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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300-600R Series Airplanes; and Model A310-300 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), 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) 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:

While they were gaining access to the THS (trimmable horizontal stabilizer) fuel tank for maintenance check, several operators have found one or several of the 8 THS hoist point fitting bases cracked or broken-off. The breakage resulted in metallic debris being released within the Trim Tank. The origin of the damage is most probably due to interference with the THS hoisting lugs that are stowed in the hoist point fittings in the reverse position, being screwed too deep inside the THS hoist fittings. Damaged hoist point fittings could cause the release of metallic debris within the THS fuel system.

* * * Compliance with the requirements of this AD will also eliminate potential contributing factor[s] to ignition risks.

We are issuing this AD to require actions to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective October 26, 2007.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 26, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC.

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:

Discussion

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 June 18, 2007 (72 FR 33409). That NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

While they were gaining access to the THS (trimmable horizontal stabilizer) fuel tank for maintenance check, several operators have found one or several of the 8 THS hoist point fitting bases cracked or broken-off. The breakage resulted in metallic debris being released within the Trim Tank. The origin of the damage is most probably due to interference with the THS hoisting lugs that are stowed in the hoist point fittings in the reverse position, being screwed too deep inside the THS hoist fittings. Damaged hoist point fittings could cause the release of metallic debris within the THS fuel system.

This Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires the repair of any damaged THS hoist point fittings to prevent any risk of further hoist point fittings damage as well as any fuel leak. Compliance with the requirements of this AD will also eliminate potential contributing factor[s] to ignition risks.

The corrective action is an inspection of the internal base of the THS hoist point fittings for signs of score, cracks, perforation or other damage; and an inspection of the hoist point fittings base inside the fuel tank for structural damage, as applicable, and applicable corrective actions (repair damaged fittings and install new plastic plugs). You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Clarification of Compliance

We have revised paragraphs (f)(3), (f)(4), (f)(5), and (f)(6) of this final rule to clarify that those actions are required before further flight following the inspection required by paragraph (f)(2) of the AD. Additionally, we have removed the references to doing corrective actions “before return to revenue service” throughout the AD.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of the AD.

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 required different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow our FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a NOTE within the AD.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this AD affects about 137 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it takes about 10 work-hours per product to comply with the Start Printed Page 53934basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $332 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 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 this AD on U.S. operators to be $155,084, or $1,132 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, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify this AD:

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 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 Operations office 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 Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) 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

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 FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part

2007-19-08 Airbus: Amendment 39-15199. Docket No. FAA-2007-28374; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-067-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective October 26, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A310-300 and A300-600R series airplanes; certificated in any category; all serial numbers fitted with a THS (trimmable horizontal stabilizer) containing fuel on which, during production Airbus Modifications 04801 and 04802 have been embodied, and Airbus Modification 06549 has not been embodied; except aircraft on which Airbus Modification 13191 has been embodied in production, or Airbus Service Bulletin A310-55-2042 or A300-55-6041 has been incorporated in service.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55: Stabilizers.

Reason

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

While they were gaining access to the THS (trimmable horizontal stabilizer) fuel tank for maintenance check, several operators have found one or several of the 8 THS hoist point fitting bases cracked or broken-off. The breakage resulted in metallic debris being released within the Trim Tank. The origin of the damage is most probably due to interference with the THS hoisting lugs that are stowed in the hoist point fittings in the reverse position, being screwed too deep inside the THS hoist fittings. Damaged hoist point fittings could cause the release of metallic debris within the THS fuel system.

This Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires the repair of any damaged THS hoist point fittings to prevent any risk of further hoist point fittings damage as well as any fuel leak. Compliance with the requirements of this AD will also eliminate potential contributing factor[s] to ignition risks.

The corrective action is an inspection of the internal base of the THS hoist point fittings for signs of score, cracks, perforation or other damage; and an inspection of the hoist point fittings base inside the fuel tank for structural damage, as applicable, and applicable corrective actions (repair damaged fittings and install new plastic plugs).

Actions and Compliance

(f) Unless already done, within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(6) of this AD in accordance with the instructions given in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-55-6041 or A310-55-2042, both dated September 13, 2006, as applicable.

(1) Remove the 8 THS metallic hoisting lugs.

(2) Do a detailed visual inspection of the internal base of the 8 THS hoist point fittings in order to detect visible signs of score, cracks, perforation or other damage.

(3) In case of no finding, before further flight install the new plastic plugs.

(4) In case of any finding, before further flight, entry into the fuel trim tank is required to do a detailed visual inspection for structural damage of the hoist point fittings base inside the fuel tank.

(5) If structural damage is not confirmed, before further flight blend-out/protect the scoring area of the fitting internal base and install the new plastic plugs.

(6) If structural damage is confirmed, before further flight repair the damaged fittings and install the new plastic plugs.

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, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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 Start Printed Page 53935District 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 2007-0024, dated January 25, 2007; and Airbus Service Bulletins A300-55-6041 and A310-55-2042, both dated September 13, 2006; for related information.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use the service information specified in Table 1 of this AD 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.

Table 1.—Material Incorporated by Reference

Airbus service bulletinRevisionDate
A300-55-6041OriginalSeptember 13, 2006.
A310-55-2042OriginalSeptember 13, 2006.
Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 10, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-18435 Filed 9-20-07; 8:45 am]

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