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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. Model GA8 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. Model GA8 airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to inspect the pilot and co-pilot control column wheels and aileron cable operating arm shafts for damage and, if damage is found, to repair the shafts or to replace the steel shafts with bronze shafts. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Australia. We are issuing this proposed AD to detect and correct damage of the pilot and co-pilot control wheels and aileron cable operating arm shafts. This damage could result in the aileron controls becoming stiff or locking, which could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive any comments on this proposed AD by December 15, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Use one of the following to submit comments on this proposed AD:

  • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-001.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

To get the service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd., Latrobe Regional Airport, P.O. Box 881, Morwell, Victoria 3840, Australia; telephone: 61 (0) 3 5172 1200; facsimile: 61 (0) 3 5172 1201.

To view the comments to this proposed AD, go to http://dms.dot.gov. This is docket number FAA-2004-19442.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE-112, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: 816-329-4059; facsimile: 816-329-4090.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

How do I comment on this proposed AD? We invite you to submit any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include the docket number, “FAA-2004-19442; Directorate Identifier 2004-CE-31-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Using the search function of our docket web site, anyone can find and read the comments received into any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). This is docket number FAA-2004-19442. You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Are there any specific portions of this proposed AD I should pay attention to? We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. If you contact us through a nonwritten communication and that contact relates to a substantive part of this proposed AD, we will summarize the contact and place the summary in the docket. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD in light of those comments and contacts.

Docket Information

Where can I go to view the docket information? You may view the AD docket that contains the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person at the DMS Docket Offices between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (eastern standard time), Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Department of Transportation NASSIF Building at the street address stated in ADDRESSES. You may also view the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. The comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Discussion

What events have caused this proposed AD? The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), which is the airworthiness authority for Australia, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. Model GA8 airplanes. CASA reports three occurrences of aileron control stiffness and one occurrence of aileron control locking during taxi. Rubbing between the control wheel shaft and the bush in the control column may cause wear or damage to the control wheel shaft where the shaft connects to the control column. This damage may lead to the Start Printed Page 64696aileron control becoming stiff or locking.

What is the potential impact if FAA took no action? Damage of the pilot and co-pilot control wheels and aileron cable operating arm shafts could result in the aileron controls becoming stiff or locking, which could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

Is there service information that applies to this subject? Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. has issued Service Bulletin SB-GA8-2004-11, dated August 25, 2004.

What are the provisions of this service information? The service bulletin includes procedures for:

—Inspecting control wheel and aileron cable operating arm shafts for damage;

—Repairing damage; and

—Replacing damaged shafts with the bronze shafts.

What action did the CASA take? The CASA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued Australian AD Number AD/GA8/2, dated September 17, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Australia.

Did the CASA inform the United States under the bilateral airworthiness agreement? These Gippsland GA8 airplanes are manufactured in Australia 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.

Under this bilateral airworthiness agreement, Australia has kept us informed of the situation described above.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

What has FAA decided? We have examined the CASA's findings, 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.

Since the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other Gippsland Aeronautics GA8 airplanes of the same type design that are registered in the United States, we are proposing AD action to detect and correct damage of the pilot and co-pilot control wheels and aileron cable operating arm shafts that could result in the aileron controls becoming stiff or locking, which could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

What would this proposed AD require? This proposed AD would require you to inspect the pilot and co-pilot control wheels and aileron cable operating arm shafts for damage and, if damage is found, to repair the shafts or to replace the steel shafts with bronze shafts.

How does the revision to 14 CFR part 39 affect this proposed AD? On July 10, 2002, we published a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs 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 would this proposed AD impact? We estimate that this proposed AD affects 5 airplanes in the U.S. registry.

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

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
2 work hours × $65 per hour = $130N/A$130$650

We estimate the following costs to accomplish any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of this proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need this repair/replacement:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane
Labor cost per side (either pilot or co-pilot) − 8 work hours × $65 per hour = $520WarrantyPer side = $520. For both sides = $1,040.

Regulatory Findings

Would this proposed AD impact various entities? We have determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD 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.

