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Airworthiness Directives; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ 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 superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD), which applies to certain BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ airplanes. That AD currently requires one-time inspections of the inner webs and flanges at frames 15, 18, 41, and 43 for evidence of corrosion or cracking; and corrective actions if necessary. This new AD instead requires new repetitive inspections and expands the area to be inspected. This new AD also expands the applicability and provides an optional action that would extend the repetitive inspection interval. This AD results from a report indicating that in some cases the inspections required by the existing AD revealed no damage, yet frame corrosion and cracking were later found during scheduled maintenance in the two forward fuselage frames 15 and 18. We are issuing this AD to prevent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective July 17, 2006.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of July 17, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the 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., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC.

Contact British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171, for service information identified in this AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Examining the Docket

You may examine the airworthiness directive (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 street address stated in the ADDRESSES section.

Discussion

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that supersedes AD 2004-01-07, amendment 39-13421 (69 FR 869, January 7, 2004). The existing AD applies to certain BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146 and Avro 146-RJ airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2005 (70 FR 73665). That NPRM proposed to continue to require inspections of certain inner webs and flanges for signs of corrosion (including cracks, blistering, or flaking paint), and corrective action if necessary. That NPRM also proposed to add repetitive inspections, expand the area to be inspected, expand the applicability, and provide an optional action that would extend the proposed repetitive inspection interval.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comment that has been received on the NPRM.

Request To Require Revised Service Information

Air Wisconsin requests that we delay issuing the final rule until the manufacturer revises Inspection Service Bulletin (ISB) ISB.53-182, dated March 16, 2005 (cited in the NPRM). The commenter reports that BAE plans to revise the ISB to extend the inspection area after recent inspection data revealed evidence of corrosion cracking on some frame outer flanges. The commenter states that delaying issuance of the final rule would allow time to determine whether the revised ISB better addresses the identified unsafe condition. The commenter adds that it just makes more sense in regards to cost effectiveness and airworthiness safety for operators to perform the most thorough and up-to-date inspection on their airplanes.

We acknowledge the commenter's concern, but we do not agree to delay the issuance of the final rule. Release of a revised service bulletin is not imminent. To delay this action would be inappropriate because we have determined that an unsafe condition exists. However, we may consider further rulemaking in the future to expand the inspection area if warranted. In light of the identified unsafe condition, however, we consider it appropriate to proceed with this final rule as proposed.

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comment that has been submitted, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD. Start Printed Page 33603

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourParts costCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.-registered airplanesFleet cost
HFEC inspection, per inspection cycle5$65None$32555$17,875
Detailed inspection, per inspection cycle365None1955510,725

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 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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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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-13421 (

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2006-12-09 BAE Systems (Operations) Limited (Formerly British Aerospace Regional Aircraft): Amendment 39-14634. Docket No. FAA-2005-23284; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-163-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective July 17, 2006.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2004-01-07.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146-100A, -200A, and -300A series airplanes; and Model Avro 146-RJ70A, 146-RJ85A, and 146-RJ100A airplanes; certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report indicating that in some cases the inspections required by AD 2004-01-07 revealed no damage, yet frame corrosion and cracking were later found during scheduled maintenance in the two forward fuselage frames 15 and 18. We are issuing this AD to prevent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

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

(f) Use high-frequency eddy current and detailed methods to inspect for signs of corrosion (including cracks, blistering, or flaking paint) of frames 15, 18, 41, and 43, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.53-182, dated March 16, 2005. Inspect at the applicable time specified in 1.D. “Compliance” of the service bulletin. Application of corrosion-preventive treatment, in accordance with the service bulletin, extends the repetitive inspection interval, as specified in Table 2 in 1.D. “Compliance” of the service bulletin.

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.”

Corrective Action

(g) If any discrepancy is found during any inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD: Before further flight, perform applicable related investigative/corrective actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.53-182, dated March 16, 2005, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

Exceptions to Service Bulletin Specifications

(h) If the service bulletin referenced in this AD specifies to contact the manufacturer for appropriate action, before further flight, repair per a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Civil Aviation Authority (or its delegated agent).

(i) Although the service bulletin referenced in this AD specifies to submit information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include such a requirement.

(j) Where the service bulletin specifies a compliance time after the issuance of the service bulletin, this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD. And where the service bulletin specifies a compliance time “since date of construction” of the airplane, this AD requires compliance since the date of issuance of the original standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(k)(1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in Start Printed Page 33604accordance 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

(l) British airworthiness directive G-2005-0019, dated July 6, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(m) You must use BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.53-182, dated March 16, 2005, to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this document in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171, for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Room PL-401, Nassif Building, Washington, DC; on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov; or at 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 May 31, 2006.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 06-5206 Filed 6-9-06; 8:45 am]

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