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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dornier Model 328-100 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).

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SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Dornier Model 328-100 series airplanes. This proposal would require inspection of the alternating current (AC) power cables, realignment of the AC power cable retaining clamp, and corrective actions if necessary. These actions are necessary to prevent chafing of the AC power cables against the alternator, which could result in a short circuit and impaired performance of AC-powered components, possibly leading to loss of flight-critical information to the flight deck and reduced controllability of the airplane. These actions are intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 3, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-NM-56-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-56-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 AvCraft Aerospace GmbH, P.O. Box 1103, D-82230 Wessling, Germany. 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-56-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-56-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Dornier Model 328-100 series airplanes. The LBA advises that chafing of the alternating current (AC) power cables against the alternator has been reported. This condition, if not corrected, could result in a short circuit and impaired performance of AC-powered components, possibly leading to loss of flight-critical information to the flight deck and reduced controllability of the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

Dornier has issued Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-24-433, dated April 12, 2002, which describes procedures for a visual inspection of AC power cables for damage due to chafing of the cables against the alternator, realignment of the cable retaining clamp, repair of any damaged cables, installation of protective sleeving over the cables, and installation of cable ties. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The LBA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued German airworthiness directive 2003-084, dated March 20, 2003, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Germany.

FAA's Conclusions

This airplane model is manufactured in Germany and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of § 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the LBA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the LBA, 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, except as discussed below.

Differences Between the Proposed AD, German Airworthiness Directive, and Service Information

Operators should note that Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-24-433, dated April 12, 2002, recommends doing the actions in the service bulletin “at the next A-check or equivalent.” German airworthiness directive 2003-084, dated March 20, 2003, recommends doing the actions “at the next A-Check at latest.” Because “A-check” schedules vary among operators, this proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions within 400 flight cycles after the effective date of this proposed AD, and accomplishment of any required Start Printed Page 17088corrective action before further flight. We find that compliance within 400 flight cycles after the effective date of this proposed AD is appropriate for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 53 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 3 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 $122 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $16,801, or $317 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:

Fairchild Dornier GMBH (Formerly Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH): Docket 2003-NM-56-AD.

Applicability: Model 328-100 series airplanes, serial numbers 3005 through 3119 inclusive; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent chafing of the alternating current (AC) power cables against the alternator, which could result in a short circuit and impaired performance of AC-powered components, possibly leading to loss of flight-critical information to the flight deck and reduced controllability of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Corrective Actions

(a) Within 400 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, perform a general visual inspection of the AC power cables for damage due to chafing of the cables against the alternator, realign the cable retaining clamp, repair any damaged cables, install protective sleeving over the cables, and install cable ties; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-24-433, dated April 12, 2002.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is defined as: “A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to enhance visual access to all exposed surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.”

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(b) 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 2:

The subject of this AD is addressed in German airworthiness directive 2003-084, dated March 20, 2003.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 19, 2004.

Kevin M. Mullin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-7358 Filed 3-31-04; 8:45 am]

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