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Proposed Rule

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes. The existing AD currently 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 proposed AD would extend the applicability to include all A300-600 series airplanes that are equipped with a certain RAT. This proposed AD results from reports of holes in the RAT hub cover. We are proposing 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:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 21, 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. Start Printed Page 35576
  • 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, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 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 “Docket No. FAA-2006-25088; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-085-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

On July 11, 2005, we issued AD 2005-15-05, amendment 39-14194 (70 FR 42267, July 22, 2005), for certain Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes. That 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. That AD resulted from reports of holes in the RAT hub cover. We issued that 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.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

Since we issued AD 2005-15-05, the Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, reported that a hole in the RAT hub cover was reported on an airplane that was not included in the effectivity of French airworthiness directive F-2004-133, dated August 4, 2004. French airworthiness directive F-2004-133 parallels AD 2005-15-05.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-29-6054, Revision 02, dated January 12, 2006. Airbus Service Bulletin A300-29-6054, Revision 01, excluding Appendix 01, dated November 4, 2004, was referenced as the appropriate source of service information for doing the action required by AD 2005-15-05. The procedures in Revision 02 and Revision 01 are essentially the same. Revision 02 extends the effectivity to include all A300-600 series airplanes that are equipped with a Hamilton Sundstrand RAT. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The FCAA mandated the service information and issued French airworthiness directive F-2006-035, dated February 1, 2006, 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 AD action is necessary for airplanes of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

This proposed AD would supersede AD 2005-15-05 and would retain the requirements of the existing AD. This proposed AD would also add airplanes to the applicability.

Clarification of Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) Paragraph

We have revised this action to clarify the appropriate procedure for notifying the principal inspector before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies.

Explanation of Change to Costs of Compliance

After the original NPRM was issued, we reviewed the figures we have used over the past several years to calculate AD costs to operators. To account for various inflationary costs in the airline industry, we find it necessary to increase the labor rate used in these calculations from $65 per work hour to $80 per work hour. The cost impact information, below, reflects this increase in the specified hourly labor rate.

Costs of Compliance

The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this proposed AD. Start Printed Page 35577

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.-registered airplanesFleet cost
Inspection (required by AD 2005-15-05)1$80$80120$9,600
Rework binding (required by AD 2005-15-05)180801209,600

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

End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-14194 (70 FR 42267, July 22, 2005) and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2006-25088; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-085-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by July 21, 2006.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2005-15-05.

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; equipped with a Hamilton Sundstrand Ram Air Turbine (RAT).

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from reports of holes in the ram air turbine (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.

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.

Restatement of the Requirements of AD 2005-15-05 With Compliance Times for New Airplanes

Inspection and Related Investigative/Corrective Actions

(f) At the applicable time specified in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) 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; or Revision 02, dated January 12, 2006. After the effective date of this AD, only Revision 02 may be used. Any applicable corrective actions must be accomplished before further flight. Where 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.

(1) For airplanes having serial numbers (S/Ns) 0812, 0813, 0815 through 0818 inclusive, 0821 through 0828 inclusive, and 0836 through 0838 inclusive: Within 2,500 flight hours after August 26, 2005 (the effective date of AD 2005-15-05).

(2) For airplanes not identified in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD: Within 2,500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

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)(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 Start Printed Page 35578appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office.

(3) AMOCs approved previously in accordance with AD 2005-15-05 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

Related Information

(i) French airworthiness directive F-2006-035, dated February 1, 2006, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 14, 2006.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-9715 Filed 6-20-06; 8:45 am]

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