, and rib 69. Airbus has also issued Airbus Service Bulletin A300-28-6070, Revision 1, dated March 22, 2002, which describes procedures for installing sleeves to separate electrical cable routes 2S and 2M in various places, i.e., in the right-hand electronics rack 90VU, in the forward cargo compartment, between FR38.2 and FR39, under the cabin floor, between FR51 and FR52, in the main landing gear well and hydraulics compartment, and in the shroud box. Accomplishment of the actions specified in these service bulletins is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The DGAC classified both service bulletins as mandatory and issued French airworthiness directives 2002-172(B), dated April 3, 2002, and 2002-171(B), dated April 3, 2002, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in France 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 DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the DGAC, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Explanation of Requirements of Proposed Rule

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of the same type design registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins described previously.

Changes to 14 CFR Part 39/Effect on the Proposed 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 (AMOCs). Because we have now included this material in part 39, only the office authorized to approve AMOCs is identified in each individual AD.

Change to Labor Rate Estimate

We have reviewed the figures we have used over the past several years to calculate AD costs to operators. To account for various inflationary costs in the airline industry, we find it necessary to increase the labor rate used in these calculations from $60 per work hour to $65 per work hour. The cost impact information, below, reflects this increase in the specified hourly labor rate.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 70 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 29 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $8,938 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $757,610, or $10,823 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no Start Printed Page 52864operator has yet accomplished any of the proposed 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 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 proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed regulation (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under the 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 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to 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:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Airbus: Docket 2002-NM-119-AD.

Applicability: Model A300 B4-600 series airplanes, Model A300 B4-600R series airplanes, Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, and Model A300 F4-605R airplanes; as listed in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-28-6066, dated November 8, 2000; and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-28-6070, Revision 1, dated March 22, 2002; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent short circuits between 115 Volts Alternating Current (VAC) wiring and certain fuel system electrical wire runs with subsequent overheating of the cadensicon sensor thermistor or fuel level sensor, which could be great enough to ignite fuel vapors in the fuel tank and cause an explosion, accomplish the following:

Modification

(a) Within 4,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, modify elements of the electrical wiring to separate the cadensicon wiring from the 115 VAC wiring, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-28-6066, dated November 8, 2000.

(b) Within 4,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, modify elements of the electrical wiring to separate the 115 VAC supply wiring of the fuel gauging system, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-28-6070, Revision 1, dated March 22, 2002.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(c) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD.

Note:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directives 2002-172(B) and 2002-171(B), both dated April 3, 2002.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 29, 2003.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-22704 Filed 9-5-03; 8:45 am]

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