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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model EMB-135 and -145 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.

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 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model EMB-135 and -145 series airplanes. This proposal would require replacement of the air turbine starters (ATS) with modified ATSs. This action is necessary to prevent sheared ATS output shafts, which could result in oil flowing down the engine accessory gear box shafts and dripping into the engine Start Printed Page 70476compartments, and consequent oil fire, in-flight shutdown, and/or rejected take-off. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by January 20, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-352-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-352-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 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 FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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-352-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-352-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Departmento de Aviacao Civil (DAC), which is the airworthiness authority for Brazil, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain EMBRAER Model EMB-135 and -145 series airplanes. The DAC advises that it has received reports of interference problems between the engine air turbine starter (ATS) output shafts and the engine accessory gear box (AGB) shafts, which resulted in sheared ATS output shafts. Sheared ATS output shafts could result in oil flowing down the engine AGB shafts and dripping into the engine compartments, and consequent oil fire, in-flight shutdown, and/or rejected take-off.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

EMBRAER has issued Service Bulletin 145-80-0004, Change 01, dated October 22, 2001, which describes procedures for replacing the existing ATS with a modified ATS. That service bulletin references Honeywell Service Bulletin 3505910-80-1710, Revision 1, dated August 7, 2001, as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the modification. The Honeywell service bulletin is included within the EMBRAER service bulletin. The procedures in the Honeywell service bulletin include inspecting the magnetic drain plug for metal contamination, inspecting the ATS output shafts for interference marks, modifying the ATS output shafts by machining/drilling holes and installing a restrictor, and installing modified ATSs on the airplane. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The DAC classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued Brazilian airworthiness directive 2001-09-04, dated October 10, 2001, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Brazil.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in Brazil 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 DAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the DAC, 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 AD

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 bulletin described previously, except as described below.

Difference Between the Brazilian AD and the Proposed AD

The effectivity listed in the original issue of EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-80-0004, dated May 23, 2001, was the same as the applicability listed in Brazilian airworthiness directive 2001-09-04, dated October 10, 2001. When EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-80-0004, Change 01, dated October 22, 2001, was issued, the effectivity was revised and additional airplanes were added to the effectivity of the service bulletin. The Brazilian airworthiness directive has not been revised; therefore, the applicability does not match the current effectivity listed in Change 01 of the service bulletin. The applicability of this proposed AD references the effectivity as listed in Change 01 of the service bulletin so all affected airplanes Start Printed Page 70477are addressed. This difference has been coordinated with the DAC.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 290 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 actions, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. There would be no charge for required parts. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $18,850, 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 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

End List of Subjects

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:

Start Part

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.

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Docket 2002-NM-352-AD.

Applicability: Model EMB-135 and -145 series airplanes, as listed in EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-80-0004, Change 01, dated October 22, 2001; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent sheared air turbine starters (ATS) output shafts, which could result in oil flowing down the engine accessory gear box shafts and dripping into the engine compartments, and consequent oil fire, in-flight shutdown, and/or rejected take-off, accomplish the following:

Replacement of ATSs With Modified ATSs

(a) Within 800 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, replace the ATSs with modified ATSs in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-80-0004, Change 01, dated October 22, 2001.

Note 1:

Honeywell Service Bulletin 3505910-80-1710, Revision 1, dated August 7, 2001, is incorporated within the pages of EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-80-0004, Change 01, dated October 22, 2001.

(b) Accomplishment of the specified actions before the effective date of this AD in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-80-0004, dated May 23, 2001, is considered acceptable for compliance with paragraph (a) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

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

Note 2:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Brazilian airworthiness directive 2001-09-04, dated October 10, 2001.

Start Signature

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

Kevin Mullin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-31181 Filed 12-17-03; 8:45 am]

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