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Airworthiness Directives; ATR Model ATR42 and ATR72 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:

Subsequent to accidents involving Fuel Tank System explosions in flight * * * and on ground, * * * Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88 (SFAR88) * * * required a safety review of the aircraft Fuel Tank System * * *.

* * * * *

Fuel Airworthiness Limitations are items arising from a systems safety analysis that have been shown to have failure mode(s) associated with an ‘unsafe condition’ * * *. These are identified in Failure Conditions for which an unacceptable probability of ignition risk could exist if specific tasks and/or practices are not performed in accordance with the manufacturers' requirements.

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

DATES:

This AD becomes effective April 3, 2008.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of April 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Start Printed Page 10653Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; 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 September 28, 2007 (72 FR 55113). That NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Subsequent to accidents involving Fuel Tank System explosions in flight * * * and on ground, the FAA published Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88 (SFAR 88) in June 2001. SFAR 88 required a safety review of the aircraft Fuel Tank System to determine that the design meets the requirements of FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) § 25.901 and § 25.981(a) and (b).

A similar regulation has been recommended by the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) to the European National Aviation Authorities in JAA letter 04/00/02/07/03-L024 of 3 February 2003. The review was requested to be mandated by NAA's (National Aviation Authorities) using JAR (Joint Aviation Regulation) § 25.901(c), § 25.1309.

In August 2005 EASA published a policy statement on the process for developing instructions for maintenance and inspection of Fuel Tank System ignition source prevention (EASA D 2005/CPRO, www.easa.eu.int/​home/​cert_​policy_​statements_​en.html) that also included the EASA expectations with regard to compliance times of the corrective actions on the unsafe and the not unsafe part of the harmonised design review results. On a global scale the TC (type certificate) holders committed themselves to the EASA published compliance dates (see EASA policy statement). The EASA policy statement has been revised in March 2006: The date of 31-12-2005 for the unsafe related actions has now been set at 01-07-2006.

Fuel Airworthiness Limitations are items arising from a systems safety analysis that have been shown to have failure mode(s) associated with an ‘unsafe condition’ as defined in FAA's memo 2003-112-15 ‘SFAR 88—Mandatory Action Decision Criteria'. These are identified in Failure Conditions for which an unacceptable probability of ignition risk could exist if specific tasks and/or practices are not performed in accordance with the manufacturers' requirements.

This EASA Airworthiness Directive mandates the Fuel System Airworthiness Limitations (comprising maintenance/inspection tasks and Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)) for the type of aircraft, that resulted from the design reviews and the JAA recommendation and EASA policy statement mentioned above.

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Change Made to This AD

For standardization purposes, we have revised paragraph (f)(4) of this AD to specify that no alternative inspections, inspection intervals, or CDCCLs may be used unless they are part of a later approved revision of ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR), Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable; or unless they are approved as an alternative method of compliance. Inclusion of this paragraph in the AD is intended to ensure that the AD-mandated airworthiness limitations changes are treated the same as the airworthiness limitations issued with the original type certificate.

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.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed with the change described previously. We determined that this change 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

We estimate that this AD will affect about 84 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD to the U.S. operators to be $6,720, or $80 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://www.regulations.gov;​ or in person at the Start Printed Page 10654Docket 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

2008-04-19 ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional (Formerly Aerospatiale): Amendment 39-15391. Docket No. FAA-2007-29332; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-172-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective April 3, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all ATR Model ATR42-200, -300, -320, and -500 airplanes; and all ATR Model ATR72-101, -201, -102, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes; certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new inspections. Compliance with these inspections is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (g) of this AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued operational safety of the airplane.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28: Fuel.

Reason

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

Subsequent to accidents involving Fuel Tank System explosions in flight * * * and on ground, the FAA published Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88 (SFAR 88) in June 2001. SFAR 88 required a safety review of the aircraft Fuel Tank System to determine that the design meets the requirements of FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) § 25.901 and § 25.981(a) and (b).

A similar regulation has been recommended by the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) to the European National Aviation Authorities in JAA letter 04/00/02/07/03-L024 of 3 February 2003. The review was requested to be mandated by NAA's (National Aviation Authorities) using JAR (Joint Aviation Regulation) § 25.901(c), § 25.1309.

