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Airworthiness Directives; BURKHARDT GROB LUFT-UND RAUMFAHRT GmbH & CO KG Models G103 Twin ASTIR, G103 TWIN II, G103 TWIN III ACRO, and G103 C Twin III SL Sailplanes

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 certain BURKHARDT GROB LUFT-UND RAUMFAHRT GmbH & CO KG (Grob) Models G103 Twin ASTIR, G103 TWIN II, G103 TWIN III ACRO, and G103 C Twin III SL sailplanes. This AD requires you to replace the center of gravity (CG) release hook attachment brackets with brackets of improved design. This AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. We are issuing this AD to prevent abnormal or uncontrolled Start Printed Page 21403sailplane release due to cracked CG release hook attachment brackets. This condition could result in reduced or loss of sailplane control.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective on June 4, 2004.

As of June 4, 2004, the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulation.

ADDRESSES:

You may get the service information identified in this AD from BURKHARDT GROB LUFT-UND RAUMFAHRT GmbH & CO KG, Letenbachstrasse 9, D-86874 Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany; telephone: 011 49 8268 998139; facsimile: 011 49 8268 998200.

You may view the AD docket at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-CE-61-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:

Greg Davison, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4130; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

What events have caused this AD? The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Grob Models G103 Twin ASTIR, G103 TWIN II, G103 TWIN III ACRO, and G103 C Twin III SL sailplanes. The LBA reports incidents of cracks found in the center of gravity (CG) release hook attachment brackets.

Grob has manufactured new improved design CG release hook attachment brackets that are less susceptible to such cracking.

What is the potential impact if FAA took no action? A cracked CG release hook attachment bracket, if not prevented, could lead to abnormal or uncontrolled sailplane release. This condition could result in reduced or loss of sailplane 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 certain Grob Models G103 Twin ASTIR, G103 TWIN II, G103 TWIN III ACRO, and G103 C Twin III SL sailplanes. This proposal was published in the Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on February 17, 2004 (69 FR 7378). The NPRM proposed to require you to replace the CG release hook attachment brackets with brackets of improved design.

Comments

Was the public invited to comment? We provided the public the opportunity to participate in developing 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 minor editorial corrections. We have determined that these 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 sailplanes does this AD impact? We estimate that this AD affects 105 sailplanes in the U.S. registry.

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

Labor costParts costTotal cost per sailplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
2 workhours × $65 per hour = $130$50$180$18,900

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-61-AD” in your request.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

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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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2004-08-13 BURKHARDT GROB LUFT-UND RAUMFAHRT GMBH CO & KG: Amendment 39-13582; Docket No. 2003-CE-61-AD.

When Does This AD Become Effective?

(a) This AD becomes effective on June 4, 2004.

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What Other ADs Are Affected by This Action?

(b) None.

What Sailplanes Are Affected by This AD?

(c) This AD affects the following model and serial number sailplanes that are certificated in any category:

ModelsSerial Numbers
(1) G103 Twin ASTIR3000 through 3291.
(2) G103 TWIN II3501 through 3720.
(3) G103 TWIN III ACROAll serial numbers beginning with 34101.
(4) G103 C Twin III SL35002 through 35051.

What Is the Unsafe Condition Presented in This AD?

(d) This AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent abnormal or uncontrolled sailplane release due to cracked center of gravity (CG) release hook attachment brackets. This condition could result in reduced or loss of sailplane control.

What Must I Do To Address This Problem?

(e) To address this problem, you must do the following:

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Replace the CG release hook attachment brackets with improved design brackets, as follows: (i) For the Models G103 Twin ASTIR, G103 TWIN II, and G103 TWIN III ACRO sailplanes: part number (P/N) 103B-2360.01/1 and P/N 103B-2360.02/1; and (ii) For the Model G103 C Twin III SL sailplane: P/N 103B-2360.01/2 and P/N 103B-2360.02/2.Within the next 25 hours time-in-service (TIS) after June 4, 2004 (the effective date of this AD), unless already doneFollow Grob Service Bulletin No. MSB869-22, dated January 22, 2002; and Grob Service Bulletin No. MSB315-62, dated January 21, 2002.
(2) Do not install any CG release hook attachment bracket that is not a part number referenced in paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (e)(1)(ii) of this AD, as applicableAs of June 4, 2004 (the effective date of this AD)Not Applicable.

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, Small Airplane Directorate, FAA. For information on any already approved alternative methods of compliance, contact Greg Davison, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4130; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

Does This AD Incorporate Any Material by Reference?

(g) You must do the actions required by this AD following the instructions in Grob Service Bulletin No. MSB869-22, dated January 22, 2002; and Grob Service Bulletin No. MSB315-62, dated January 21, 2002. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service bulletin in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may get a copy from BURKHARDT GROB LUFT-UND RAUMFAHRT GmbH & CO KG, Letenbachstrasse 9, D-86874 Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany; telephone: 011 49 8268 998139; facsimile: 011 49 8268 998200. You may review copies at FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Is There Other Information That Relates to This Subject?

(h) German AD No. 2002-066, effective date: March 21, 2002; and German AD No. 2002-067, effective date: March 21, 2002, also address the subject of this AD.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 13, 2004.

James E. Jackson,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-8794 Filed 4-20-04; 8:45 am]

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