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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Dornier Model 328-100 and -300 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This proposed 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:

At least one incident has occurred where, immediately after take-off, the passenger door of a Dornier 328 completely opened. * * * Substantial damage to the door, handrails, door hinge arms and fuselage skin were found.

* * * Although final proof could not be obtained, the most likely way in which the door opened was that the door handle was inadvertently operated during the take-off run.

* * * * *

[T]his Airworthiness Directive (AD) aims to prevent further incidents of inadvertent opening and possible detachment of a passenger door in-flight, likely resulting in damage to airframe and systems and, under less favorable circumstances, loss of control of the aircraft.

* * * * *

The proposed AD would require actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 28, 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, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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 proposed 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. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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-2008-0362; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-308-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 based on 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

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2007-0199, dated July 25, 2007 (corrected July 26, 2007; referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

At least one incident has occurred where, immediately after take-off, the passenger door of a Dornier 328 completely opened. The flight crew reportedly had no cockpit indication or audible chime prior to this event. The aircraft returned to the departure airfield and made an uneventful emergency landing. Substantial damage to the door, handrails, door hinge arms and fuselage skin were found. Start Printed Page 16220

The subsequent investigation could not find any deficiency in the design of the main cabin door locking mechanism. In addition, no technical failure could be determined that precipitated the event. The flight data recorder showed that the door was closed and locked before take-off and opened shortly afterward. Although final proof could not be obtained, the most likely way in which the door opened was that the door handle was inadvertently operated during the take-off run.

In response to the incident, AvCraft (the TC (type certificate) holder at the time) developed a placard set to warn the occupants against touching the door handle, as well as a structural modification of the passenger door hinge supports to make certain that the door does not separate from the aircraft when inadvertently opened during flight, allowing a safe descent and landing.

Although the event described above did not prevent the flight crew from landing the aircraft safely, the condition of the aircraft immediately after the opening of the door has been determined to have been unsafe. [T]his Airworthiness Directive (AD) aims to prevent further incidents of inadvertent opening and possible detachment of a passenger door in-flight, likely resulting in damage to airframe and systems and, under less favorable circumstances, loss of control of the aircraft.

* * * * *

Corrective actions include installing warning placards on the doors, and doing a modification that includes replacing the hinge supports and support struts of the passenger doors with new, improved hinge supports and support struts. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

AvCraft Aerospace GmbH has issued the service information described in the following table.

Service Information

AvCraft Dornier Service BulletinDated
SB-328-11-454May 3, 2004.
SB-328-52-460February 4, 2005.
SB-328J-11-209May 3, 2004.
SB-328J-52-213February 4, 2005.

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 Proposed 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 proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

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 proposed 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 proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 106 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 38 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $11,961 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 the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $1,590,106, or $15,001 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 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 this 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

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

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

328 Support Services GmbH (Formerly AvCraft Aerospace GmbH): Docket No. FAA-2008-0362; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-308-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by April 28, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Dornier Model 328-100 airplanes, having serial numbers (S/Ns) 3005 through 3098, 3100, 3101, 3106, 3107, 3109, 3110, 3112, 3113, 3115, 3117 and 3119; Start Printed Page 16221and Model 328-300 airplanes, having S/Ns 3102, 3105, 3108, 3111, 3114, 3116, 3118, and 3120 through 3224; certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 11: Placards and Markings; and Code 52: Doors.

Reason

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

At least one incident has occurred where, immediately after take-off, the passenger door of a Dornier 328 completely opened. The flight crew reportedly had no cockpit indication or audible chime prior to this event. The aircraft returned to the departure airfield and made an uneventful emergency landing. Substantial damage to the door, handrails, door hinge arms and fuselage skin were found.

The subsequent investigation could not find any deficiency in the design of the main cabin door locking mechanism. In addition, no technical failure could be determined that precipitated the event. The flight data recorder showed that the door was closed and locked before take-off and opened shortly afterward. Although final proof could not be obtained, the most likely way in which the door opened was that the door handle was inadvertently operated during the take-off run.

In response to the incident, AvCraft (the TC (type certificate) holder at the time) developed a placard set to warn the occupants against touching the door handle, as well as a structural modification of the passenger door hinge supports to make certain that the door does not separate from the aircraft when inadvertently opened during flight, allowing a safe descent and landing.

Although the event described above did not prevent the flight crew from landing the aircraft safely, the condition of the aircraft immediately after the opening of the door has been determined to have been unsafe. [T]his Airworthiness Directive (AD) aims to prevent further incidents of inadvertent opening and possible detachment of a passenger door in-flight, likely resulting in damage to airframe and systems and, under less favorable circumstances, loss of control of the aircraft.

* * * * *

Corrective actions include installing warning placards on the doors, and doing a modification that includes replacing the hinge supports and support struts of the passenger doors with new, improved hinge supports and support struts.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, install warning placards on the inside of the passenger door and service doors, in accordance with AvCraft Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-11-454 (for Model 328-100 airplanes) or SB-328J-11-209 (for Model 328-300 airplanes), both dated May 3, 2004, as applicable.

(2) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the hinge supports and support struts of the passenger doors, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of AvCraft Dornier Service Bulletin SB-328-52-460 (for Model 328-100 airplanes) or SB-328J-52-213, (for Model 328-300 airplanes), both dated February 4, 2005, as applicable.

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, 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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 2007-0199, dated July 25, 2007 (corrected July 26, 2007), and the service bulletins described in Table 1 of this AD, for related information.

Table 1.—Service Information

AvCraft Dornier Service BulletinDated
SB-328-11-454May 3, 2004.
SB-328-52-460February 4, 2005.
SB-328J-11-209May 3, 2004.
SB-328J-52-213February 4, 2005.
Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 20, 2008.

Dionne Palermo,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-6296 Filed 3-26-08; 8:45 am]

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