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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 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 Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require modifying the parking brake system to automatically restore the normal parking brake if the parking brake pressure decreases below a certain threshold. This proposed AD is prompted by a report of failure of the parking brake while the airplane was on the holding point of the runway before takeoff, leading to a runway departure. We are proposing this AD to ensure normal braking is available to prevent possible runway departure in the event of failure of the parking brake.

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 Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France.

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-2005-20874; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2004-NM-279-AD.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2141; 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-2005-20874; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-279-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 website, anyone can find and read the Start Printed Page 17352comments 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 Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The DGAC advises that one operator reported failure of the parking brake while the airplane was on the holding point of the runway before takeoff, leading to a runway departure. The flight crew tried to stop the airplane with the brake pedals, but were unsuccessful. Additional reports were received from other operators of incidents of braking difficulty after the parking brake was selected. Analysis showed that the airplane is designed so that normal braking is inhibited when the parking brake is selected. In the case of parking brake loss, a flight crew operations manual (FCOM) procedure recommends immediately releasing the parking brake handle to restore braking through the pedals; however, excess pilot workload can preclude using that procedure. When the parking brake lever is selected to the ON position, the parking brake selector valve sends a signal to the braking and steering control unit, which inhibits the normal braking system. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in possible runway departure in the event of failure of the parking brake.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-32-1201, Revision 01, dated May 29, 2002. The service bulletin describes procedures for modifying the parking brake system (including installing placards) to automatically restore the normal parking brake if the parking brake pressure decreases below a certain threshold. The service bulletin also describes procedures for performing operational tests after accomplishing the modification. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The DGAC mandated the service information and issued French airworthiness directive F-2004-137, dated November 10, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

These airplane models are manufactured in France 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 DGAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the DGAC'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.

Costs of Compliance

This proposed AD would affect about 357 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed modification would take about 23 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $5,600 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed modification for U.S. operators is $2,532,915, or $7,095 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):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2005-20874; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-279-AD.

Comments Due Date

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

Affected ADs

(b) None. Start Printed Page 17353

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes; certificated in any category; except those modified in production by Airbus Modification 30062.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by a report of failure of the parking brake while the airplane was on the holding point of the runway before takeoff, leading to a runway departure. We are issuing this AD to ensure normal braking is available to prevent possible runway departure in the event of failure of the parking brake.

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.

Modification

(f) Within 52 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the parking brake system by accomplishing all the actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1201, Revision 01, dated May 29, 2002.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g) The Manager, International Branch, 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) French airworthiness directive F-2004-137, dated November 10, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 29, 2005.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-6766 Filed 4-5-05; 8:45 am]

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