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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dornier Model 328-100 and -300 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 Dornier Model 328-100 and -300 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require a pressure test and detailed inspection of each fuselage drain line to determine if there is a blockage, and related investigative/corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD is prompted by a report of leakage at one of the drain lines in the fuselage. We are proposing this AD to prevent blockage within the drain lines, causing fluids to collect. These fluids may freeze and expand, damaging the drain lines, and allowing fuel to leak into the cabin and fuel vapors to come into contact with ignition sources, which could result in consequent fire in the cabin.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 6, 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 AvCraft Aerospace GmbH, P.O. Box 1103, D-82230 Wessling, Germany.

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-2005-20866; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2004-NM-258-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.

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-2005-20866; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-258-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

Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Dornier Model 328-100 and -300 series airplanes. The LBA advises that, during maintenance, an operator detected leakage at one of the drain lines in the fuselage. Investigation revealed that blockages within the drain line caused the leakage. The blockages allowed fluids to collect, which froze and expanded, and damaged the drain line. A damaged drain line allows fuel to leak into the cabin and fuel vapors to come into contact with ignition sources, which could result in consequent fire in the cabin.

Relevant Service Information

Dornier has issued Service Bulletins SB-328-53-462, Revision 1, dated July 15, 2004 (for Model 328-100 series airplanes); and SB-328J-53-214, Revision 1, dated July 15, 2004 (for Model 328-300 series airplanes). The service bulletins describe procedures for performing a pressure test and detailed inspection of each fuselage drain line to determine if there is a blockage, and related investigative/corrective actions. The service bulletins specify that, if a drain line fails the initial pressure test, the detailed inspection must be done before further flight; otherwise, the inspection may be delayed until the next C-check. If a drain line fails the initial detailed inspection, the corrective actions include repairing that drain line or replacing it with a new drain line, and repeating the pressure test. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The LBA mandated the service information and issued German airworthiness directives D-2004-448 and D-2004-449, both effective October 14, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Germany.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

These airplane models are manufactured in Germany 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 LBA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the LBA's findings, evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that we Start Printed Page 17358need 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.

Clarification of Compliance Time for Detailed Inspection

Operators should note that the service bulletins specify that the detailed inspection of the drain lines for blockages can be done immediately after the initial pressure test, or at a later time, but not later than “the next scheduled C-check.” The German airworthiness directives specify that the compliance time for accomplishing the detailed inspection is “not later than the next planned C-check.” Since C-check schedules vary among operators, such a nonspecific compliance time would provide no assurance that operators would do this inspection before safe flight is compromised. This proposed AD would require accomplishment of that inspection within 24 months after the effective date of this AD. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this AD, we considered not only the manufacturer's recommendation, but the degree of urgency associated with addressing the subject unsafe condition, the average utilization of the affected fleet, and the time necessary to perform the inspection. In light of all of these factors, we find a compliance time of 24 months for completing the required actions to be warranted, in that it represents an appropriate interval of time for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects about 53 Model 328-100 series airplanes and 57 Model 328-300 series airplanes of U.S. registry. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this proposed AD.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourPartsCost per airplaneNumber of U.S. -registered airplanesFleet cost
Pressure test2$65None$130110$14,300
Detailed inspection565None32511035,750

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

End List of Subjects

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 adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Fairchild Dornier GMBH (Formerly Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH): Docket No. FAA-2005-20866; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-258-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration must receive comments on this AD action by May 6, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Dornier Model 328-100 series airplanes without option 033F003 “Extended Range” installed, and Dornier Model 328-300 series airplanes having serial numbers 3005 through 3119 inclusive, certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by a report of leakage at one of the drain lines in the fuselage. We are issuing this AD to prevent blockage within the drain lines, causing fluids to collect. These fluids may freeze and expand, damaging the drain lines, and allowing fuel to leak into the cabin and fuel vapors to come into contact with ignition sources, which could result in consequent fire in the cabin.

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.

Initial Pressure Test

(f) Within 4 months after the effective date of this AD: Perform an initial pressure test and any applicable related investigative and corrective actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-53-462, Revision 1, dated July 15, 2004 (for Model 328-100 series Start Printed Page 17359airplanes); or SB-328J-53-214, Revision 1, dated July 15, 2004 (for Model 328-300 series airplanes); as applicable. Do any applicable related investigative or corrective action before further flight.

Detailed Inspection

(g) After doing the pressure test required by paragraph (f) of this AD, but not later than 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Perform a detailed inspection and related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-53-462, Revision 1, dated July 15, 2004; or SB-328J-53-214, Revision 1, dated July 15, 2004; as applicable.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is: “An intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.”

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(h) 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

(i) German airworthiness directives D-2004-448 and D-2004-449, effective October 14, 2004, also address the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 30, 2005.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-6761 Filed 4-5-05; 8:45 am]

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