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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Alpha Aviation Design Limited (Type Certificate No. A48EU Previously Held by APEX Aircraft and AVIONS PIERRE ROBIN) Model R2160 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:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of the comment period.

SUMMARY:

We are revising an earlier NPRM for the products listed above. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as:

* * * unchecked corrosion developing on the wing spars due to access for inspections being difficult under normal maintenance practices, which could lead to an unsafe condition and possibly a catastrophic failure of the wing * * *

The proposed AD would require actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 23, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • 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.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

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., Start Printed Page 20071Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, 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 Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; fax: (816) 329-4090.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Streamlined Issuance of AD

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

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2006-26494; Directorate Identifier 2006-CE-79-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because 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 we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

We proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 with an earlier NPRM for the specified products, which was published in the Federal Register on February 6, 2007 (72 FR 5364). That earlier NPRM proposed to require actions intended to address the unsafe condition for the products listed above.

Since that NPRM was issued, we learned that the original New Zealand AD has been amended.

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, which is the airworthiness authority for New Zealand, has issued AD DCA/R2000/37A, dated December 21, 2006 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

which could lead to an unsafe condition and possibly a catastrophic failure of the wing accomplish the following:

The MCAI requires inspecting the visible parts of the spar web and the upper and lower boom angles (top and bottom spar caps) for corrosion and correcting as necessary.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

AVIONS PIERRE ROBIN issued Avions Pierre Robin Service Letter No. 19, dated October 1980; and Avions Pierre Robin Service Bulletin No. 99, dated June 24, 1983. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

Comments

We received no comments on the earlier NPRM.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Certain changes described above expand the scope of the earlier NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed AD.

Differences Between This Proposed 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 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 proposed different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a note within the proposed AD. These requirements, if ultimately adopted, will take precedence over the actions copied from the MCAI.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 10 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 28 work-hours per product to comply with the proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $22,400, or $2,240 per product.

We have no way of determining the number of products that may need any necessary follow-on actions. Since the corrosion damage would vary from airplane to airplane, we are not able to estimate the costs of each follow-on action.

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. Start Printed Page 20072

Regulatory Findings

We 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 this 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.

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:

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Alpha Aviation Design Limited (Type Certificate No. A48EU previously held by APEX Aircraft and AVIONS PIERRE ROBIN): Docket No. FAA-2006-26494; Directorate Identifier 2006-CE-79-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by May 23, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Model R2160 airplanes, serial numbers 001 through 378, certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 57: Wings.

Reason

(e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

To prevent unchecked corrosion developing on the wing spars due to access for inspections being difficult under normal maintenance practices, which could lead to an unsafe condition and possibly a catastrophic failure of the wing accomplish the following:

The MCAI requires inspecting the visible parts of the spar web and the upper and lower boom angles (top and bottom spar caps) for corrosion and correcting as necessary.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Unless already done, do the following actions. Accomplishment of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2005-0028 satisfies the requirement of this AD:

(1) Within 66 months after aircraft date of manufacture or within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, unless already done within the last 24 months, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 24 months, remove the main landing gear legs and all the wing inspection panels following the instructions in the aircraft maintenance manual and inspect the visible parts of the spar web and the upper and lower boom angles (top and bottom spar caps), following Avions Pierre Robin Service Letter No. 19, dated October 1980; and Avions Pierre Robin Service Bulletin No. 99, dated June 24, 1983. If the spars are replaced, the inspections at intervals of 24 months must be resumed within 60 months from the date of replacement.

(2) Before further flight, if corrosion is found on the rear face of the spar web or the upper and lower boom angles, then inspect the front face of the spar for corrosion following Avions Pierre Robin Service Letter No. 19, dated October 1980; and Avions Pierre Robin Service Bulletin No. 99, dated June 24, 1983. It may be necessary to cut inspection holes or remove the wings to inspect the front face of the spar. Inspection holes must be prepared to a manufacturer-approved repair scheme.

(3) Before further flight, treat corrosion following Avions Pierre Robin Service Letter No. 19, dated October 1980; and Avions Pierre Robin Service Bulletin No. 99, dated June 24, 1983.

(4) Before further flight, if corrosion is found which exceeds the limits specified in Avions Pierre Robin Service Letter No. 19, dated October 1980, repair following an approved repair scheme.

FAA AD Differences

Note:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: No differences.

Other FAA AD Provisions

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

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Staff, FAA, ATTN: Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; fax: (816) 329-4090, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(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 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

Related Information

(h) Refer to MCAI Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand AD DCA/R2000/37A, dated December 21, 2006; Avions Pierre Robin Service Letter No. 19, dated October 1980; and Avions Pierre Robin Service Bulletin No. 99, dated June 24, 1983, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 17, 2007.

Charles L. Smalley,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-7644 Filed 4-20-07; 8:45 am]

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