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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300 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), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 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:

The Chromic Acid Anodising (CAA) Lead Fleet Program was established in 1989 to observe corrosion/debonding behaviour of CAA-treated panels. CAA lead fleet includes the inspection of lap joints, circumferential joints, stringers and doublers on selected aircraft.

The findings in combination with analytical corrosion investigations have been analysed by the TC (type certificate) holder and an appropriate inspection program for debonding has been developed.

This airworthiness directive requires inspection of the concerned areas to detect any corrosion and/or debonding which could affect the structural integrity. * * *

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 June 28, 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. Start Printed Page 29450
  • 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., Monday 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:

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:

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-2007-28300; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-292-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 based on 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

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2006-0369, dated December 12, 2006 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

The Chromic Acid Anodising (CAA) Lead Fleet Program was established in 1989 to observe corrosion/debonding behaviour of CAA-treated panels. CAA lead fleet includes the inspection of lap joints, circumferential joints, stringers and doublers on selected aircraft.

The findings in combination with analytical corrosion investigations have been analysed by the TC (type certificate) holder and an appropriate inspection program for debonding has been developed.

This airworthiness directive requires inspection of the concerned areas [including repetitive inspections of certain areas] to detect any corrosion and/or debonding which could affect the structural integrity. * * *

If any discrepancies are found, repair and follow-up actions (additional inspections for debonding and corrosion depth) are required. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A300-53-0378, dated September 4, 2006. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. The compliance times for the initial inspections range between 36,800 to 44,600 total flight cycles and between 18 and 20 years since new. The grace period for the initial inspections is 2,000 flight cycles or 2 years, whichever occurs first. The compliance times for the repairs range from before further flight to within 2,000 flight cycles after doing the inspection. The repetitive inspection intervals range from 500 flight cycles to 3 years.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This 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 the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

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 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.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 12 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take 102 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this 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 $97,920, or $8,160 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. Start Printed Page 29451

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

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 FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2007-28300; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-292-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by June 28, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 series aircraft, certificated in any category, manufacturing serial numbers (MSN) 0105 through 0107, 0116, 0117, 0121, 0123 through 0126, 0128, 0129, 0133 through 0141, 0146 through 0152, 0154 through 0157, 0160, 0163, 0170, 0173, 0175 through 0177, and 0180 through 0183.

Subject

(d) Fuselage.

Reason

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

The Chromic Acid Anodising (CAA) Lead Fleet Program was established in 1989 to observe corrosion/debonding behaviour of CAA-treated panels. CAA lead fleet includes the inspection of lap joints, circumferential joints, stringers and doublers on selected aircraft.

The findings in combination with analytical corrosion investigations have been analysed by the TC (type certificate) holder and an appropriate inspection program for debonding has been developed.

This airworthiness directive requires inspection of the concerned areas [including repetitive inspections of certain areas] to detect any corrosion and/or debonding which could affect the structural integrity. * * *

If any discrepancies are found, repair and follow-up actions (additional inspections for debonding and corrosion depth) are required.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Unless already done, do the following actions.

(1) Except as provided by paragraphs (f)(2), (f)(3), and (f)(4) of this AD: Do the initial and repetitive inspections (including follow-up actions), as applicable; and do all applicable repairs; of the areas specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i), (f)(1)(ii), (f)(1)(iii), and (f)(1)(iv) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0378, dated September 4, 2006, and within the timescales specified in paragraph 1.E.(2), the Accomplishment Instructions, and the figures of the service bulletin.

(i) The bonded doubler in the longitudinal lap joint area between frame (FR)18 and FR80 (configurations 01 and 02 inspect FR18 through FR40; configuration 03 inspects FR18 through FR80).

(ii) The bonded wing doublers between stringer (STGR)22 LH/RH (left-hand/right-hand) and STGR43 LH/RH for debonding (configuration 01 of the service bulletin only).

(iii) The bonded doublers in the circumferential joint area between FR26 and FR80 (configurations 01 and 02 inspect FR26 through FR40; configuration 03 inspects FR26 through FR80).

(iv) The bonded doublers in the manhole area between FR23 RH and FR24 RH and between FR38.1 RH and FR38.2 RH.

(2) Where paragraph 1.E.(2) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0378, dated September 4, 2006, specifies a grace period from CN (Consigne de Navigabilité) issuance, this AD requires a grace period relative to the effective date of this AD.

(3) Where paragraph 1.E.(2) of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0378, dated September 4, 2006, specifies a threshold, this AD requires that the inspections be done within the specified threshold relative to the first flight of the airplane.

(4) Where the Accomplishment Instructions and figures of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0378, dated September 4, 2006, specify that inspections be done yearly, this AD requires those inspections to be done at intervals not to exceed 1 year.

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, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Tom Stafford, Aerospace Engineer; 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1622; fax (425) 227-1149. 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, 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 European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2006-0369, dated December 12, 2006; and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0378; dated September 4, 2006, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 21, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-10218 Filed 5-25-07; 8:45 am]

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