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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model ERJ 170 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 EMBRAER Model ERJ 170 airplanes. This proposed AD would require replacement of certain electrical bonding clamps and attaching hardware with new or serviceable parts, as applicable, and other specified action. This proposed AD results from failure of an electrical bonding clamp, used to attach the electrical bonding straps to the fuel system lines. We are proposing this AD to prevent loss of bonding protection in the interior of the fuel tanks or adjacent areas that, in combination with lightning strike, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 26, 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 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), P.O. Box 343—CEP 12.225, Sao Jose dos Campos—SP, Brazil, for service information identified in this proposed AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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-2006-25889; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-168-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We Start Printed Page 56063specifically 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 Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the airworthiness authority for Brazil, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on certain EMBRAER Model ERJ 170 airplanes. The ANAC advises that an electrical bonding clamp, used to attach the electrical bonding straps to the fuel system lines, failed in one instance. Investigation revealed that a batch of electrical bonding clamps was manufactured with the incorrect material. These discrepant clamps were installed on several airplanes, which may lead to loss of bonding protection in the interior of the fuel tanks or adjacent areas. In combination with lightning strike, this condition, if not corrected, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

EMBRAER has issued Service Bulletin 170-28-0009, Revision 01, dated February 23, 2006. The service bulletin describes procedures for replacing all electrical bonding clamps having part number AN735D4 or AN735D6 with new parts and accomplishing the other specified action. The other specified action is an electrical bonding test of the reconnected strap. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The ANAC mandated the service information and issued Brazilian airworthiness directive 2006-06-03, effective July 7, 2006, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in Brazil.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

This airplane model is manufactured in Brazil and is 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 ANAC has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the ANAC'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 service information described previously.

Costs of Compliance

This proposed AD would affect about 68 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $41 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $8,228, or $121 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):

Empresa Brasileira De Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Docket No. FAA-2006-25889; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-168-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by October 26, 2006.

Affected ADs

(b) None. Start Printed Page 56064

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to EMBRAER Model ERJ 170-100 LR, -100 STD, -100 SE, and -100 SU airplanes, certificated in any category; serial numbers 17000007, 17000033, 17000034, 17000036 through 17000046 inclusive, and 17000050 through 17000067 inclusive.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from failure of an electrical bonding clamp, used to attach the electrical bonding straps to the fuel system lines. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of bonding protection in the interior of the fuel tanks or adjacent areas that, in combination with lightning strike, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss 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.

Replacement

(f) Within 5,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD: Replace all electrical bonding clamps having part number AN735D4 or AN735D6 with new clamps and replace the attaching hardware with new or serviceable attaching hardware, and do the other specified action, by accomplishing all of the actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of EMBRAER Service Bulletin 170-28-0009, Revision 01, dated February 23, 2006. The other specified action must be done before further flight.

Credit for Previous Service Bulletin

(g) Actions done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 170-28-0009, dated December 30, 2005, are acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (f) 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) Brazilian airworthiness directive 2006-06-03, effective July 7, 2006, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

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

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 06-8225 Filed 9-25-06; 8:45 am]

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