In August 2005 EASA published a policy statement on the process for developing instructions for maintenance and inspection of Fuel Tank System ignition source prevention (EASA D 2005/CPRO, www.easa.eu.int/​home/​cert_​policy_​statements_​en.html) that also included the EASA expectations with regard to compliance times of the corrective actions on the unsafe and the not unsafe part of the harmonised design review results. On a global scale the TC (type certificate) holders committed themselves to the EASA published compliance dates (see EASA policy statement). The EASA policy statement has been revised in March 2006: The date of 31-12-2005 for the unsafe related actions has now been set at 01-07-2006.

Fuel Airworthiness Limitations are items arising from a systems safety analysis that have been shown to have failure mode(s) associated with an ‘unsafe condition’ as defined in FAA's memo 2003-112-15 ‘SFAR 88—Mandatory Action Decision Criteria’. These are identified in Failure Conditions for which an unacceptable probability of ignition risk could exist if specific tasks and/or practices are not performed in accordance with the manufacturers' requirements.

This EASA Airworthiness Directive mandates the Fuel System Airworthiness Limitations (comprising maintenance/inspection tasks and Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)) for the type of aircraft, that resulted from the design reviews and the JAA recommendation and EASA policy statement mentioned above.

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Unless already done, do the following actions.

(1) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, or before December 16, 2008, whichever occurs first, revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Task 28.10.00 “Fuel Tank—General,” and Task 28.20.00 “Distribution,” of the Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR) Section of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR), Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; the ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or the ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable. For all tasks identified in the applicable MRBR, the initial compliance times start from the later of the times specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD, except as provided by paragraphs (f)(3) and (g) of this AD. The repetitive inspections must be accomplished thereafter at the interval specified in the applicable MRBR.

(i) The effective date of this AD.

(ii) The date of issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness.

(2) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, or before December 16, 2008, whichever occurs first, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate the CDCCLs as defined in Section 4., “Critical Design Configuration Control List,” of the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 MRBR, Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; the ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or the ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable.

(3) For the task titled “Detailed visual inspection of the fuel tanks and associated equipment, wiring, piping and braids” (CMR task reference 28.10.00-1): The initial compliance time is the later of the times specified in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this AD. Thereafter, the task titled “Detailed visual inspection of the fuel tanks and associated equipment, wiring, piping and braids” must be accomplished at the repetitive interval specified in Section 4., “Critical Design Configuration Control List,” of the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 MRBR, Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; the ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or the ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable.

(i) Within 144 months 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.

(ii) Within 72 months or 20,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(4) After accomplishing the actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1), (f)(2), and (f)(3) of this AD, no alternative inspection, inspection intervals, or CDCCLs may be used unless the inspections, intervals, or CDCCLs are part of a later revision of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 MRBR, Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable; that is approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (or its delegated agent); or unless the inspections, Start Printed Page 10655intervals, or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

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) 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 Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; 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 EASA Airworthiness Directive 2006-0219R1, dated June 29, 2007, and the service information identified in Table 1 of this AD, for related information.

Table 1.—Service Information

DocumentRevision levelDate
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report7March 31, 2006.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-400/-500 Maintenance Review Board Report6March 26, 2007.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 72 Maintenance Review Board Report8March 26, 2007.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use the service information specified in Table 2 of this AD to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

Table 2.—Material Incorporated by Reference

DocumentRevision levelDate
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report7March 31, 2006.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-400/-500 Maintenance Review Board Report6March 26, 2007.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 72 Maintenance Review Board Report8March 26, 2007.

The missing page number for the “List of Effective Pages” of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report is 1-LEP. The “List of Effective Pages” for the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-400/-500 Maintenance Review Board Report contains a typographical error: The date for Page 3 should read March 2007. The first page of the “Reasons for Revisions” section of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 72 Maintenance Review Board Report is incorrectly identified as Page 2-RFR; that page should be identified as Page 1-RFR.

(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 ATR, 316 Route de Bayonne, 31060 Toulouse, Cedex 03, 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 February 15, 2008.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-3401 Filed 2-27-08; 8:45 am]

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