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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R Series Airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F Airplanes (Collectively Called A300-600 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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes. This AD requires an inspection for evidence of chafing between the hydraulic flexible hose and the ram air turbine (RAT) hub, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This AD is prompted by reports of holes in the RAT hub cover. We are issuing this AD to prevent a hole in the RAT hub cover. A hole in the RAT hub cover could allow water to enter the RAT governing mechanism, freeze during flight, and jam the governing mechanism. In addition, the metal particles that result from chafing between the hydraulic flexible hose and the RAT could mix with the lubricant grease and degrade the governing mechanism. In an emergency, a jammed or degraded RAT could result in its failure to deploy, loss of hydraulic pressure or electrical power to the airplane, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective August 26, 2005.

The incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 26, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France.

Docket: The AD docket contains the proposed AD, comments, and any final disposition. 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 U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL-401, Washington, DC. This docket number is FAA-2005-20867; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2004-NM-188-AD.

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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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 with an AD for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called A300-600 series airplanes). That action, published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2005 (70 FR 17340), proposed to require an inspection for evidence of chafing between the hydraulic flexible hose and the ram air turbine (RAT) hub, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comment that was submitted on the proposed AD.

Request To Revise Compliance Time

The commenter requests that the compliance time be revised from the proposed 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of the AD to 15 months after the effective date of the AD. However, the commenter acknowledges that the 2,500-flight-hour compliance time should be sufficient for the 12 U.S.-registered airplanes to receive the required inspection. The commenter notes that revising the compliance time would allow the proposed inspection to be accomplished during a regularly scheduled C-check. The commenter notes that it has no affected airplanes in its fleet. The commenter also states that, based on its experience, replacing the RAT would take about 3 hours.

We do not concur with the commenter's request to revise the compliance time. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this AD, we considered the manufacturer's recommendation; the recommendation of the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile, which is the airworthiness authority for France; the degree of urgency associated with the subject unsafe condition; the average utilization of the affected fleet; the maintenance schedules of the majority of affected operators; and the time necessary to perform the inspection (1 work hour). In light of all of these factors, we find that a 2,500-flight-hour compliance time represents an appropriate interval of Start Printed Page 42268time for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety. We have determined that this compliance time will also allow the majority of affected operators to comply with the requirements of this AD at a scheduled maintenance visit. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

We acknowledge the commenter's estimate that replacing the RAT would take about 3 hours. However, the economic analysis of an AD is limited to the cost of actions that are actually required. The economic analysis does not consider the costs of conditional actions, such as replacing the RAT if damage found during the required inspection exceeds the limits specified in the Airbus A300-600 Component Maintenance Manual. Such conditional corrective action would be required—regardless of AD direction—to correct an unsafe condition identified in an airplane and to ensure that the airplane is operated in an airworthy condition, as required by the Federal Aviation Regulations. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Explanation of Change to Applicability

We have revised the applicability of this AD to identify model designations as published in the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected models.

Explanation of Additional Change to Final Rule

We have revised paragraph (f) of this AD to correct a typographical error. (In one place, the proposed AD contained the term “RAMs” instead of “RATs.”)

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comment that was submitted, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We have determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourPartsCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.- registered airplanesFleet cost
Inspection1$65None required$6512$780
Rework binding165None required6512780

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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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 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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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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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]
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2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

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2005-15-05 Airbus: Amendment 39-14194. Docket No. FAA-2005-20867; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-188-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective August 26, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-622, B4-605R, B4-622R, F4-605R, F4-622R, and C4-605R Variant F airplanes; certificated in any category; having serial numbers 0812, 0813, 0815 through 0818 inclusive, 0821 through 0828 inclusive, and 0836 through 0838 inclusive.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by reports of holes in the ram air turbine (RAT) hub. We are issuing this AD to prevent a hole in the RAT hub cover. A hole in the RAT hub cover could allow water to enter the RAT governing mechanism, freeze during flight, and jam the governing mechanism. In addition, the metal particles that result from chafing between the hydraulic flexible hose and the RAT could mix with the lubricant grease and degrade the governing mechanism. In an emergency, a jammed or degraded RAT could result in failure of RAT deployment, loss of hydraulic pressure or electrical power to the airplane, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

Compliance

(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within Start Printed Page 42269the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Inspection and Related Investigative/Corrective Actions

(f) Within 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD: Do a one-time detailed inspection for evidence of chafing between the hydraulic flexible hose and the RAT hub, and any applicable related investigative and corrective actions, by accomplishing all of the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-29-6054, Revision 01, excluding Appendix 01, dated November 4, 2004. Any applicable corrective actions must be accomplished before further flight. Although the service bulletin specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, and to submit damaged RATs to the vendor or a repair station, this AD does not include those requirements.

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.”

Actions Accomplished Previously

(g) Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-29-6054, excluding Appendix 01, dated June 8, 2004, are acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions specified in this AD.

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) French airworthiness directive F-2004-133, dated August 4, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(j) You must use Airbus Service Bulletin A300-29-6054, Revision 01, excluding Appendix 01, dated November 4, 2004, to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approves the incorporation by reference of this document in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. To get copies of the service information, contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. To view the AD docket, go to the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL-401, Nassif Building, Washington, DC. To review copies of the service information, go to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/​federal_​register/​code_​of_​federal_​regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

Start Signature

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

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-14173 Filed 7-21-05; 8:45 am]

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