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Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B 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 Start Printed Page 15878another 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 [the] ground, the FAA has published Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (SFAR-88) in June 2001 [which] required [conducting] a design review against explosion risks.

* * * * *

The potential of ignition sources (in certain fuel pumps, fuel switches, refuel shutoff valves, and optical sensors/mechanical switches), in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. We are issuing this AD to require actions to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective April 30, 2008.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 30, 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 Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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 January 14, 2008 (73 FR 2192). 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 [the] ground, the FAA has published Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (SFAR-88) in June 2001 [which] required [conducting] a design review against explosion risks.

In their Letters referenced 04/00/02/07/01-L296, dated March 4, 2002 and 04/00/02/07/03-L024, dated February 3, 2003, the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) recommended the application of a similar regulation to the National Aviation Authorities (NAA).

Under this regulation, all holders of type certificates for passenger transport aircraft with either a passenger capacity of 30 or more, or a payload capacity of 7,500 pounds (3402 kg) or more, which have received their certification since January 1, 1958, are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks.

As a consequence of the design review mentioned above, this Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires a modification to install extra protection of wiring installed in fuel tank conduits.

The modification includes an inspection for any damage of the wiring to the fuel pumps, fuel level switches, the refuel shutoff valves, and optical sensors/mechanical switches, and if any damage is found, contacting Saab for repair instructions and repair. These fuel pumps, fuel switches, refuel shutoff valves, and optical sensors/mechanical switches are potential ignition sources. 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.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

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 218 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 80 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $0 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 parts. 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 to the U.S. operators to be $1,395,200, or $6,400 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 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 Start Printed Page 15879the 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

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Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

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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

2008-07-03 Saab Aircraft AB: Amendment 39-15444; Docket No. FAA-2008-0017; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-268-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective April 30, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

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 [the] ground, the FAA has published Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (SFAR-88) in June 2001 [which] required [conducting] a design review against explosion risks.

In their Letters referenced 04/00/02/07/01-L296, dated March 4, 2002 and 04/00/02/07/03-L024, dated February 3, 2003, the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) recommended the application of a similar regulation to the National Aviation Authorities (NAA).

Under this regulation, all holders of type certificates for passenger transport aircraft with either a passenger capacity of 30 or more, or a payload capacity of 7,500 pounds (3402 kg) or more, which have received their certification since January 1, 1958, are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks.

As a consequence of the design review mentioned above, this Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires a modification to install extra protection of wiring installed in fuel tank conduits.

The potential of ignition sources (in certain fuel pumps, fuel switches, refuel shutoff valves, and optical sensors/mechanical switches), in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. The modification includes an inspection for any damage of the wiring to the fuel pumps, fuel level switches, the refuel shutoff valves, and optical sensors/mechanical switches, and if any damage is found, contacting Saab for repair instructions and repair.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Within 72 months after the effective date of this AD, unless already done, perform Modification No. 3164 (right-hand wing) and Modification No. 3165 (left-hand wing) in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-026, dated July 5, 2007. The modifications include the following actions.

(1) Removal of the fuel pumps 5QM and 6QM, the fuel switches 31EB, 32EB, 9QA, 10QA, 11QA, and 12QA, the refuel shutoff valves 15QA and 16QA, and the optical sensors/mechanical switches 13QA and 14QA.

(2) Inspection of the wiring to the fuel pumps, fuel level switches, the refuel shutoff valves, and optical sensors/mechanical switches, and if any damage is found, contact Saab for repair instructions and repair before further flight.

(3) Twisting of the fuel pump wiring, fuel level switches wiring, refuel shutoff valves wiring, and optical sensors/mechanical switches wiring.

(4) Installation of a shrinkable tube to the fuel pumps wiring, fuel level switches wiring, refuel shutoff valves wiring and optical sensors/mechanical switches wiring.

(5) Installation of fuel pumps, the fuel level switches, the refuel shutoff valves, and the optical sensors/mechanical switches.

(6) Operational and functional test of the fuel measuring/indicating system.

FAA AD Differences

Note:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows:

(1) The MCAI does not specify corrective action for the inspection specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD. This AD requires contacting Saab for repair instructions and repairing before further flight.

(2) The MCAI does not include actions for optical sensors/mechanical switches 13QA and 14QA; however, paragraph (f) of this AD includes modification of those optical sensors/mechanical switches.

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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2007-0248, dated September 7, 2007, and Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-026, dated July 5, 2007, for related information.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-026, dated July 5, 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 Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aircraft Product Support, S-581.88, Linköping, Sweden.

(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 March 17, 2008.

Dionne Palermo,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-6049 Filed 3-25-08; 8:45 am]

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