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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model ERJ 170 Airplanes and Model ERJ 190 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), DOT.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

We are revising an earlier supplemental NPRM for the products listed above. This action revises the earlier supplemental NPRM by expanding the scope. 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:

It has been found that some “caution” messages issued by the Flight Guidance Control System (FGCS) are not displayed on aircraft equipped with [certain] EPIC software load[s] * * *. Therefore, following a possible failure on one FGCS channel during a given flight, such a failure condition will remain undetected * * *. If another failure occurs on the second FGCS channel, the result may be a hardover command by the autopilot.

An unexpected hardover command may cause a sudden roll, pitch, or yaw movement, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane. 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 May 6, 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:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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-2007-27785; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-267-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

We proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 with an earlier NPRM for the specified products, which was published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2007 (72 FR 60593). That earlier NPRM proposed to require actions intended to address the unsafe condition for the products listed above.

Since that earlier NPRM was issued, we determined that the NPRM must be Start Printed Page 19771revised to require the terminating action (installing certain Primus field-loadable software) and to revise the applicability to specify the software load versions. We have also revised paragraph (f) of this supplemental NPRM to cite the latest service information discussed below, and added new paragraph (f)(3) to give credit for use of earlier revisions of that service information to do the functional check described in paragraph (f).

The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directives 2006-11-02R2 and 2006-11-03R2, both effective October 30, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”). You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Embraer has issued Service Bulletins 170-22-0003 and 190-22-0002, both Revision 01, both dated November 5, 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 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.

Certain changes described above expand the scope of the earlier NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this proposed 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 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 98 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $15,680, or $160 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:

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

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Docket No. FAA-2007-27785; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-267-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by May 6, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to EMBRAER Model ERJ 170-100 LR, -100 STD, -100 SE, -100 SU, -200 LR, -200 STD, and -200 SU airplanes, certificated in any category, equipped with Primus EPIC software load version 17.3, 17.4, 17.5, 17.6, or 17.7; and Model ERJ 190-100 STD, -100 LR, -100 IGW, -200 STD, -200 LR, and -200 IGW airplanes, certificated in any category, equipped with Primus EPIC software load version 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, or 4.7.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 22: Auto Flight.

Reason

(e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) for Model ERJ 170 airplanes states:

It has been found that some “caution” messages issued by the Flight Guidance Control System (FGCS) are not displayed on aircraft equipped with EPIC software load 17.3, 17.4, 17.5, 17.6, or 17.7. Therefore, following a possible failure on one FGCS channel during a given flight, such a failure condition will remain undetected or latent in subsequent flights. If another failure occurs on the second FGCS channel, the result may be a hardover command by the autopilot.

The MCAI for Model ERJ 190 airplanes states:

It has been found that some “caution” messages issued by the Flight Guidance Control System (FGCS) are not displayed on Start Printed Page 19772aircraft equipped with EPIC software load 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, or 4.7. Therefore, following a possible failure on one FGCS channel during a given flight, such a failure condition will remain undetected or latent in subsequent flights. If another failure occurs on the second FGCS channel, the result may be a hardover command by the autopilot.

An unexpected hardover command may cause a sudden roll, pitch, or yaw movement, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane. The MCAI mandates a functional check of the FGCS channels engagement and installation of an upgrade to the PRIMUS EPIC Field-Loadable Software. Corrective actions include replacing the actuator input-output processor, if necessary.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 300 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, do a functional check of the FGCS channels engagement, in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 170-22-0003 or Service Bulletin 190-22-0002, both Revision 01, both dated November 5, 2007, as applicable. Repeat the functional check thereafter at intervals not to exceed 600 flight hours, until the terminating action described by paragraph (f)(2) of this AD has been done. If any malfunction of the FGCS is discovered during any functional check required by this paragraph, before further flight, do all applicable replacements of the actuator input-output processor in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

Note 1:

For the purpose of this AD, a functional check is: “A quantitative check to determine if one or more functions of an item perform within specified limits.”

(2) Within 8 months after the effective date of this AD, install PRIMUS EPIC Field-Loadable Software Version 19.3 or higher, in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 170-31-0019, Revision 01, dated June 25, 2007; or Service Bulletin 190-31-0009, Revision 02, dated June 29, 2007; as applicable. Doing this installation ends the repetitive functional checks required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

(3) Any functional check done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 170-22-0003 or 190-22-0002, both dated November 9, 2006, as applicable, is considered acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) 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) 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: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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 Brazilian Airworthiness Directives 2006-11-02R2 and 2006-11-03R2, both effective October 30, 2007; EMBRAER Service Bulletins 170-22-0003 and 190-22-0002, both Revision 01, both dated November 5, 2007; EMBRAER Service Bulletin 170-31-0019, Revision 01, dated June 25, 2007; and EMBRAER Service Bulletin 190-31-0009, Revision 02, dated June 29, 2007; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 3, 2008.

Dionne Palermo,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-7667 Filed 4-10-08; 8:45 am]

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