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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an airworthiness authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as an incomplete discharge of the extinguishing agent in the fire zone, which could lead, in the worst case, in combination with an engine fire, to a temporary uncontrolled engine fire. We are issuing this AD to require actions to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective April 19, 2007.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 19, 2007.

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.

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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

The FAA is implementing a new process for streamlining the issuance of ADs related to MCAI. This streamlined process will allow us to adopt MCAI safety requirements in a more efficient manner and will reduce safety risks to the public. This process continues to allow all FAA AD issuance processes to meet legal, economic, Administrative Procedure Act, and Federal Register requirements. We also continue to meet our technical decision-making responsibilities to identify and correct unsafe conditions on U.S.-certificated products.

This AD references the MCAI and related service information that we considered in forming the engineering basis to correct the unsafe condition. The AD contains text copied from the MCAI and for this reason might not follow our plain language principles.

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2007 (72 FR 1470). That NPRM proposed to require a one-time detailed visual inspection for the presence of the retaining-ring on the discharge head assembly of the engine fire extinguishing system, and repair if necessary. The MCAI states that one Model A330 operator discovered that the line connection to the discharge head could not be properly secured during engine fire bottle replacement, due to a missing retaining-ring. Inspections revealed that all four discharge-heads line connectors, two per engine, were missing the retaining-ring. It was confirmed later that it was a quality issue.

The function of the retaining-ring is to secure a tight connection between the fire-extinguishing line and the discharge head. In absence of the retaining-ring, in case of activation of the fire extinguishing system, the pressure exerted by the agent on the pipe could compromise the tightness of the connection, leading to an incomplete discharge of the extinguishing agent in the fire zone.

This situation if not corrected could lead, in the worst case, in combination with an engine fire, to a temporary uncontrolled engine fire which constitutes an unsafe condition.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comment received. The commenter, Jonathan Frederick, supports the NPRM.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. But we might have found it necessary to use different words from those in the MCAI to ensure the AD is clear for U.S. operators and is enforceable in a U.S. court of law. In making these changes, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information.

We might also have required different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow our FAA policies. Any such differences are described in a separate paragraph of the AD. These requirements, if any, take precedence over the actions copied from the MCAI.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 27 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $0 per product. Where the service information lists required parts costs that are covered under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these parts. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD to the U.S. operators to be $8,640, or $320 per product.

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 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, Start Printed Page 12072or 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov;​ or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains the NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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]
Start Amendment Part

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

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2007-06-03 Airbus: Amendment 39-14984. Docket No. FAA-2007-26834; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-235-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective April 19, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A330 airplanes, all certified models, certificated in any category, all serial numbers up to 755 included.

Reason

(d) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states that one Model A330 operator discovered that the line connection to the discharge head could not be properly secured during engine fire bottle replacement, due to a missing retaining-ring. Inspections revealed that all four discharge-heads line connectors, two per engine, were missing the retaining-ring. It was confirmed later that it was a quality issue. The function of the retaining-ring is to secure a tight connection between the fire-extinguishing line and the discharge head. In absence of the retaining-ring, in case of activation of the fire extinguishing system, the pressure exerted by the agent on the pipe could compromise the tightness of the connection, leading to an incomplete discharge of the extinguishing agent in the fire zone. This situation if not corrected could lead, in the worst case, in combination with an engine fire, to a temporary uncontrolled engine fire which constitutes an unsafe condition. The MCAI requires a one-time detailed visual inspection for the presence of the retaining-ring on the discharge head assembly of engine fire extinguishing system, and repair if necessary.

Actions and Compliance

(e) Unless already done, do the following actions. Within 900 flight hours from the effective date of this AD: On both engine pylons (left hand and right hand), for all four engine fire extinguisher bottles, two per engine pylon, perform a one-time detailed visual inspection for the presence of the retaining ring on the discharge head of the bottles and apply all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with instructions defined in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-26A3037, dated July 26, 2006. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Aircraft on which the four engine fire extinguishing bottles, 2 per engine pylon, have been removed and re-installed at the opportunity of hydrostatic test of engine fire extinguishing as per Airbus A330 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR) task 26.21.00/04, are not concerned by this AD.

Other FAA AD Provisions

(f) The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, Attn: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. 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.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(g) You must use Airbus Service Bulletin A330-26A3037, excluding Appendix 01, dated July 26, 2006, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France.

(3) You may review copies at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 5, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-4380 Filed 3-14-07; 8:45 am]

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