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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 Series Airplanes and Model Avro 146-RJ 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).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 series airplanes and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. This proposal would require performing a detailed inspection for chafing of the fuel quantity indication (FQI) system wiring, and any applicable corrective actions. These actions are necessary to prevent possible failure of the FQI system, which could cause the flightcrew to act on misleading information and possibly lead to in-flight fuel exhaustion. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 26, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2004-NM-35-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. 2004-NM-35-AD” in the Start Printed Page 22460subject 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 British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. 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:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer; International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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 2004-NM-35-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. 2004-NM-35-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 series airplanes and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. The CAA reports that there have been occurrences of chafing of the fuel quantity indication (FQI) system wiring against the vertical flange between the p-clips that secure the FQI wiring to the wing. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the FQI system, which could cause the flightcrew to act on misleading information, possibly leading to in-flight fuel exhaustion.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

BAE Systems (Operations) Limited has issued Inspection Service Bulletin (ISB) 28-030, dated February 21, 2003, which describes procedures for performing a detailed inspection of the FQI system wiring for chafing, and procedures for any applicable corrective actions. Corrective actions include replacement of p-clips with new p-clips, installation of spiral wrapping and tie-wraps around the wiring loom, and replacement of wires found to show chafing beyond limits specified in the ISB with new wires. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the ISB is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. The CAA classified this ISB as mandatory and issued airworthiness directive 007-02-2003, dated May 2003, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the United Kingdom.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in the United Kingdom and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the CAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the CAA, 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 ISB described previously, except as discussed below.

Differences Between Proposed AD and ISB

Operators should note that, although the referenced ISB describes procedures for reporting inspection findings to the manufacturer, this proposed AD would not require that action. The FAA does not need this information from operators.

The service bulletin refers to a “visual inspection” for chafing and damage to wire looms and protective wrapping. We have determined that the procedures in the service bulletin should be described as a “detailed inspection.” Note 1 has been included in this AD to define this type of inspection.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 54 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 2 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspection, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $7,020, or $130 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 Start Printed Page 22461the 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:

BAE Systems (Operations) Limited (Formerly British Aerospace Regional Aircraft): Docket 2004-NM-35-AD.

Applicability: All Model BAe 146 series airplanes and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of the fuel quantity indication (FQI) system, which could cause the flightcrew to act on misleading information and possibly lead to in-flight fuel exhaustion, accomplish the following:

Inspection and Corrective Actions

(a) Within 2 months after the effective date of this AD, perform a detailed inspection of the wiring of the FQI system for chafing, and do any applicable corrective actions prior to further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin 28-030, dated February 21, 2003.

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.”

No Reporting Requirement

(b) Although BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin 28-030, dated February 21, 2003, describes procedures for reporting inspection findings to the manufacturer, this AD does not require that action.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(c) 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.

Note 2:

The subject of this AD is addressed in British airworthiness directive 007-02-2003, dated May 2003.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 16, 2004.

Michael J. Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-9381 Filed 4-23-04; 8:45 am]

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