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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Burkhardt Grob Luft-Und Raumfahrt GmbH & CO KG Model G103 TWIN ASTIR Sailplanes

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Burkhardt Grob Luft-Und Raumfahrt GmbH & CO KG (Grob) Model G103 TWIN ASTIR sailplanes. This proposed AD would require you to replace the elevator lever, part number (P/N) 103-3521, with a part of improved design, P/N 103-3523. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. We are issuing this proposed AD to prevent cracks in the elevator lever, which could cause the elevator lever to fail. This failure could result in loss of control of the sailplane.

DATES:

We must receive any comments on this proposed AD by October 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Use one of the following 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. Start Printed Page 54312
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-001.
  • Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
  • 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.

To get the service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Burkhardt Grob Luft-Und Raumfahrt GmbH & CO KG, Letenbachstrasse 9, D-86874 Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany; telephone: 011 49 8268 998139; facsimile: 011 49 8268 998200.

To view the comments to this proposed AD, go to http://dms.dot.gov. This is docket number FAA-2005-22156; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-43-AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Greg Davison, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4130; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

How do I comment on this proposed AD? We invite you to submit any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include the docket number, “FAA-2005-22156; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-43-AD” at the beginning of your 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 rulemaking. Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments received into 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.). This is docket number FAA-2005-22156; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-43-AD. You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Are there any specific portions of this proposed AD I should pay attention to? We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. If you contact us through a nonwritten communication and that contact relates to a substantive part of this proposed AD, we will summarize the contact and place the summary in the docket. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD in light of those comments and contacts.

Docket Information

Where can I go to view the docket information? You may view the AD docket that contains the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person at the DMS Docket Offices between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (eastern time), Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Department of Transportation NASSIF Building at the street address stated in ADDRESSES. You may also view the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. The comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Discussion

What events have caused this proposed AD? The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority for Germany, recently notified FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all Grob Model G103 TWIN ASTIR sailplanes. The LBA reports an instance of elevator level failure on one of the affected sailplanes. Cracks in the elevator lever caused the elevator lever to fail.

The cracks are a result of inadequate design in the structural strength and durability.

The elevator lever, part number (P/N) 103-3521, is made from the same cast alloy as the airbrake over-center levers, P/Ns 103-4123 (left) and 103-4124 (right), used on Grob Model G103 TWIN ASTIR sailplanes. Cracks found on these parts caused us to issue AD 97-24-10, which requires replacing P/Ns 103-4123 and 103-4124 with parts of improved design, P/N 103B-4123 and 103B-4124.

What is the potential impact if FAA took no action? If not prevented, cracks in the elevator lever could cause the elevator lever to fail. This failure could result in loss of control of the sailplane.

Is there service information that applies to this subject? Grob has issued Service Bulletin No. MSB 315-67/1, dated December 20, 2004.

What are the provisions of this service information? The service bulletin specifies replacing elevator lever, P/N 103-3521 made of aluminum cast alloy, with P/N 103-3523 made from sheet aluminum.

What action did the LBA take? The LBA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued German AD Number D-2004-292R1, dated February 28, 2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these sailplanes in Germany.

Did the LBA inform the United States under the bilateral airworthiness agreement? These Grob Model G103 TWIN ASTIR sailplanes 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.

Under this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the LBA has kept us informed of the situation described above.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

What has FAA decided? We have examined the LBA's findings, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Since the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other Grob Model G103 TWIN ASTIR sailplanes of the same type design that are registered in the United States, we are proposing AD action to prevent cracks in the elevator lever, which could cause the elevator lever to fail. This failure could result in loss of control of the sailplane.

What would this proposed AD require? This proposed AD would require you to replace P/N 103-3521, aluminum cast alloy elevator lever, with P/N 103-3523, sheet aluminum elevator lever.

How does the revision to 14 CFR part 39 affect this proposed AD? On July 10, 2002, we published a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs FAA's AD system. This regulation now includes material that relates to altered products, special flight permits, and alternative methods of compliance. This material previously was included in each individual AD. Since this material is included in 14 CFR part 39, we will not include it in future AD actions.

