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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-6 Airplanes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. (Pilatus) Model PC-6 airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to repetitively inspect the stabilizer-trim attachment and structural components for cracks, corrosion, and discrepancies and replace any defective part with a new part. This proposed AD would also require you to replace all Fairchild connecting pieces, part number 6232.0026.XX, with a Pilatus connecting piece. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Switzerland. We are issuing this proposed AD to detect and correct defective stabilizer-trim attachments and surrounding structural components, which could result in failure of the stabilizer-trim attachment. This failure could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive any comments on this proposed AD by April 25, 2005.

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 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Liaison Manager, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: +41 41 619 6580; facsimile: +41 41 619 6576; or from Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd., Product Support Department, 11755 Airport Way, Broomfield, Colorado 80021; telephone: (303) 465-9099; facsimile: (303) 465-6040.

To view the comments to this proposed AD, go to http://dms.dot.gov. This is docket number FAA-2005-20515; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-09-AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 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-2005-20515; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-09-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-2005-20515; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-09-AD. 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 Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA), which is the airworthiness authority for Switzerland, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all Pilatus Model PC-6 airplanes. The FOCA reports that the lower attachment bracket of the horizontal stabilizer actuator broke on a PC-6 airplane. This resulted in an emergency landing outside the airport.

The FOCA reports two other instances of total failure of the stabilizer trim attachment on airplanes in-service.

What is the potential impact if FAA took no action? If not detected and corrected, defects in the stabilizer-trim attachment and surrounding structural components could cause the stabilizer-trim attachment to fail. This failure could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

Is there service information that applies to this subject? Pilatus has issued PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 53-001, dated February 16, 2005.

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

—Inspecting the stabilizer-trim attachment and structural components (the fitting, the connecting piece, the bearing fork, the bearing support assembly, and the auxiliary frame, as applicable) for cracks and corrosion;

—Inspecting the diameters of the bolt holes on the actuator attachment, fittings, and connecting piece (as applicable);

—Replacing any cracked, corroded, or defective part with a new part; and

—Replacing all Fairchild connecting pieces with a Pilatus connecting piece.

What action did the FOCA take? The FOCA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued Swiss AD Start Printed Page 15020Number HB-2005-080, effective date March 2, 2005, in order to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Switzerland.

Did the FOCA inform the United States under the bilateral airworthiness agreement? These Pilatus PC-6 airplanes are manufactured in Switzerland 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. Fairchild also manufactured these airplanes under a United States licensing agreement with Pilatus under the same type certificate.

Under this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the FOCA 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 FOCA'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 Pilatus PC-6 airplanes of the same type design that are registered in the United States, we are proposing AD action to detect and correct defects in the stabilizer-trim attachment and surrounding structural components, which could result in failure of the stabilizer-trim attachment. This failure could lead to loss of control of the airplane.

What would this proposed AD require? This proposed AD would require you to incorporate the actions in the previously-referenced service bulletin.

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 41 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 do the proposed inspections:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
11 work hours × $65 per hour = $715Not applicable$715$715 × 41 = $29,315.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspections. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need these replacements:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per airplane to replace all parts
10 work hours × $65 = $650$2,000 to replace all parts$650 + $2,000 = $2,650.

Authority for This Rulemaking

What authority does FAA have for issuing this rulemaking action? 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 AD.

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-2005-20515; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-09-AD” in your request.

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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 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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[Amended]

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

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.: Docket No. FAA-2005-20515; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-09-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 April 25, 2005.

What Other ADs Are Affected by This Action?

(b) None.

What Airplanes Are Affected by This AD?

(c) This AD affects Model PC-6 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers (MSN), that are certificated in any category.

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 Switzerland. We are issuing this proposed AD to detect and correct cracks in the stabilizer-trim attachment and surrounding structural components, which could result in failure of the stabilizer-trim attachment. This failure 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
Inspect the following:
(i) the stabilizer-trim attachment and structural components (fitting, connecting piece, bearing fork, bearing support assembly, and auxiliary frame, as applicable) for cracks and corrosion; and
(ii) the diameters of the actuator attachment bolt holes on the fittings, auxiliary frame, and connecting piece (as applicable) for discrepancies.Within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD. Repetitively inspect thereafter at intervals not-to-exceed 100 hours TIS even if the part is replacedFollow Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 53-001, dated February 16, 2005.
(2) If cracks are found during any inspection required in paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this AD, replace the defective part with a new partReplace the defective part before further flight after the inspection in which cracks are found. After each replacement, continue with the repetitive inspection requirement in paragraph (e)(1) of this ADFollow Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 53-001, dated February 16, 2005.
(3) If corrosion or discrepancies are found during any inspection required in paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and (e)(1)(ii) of this AD, do the following:
(i) replace the defective part with a new part if the corrosion or discrepancy is beyond the repairable limits stated in the service information; or
(ii) repair the defective part if the corrosion or discrepancy is within the repairable limits stated in the service information.Replace or repair the defective part before further flight after the inspection in which corrosion or discrepancies are found. After each replacement or repair, continue with the repetitive inspection requirement in paragraph (e)(1) of this ADFollow Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 53-001, dated February 16, 2005.
(4) Replace all Fairchild connecting pieces, part number (P/N) 6232.0026.XX, with a Pilatus connecting piece, P/N 6232.0026.XX. The Fairchild part has a rivet in the middle that is not on the Pilatus partWithin the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD. Repetitively inspect thereafter at intervals not-to-exceed 100 hours TISFollow Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 53-001. dated February 16, 2005.
(5) Do not install any Fairchild connecting piece, P/N 6232.0026.XX. The Fairchild part has a rivet in the middle that is not on the Pilatus partAs of the effective date of this ADFollow Pilatus PC-6 Service Bulletin No. 53-001, dated February 16, 2005.

Note:

Even though not required in this AD, the FAA recommends that you send all defective parts to Pilatus at the address specified in paragraph (h) of this AD. With the part, include the aircraft serial number, flying hours, and cycles.

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, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 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) Swiss AD HB-2005-080, effective date March 2, 2005, also addresses 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, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Liaison Manager, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: +41 41 619 6580; facsimile: +41 41 619 6576; or from Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd., Product Support Start Printed Page 15022Department, 11755 Airport Way, Broomfield, Colorado 80021; telephone: (303) 465-9099; facsimile: (303) 465-6040. 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-2005-20515; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-09-AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 17, 2005.

Sandra J. Campbell,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-5801 Filed 3-23-05; 8:45 am]

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