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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A. (CASA), Model C-235 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 CASA Model C-235 series airplanes. This proposal would require modification of the electrical wiring of the rudder trim control unit. This action is necessary to prevent the flight crew from being able to inhibit the aural warning for the landing gear up. If the flight crew of the next flight or possibly of the same flight is unaware that the aural warning had been disabled, they could inadvertently land the airplane with the landing gear not down and locked. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by March 8, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-160-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-160-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 Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A., Getafe, Madrid, Spain. 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 2002-NM-160-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-160-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Dirección General de Aviación Civil (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for Spain, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A. (CASA), Model C-235 series airplanes. The DGAC advises that an operator did not have an aural warning that the landing gear was in the “up” position when the airplane was in a landing configuration (wing flaps extended) as required by paragraph (e)(4) of Section 25.729 (“Retracting Mechanism”) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) (14 CFR 25.729). Investigation revealed that the operator had inhibited the aural warning during the previous approach for landing. If the flight crew is able to inhibit the aural warning for the landing gear up, the flight crew of the next flight or possibly of the same flight could be unaware that the aural warning had been disabled and could inadvertently land the airplane with the landing gear not down and locked.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

CASA has issued Service Bulletin SB-235-27-20, dated March 7, 2001, which describes procedures for modification of the electrical wiring of the rudder trim control unit. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The DGAC classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued Spanish airworthiness directive 02/02, dated April 30, 2002, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Spain.

FAA's Conclusions

This airplane model is manufactured in Spain and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the Start Printed Page 5781provisions 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 bulletin described previously.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 1 airplane of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 7 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 $40 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $495 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.

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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:

Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A. (CASA): Docket 2002-NM-160-AD.

Applicability: Model C-235 series airplanes, serial numbers C-006, C-007, C-010, C-012, C-018, C-029, C-030, C-032, C-033, and C-042; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent the flight crew from being able to inhibit the aural warning for the landing gear up, and the possibility that the flight crew of the next flight or possibly of the same flight could inadvertently land the airplane with the landing gear not down and locked; accomplish the following:

Modification

(a) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the electrical wiring of the rudder trim control unit per the Accomplishment Instructions of CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-27-20, dated March 7, 2001.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(b) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, International Branch, 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 Spanish airworthiness directive 02/02, dated April 30, 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. 04-2476 Filed 2-5-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P