Costs of Compliance

How many sailplanes would this proposed AD impact? We estimate that this proposed AD affects 60 sailplanes in the U.S. registry.

What would be the cost impact of this proposed AD on owners/operators of the Start Printed Page 54313affected sailplanes? We estimate the following costs to do this proposed replacement:

Labor costParts costTotal cost per sailplaneTotal cost on U.S. operators
20 × $65 per hour = $1,300$715$2,015$120,900

Authority for This Rulemaking

What authority does FAA have for issuing this rulemaking action? 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 AD.

Regulatory Findings

Would this proposed AD impact various entities? 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.

Would this proposed AD involve a significant rule or regulatory action? For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed AD:

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 summary of the costs to comply with this proposed AD (and other information as included in the Regulatory Evaluation) and placed it in the AD Docket. You may get a copy of this summary by sending a request to us at the address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “AD Docket FAA-2005-22156; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-43-AD” in your request.

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 Federal Aviation Administration 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):

Burkhardt Grob Luft-Und Raumfahrt GmbH & CO KG: Docket No. FAA-2005-22156; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-43-AD.

When Is the Last Date I Can Submit Comments on This Proposed AD?

(a) We must receive comments on this proposed airworthiness directive (AD) by October 14, 2005.

What Other ADs Are Affected By This Action?

(b) None.

What Sailplanes Are Affected By This AD?

(c) This AD affects Model G103 TWIN ASTIR sailplanes, all serial numbers, that are certificated in any category.

What Is the Unsafe Condition Presented in This AD?

(d) This AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. The actions specified in this AD are intended to prevent cracks in the elevator lever, which could cause the elevator lever to fail. This failure could result in loss of control of the sailplane.

What Must I Do To Address This Problem?

(e) To address this problem, you must do the following:

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Check the sailplane service history records to determine if part number (P/N) 103-3521, aluminum cast alloy elevator lever, has been replaced with P/N 103-3523, sheet aluminum elevator leverWithin the next 25 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this ADThe owner/operator holding at least a private pilot certificate as authorized by section 43.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.7) may check the sailplane service history records as specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD. Make an entry into the aircraft records showing compliance with this portion of the AD following section 43.9 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.9).
(2) If you can positively determine by checking the sailplane service history records that the replacement specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD has been done, no further action is requiredNot applicableNot applicable.
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(3) If you cannot positively determined by checking the sailplane service history records that the replacement specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this AD has been done, replace P/N 103-3521 with P/N 103-3523Within the next 25 hours TIS after the effective date of this ADFollowing GROB Luft-und Raumfahrt Service Bulletin MSB 315-67/1 dated December 20, 2004.
(4) Do not install any P/N 103-3521, aluminum cast alloy elevator leverAs of the effective date of this ADNot applicable.

May I Request an Alternative Method of Compliance?

(f) You may request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD by following the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Unless FAA authorizes otherwise, send your request to your principal inspector. The principal inspector may add comments and will send your request to the Manager, Standards Office, Small Airplane Directorate, FAA. For information on any already approved alternative methods of compliance, contact Greg Davison, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4130; facsimile: (816) 329-4090.

Is There Other Information That Relates to This Subject?

(g) German AD Number D-2004-292R1, dated February 28, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD.

May I Get Copies of the Documents Referenced in This AD?

(h) To get copies of the documents referenced in this AD, contact Burkhardt Grob Luft-Und Raumfahrt GmbH & CO KG, Letenbachstrasse 9, D-86874 Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany; telephone: 011 49 8268 998139; facsimile: 011 49 8268 998200. To view the AD docket, go to the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC, or on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. This is docket number FAA-2005-22156; Directorate Identifier 2005-CE-43-AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 8, 2005.

David R. Showers,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-18205 Filed 9-13-05; 8:45 am]

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