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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318-100 and A319-100 Series Airplanes; A320-111 Airplanes; A320-200 Series Airplanes; and A321-100 and A321-200 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.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Airbus Model A318-100 and A319-100 series airplanes; A320-111 airplanes; A320-200 series airplanes; and A321-100 and A321-200 series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires a one-time inspection of the horizontal hinge pin of the 103VU electrical panel in the avionics compartment to determine if the hinge pin can move out of the hinge, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would require installing a hinge pin stopper on the internal door of the 103VU electrical panel. This proposed AD results from a report indicating that electrical wire damage was found in the 103VU electrical panel due to contact between the hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness. We are proposing this AD to prevent contact between the horizontal hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness, which could result in damage to electrical wires, and consequent arcing and/or failure of associated systems.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 8, 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 W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.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 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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-2007-0391; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-271-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 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.

Discussion

On January 26, 2006, we issued AD 2006-03-10, amendment 39-14474 (71 FR 6665, February 9, 2006), for certain Airbus Model A318-100 and A319-100 series airplanes; A320-111 airplanes; A320-200 series airplanes; and A321-100 and A321-200 series airplanes. That AD requires a one-time inspection of the horizontal hinge pin of the 103VU electrical panel in the avionics compartment to determine if the hinge pin can move out of the hinge, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. That AD resulted from a report indicating that electrical wire damage was found in the 103VU electrical panel due to contact between the hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness. We issued that AD to prevent contact between the horizontal hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness, which could result in damage to electrical wires, and consequent arcing and/or failure of associated systems.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

Since we issued AD 2006-03-10, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has informed us that the inspections and applicable corrective actions specified in Airbus All Operators Telex 25A1440, dated February 15, 2005 (referred to in AD 2006-03-10 as the appropriate source of service information for the required actions), are not adequate to address the identified unsafe condition (i.e., contact between the horizontal hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness, Start Printed Page 1559which could result in damage to electrical wires, and consequent arcing and/or failure of associated systems).

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-25-1535, dated April 27, 2007. The service bulletin describes procedures for installing a hinge pin stopper on the internal door of the 103VU electrical panel. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The EASA mandated the service information and issued airworthiness directive 2007-0214, dated August 7, 2007, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the European Union.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

These airplanes are manufactured in France and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. As described in FAA Order 8100.14A, “Interim Procedures for Working with the European Community on Airworthiness Certification and Continued Airworthiness,” dated August 12, 2005, the EASA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the EASA's findings, evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that AD action is necessary for airplanes of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

This proposed AD would supersede AD 2006-03-10. This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service bulletin described previously.

Costs of Compliance

This proposed AD would affect about 658 Airbus Model A318-100 and A319-100 series airplanes; A320-111 airplanes; A320-200 series airplanes; and A321-100 and A321-200 series airplanes of U.S. registry. The new proposed actions would take about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $20 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the new actions specified in this proposed AD for U.S. operators is $65,800, or $100 per airplane.

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 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 that the 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. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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

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[Amended]

2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-14474 (71 FR 6665, February 9, 2006) and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2007-0391; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-271-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by February 8, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2006-03-10.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111 and -112; A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133; A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233; and A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufactured serial numbers; except for those airplanes on which Airbus Modification 36115 has been done in production or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1535, dated April 27, 2007, has been done in service.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report indicating that electrical wire damage was found in the 103VU electrical panel due to contact between the hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness. We are issuing this AD to prevent contact between the horizontal hinge pin and the adjacent electrical wire harness, which could result in damage to electrical wires, and consequent arcing and/or failure of associated systems.

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.

Installation

(f) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, install a hinge pin stopper on the internal door of the 103VU electrical panel in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1535, dated April 27, 2007.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g)(1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

(2) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. 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. Start Printed Page 1560

Related Information

(h) European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness directive 2007-0214, dated August 7, 2007, also addresses the subject of this AD.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 19, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-152 Filed 1-8-08; 8:45 am]

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