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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; EMBRAER Model EMB-120, -120ER, -120FC, -120QC, and -120RT 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:

Icing tunnel tests on an EMB-120 wing section, conducted under a joint Embraer-NASA-(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) FAA-CTA (Centro Técnico Aeroespacial) research program well after the EMB-120( ) was type-certificated, have shown that stick shaker to stick pusher speed margins may drop below the minimum required by the applicable regulations in certain icing conditions. Although flight tests have shown that the aircraft handling qualities are not adversely affected, these reduced speed margins may significantly increase crew workload in certain flight phases.

The unsafe condition is reduced ability of the flightcrew to maintain the safe flight and landing of the airplane. 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 September 4, 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 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 Operations office 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 Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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-2007-28855; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-098-AD” at the beginning of Start Printed Page 42329your 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 Agência Nacional de Aviaçãao Civil (ANAC), which is the airworthiness authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2007-03-03, effective April 10, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Icing tunnel tests on an EMB-120 wing section, conducted under a joint Embraer-NASA—(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) FAA-CTA (Centro Técnico Aeroespacial) research program well after the EMB-120( ) was type-certificated, have shown that stick shaker to stick pusher speed margins may drop below the minimum required by the applicable regulations in certain icing conditions. Although flight tests have shown that the aircraft handling qualities are not adversely affected, these reduced speed margins may significantly increase crew workload in certain flight phases.

The unsafe condition is reduced ability of the flightcrew to maintain the safe flight and landing of the airplane. The corrective action includes modification of certain electrical wiring and installation of a new Stall Warning Computer. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

EMBRAER has issued Service Bulletins 120-27-0091, Change 02, dated September 29, 2003; and 120-27-0092, Revision 01, dated December 29, 2006. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

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 107 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 58 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts would cost up to $2,000 per product, depending on airplane configuration. Where the service information lists required parts costs that are covered under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these costs. 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 the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be up to $710,480, or $6,640 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 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:

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Docket No. FAA-2007-28855; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-098-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by September 4, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all EMBRAER Model EMB-120, -120ER, -120FC, -120QC, and -120RT airplanes; certificated in any category. Start Printed Page 42330

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27: Flight controls.

Reason

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

Icing tunnel tests on an EMB-120 wing section, conducted under a joint Embraer-NASA—(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) FAA-CTA (Centro Técnico Aeroespacial) research program well after the EMB-120( ) was type-certificated, have shown that stick shaker to stick pusher speed margins may drop below the minimum required by the applicable regulations in certain icing conditions. Although flight tests have shown that the aircraft handling qualities are not adversely affected, these reduced speed margins may significantly increase crew workload in certain flight phases.

The unsafe condition is reduced ability of the flightcrew to maintain the safe flight and landing of the airplane. The corrective action includes modification of certain electrical wiring and installation of a new Stall Warning Computer.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, unless already done, do the following actions.

(1) Replace the current Stall Warning Computers with new improved ones in accordance with detailed instructions and procedures described in the Embraer Service Bulletin 120-27-0092, Revision 01, dated December 29, 2006.

(2) Before installing the improved Stall Warning Computers, accomplish the detailed instructions and procedures described in the Embraer Service Bulletin 120-27-0091, Change 02, dated September 29, 2003.

(3) As of 36 months after the effective date of this AD, no person may install a Stall Warning Computer; part number C-81806-1 or -2, Mod. A, or C-81806-3, on any airplane.

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, 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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 Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2007-03-03, effective April 10, 2007; and Embraer Service Bulletins 120-27-0091, Change 02, dated September 29, 2003; and 120-27-0092, Revision 01, dated December 29, 2006; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 25, 2007.

Stephen P. Boyd,

Acting Manager,Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-15026 Filed 8-1-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P