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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 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 (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate life limits for certain items and inspections to detect fatigue cracking in certain structures. This proposed AD would also require revising the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new and more restrictive life limits for certain items and new and more restrictive inspections to detect fatigue cracking in certain structures. This proposed AD is prompted by issuance of a later revision to the airworthiness limitations of the BAe/Avro 146 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, which specifies new inspections and compliance times for inspection and replacement actions. We are proposing this AD to ensure that fatigue cracking of certain structural elements is detected and corrected; such fatigue cracking could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 29, 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.
  • 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 British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171.

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-2005-20729; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2002-NM-71-AD.

Start Further Info

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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-2005-20729; Directorate Identifier 2002-NM-71-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 received 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

On December 22, 2000, we issued AD 2000-26-07, amendment 39-12057 (66 FR 263, January 3, 2001), for all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. That AD requires revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate life limits for certain items and inspections to detect fatigue cracking in certain structures. That AD was prompted by issuance of a revision to the airworthiness limitations of the BAe/Avro 146 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), which specifies new inspections and compliance times for inspection and replacement actions. We issued that AD to ensure that fatigue cracking of certain structural elements is detected and corrected; such fatigue cracking could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

Since we issued AD 2000-26-07, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom, notified us that a later revision to Section 05-10-01 has been issued for Chapter 5 of the BAe/Avro 146 AMM. That section also references additional sections of the AMM. (The FAA refers to the information included in the revised section of the AMM as the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS).) The revised section affects all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. In addition, that section provides mandatory replacement times and structural inspection intervals approved under § 25.571 of the Joint Aviation Requirements and the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.571). As airplanes gain service experience, or as results of post-certification testing and evaluation are obtained, it may become necessary to add additional life limits or structural inspections to ensure the Start Printed Page 16188continued structural integrity of the airplane.

The CAA advises that analysis of fatigue test data has revealed that certain inspections must be performed at specific intervals to preclude fatigue cracking in certain areas of the airplane. In addition, the CAA advises that certain life limits must be imposed for various components on these airplanes to preclude the onset of fatigue cracking in those components. Such fatigue cracking, if not corrected, could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

Relevant Service Information

British Aerospace has issued Section 05-10-01, Revision 81, dated December 15, 2004, which is a revision to Chapter 5 of the BAe/Avro 146 AMM. That section references additional sections, which include the following:

1. Life limit times for certain structural components, or other components or equipment.

2. Structural inspection times to detect fatigue cracking of certain Significant Structural Items (SSIs).

The revision to Section 05-10-01 of the AMM describes new inspections and compliance times for inspection and replacement actions. Accomplishment of those actions will preclude the onset of fatigue cracking of certain structural elements of the airplane.

The CAA has approved Section 05-10-01, Revision 81, of the AMM to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the United Kingdom. The CAA has not issued a corresponding airworthiness directive, although accomplishment of the additional life limits and structural inspections contained in the AMM revision may be considered mandatory for operators of these airplanes in the United Kingdom.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

These airplane models manufactured in the United Kingdom and are 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 CAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the CAA's findings, evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that AD action is necessary for airplanes of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States. We have determined that Section 05-10-01, Revision 81, of the AMM must be incorporated into the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness.

This proposed AD would supersede AD 2000-26-07. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of the existing AD. This proposed AD would also require revising the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new and more restrictive life limits for certain items and new and more restrictive inspections to detect fatigue cracking in certain structures.

Change to Existing AD

This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 2000-26-07. Since AD 2000-26-07 was issued, the AD format has been revised, and certain paragraphs have been rearranged. As a result, the corresponding paragraph identifiers have changed in this proposed AD, as listed in the following table:

Revised Paragraph Identifiers

Requirement in AD 2000-26-07Corresponding requirement in this proposed AD
Paragraph (a)Paragraph (f).
Paragraph (b)Paragraph (g).

Costs of Compliance

This proposed AD would affect about 59 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions that are required by AD 2000-26-07 and retained in this proposed AD take about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. No parts are required. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the currently required actions is $65 per airplane.

The new proposed actions would take about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. No parts would be required. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the new actions specified in this proposed AD for U.S. operators is $3,835, or $65 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.

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 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:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-12057 (66 FR 263, January 3, 2003) and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

BAe Systems (Operations) Limited (Formerly British Aerospace Regional Aircraft): Docket No. FAA-2005-20729; Directorate Identifier 2002-NM-71-AD. Start Printed Page 16189

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration must receive comments on this AD action by April 29, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2000-26-07, amendment 39-12057 (66 FR 263, January 3, 2001).

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAE 146 and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by issuance of a later revision to the airworthiness limitations of the BAe/Avro 146 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, which specifies new inspections and compliance times for inspection and replacement actions. We are issuing this AD to ensure that fatigue cracking of certain structural elements is detected and corrected; such fatigue cracking could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

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.

Requirements of AD 2000-26-07

Airworthiness Limitations Revision

(f) Within 30 days after February 7, 2001 (the effective date of AD 2000-26-07), revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by incorporating Section 05-10-01, Revision 65, dated August 3, 1999, of Chapter 5 of the BAe/Avro 146 Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), into the ALS. This section references other sections of the AMM. The applicable revision level of the referenced sections is that in effect on the effective date of this AD.

(g) Except as specified in paragraph (j) of this AD: After the actions specified in paragraph (f) of this AD have been accomplished, no alternative inspections or inspection intervals may be approved for the structural elements specified in the document listed in paragraph (f) of this AD.

New Requirements of This AD

Later Revision for Airworthiness Limitations

(h) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new and more restrictive life limits for certain items and new and more restrictive inspections to detect fatigue cracking in certain structures, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Civil Aviation Authority (or its delegated agent). Section 05-10-01, Revision 81, dated December 15, 2004, of Chapter 5 of the BAe/Avro 146 AMM is one approved method. This section references other sections of the AMM. The applicable revision level of the referenced sections is that in effect on the effective date of this AD. Incorporating the new and more restrictive life limits and inspections into the ALS terminates the requirements of paragraphs (f) and (g) of this AD, and after incorporation has been done, the limitations required by paragraph (f) of this AD may be removed from the ALS.

(i) Except as specified in paragraph (j) of this AD: After the actions specified in paragraph (h) of this AD have been accomplished, no alternative inspections or inspection intervals may be approved for the structural elements specified in the document listed in paragraph (h) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(j)(1) 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.

(2) AMOCs, approved previously in accordance with AD 2000-26-07, are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding requirements of this AD.

Related Information

(k) None.

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

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-6258 Filed 3-29-05; 8:45 am]

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