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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318-111 Airplanes; A319-100 Series Airplanes; A320-111 Airplanes; A320-200 Series Airplanes; and A321-100 and -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.

Start Preamble

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 transport category airplanes. This proposed AD would require inspecting to determine the part number of the twin motor actuators, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD results from a report of a low pressure valve of the twin motor actuator found partially open, although the valve detection system indicated that the valve was closed. Investigation revealed that the locating pin in the actuator was too short to engage with the valve slot, resulting in incorrect alignment of the actuator and the drive assembly, causing the valve to remain partially open. We are proposing this AD to ensure that, in the event of an engine fire, the valve actuator functions properly to delay or block the fuel flow to the engine and prevent an uncontrollable fire.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 17, 2006.

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:

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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-2006-23889; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-252-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 Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus transport category airplanes. The DGAC advises that it received a report of a low pressure valve of the twin motor actuator found partially open, although the valve detection system indicated that the valve was closed. Investigation revealed that the locating pin in the actuator was too short to engage with the valve slot, resulting in incorrect alignment. The cause of the defective locating pin was erroneous manufacturing tolerances. In the event of an engine fire, proper functioning of the valve actuator will delay or block the fuel flow to the engine and prevent an uncontrollable fire.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-28-1122, including Appendix 01, dated November 19, 2004. The service bulletin describes procedures for inspecting to determine the part number of the twin motor actuators, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. If there is no affected actuator, the service bulletin specifies that no further action is required. If there is any affected actuator, the service bulletin specifies that operators should do the related investigative action of inspecting the locating pin of the valve of the twin-motor actuator for damage or misalignment, and accomplish all necessary corrective actions. The corrective action includes replacing any defective pin and repairing any damage to the actuator or drive assembly to ensure correct alignment can be attained. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The DGAC mandated the Start Printed Page 7879service information and issued French airworthiness directive F-2005-189, dated November 23, 2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France.

The Airbus service bulletin refers to FR-HITEMP Service Bulletin HTE190001-28-003, dated March 30, 2004, as an additional source of service information for determining the part number of the twin motor actuators and accomplishing any related investigative and corrective actions.

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 airplanes 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 Airbus service information described previously.

Clarification of Inspection Language

The French airworthiness directive and the service bulletin request that operators “inspect” the twin motor actuators to determine the part number. This proposed AD defines that inspection as a “general visual inspection.” This inspection is defined in Note 1 of this proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

This proposed AD would affect about 719 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed inspection would take about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $46,735, or $65 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 and placed it in the AD docket. 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2006-23889; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-252-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by March 17, 2006.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111; 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.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report of a low pressure valve of the twin motor actuator found partially open, although the valve detection system indicated that the valve was closed. Investigation revealed that the locating pin in the actuator was too short to engage with the valve slot, resulting in incorrect alignment of the actuator and the drive assembly, causing the valve to remain partially open. We are issuing this AD to ensure that, in the event of an engine fire, the valve actuator functions properly to delay or block the fuel flow to the engine and prevent an uncontrollable fire.

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.

Inspection

(f) Within 6,000 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever is first: Accomplish a one-time general visual inspection to determine the part number (P/N) of the twin motor actuators in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1122, including Appendix 01, dated November 19, 2004.

(1) For airplanes having any actuator with P/N FRH010041 or P/N FRH010034, no further action is required by this paragraph.

(2) For airplanes having any actuator with P/N HTE190001-2, where the actuator serial number is not identified in Appendix 01 of the service bulletin, no further action is required by this paragraph.

(3) For airplanes having any actuator with P/N HTE190001, HTE190001-1, or HTE190001-2, where the actuator serial number is identified in Appendix 01 of the service bulletin, do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight, in accordance with the service bulletin.

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, Start Printed Page 7880ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.”

Note 2:

Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1122, dated November 19, 2004, refers to FR-HITEMP Service Bulletin HTE190001-28-003, dated March 30, 2004, as an additional source of service information for determining the part number of the twin motor actuators and accomplishing any related investigative and corrective actions.

Parts Installation

(g) As of the effective date of this AD: No person may install an actuator with P/N HTE190001, HTE190001-1, or HTE190001-2, and a serial number identified in Appendix 01 of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1122, dated November 19, 2004, on any airplane unless all applicable related investigative and corrective actions have been done in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (f)(3) of 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-2005-189, dated November 23, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 6, 2006.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-2172 Filed 2-14-06; 8:45 am]

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