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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A310 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all Airbus Model A310 series airplanes. That AD currently requires inspections of the lower door surrounding structure to detect cracks and corrosion; inspections to detect cracking of the holes of the corner doublers, the fail-safe ring, and the door frames of the door structures; and repair if necessary. That AD also currently Start Printed Page 29875provides for optional terminating action for certain inspections. This new AD retains all requirements of the existing AD, mandates the previously optional terminating action, and reduces the applicability of the existing AD. This AD results from a determination that further rulemaking is necessary to improve the fatigue behavior of the cabin door surroundings. We are issuing this AD to prevent corrosion between the scuff plates at exit and cargo doors and fatigue cracks originating from certain fastener holes located in adjacent structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the door surroundings.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective July 5, 2007.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of July 5, 2007.

On September 4, 1998 (63 FR 40819, July 31, 1998), the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in the AD.

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.

Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for service information identified in this 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:

Examining the Docket

You may examine the airworthiness directive (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 street address stated in the ADDRESSES section.

Discussion

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that supersedes AD 98-16-06, amendment 39-10682 (63 FR 40819, July 31, 1998). The existing AD applies to all Airbus Model A310 series airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2007 (72 FR 2464). That NPRM proposed to retain the requirements of AD 98-16-06. These requirements are inspections of the lower door surrounding structure to detect cracks and corrosion; inspections to detect cracking of the holes of the corner doublers, the fail-safe ring, and the door frames of the door structures; and repair if necessary. That NPRM also proposed to mandate the previously optional terminating action, and reduce the applicability of the existing AD.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments that have been received on the NPRM.

Request To Give Credit for Previous Inspections

FedEx concurs with the NPRM, but requests that we give credit for previous inspections (initial and repetitive) accomplished in accordance with AD 98-16-06. FedEx points out that this credit should be given for actions in paragraphs (f), (g), and (l) of the NPRM.

We partially agree with the request. We agree that it is necessary for the AD to give credit for inspections accomplished previously in accordance with AD 98-16-06. We disagree that it is necessary to change the AD in this regard. Paragraph (e) of the AD states, “You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.” Therefore, the AD already gives credit for required actions that were accomplished according to AD 98-16-06.

Explanation of New Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A310-53-2037, Revision 03, including Appendix 01, dated July 26, 2006. We referred in the NPRM to Service Bulletin A310-53-2037, Revision 1, dated April 29, 1992; and Revision 02, dated November 27, 2000; as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing certain actions. Revision 03 of the service bulletin updates the effectivity and improves the inspection and repair procedures. Revision 03 states that no additional work is required for airplanes modified in accordance with Revision 02 or any previous revision. We have changed Table 1 in paragraph (n) of this AD to refer to Revision 03 for accomplishing certain required actions, and we have changed Table 3 in paragraph (p) of this AD to give credit to operators who accomplished the actions in accordance with Revision 02 of the service bulletin.

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments that have been received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We have determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD. The average labor rate per work hour is $80.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursPartsCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.- registered airplanesFleet cost
Repetitive inspections behind scuff plates (required by AD 98-16-06)26None$2,08046$95,680.
Repetitive inspections of corner doublers, fail-safe ring, and door frames (required by AD 98-16-06)Between 4 and 100 depending on kit purchasedNoneBetween $320 and $8,00046Between $14,720, and $368,000 per inspection cycle.
Start Printed Page 29876
Terminating modification for repetitive inspection of corner doublers, fail-safe ring, and door framesBetween 8 and 55 depending on kit purchasedBetween $506 and $6,098 depending on kit purchasedBetween $1,146 and $10,49846Between $52,716 and $482,908.

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 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, or 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. 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

Adoption of the Amendment

Start Amendment Part

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

End Amendment Part Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-10682 (

End Amendment Part

2007-11-12 Airbus: Amendment 39-15069. Docket No. FAA-2007-26857; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-126-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective July 5, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 98-16-06.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A310 series airplanes; certificated in any category; excluding those airplanes on which Airbus Modifications 5068, 7201, and 7298 have been incorporated in production.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a determination that further rulemaking is necessary to improve the fatigue behavior of the cabin door surroundings. We are issuing this AD to prevent corrosion between the scuff plates at exit and cargo doors and fatigue cracks originating from certain fastener holes located in adjacent structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the door surroundings.

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.

Requirements of AD 98-16-06

Initial Inspection Behind Scuff Plates and Repair if Necessary With Revised Affected Doors

(f) Perform an initial inspection of the areas behind the scuff plates below the passenger/crew doors and bulk cargo door to detect cracks and corrosion, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2030, Revision 5, dated March 6, 1991, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (f)(1), (f)(2), or (f)(3) of this AD. If any crack or corrosion is found during this inspection, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with the service bulletin. Accomplishment of this inspection is not required for the aft passenger/crew doors if a steel doubler that covers the entire inspection area is installed.

