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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB 2000 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 (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Saab Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection to detect a broken terminal stud on a main relay of the electrical power generator, and corrective action if necessary. This proposed AD is prompted by disconnection of an electrical power generator during an inspection flight, which was caused by a broken terminal stud on the main relay. We are proposing this AD to prevent a broken terminal stud on the main relay of an electrical power generator, which could reduce the redundancy of electrical power systems, result in increased pilot workload, and contribute to reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 3, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Use one of the following addresses 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.
  • By Fax: (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.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aircraft Product Support, S-581.88, Linköping, Sweden.

You can examine the contents of this AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL-401, on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, Washington, DC. This docket number is FAA-2005-20244; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2004-NM-204-AD.

Start Further Info

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

We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2005-20244; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-204-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments submitted by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those 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 AD. Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in 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.). You can review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you can visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Examining the Docket

You can examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Discussion

The Luftfartsverket (LFV), which is the airworthiness authority for Sweden, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Saab Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes. The LFV advises that, during an inspection flight, when electrical loads from one electrical power generator were transferred to a second generator, the second generator disconnected and the airplane was temporarily powered by battery only. Investigation revealed a broken terminal stud on the main generator relay, probably caused by excessive torque when the relay was installed. This condition, if not corrected, could reduce the redundancy of electrical power systems, result in increased pilot workload, and contribute to reduced controllability of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

Saab has issued Service Bulletin 2000-24-017, dated April 3, 2003. The service bulletin describes procedures for performing a one-time inspection to detect a broken terminal stud on a main relay of the electrical power generator, and corrective action if necessary. The procedures include installing the nuts and washers on the relay terminals using a torque wrench to test the strength of the terminals. If any broken terminal is found, the corrective action is replacing the relay with a new relay. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The LFV mandated the service information and issued Swedish airworthiness directive 1-190, dated April 4, 2003, to ensure the continued Start Printed Page 5065airworthiness of these airplanes in Sweden.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

This airplane model is manufactured in Sweden 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 LFV has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the LFV's findings, evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that we need to issue an AD for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between the Proposed AD and Service Information.”

Differences Between the Proposed AD and Service Information

The Accomplishment Instructions of the referenced service information describe procedures for submitting certain inspection results to the manufacturer. This proposed AD would not require that action.

The service bulletin specifies to inspect the terminal studs, but does not specify what method must be used for this inspection. We have determined that the procedures in the service bulletin should be described as a “general visual inspection.” Note 1 has been included in this AD to define this type of inspection.

Costs of Compliance

This proposed AD would affect about 3 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take about 5 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $975, or $325 per airplane.

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in subtitle VII, part A, subpart III, section 44701, “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

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.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the 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. 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 regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

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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 FAA 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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[Amended]

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

SAAB Aircraft AB: Docket No. FAA-2005-20244; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-204-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration must receive comments on this AD action by March 3, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability:

(c) This AD applies to Saab Model SAAB 2000 series airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers -004 through -063 inclusive.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by disconnection of an electrical power generator during an inspection flight, which was caused by a broken terminal stud on the main relay. We are issuing this AD to prevent a broken terminal stud on the main relay of an electrical power generator, which could reduce the redundancy of electrical power systems, result in increased pilot workload, and contribute to reduced controllability of the airplane.

Compliance:

(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Inspection and Corrective Actions

(f) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, perform a one-time general visual inspection to detect a broken terminal stud on a main relay of the electrical power generator, and perform corrective actions as applicable, by doing all of the actions in the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-24-017, dated April 3, 2003. Although the service bulletin specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: “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 ensure visual access to all 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 (AMOCs)

(g) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

Related Information

(h) Swedish airworthiness directive 1-190, dated April 4, 2003, also addresses the subject of this AD.

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Start Printed Page 5066

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 21, 2005.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-1793 Filed 1-31-05; 8:45 am]

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