Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A300 B2 and B4 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require modifying the wiring of the autopilot pitch torque limiter switch. This proposed AD is prompted by several reports of pitch trim disconnect caused by insufficient length in the wiring to the pitch torque limiter lever. We are proposing this AD to prevent possible trim loss when the flightcrew tries to override the autopilot pitch control, which could result in uncontrolled flight of the airplane.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 6, 2005.
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 Jacques Leborgne, Airbus Customer Service Directorate, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; fax (+33) 5 61 93 36 14.
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-2005-20861; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2005-NM-020-AD.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rosanne Ryburn, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2139; fax (425) 227-1149.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
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-2005-20861; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-020-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 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.
The Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, Start Printed Page 17348notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A300 B2 and B4 series airplanes. The DGAC advises of several reports of pitch trim disconnect caused by insufficient length in the wiring to the pitch torque limiter lever. The DGAC also advises of possible trim loss when the flightcrew tries to override the autopilot pitch control. Possible trim loss, if not corrected, could result in uncontrolled flight of the airplane.
Relevant Service Information
Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-22-0117, dated September 7, 2004. The service bulletin describes procedures for modifying the wiring of the autopilot pitch torque limiter switch. For certain airplanes, modification includes installing new clamps and harnesses. For certain other airplanes, modification includes the following:
- Modifying the equipment and wiring in the left-hand electronics rack 80VU.
- Modifying the equipment and wiring in relay box 103VU.
- Modifying the wiring between the left-hand rack 80VU and relay box 103VU.
- Modifying the wiring between the rudder and the upper half of the fuselage.
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-2004-186, dated November 24, 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 20 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take about between 8 and 11 work hours per airplane, depending on airplane configuration, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $1,840 and $4,280 per airplane, depending on airplane configuration. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is between $47,200 and $99,900, or between $2,360 and $4,995 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.
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 39End 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:Start Part
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):
Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2005-20861; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-020-AD.
Comments Due Date
(a) The Federal Aviation Administration must receive comments on this AD action by May 6, 2005.
(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B2 and B4 series airplanes, certificated in any category; as identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-0117, dated September 7, 2004.
(d) This AD was prompted by several reports of pitch trim disconnect caused by insufficient length in the wiring to the pitch torque limiter lever. We are issuing this AD to prevent possible trim loss when the flightcrew tries to override the autopilot pitch control, which could result in uncontrolled flight of the airplane.
(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.
(f) Within 20 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the wiring of the autopilot pitch torque limiter switch, by doing all of the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-0117, dated September 7, 2004.
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. Start Printed Page 17349
(h) French airworthiness directive F-2004-186, dated November 24, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD.
Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 30, 2005.
Kalene C. Yanamura,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 05-6768 Filed 4-5-05; 8:45 am]
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