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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier Model DHC-7-100 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes to revise an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to all Bombardier Model DHC-7-100 series airplanes, that currently requires repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections to detect cracks on the locking pin fittings of the baggage door and locking pin housings of the fuselage; repetitive detailed inspections to detect cracks of the inner door structure on all four door locking attachment fittings; and corrective actions, if necessary. In lieu of accomplishing the corrective actions, that amendment also provides a temporary option, for certain cases, for revising the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), and installing a placard. That AD was prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. The actions specified by that AD are intended to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the baggage door fittings and the support structure, which could result in structural failure, and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane during flight. This action would extend the compliance time of the repetitive inspections based on test evidence and is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by March 1, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-NM-153-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. 2003-NM-153-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 for Windows or ASCII text.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Bombardier, Inc., Bombardier Regional Aircraft Division, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Downsview, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Westbury, New York.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Lawson, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone (516) 228-7327; fax (516) 794-5531.

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 2003-NM-153-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. 2003-NM-153-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

On January 20, 2000, the FAA issued AD 2000-02-07, amendment 39-11526 (65 FR 4354, January 27, 2000), applicable to all Bombardier Model DHC-7-100 series airplanes, to require repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections to detect cracks on the locking pin fittings of the baggage door and locking pin housings of the fuselage; repetitive detailed inspections to detect cracks of the inner door structure on all four door locking attachment fittings; and corrective actions, if necessary. In lieu of accomplishing the corrective actions, that amendment also provides a temporary option, for certain cases, for revising the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), and installing a placard. That action was prompted by issuance of mandatory continuing airworthiness Start Printed Page 4258information by a foreign civil airworthiness authority. The requirements of that AD are intended to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the baggage door fittings and the support structure, which could result in structural failure, and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane during flight.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous Rule

Since the issuance of that AD, Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) issued Canadian airworthiness directive AD CF-1999-03R1, dated August 22, 2001. That AD revised Canadian airworthiness directive AD CF-1999-03, dated February 22, 1999, by increasing the repetitive inspection interval of the baggage door stop fittings and the support structure. The repetitive interval was increased based on test evidence.

FAA's Conclusions

This airplane model is manufactured in Canada and is 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 TCCA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the TCCA, 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 revise AD 2000-02-07 to continue to require repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections to detect cracks on the locking pin fittings of the baggage door and locking pin housings of the fuselage; repetitive detailed inspections to detect cracks of the inner door structure on all four door locking attachment fittings; and corrective actions, if necessary. In lieu of accomplishing the corrective actions, this proposal also continues to provide a temporary option, for certain cases, for revising the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), and installing a placard. However, the proposed AD would change the compliance interval for the repetitive inspections from 1,000 flight cycles to 10,000 flight cycles.

Explanation of Change Made to Existing Requirements

The FAA has changed all references to a “detailed visual inspection” in the existing AD to “detailed inspection” in this proposed 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 (AMOCs). Because we have now included this material in part 39, only the office authorized to approve AMOCs is identified in each individual AD. However, for clarity and consistency in this proposed AD, we have retained the language of the existing AD regarding that material.

Cost Impact

The proposed changes in this action add no additional economic burden. The current costs for this proposed AD are repeated for the convenience of affected operators, as follows:

The FAA estimates that 32 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 3 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspections, 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 $6,240, or $195 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

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

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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.

End Authority
[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-11526 (65 FR 4354, January 27, 2000), and by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD), to read as follows:

Bombardier, Inc. (Formerly de Havilland, Inc.): Docket 2003-NM-153-AD. Revises AD 2000-02-07, Amendment 39-11526.

Applicability: All Model DHC-7-100 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding 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 (d) 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.Start Printed Page 4259

To detect and correct fatigue cracking in the baggage door fittings and the support structure, which could result in structural failure, and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane during flight, accomplish the following:

Repetitive Inspections

(a) At the latest of the times specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD, perform a high frequency eddy current inspection to detect fatigue cracks of the locking pin fittings of the baggage door and locking pin housings of the fuselage; and a detailed inspection to detect fatigue cracks of the inner door structure on all four locking attachment fittings of the baggage door; in accordance with de Havilland Temporary Revision (TR) 5-101, dated April 24, 2001, for Supplementary Inspection Task 52-1 to the de Havilland Dash 7 Maintenance Manual PSM 1-7-2. Thereafter, repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 10,000 flight cycles.

(1) Inspect prior to the accumulation of 12,000 total flight cycles.

(2) Inspect within 600 flight cycles or 3 months after March 2, 2000 (the effective date of AD 2000-02-07, amendment 39-11526), whichever occurs later.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is defined as: “An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.”

Corrective Actions

(b) If any crack is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, prior to further flight, accomplish the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this AD, as applicable, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this AD. For operators that elect to accomplish the actions specified in paragraph (c) of this AD: After accomplishment of the replacement required by paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this AD, the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) revision and placard required by paragraph (c) of this AD may be removed.

(1) If a crack is detected in a baggage door locking pin fitting or fuselage locking pin housing: Replace the fitting or housing with a new fitting or housing, as applicable, in accordance with de Havilland Dash 7 Maintenance Manual PSM 1-7-2.

(2) If a crack is detected in the inner baggage door structure at the locking attachment fittings: Replace the structure with a new support structure in accordance with de Havilland Dash 7 Maintenance Manual PSM 1-7-2, or repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, or the Transport Canada Civil Aviation (or its delegated agent). For a repair method to be approved by the Manager, New York ACO, as required by this paragraph, the Manager's approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(c) For airplanes on which only one baggage door stop fitting or its support structure is found cracked at one location, and on which the pressurization system “Dump” function is operational: Prior to further flight, accomplish the requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD. Within 1,000 flight cycles after accomplishment of the requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) Revise the Limitations Section of the FAA-approved DHC-7 AFM, PSM 1-71A-1A, to include the following statement. This AFM revision may be accomplished by inserting a copy of this AD into the AFM.

“Flight is restricted to unpressurized flight below 10,000 feet mean sea level (MSL). The airplane must be operated in accordance with DHC-7 AFM, PSM 1-71A-1A, Supplement 20.”

(2) Install a placard on the cabin pressure control panel or in a prominent location that states the following:

“DO NOT PRESSURIZE THE AIRCRAFT UNPRESSURIZED FLIGHT PERMITTED ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH DHC-7 AFM PSM 1-71A-1A, SUPPLEMENT 20 FLIGHT ALTITUDE LIMITED TO 10,000 FEET MSL OR LESS.”

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(d) 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, New York ACO. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, New York ACO.

Note 3:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the New York ACO.

Special Flight Permits

(e) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with §§ 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.

Note 4:

The subject of this AD is addressed in Canadian airworthiness directive CF-99-03R1, dated August 22, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 20, 2004.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-1907 Filed 1-28-04; 8:45 am]

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