(1) For any door on which Modification 5382 and Modification 5382D4741 for all other doors have been accomplished: Perform the initial inspection within 9 years since airplane manufacture, or within 1 year after September 4, 1998 (the effective date of AD 98-16-06), whichever occurs later.

(2) For any door on which Modification 5382 and Modification 5382D4741 for all other doors have not been accomplished, and on which the procedures described in Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2004, Revision 2, dated June 17, 1985; or Airbus Service Information Letter 53-033, Revision 2, dated November 23, 1984; have been accomplished: Perform the initial inspection within 5 years since airplane manufacture, or within 1 year after September 4, 1998, whichever occurs later.

(3) For any door on which Modification 5382 and Modification 5382D4741 for all other doors have not been accomplished, and on which the procedures described in Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2004, Revision 2, dated June 17, 1985; or Airbus Service Information Letter 53-033, Revision 2, dated November 23, 1984; have not been accomplished: Perform the initial inspection within 4 years since airplane manufacture, or within 1 year after September 4, 1998, whichever occurs later.

Repetitive Inspections Behind Scuff Plates

(g) Perform repetitive inspections of the areas behind the scuff plates below the passenger/crew doors and bulk cargo door to detect cracks and corrosion, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2041, Revision 02, dated July 2, 1996, at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD. Accomplishment of these inspections is not required for the aft passenger/crew doors if Start Printed Page 29877a steel doubler that covers the entire inspection area is installed.

(1) For the forward passenger/crew doors, the bulk cargo door, and the aft passenger/crew doors, except the upper and lower edges of the fail-safe ring and the upper edges of the corner doubler, on all Model A310-200 and -300 series airplanes: Perform the first inspection within 5 years after accomplishing the inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD; and repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 5 years.

(2) For the upper and lower edges of the fail-safe ring and the upper edges of the corner doubler of the aft passenger/crew door on all Model A310-200 series airplanes: Perform the first inspection within 5 years or 12,000 landings after accomplishing the inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD, whichever occurs first; and repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 5 years or 12,000 landings, whichever occurs first.

(3) For the upper and lower edges of the fail-safe ring and the upper edges of the corner doubler of the aft passenger/crew door on all Model A310-300 series airplanes: Perform the first inspection within 5 years or 7,000 landings after accomplishing the inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD, whichever occurs first; and repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 5 years or 7,000 landings, whichever occurs first.

Repair of Scuff Plates if Necessary

(h) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) or (n) of this AD, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2041, Revision 02, dated July 2, 1996. Thereafter, perform the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD.

(i) If any corrosion is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2041, Revision 02, dated July 2, 1996. Thereafter, perform the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD.

(1) For Model A310-200 series airplanes: Inspect at intervals not to exceed 5 years or 9,600 landings, whichever occurs first.

(2) For Model A310-300 series airplanes: Inspect at intervals not to exceed 5 years or 5,600 landings, whichever occurs first.

(j) Accomplishment of the actions required by paragraph (g), (h), or (i) of this AD in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2041, dated December 5, 1990; or Revision 01, dated March 6, 1991; prior to September 4, 1998, is acceptable for compliance with that paragraph.

Initial Inspection of Corner Doublers, Fail-Safe Ring, and Door Frames

(k) Perform an inspection to detect cracking of the holes of the corner doublers, the fail-safe ring, and the door frames of the left- and right-hand forward, mid, and aft passenger/crew door structures, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2037, Revision 1, dated April 29, 1992, and at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(3) of this AD.

(1) For the upper corners of the forward doors: Inspect prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total landings, or within 2,000 landings after September 4, 1998, whichever occurs later.

(2) For the lower corners of the forward doors: Inspect prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total landings, or within 4,000 landings after September 4, 1998, whichever occurs later.

(3) For the upper and lower corners of the aft doors, and for the parts underneath the corners of the upper door frames: Inspect prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total landings, or within 4,000 landings after September 4, 1998, whichever occurs later.

Repetitive Inspections of Corner Doublers, Fail-Safe Ring, and Door Frames

(l) Repeat the inspections required by paragraph (k) of this AD at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (l)(1), (l)(2), (l)(3), (l)(4), and (l)(5).

(1) For the upper corners of the forward doors: Inspect at intervals not to exceed 6,000 landings.

(2) For the lower corners of the forward doors: Inspect at intervals not to exceed 10,000 landings.

(3) For the upper and lower corners of the aft doors on which an inspection required by paragraph (k) of this AD was accomplished using a ROTO test technique: Inspect at intervals not to exceed 8,000 landings.

(4) For the upper and lower corners of the aft doors on which an inspection required by paragraph (k) of this AD was accomplished using an x-ray technique: Inspect at intervals not to exceed 3,500 landings.

