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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A310 Airplanes and Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R Series Airplanes, and Model 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 adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A310 airplanes and Model A300-600 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by incorporating new and revised certification maintenance requirements. This proposed AD results from the manufacturer determining that additional and revised certification maintenance requirements are necessary in order to ensure continued operational safety of the affected airplanes. We are proposing this AD to prevent safety-significant latent failures that would, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition of avionics, hydraulic systems, fire detection systems, fuel systems, or other critical systems.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 8, 2007.

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:

Tom Stafford, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1622; 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 Start Printed Page 5363number “FAA-2007-27154; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-139-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 Part 3, “Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR)” of the Airworthiness Limitations section (ALS) for Airbus Model A310 airplanes and Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes has been updated. The new CMRs, among other things, introduce new inspections. CMRs are intended to detect safety-significant latent failures that would, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition of avionics, hydraulic systems, fire detection systems, fuel systems, or other critical systems.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued A310 Certification Maintenance Requirements AI/ST5/849/85, Issue 12, dated February 2005, to Part 3 of the ALS for Model A310. Airbus has also issued A300-600 Certification Maintenance Requirements AI/ST5/829/85, Issue 12, dated February 2005, to Part 3 of the ALS for Model A300-600. Issue 12 of the documents:

  • Adds two new Two Star CMR tasks for the thrust reverser actuation and cowling;
  • Corrects existing CMRs; and
  • For Model A300-600: Extends the applicability of a CMR and corrects the effectivity paragraph of the CMR.

Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The DGAC mandated the service information and issued French airworthiness directive F-2005-123, dated July 20, 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 airplanes of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by incorporating new and revised CMRs.

Clarification of Compliance Time Between the Proposed AD and the French Airworthiness Directive

The French airworthiness directive specifies to conform to the CMRs within two months with the exception of one CMR, MSI 78.30.99 (thrust reverser actuation and cowling tasks for airplanes that have installed a third line of defense). The French airworthiness directive specifies to conform to MSI 78.30.99 within three months or before the accumulation of 7,000 flight hours since installation of a third line of defense, whichever occurs later.

However, this proposed AD would require revising the Airworthiness Limitations section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by incorporating new and revised certification maintenance requirements within three months after the effective date of the proposed AD. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this action, we considered the urgency associated with the subject unsafe condition, the availability of required parts, and the practical aspect of affected operators accomplishing the operational and functional tests of critical systems and power plants and inspections for damage of certain parts that are specified in the CMRs.

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 hourCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.-registered airplanesFleet cost
Revision of maintenance program1$80$80203$16,240

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 Start Printed Page 5364products 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 adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2007-27154; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-139-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by March 8, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A310 airplanes, Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes, Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes, Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new inspections. Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (g) of this AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure. The FAA has provided guidance for this determination in Advisory Circular (AC) 25.1529-1.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from the manufacturer determining that additional and revised certification maintenance requirements are necessary in order to ensure continued operational safety of the affected airplanes. We are issuing this AD to prevent safety-significant latent failures that would, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition of avionics, hydraulic systems, fire detection systems, fuel systems, or other critical 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.

Revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness

(f) Within three months after the effective date of this AD, revise the Airworthiness Limitations section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by incorporating Airbus A300-600 Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMRs) AI/ST5/829/85, Issue 12, dated February 2005 (for Model A310 airplanes); or Airbus A310 CMR AI/ST5/849/85, Issue 12, dated February 2005 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes, Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes, Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes); as applicable. Accomplish the actions specified in the applicable CMRs at the times specified in the applicable CMRs. The actions must be accomplished in accordance with the applicable CMRs.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g)(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

(h) French airworthiness directive F-2005-123, dated July 20, 2005, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 29, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-1872 Filed 2-5-07; 8:45 am]

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