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Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Aerospace Corporation, Ltd. Models FU24-954 and FU24A-954 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 (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Pacific Aerospace Corporation, Ltd. Models FU24-954 and FU24A-954 airplanes. This AD requires you to perform repetitive detailed visual inspections of the forward vertical fin base for cracks. If any cracks or discrepancies are found, you must repair the structure before further flight and notify the FAA. This AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for New Zealand. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the vertical fin base, which could result in loss of the fin and loss of aircraft control.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective on April 19, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

You may view the AD docket at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-CE-38-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 302, Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone: 816-329-4146; facsimile: 816-329-4090.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

What events have caused this AD? The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for New Zealand, notified the FAA of an unsafe condition that may exist on all Start Printed Page 6554Pacific Aerospace Corporation, Ltd. Models FU24-954 and FU24A-954 airplanes. The CAA reports a recent fatal accident where the aircraft's fin separated in flight. Initial investigation of this accident indicates that the forward fin structure failed from fatigue cracks that were concealed beneath the rubber abrasion protection fitted to the fin.

What is the potential impact if FAA took no action? Failure to detect cracks in the vertical fin base could result in loss of the fin and loss of aircraft control.

Has FAA taken any action to this point? We issued a proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an AD that would apply to all Pacific Aerospace Corporation, Ltd. Models FU24-954 and FU24A-954 airplanes. This proposal was published in the Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on October 30, 2003 (68 FR 61766). The NPRM proposed to require you to perform repetitive detailed visual inspections of the forward vertical fin base for cracks. If any cracks or discrepancies are found, you must repair the structure before further flight and notify the FAA.

Comments

Was the public invited to comment? We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We received no comments on the proposal or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

What is FAA's final determination on this issue? We have carefully reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed except for the changes discussed above and minor editorial corrections. We have determined that these changes and minor corrections:

—are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

—do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Changes to 14 CFR Part 39—Effect on the AD

How does the revision to 14 CFR part 39 affect this AD? On July 10, 2002, the FAA published a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs the FAA's AD system. This regulation now includes material that relates to altered products, special flight permits, and alternative methods of compliance. This material previously was included in each individual AD. Since this material is included in 14 CFR part 39, we will not include it in future AD actions.

Costs of Compliance

How many airplanes does this AD impact? We estimate that this AD affects 2 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

What is the cost impact of this AD on owners/operators of the affected airplanes? We estimate the following costs to accomplish the inspection:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
8 workhours est. $60 per hour = $480No parts needed for inspection$480$960

The FAA has no method of determining the number of repairs each owner/operator will incur over the life of each of the affected airplanes based on the results of the inspections. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need such repair. The extent of damage may vary on each airplane.

Regulatory Findings

Will this AD impact various entities? We have determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD 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.

Will this AD involve a significant rule or regulatory action? For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

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. 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.

We prepared a summary of the costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD Docket. You may get a copy of this summary by sending a request to us at the address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “AD Docket No. 2003-CE-38-AD” in your request.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, under 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. FAA amends § 39.13 by adding a new AD to read as follows:

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2004-03-29 Pacific Aerospace Corporation, Ltd.: Amendment 39-13473; Docket No. 2003-CE-38-AD.

When Does This AD Become Effective?

(a) This AD becomes effective on April 19, 2004.

What Other ADs Are Affected by This Action?

(b) None.

What Airplanes Are Affected by This AD?

(c) This AD affects Models FU24-954 and FU24A-954 airplanes, all serial numbers, that are certificated in any category.

What Is the Unsafe Condition Presented in This AD?

(d) This AD is the result of a recent fatal accident where the aircraft's fin separated in flight. The actions specified in this AD are intended to detect and correct cracks in the vertical fin base, which could result in loss of the fin or loss of control of the aircraft.

What Must I Do To Address This Problem?

(e) To address this problem, you must do the following: Start Printed Page 6555

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Perform visual inspection of the forward area at the base of the fin for cracksInitially inspect within the next 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after April 19, 2004 (the effective date of this AD). Repetitively inspect every 100 hours TIS thereafterInspect from the bottom of the fin up to the first external strap, paying particular attention to the skin in the area of the rivets that join the fin skin to the bulkhead, part number (P/N) 242305, and aft to the first vertical lap joint. To do this inspection, remove any rubber abrasion protection that is fitted in this area, including any sealant. You must also remove the fin leading edge fairing, P/N 242321.
(2) Repair any cracks that are found during the inspectionPrior to further flight after doing any inspection required in paragraph (e)(1) of this ADObtain an FAA-approved repair scheme from Pacific Aerospace Corporation, Ltd., Airport Road, Hamilton Airport, Hamilton, New Zealand and notify the FAA at the address and phone number in paragraph (f) of this AD.

May I Request an Alternative Method of Compliance?

(f) You may request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD by following the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Unless FAA authorizes otherwise, send your request to your principal inspector. The principal inspector may add comments and will send your request to the Manager, Standards Office, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate. For information on any already approved alternative methods of compliance, contact Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

Is There Other Information That Relates to This Subject?

(g) CAA airworthiness directive DCA/FU24/173, dated April 23, 2002, also addresses the subject of this AD.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 4, 2004.

Dorenda D. Baker,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-2953 Filed 2-10-04; 8:45 am]

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