Would this proposed AD involve a significant rule or regulatory action? For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed 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 proposed 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 FAA-2004-19442; Directorate Identifier 2004-CE-31-AD” in your request.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 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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Start Printed Page 64697
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd.: Docket No. FAA-2004-19442; Directorate Identifier 2004-CE-31-AD.

When Is the Last Date I Can Submit Comments on This Proposed AD?

(a) We must receive comments on this proposed airworthiness directive (AD) by December 15, 2004.

What Other ADs Are Affected by This Action?

(b) None.

What Airplanes Are Affected by This AD?

(c) This AD affects model GA8 airplanes, serial numbers GA8-00-004 through GA8-04-056, that are certificated in any category.

What Is the Unsafe Condition Presented in This AD?

(d) This AD is the result of rubbing between the control wheel shaft and the bush in the control column, which may cause wear or damage to the control wheel shaft where the shaft connects to the control column. This damage may lead to the aileron control becoming stiff or locking. The actions specified in this AD are intended to detect and correct damage of the pilot and co-pilot control wheels and aileron cable operating arm shafts that could result in the aileron controls becoming stiff or locking, which could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

What Must I Do To Address This Problem?

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

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Inspect the pilot and co-pilot control column wheel and aileron cable operating arm shafts for damagePerform the initial inspection within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this ADFollow Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. Service Bulletin SB-GA8-2004-11, Issue 2, dated August 25, 2004.
(2) If no damage is found, continue repetitive inspectionsPerform repetitive inspections every 300 hours TIS until steel operating arm shafts are replaced with bronze operating arm shafts. Replacement of steel operating arm shafts with bronze operating arm shafts is terminating action for this AD on the side that was replaced. If one steel shaft requires replacement, all of the shafts on that side (pilot or co-pilot) must be replaced with bronze shafts. If only one side (pilot or co-pilot) is replaced, repetitive inspections are still required for the side that was not replacedFollow Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. Service Bulletin SB-GA8-2004-11, Issue 2, dated August 25, 2004.
(3) For airplanes where damage is found: (i) If damage can be repaired by polishing out marks or scratches so that material removed does not exceed 0.005 inches, repair the shaft. You can not repair by polishing out marks or scratches more than one time. (ii) If damage can not be repaired by polishing out marks or scratches so that material removed does not exceed 0.005 inches or you have already repaired the damage by polishing out the marks or scratches previously, the damaged steel operating arm shaft must be replaced with a bronze operating arm shaft. When a shaft (pilot or co-pilot) requires replacement, you must install new bronze shafts in all areas of the affected side.If damage is found, repair or replace operating arm shafts prior to further flight. If airplane is repaired, repetitively inspect every 300 hours TIS after repair until replacement of the operating arm shafts. Replacement of the steel operating arm shafts with bronze operating arm shafts is terminating action for this AD. If only one side (pilot or co-pilot) is replaced with bronze shafts, you must still repetitively inspect the other side that was not replacedFollow Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. Service Bulletin SB-GA8-2004-11, Issue 2, dated August 25, 2004.
(4) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install shafts that are not bronze on any affected Model GA8 airplaneAs of the effective date of this ADFollow Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd. Service Bulletin SB-GA8-2004-11, Issue 2, dated August 25, 2004.

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 Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, Small Airplane Directorate, ACE-112, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: 816-329-4059; facsimile: 816-329-4090.

Is There Other Information That Relates to This Subject?

(g) Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority Airworthiness Directive AD/GA8/2, dated September 17, 2004, and Gippsland Aeronautics Pty., Ltd., Service Bulletin SB-GA8-2004-11, dated August 25, 2004, also address the subject of this AD.

May I Get Copies of the Documents Referenced in This AD?

(h) To get copies of the documents referenced in this AD, contact Gippsland Aeronautics Pty. Ltd., Latrobe Regional Airport, P.O. Box 881, Morwell, Victoria 3840, Australia; telephone: 61 (0) 3 5172 1200; facsimile: 61 (0) 3 5172 1201. To view the AD docket, go to the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC, or on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. This is docket number FAA-2004-19442.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 2, 2004.

James E. Jackson,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-24819 Filed 11-5-04; 8:45 am]

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