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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Raytheon Model Beech 400A and 400T Series 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 the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Raytheon Model Beech 400A and 400T series airplanes. This proposal would require an inspection to determine the part number of the A194 roll trim printed circuit board (PCB), and replacement of certain PCBs with improved parts. This action is necessary to prevent intermittent sticking of the relays on the PCB in either the open or closed position, which could result in an out-of-trim condition that could require using considerable control wheel force to keep the wings level, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by December 19, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-225-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-225-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 Raytheon Aircraft Company, Department 62, P.O. Box 85, Wichita, Kansas 67201-0085. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Philip Petty, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Propulsion Branch, ACE-116W, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone (316) 946-4139; fax (316) 946-4407.

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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, Start Printed Page 62416environmental, 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-225-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-225-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports indicating that the roll trim tab on certain Raytheon Model Beech 400A and 400T series airplanes operated to a fully deflected position while the other trim tab remained in neutral. This condition can be caused by premature failure of the relays used on the existing printed circuit board (PCB), which may stick intermittently in either the open or closed position. In most of the cases reported, the autopilot was engaged. In some instances, the flightcrew is alerted to this condition by the illumination of a yellow, boxed letter “A” annunciator on the primary flight display (PFD) and/or slow rotation of the control wheel away from the neutral position. The annunciator on the PFD indicates the spoiler servo torque load is high and may indicate an out-of-trim condition.

Reports indicate that flightcrew action is to disengage the autopilot and attempt to manually retrim the fully deflected roll trim tab. The flightcrews have reported to the manufacturer that this method has proven to be ineffective in some cases due to no movement from the deflected trim tab or no movement from the opposite trim tab. Recently, one crew reported that both trim tabs became fully deflected in opposite directions when the flightcrew attempted to trim one of the tabs from the neutral position. The resultant condition required high spoiler surface deflection angles to compensate for the out-of-trim condition while at cruise.

Intermittent sticking of the relays on the PCB in either the open or closed position could result in the roll trim tab operating to a fully deflected position while the other trim tab remained in neutral, which could result in an out-of-trim condition that could require using considerable control wheel force to keep the wings level, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved Raytheon Service Bulletin SB 27-3464, dated December 2001, which describes procedures for an inspection to determine the part number of the A194 roll trim PCB, and replacement of certain PCBs with improved parts that have demonstrated longer operational capability. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

Explanation of Requirements of Proposed AD

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other products of this same type design, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin described previously, except as discussed below.

Difference Between the Service Bulletin and This Proposed AD

The service bulletin specifies that the appropriate part number for the replacement PCB is 128-364122-7; however, this AD allows installation of replacement PCBs having part number 128-364122-7 or higher (i.e., 128-364122-9, -11, etc.).

Cost Impact

There are approximately 467 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 430 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspection, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $27,950, or $65 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator 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 proposed 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.

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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:

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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:

Raytheon Aircraft Company (Formerly Beech): Docket 2002-NM-225-AD.

Applicability: Model Beech 400A series airplanes having serial numbers RK-45, and RK-49 through RK-322 inclusive; and Model 400T series airplanes having serial numbers TT-1 through TT-180 inclusive, and TX-1 through TX-12 inclusive; certificated in any category.Start Printed Page 62417

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent intermittent sticking of the relays on the roll trim printed circuit board (PCB) in either the open or closed position, which could result in an out-of-trim condition that could require using considerable control wheel force to keep the wings level, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Inspection and Replacement, if Necessary

(a) Within 200 flight hours or 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, perform an inspection to determine the part number of the A194 roll trim PCB, in accordance with Raytheon Service Bulletin SB 27-3464, dated December 2001.

(1) If the A194 roll trim PCB has a part number of 128-364122-7 or higher (i.e., 128-364122-9, -11, etc.): No further action is required by this paragraph.

(2) If the A194 roll trim PCB does not have a part number of 128-364122-7 or higher: Before further flight, replace the A194 roll trim PCB with a PCB having a part number of 128-364122-7 or higher, in accordance with the service bulletin.

Parts Installation

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane an A194 roll trim PCB having part number 128-364122-1 or 128-364122-5.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(c) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD.

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

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-27669 Filed 11-3-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P