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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330 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; request for comments.

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:

It has been discovered that a batch of sleeves and pins of the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 Thrust Reverser Unit (TRU) hinge n° [number] 5 has not been subjected to the correct precipitation hardening.

This production quality issue, if not corrected, can lead to the complete failure of the hinge n° 5—the remaining hinges may not sustain ultimate load—resulting in the worst case to the TRU release from the pylon, which constitutes an unsafe condition.

The degradation of the mechanical specifications of these parts puts into question the current design life goal of these parts. * * *

The unsafe condition is possible detachment of the thrust reverser unit from the airplane, which could result in reduced controllability and possible damage to the airplane. This AD requires actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective December 18, 2007.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication, listed in the AD as of December 18, 2007.

We must receive comments on this AD by January 2, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-40, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.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 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, Start Printed Page 678461601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2797; fax (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 2007-0166, dated June 15, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

It has been discovered that a batch of sleeves and pins of the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 Thrust Reverser Unit (TRU) hinge n° [number] 5 has not been subjected to the correct precipitation hardening.

This production quality issue, if not corrected, can lead to the complete failure of the hinge n° 5—the remaining hinges may not sustain ultimate load—resulting in the worst case to the TRU release from the pylon, which constitutes an unsafe condition.

The degradation of the mechanical specifications of these parts puts into question the current design life goal of these parts. Consequently, the 2/2 sleeve and affected pin on the TRU hinge n° 5 must be removed from service by means of this AD.

The unsafe condition is possible detachment of the thrust reverser unit from the airplane, which could result in reduced controllability and possible damage to the airplane. The corrective action is removing the affected sleeves and pins and replacing them with new, properly hardened sleeves and pins. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A330-78-3017, Revision 01, dated May 3, 2007. 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 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 issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

There are no products of this type currently registered in the United States. However, this rule is necessary to ensure that the described unsafe condition is addressed if any of these products are placed on the U.S. Register in the future.

Differences Between the 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 FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a NOTE within the AD.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are unnecessary.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2007-0269; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-158-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

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.

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

2007-25-05 Airbus: Amendment 39-15287. Docket No. FAA-2007-0269; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-158-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective December 18, 2007. Start Printed Page 67847

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-243, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers, except those on which Airbus modification 56129 has been embodied in production or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-78-3017 has been embodied in service.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 78: Engine Exhaust.

Reason

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

It has been discovered that a batch of sleeves and pins of the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 Thrust Reverser Unit (TRU) hinge n° [number] 5 has not been subjected to the correct precipitation hardening.

This production quality issue, if not corrected, can lead to the complete failure of the hinge n° 5—the remaining hinges may not sustain ultimate load—resulting in the worst case to the TRU release from the pylon, which constitutes an unsafe condition.

The degradation of the mechanical specifications of these parts puts into question the current design life goal of these parts. Consequently, the 2/2 sleeve and affected pin on the TRU hinge n° 5 must be removed from service by means of this AD.

The unsafe condition is possible detachment of the thrust reverser unit from the airplane, which could result in reduced controllability and possible damage to the airplane. The corrective action is removing the affected sleeves and pins and replacing them with new, properly hardened sleeves and pins.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Within 13 months after the effective date of this AD, unless already done, do the following actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-78-3017, Revision 01, dated May 3, 2007. Actions done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A330-78-3017, dated January 24, 2007, are considered acceptable for compliance with this paragraph.

(1) Replace all sleeves of the thrust reverser unit hinge number 5 (left- and right-hand (LH and RH)) with new, properly hardened sleeves.

(2) Identify and replace all affected pins of the thrust reverser unit hinge number 5 (LH and RH) with new, properly hardened pins.

FAA AD Differences

Note 1:

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: Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2797; 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 Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2007-0166, dated June 15, 2007; Airbus Service Bulletin A330-78-3017, dated January 24, 2007; Airbus Service Bulletin A330-78-3017, Revision 01, dated May 3, 2007; and Rolls-Royce Alert Service Bulletin RB.211-78-AF273, dated January 2, 2007, for related information.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use Airbus Service Bulletin A330-78-3017, Revision 01, dated May 3, 2007, 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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 23, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-23343 Filed 11-30-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P