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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Model Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 900, and Falcon 900 EX 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 Dassault Model Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 900, and Falcon 900EX series airplanes. This proposal would require installing a shield plate over the tank structure above the Stormscope antenna and replacing the Stormscope antenna plug connector with a new connector. This action is necessary to prevent puncture of the fuel tank, in the event of a belly landing, which could result in a post-landing fire if fuel leaking from the tank makes contact with the sparks from the airplane sliding on the ground. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by March 8, 2004.

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ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-NM-51-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-51-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 Dassault Falcon Jet, PO Box 2000, South Hackensack, New Jersey 07606. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

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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.

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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, 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-51-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-51-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 Dassault Model Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 900, and Falcon 900EX series airplanes. The DGAC advises that the Stormscope antenna connector could puncture the fuel tank located above the antenna, in the event of a belly landing. This condition, if not corrected, could result in a post-landing fire if fuel leaking from the tank makes contact with the sparks from the airplane sliding on the ground.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Dassault has issued Service Bulletins F50-404, dated November 6, 2002 (for Model Mystere-Falcon 50 series airplanes); F900-293, dated November 13, 2002 (for Model Mystere-Falcon 900 series airplanes); and F900EX-158, dated November 13, 2002 (for Model Falcon 900EX series airplanes); which describe procedures for installing a shield plate over the tank structure above the Stormscope antenna and replacing the Stormscope antenna plug connector with a new connector. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The DGAC classified these service bulletins as mandatory and issued French airworthiness directive 2002-569(B), dated November 13, 2002, in order to assure 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, except as discussed below.

Difference Between Proposed Rule and Referenced Service Bulletin

Operators should note that, although the Accomplishment Instructions of the referenced service bulletins describe procedures for submitting a sheet recording compliance with the service bulletin, this proposed AD would not require that action. The FAA does not need this information from operators.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 394 Model Mystere-Falcon 50, Mystere-Falcon 900, and Falcon 900 EX series airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 8 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Required parts are provided free of charge by the manufacturer. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $204,880, or $520 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 Start Printed Page 5775actions 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:

Dassault Aviation: Docket 2003-NM-51-AD.

Applicability: Model Mystere-Falcon 50 series airplanes with a Stormscope antenna installed between frames 22 and 23 by Dassault modification M2208 or by a DFJ Little Rock modification, except on airplanes on which Dassault modification M2838 has been performed; and Model Mystere-Falcon 900 and Falcon 900EX series airplanes with a Stormscope antenna installed between frames 23 and 24 by Dassault modification M2993 or by a DFJ Little Rock modification, except airplanes on which Dassault modification M3498 has been performed; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent puncture of the fuel tank, in the event of a belly landing, which could result in a post-landing fire if fuel leaking from the tank makes contact with the sparks from the airplane sliding on the ground, accomplish the following:

Install and Replace

(a) Within 25 months after the effective date of this AD, install a shield plate over the tank structure above the Stormscope antenna, and replace the Stormscope antenna plug connector with a new connector, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin listed in Table 1 of this AD.

Table 1.—Applicable Service Bulletins

For modelDassault service bulletin
Mystere-Falcon 50 series airplanesF50-404, dated November 6, 2002
Mystere-Falcon 900 series airplanesF900-293, dated November 13, 2002
Falcon 900EX series airplanesF900EX-158, dated November 13, 2002

Reporting Difference

(b) Although the service bulletins referenced in this AD specify to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include such a requirement.

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 1:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 2002-569(B), dated November 13, 2002.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 29, 2004.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-2473 Filed 2-5-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P