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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 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 A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require operators to modify the hydraulic control block of the nose landing gear. This proposed AD is prompted by a report of an unexpected steering event (swerve) during the take-off roll of one affected airplane. We are proposing this AD to prevent loss of airplane steering while on the ground, which could result in the airplane going off the side of the runway.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 18, 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-2005-21860; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2005-NM-032-AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2797; 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-2005-21860; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-032-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 Start Printed Page 41355Web 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

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 A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes. The DGAC advises that a Model A340 series airplane had an unexpected steering event (swerve) during its take-off roll, while traveling at 47 knots. Analysis showed that the event was caused by a braking and steering control unit (BSCU) channel 1 fault, followed by a loss of the nose wheel steering (NWS). This condition, if not corrected, could result in the loss of airplane steering while on the ground, and the airplane going off the side of the runway.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A330-32-3156, and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-32-4194, both dated December 22, 2004. The service bulletins describe procedures for modifying the hydraulic control block (HCB) of the nose landing gear by adding a check valve between the selector valve and the servo valve. 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-2005-016, dated January 19, 2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

The service bulletins refer to Messier-Bugatti Service Bulletin C24856-32-064, dated January 26, 2005, as an additional source of service information for modifying the HCB.

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 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 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 22 Model A330-200 and A330-300 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take about 39 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. There is no charge for required parts. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $55,770, or $2,535 per airplane.

There are currently no Model A340-200 or Model A340-300 airplanes on the U.S. Register. Should one of these airplanes be imported and placed on the U.S. Register in the future, the proposed actions would take about 39 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD would be $2,535 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:

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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-2005-21860; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-032-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration must receive comments on this AD action by August 18, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -301, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; Start Printed Page 41356and Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes; certificated in any category; with hydraulic control block (HCB) part number (P/N) C24856000-9 or C24856001-7.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by a report of an unexpected steering event (swerve) during the take-off roll of one affected airplane. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of airplane steering while on the ground, which could result in the airplane going off the side of the runway.

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 30 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the hydraulic control block (HCB) in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this AD.

(1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-32-3156, dated December 22, 2004, for Model A330-200 and A330-300 series airplanes.

(2) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-32-4194, dated December 22, 2004, for Model A340-200 and A340-300 series airplanes.

Note 1:

The Airbus service bulletins refer to Messier-Bugatti Service Bulletin C24856-32-064, dated January 26, 2005, as an additional source of service information for doing the modification.

Parts Installation

(g) After the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane an HCB having P/N C24856000-9 or C24856001-7, unless it has been modified in accordance with paragraph (f) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(h) The Manager, 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) French airworthiness directive F-2005-016, dated January 19, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 11, 2005.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-14172 Filed 7-18-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P