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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.

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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), Start Printed Page 10318applicable to certain Airbus Model A319 and A320 series airplanes, that requires an inspection of the clearance space between the fuel quantity indication (FQI) probes located in the center fuel tank and the adjacent structure, an inspection of the position of the support bracket for each probe, an inspection of the part number for each support bracket, and corrective action if necessary. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent the loss of FQI of the center fuel tank, and electrical arcing between the FQI probes and the adjacent structure in the event that the airplane is struck by lightning. Such arcing could create a potential ignition source within the center fuel tank and an increased risk of a fuel tank explosion and fire. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective April 9, 2004.

The incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of April 9, 2004.

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Airbus Model A319 and A320 series airplanes was published as a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on December 3, 2003 (68 FR 67622). That action proposed to require an inspection of the clearance space between the fuel quantity indication probes located in the center fuel tank and the adjacent structure, an inspection of the position of the support bracket for each probe, an inspection of the part number for each support bracket, and corrective action if necessary.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. No comments were submitted in response to the supplemental NPRM or the FAA's determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed in the supplemental NPRM.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 25 airplanes of U.S. registry that will be affected by this AD. It will take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the required inspection, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $1,625, or $65 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is 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 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 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.

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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, 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 adding the following new airworthiness directive:

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2004-05-04 Airbus: Amendment 39-13498. Docket 2001-NM-301-AD.

Applicability: Model A319 and A320 series airplanes, as listed in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28A1096, Revision 03, dated August 27, 2002; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent the loss of fuel quantity indication (FQI) of the center fuel tank, and to reduce the potential for an ignition source and possible explosion within the center fuel tank due to electrical arcing between the FQI probes and the adjacent structure in the event that the airplane is struck by lightning, accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 4,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, perform the actions specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD per the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28A1096, Revision 03, dated August 27, 2002. Although this service bulletin specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include such a requirement.

(1) Perform a one-time detailed inspection for proper clearance space between each FQI probe located in the center fuel tank and the adjacent structure; and a one-time detailed inspection of the position of the support bracket for each probe.

Note 1:

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.”

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(2) Inspect the support bracket for each probe to determine the part number of the support bracket.

Corrective Action

(b) During the inspections required by paragraph (a) of this AD, if the clearance between any FQI probe and the adjacent structure is determined to be less than 6.00 millimeters (0.236 inch), or if the position or part number of any probe support bracket is not correct, before further flight, remove and re-install the probe and its support bracket in the correct position, per Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28A1096, Revision 03, dated August 27, 2002.

Inspections Accomplished Per Previous Issue of Service Bulletin

(c) Inspections and corrective actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD per Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28A1096, dated March 23, 2001; Revision 01, dated July 4, 2001; or Revision 02, dated October 16, 2001; are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding action specified in this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

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

Incorporation by Reference

(e) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28A1096, Revision 03, excluding Appendix 01, dated August 27, 2002. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. 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 2:

The subject of this AD is addressed in French airworthiness directive 2001-271(B), dated June 27, 2001.

Effective Date

(f) This amendment becomes effective on April 9, 2004.

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

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-4564 Filed 3-4-04; 8:45 am]

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