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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A319 and A320 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to all Airbus Model A320 series airplanes, that currently requires repetitive ultrasonic inspections to detect fatigue cracking in the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings, and corrective actions if necessary. This amendment requires repetitive ultrasonic inspections for fatigue cracking in the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings at a reduced inspection threshold and repetitive interval. This amendment also adds airplanes to the applicability. The actions specified by this AD are intended to detect and correct fatigue cracks on the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing/fuselage. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective March 15, 2004.

The incorporation by reference of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 04, dated November 27, 2001, as listed in the regulations, is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of March 15, 2004.

The incorporation by reference of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 01, dated March 21, 1996, as listed in the regulations, was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of April 3, 1998 (63 FR 9934, February 27, 1998).

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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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:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) by superseding AD 98-04-49, amendment 39-10360 (63 FR 9934, February 27, 1998), which is applicable to all Airbus Model A320 series airplanes, was published in the Federal Register on December 4, 2003 (68 FR 67814). The action proposed to require repetitive ultrasonic inspections for fatigue cracking in the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings at an inspection threshold and repetitive interval reduced from those in the existing AD. The action also proposed to add airplanes to the applicability of the existing AD.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. The FAA received no comments in response to the proposal or our determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, we have determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed.

Cost Impact

The actions that are currently required by AD 98-04-49 are applicable to 132 airplanes of U.S. registry and take approximately 2 work hours per airplane to accomplish (not including time for gaining access and closing up), at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the currently required actions on U.S. operators is estimated to be $17,160, or $130 per airplane.

This new AD affects approximately 475 airplanes of U.S. registry. The new actions that are required by this AD take approximately 2 work hours per airplane to accomplish, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the new requirements of this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $61,750, or $130 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the 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 Start Printed Page 5910incidental 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 adopted herein will 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 final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) 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 final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from 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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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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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]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-10360 (

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2004-03-06 Airbus: Amendment 39-13450. Docket 2002-NM-183-AD. Supersedes AD 98-04-49, Amendment 39-10360.

Applicability: All Model A319 and A320 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To detect and correct fatigue cracks on the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing/fuselage, accomplish the following:

Requirements of AD 98-04-49

Ultrasonic Inspection (Model A320 Series Airplanes)

(a) For Model A320 series airplanes: Prior to the accumulation of 28,000 total landings, or within 60 days after April 3, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-04-49, amendment 39-10360), whichever occurs later, perform an ultrasonic inspection to detect fatigue cracking in the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 01, dated March 21, 1996.

(1) If no cracking is detected, repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 20,000 landings, until paragraph (c) of this AD is accomplished.

(2) If any crack is detected, prior to further flight, repair it in accordance with the service bulletin. Thereafter, repeat the inspection at the times specified in paragraph (a)(2)(i) or (a)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

(i) If the crack that was detected and repaired was greater than 2.5 mm: Repeat the inspection prior to the accumulation of 32,000 landings since accomplishment of the repair; and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 32,000 landings.

(ii) If the crack that was detected and repaired was less than or equal to 2.5 mm: Repeat the inspection prior to the accumulation of 28,000 landings since accomplishment of the repair; and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 20,000 landings.

New Requirements of This AD

Ultrasonic Inspection (Model A319 Series Airplanes)

(b) For Model A319 series airplanes: Perform an ultrasonic inspection to detect fatigue cracking in the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 04, dated November 27, 2001. Do the initial inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this AD. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed the applicable interval specified in paragraph 1.E.(2) of the service bulletin.

(1) Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles or 42,000 total flight hours, whichever is first.

(2) Prior to the accumulation of 28,000 total flight cycles or within 3,500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever is first.

Ultrasonic Inspection (Model A320 Series Airplanes)

(c) For Model A320 series airplanes: Perform an ultrasonic inspection to detect fatigue cracking in the wing/fuselage joint cruciform fittings, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 04, dated November 27, 2001, at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, except as required by paragraph (f) of this AD. Accomplishment of the inspection required by this paragraph terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (a) of this AD. Except as required by paragraph (e) of this AD, repeat the ultrasonic inspection at intervals not to exceed the applicable interval specified in paragraph 1.E.(2) of the service bulletin.

(1) Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles or 42,000 total flight hours, whichever is first.

(2) Prior to the accumulation of 28,000 total flight cycles or within 3,500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever is first.

Cracking: Corrective Action and Repeat Inspections

(d) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (b) or (c) of this AD: Before further flight, do all applicable actions in paragraphs B.(1)(b), C.(1), D., and E. (including removing the fastener, performing a rotative probe inspection to confirm the crack or determine the size of the crack, and accomplishing applicable corrective actions) of the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 04, dated November 27, 2001, except as provided by paragraph (e) of this AD.

(e) If any crack is found during any inspection required by this AD, and the service bulletin recommends contacting Airbus for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair and perform repetitive inspections per a method and at a repetitive inspection interval approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate; or the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) (or its delegated agent).

Model A320 Series Airplanes Repaired Previously

(f) For Model A320 series airplanes on which a crack measuring more than 2.5 mm was repaired prior to the effective date of this AD per Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 01, dated March 21, 1996: Perform repetitive inspections per a method and at an interval approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate; or the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) (or its delegated agent).

Reporting of Inspection Results Not Required

(g) Where the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 04, dated November 27, 2001, describe procedures for reporting inspection results to Airbus, this AD does not require such reporting.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

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

Incorporation by Reference

(i) Unless otherwise provided by this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 01, dated March 21, 1996; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 04, dated November 27, 2001; as applicable.

(1) The incorporation by reference of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Start Printed Page 5911Revision 04, dated November 27, 2001, is approved by the Director of the Federal Register, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) The incorporation by reference of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1051, Revision 01, dated March 21, 1996, was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of April 3, 1998 (63 FR 9934, February 27, 1998).

(3) Copies may be obtained from Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Note 1:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 2002-340(B), dated June 26, 2002.

Effective Date

(j) This amendment becomes effective on March 15, 2004.

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. 04-2465 Filed 2-6-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P