(5) For the areas around the fasteners in the vicinity of stringer 12 on the upper door frames of the aft doors on which an inspection required by paragraph (k) of this AD was accomplished using a visual technique: Inspect at intervals not to exceed 6,900 landings.

Repair of Corner Doublers, Fail-Safe Ring, and/or Door Frames if Necessary

(m) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (k) or (l) of this AD: Prior to further flight, accomplish the requirement of paragraph (m)(1) or (m)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) If any crack is found, and the crack can be eliminated using the method specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2037, Revision 1, dated April 29, 1992; or Revision 02, dated November 27, 2000: Prior to further flight, repair the crack in accordance with that service bulletin.

(2) If any crack is found, and the crack cannot be eliminated using the method specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2037, Revision 1, dated April 29, 1992; or Revision 02, dated November 27, 2000: Prior to further flight, repair the crack in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate.

New Requirements of This AD

New Revision of Service Bulletins

(n) As of the effective date of this AD, use only the service bulletins specified in Table 1 of this AD.

Table 1.—New Revision of Service Bulletins

Do the action(s) required by—In accordance with the accomplishment instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin—
(1) Paragraph (f) of this ADA310-53-2030, Revision 06, dated July 2, 1996.
(2) Paragraph (k) and (m)(1) of this ADA310-53-2037, Revision 03, excluding Appendix 01, dated July 26, 2006.

Terminating Modification for Repetitive Inspection of Corner Doublers, Fail-Safe Ring, and Door Frames

(o) Modify the passenger/crew door structures in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2017, Revision 09, dated May 17, 2004. Do the modification at the applicable time in paragraph (o)(1) or (o)(2) of Table 2 of this AD. Accomplishment of this modification constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (l) of this AD. The inspections required by paragraph (f) of this AD must be done before accomplishing this modification. Start Printed Page 29878

Table 2.—Compliance Time for Terminating Modification

For model—Compliance time
(1) A310-203, -204, -221, and -222 airplanesBefore the accumulation of 40,000 flight cycles since the date of issuance of the original French standard Airworthiness Certificate or the date of issuance of the original French Export Certificate of Airworthiness, or during the next inspection required by paragraph (l) of this AD, whichever occurs later.
(2) A310-304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanesBefore the accumulation of 35,000 flight cycles since the date of issuance of the original French standard Airworthiness Certificate or the date of issuance of the original French Export Certificate of Airworthiness, or during the next inspection required by paragraph (l) of this AD, whichever occurs later.

Earlier Revision of Service Bulletins

(p) Actions done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with the service bulletins identified in Table 3 of this AD are acceptable for compliance with the corresponding requirements of this AD.

Table 3.—Earlier Revision(s) of Service Bulletins

Airbus Service BulletinRevision levelDate
(1) A310-53-201707February 25, 1992.
(2) A310-53-201708September 7, 2000.
(3) A310-53-203702November 27, 2000.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(q)(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) Alternative methods of compliance, approved previously in accordance with AD 98-16-06 are approved as alternative methods of compliance with the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (f) through (m) of this AD.

(3) 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

(r) French airworthiness directives 1991-132-124(B) R1, dated November 29, 2000, and F-2004-103, dated July 7, 2004, also address the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(s) You must use the service information listed in Table 4 of this AD to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

Table 4.—All Material Incorporated by Reference

Airbus Service BulletinRevision levelDate
A310-53-201709May 17, 2004.
A310-53-20305March 6, 1991.
A310-53-203006July 2, 1996.
A310-53-20371April 29, 1992.
A310-53-2037, excluding Appendix 0102November 27, 2000.
A310-53-2037, excluding Appendix 0103July 26, 2006.
A310-53-204102July 2, 1996.

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the documents listed in Table 5 of this AD in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

Table 5.—New Material Incorporated by Reference

Airbus Service BulletinRevision levelDate
A310-53-201709May 17, 2004.
A310-53-203006July 2, 1996.
A310-53-20371April 29, 1992.
A310-53-2037, excluding Appendix 0102November 27, 2000.
A310-53-2037, excluding Appendix 0103July 26, 2006.
Start Printed Page 29879

Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2037, Revision 1, dated April 29, 1992, contains the following effective pages:

Page No.Revision level shown on pageDate shown on page
1, 4, 6, 11-15, 18, 29, 39-44, 46, 57Revision 1April 29, 1992.
2, 3, 5, 7-10, 16, 17, 19-28, 30-38, 45,47-56, 58-60OriginalDecember 11, 1990.

(2) On September 4, 1998 (63 FR 40819, July 31, 1998), the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in Table 6 of this AD.

Table 6.—Material Previously Incorporated by Reference

Airbus Service BulletinRevision levelDate
A310-53-20305March 6, 1991.
A310-53-204102July 2, 1996.

(3) Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for a copy of this service information. 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 May 15, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-10028 Filed 5-29-07; 8:45 am]

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