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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318-100 and A319-100 Series Airplanes; A320-111 Airplanes; A320-200 Series Airplanes; and A321-100 and A321-200 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 A318-100 and A319-100 series airplanes; A320-111 airplanes; A320-200 series airplanes; and A321-100 and A321-200 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection of the horizontal hinge pin of the 103VU electrical panel in the avionics compartment to determine if the hinge pin can move out of the hinge, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD results from a report indicating that electrical wire damage was found in the 103VU electrical panel due to contact between the hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness. We are proposing this AD to prevent contact between the horizontal hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness, which could result in damage to electrical wires, and consequent arcing and/or failure of associated systems.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 27, 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.
  • 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.

Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for service information identified in this proposed AD.

Start Further Info

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 in the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number “FAA-2005-22528; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-125-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 received 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 that web 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 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.

Examining the Docket

You may 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 Docket Management System receives them.

Discussion

The Direction Generale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A318-100 and A319-100 series airplanes; A320-111 airplanes; A320-200 series airplanes; and A321-100 and A321-200 series airplanes. The DGAC advises that electrical wire damage was found in the 103VU electrical panel, which is located in the avionics compartment. Investigation revealed contact between the horizontal hinge pin and an adjacent electrical wire harness, due to migration of the hinge pin. This condition, if not corrected, could result in damage to electrical wires, and consequent arcing and/or failure of associated systems.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued All Operators Telex (AOT) 25A1440, dated February 15, 2005. The AOT describes procedures for inspecting the 103VU electrical panel horizontal hinge pin to determine if the pin can move out of the hinge. If there is no hinge movement, the AOT states that no further action is required. If there is movement, the AOT states that operators should do the related investigative action of inspecting for damage to the adjacent electrical harness, and do all necessary corrective actions. The corrective actions include reworking the hinge, and repairing any damage to the electrical harness. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The DGAC mandated the AOT and issued French airworthiness directive F-2005-052 R1, dated April 13, 2005, 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 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 issuing this AD to require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. Start Printed Page 56382

Clarification of Inspection Language

The service bulletin and the French airworthiness directive request that operators “inspect” for hinge pin movement. This proposed AD defines that inspection as a “general visual inspection.” This inspection is defined in Note 1 of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

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

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourPartsCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.-registered airplanesFleet cost
Inspection1$65None$65696$45,240

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 and placed it in the AD docket. 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2005-22528; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-125-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by October 27, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111 and -112; A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133; A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233; and A321-111, -112, -131, -211 and -231 airplanes; certificated in any category; serial numbers (S/Ns) 1 through 2396 inclusive, except S/Ns 2104, 2143, 2248, 2270, 2347, 2366, 2372, 2376, 2384, 2386, 2388, 2390, 2391, 2393, and 2395.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report indicating that electrical wire damage was found in the 103VU electrical panel due to contact between the hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent contact between the horizontal hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness, which could result in damage to electrical wires, and consequent arcing and/or failure of associated systems.

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.

Inspections and Corrective Actions

(f) Within 600 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, do a general visual inspection of the horizontal hinge pin of the 103VU electrical panel in the avionics compartment to determine if the pin can move out of the hinge, and do any applicable related investigative and corrective actions, including repair of any damaged electrical wires, before further flight. Do all the actions in accordance with Airbus All Operators Telex 25A1440, dated February 15, 2005.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: “A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.”

No Reporting

(g) Although All Operators Telex 25A1440, dated February 15, 2005, specifies that operators should send the results of inspections to the manufacturer, that action is not required by this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(h)(1) 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.

(2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office.

Related Information

(i) French airworthiness directive F-2005-052 R1, dated April 13, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD.

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Start Printed Page 56383

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 16, 2005.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-19232 Filed 9-26-05; 8:45 am]

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