Skip to Content

Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 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 Start Printed Page 19975

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD), which applies to certain Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 airplanes. That AD currently requires repetitive inspections for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of both main landing gear (MLG), and repair if necessary. The existing AD also provides optional terminating actions for certain airplanes, as well as other optional methods for complying with the inspection requirements of the existing AD. This new AD continues to require repetitive inspections for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of the left and right MLG at new repetitive intervals in accordance with new service information, and repair or replacement of any cracked MLG fitting if necessary. This new AD also requires modification of the rib bushings of the left and right MLG, which would end the repetitive inspections. This AD results from cracks found in the forward lug of the MLG support rib 5 fitting. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking in the forward lug of the MLG, which could result in failure of the lug and consequent collapse of the MLG during takeoff or landing.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 19, 2008.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of May 19, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is the Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Start Further Info

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that supersedes AD 2006-11-04, amendment 39-14608 (71 FR 29578, May 23, 2006). The existing AD applies to certain Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2008 (73 FR 2200). That NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of the left and right main landing gear (MLG) at new repetitive intervals in accordance with new service information, and repair or replacement of any cracked MLG fitting if necessary. That NPRM also proposed to require modification of the rib bushings of the left and right MLG, which would end the repetitive inspections.

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 relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

This AD affects about 466 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions that are required by AD 2006-11-04 and retained in this AD take about 2 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the currently required actions is $160 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

The new required inspections take between 3 and 4 work hours per airplane, depending on the type of inspection accomplished, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the new inspections specified in this AD for U.S. operators is between $111,840 and $149,120, or between $240 and $320 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

The new required modification takes about 73 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Required parts cost $3,850 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the new modification specified in this AD for U.S. operators is $4,515,540, or $9,690 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 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 that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

Start List of Subjects Start Printed Page 19976

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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-14608 (

End Amendment Part

2008-08-04 Airbus: Amendment 39-15456. Docket No. FAA-2008-0014; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-249-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective May 19, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2006-11-04.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 airplanes, certificated in any category, except airplanes on which Airbus Modification 32025 has been accomplished in production.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from cracks found in the forward lug of the main landing gear (MLG) support rib 5 fitting. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking in the forward lug of the MLG, which could result in failure of the lug and consequent collapse of the MLG during takeoff or landing.

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.

Restatement of Certain Requirements of AD 2006-11-04

Repetitive Detailed Inspections

(f) Within 8 days after June 7, 2006 (the effective date of AD 2006-11-04), or before further flight after a hard landing, whichever is first: Perform a detailed inspection for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of the left- and right-hand MLG, and, if any crack is found, replace the MLG fitting with a new fitting before further flight, in accordance with a method approved by either the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (or its delegated agent). Accomplishing the actions specified in the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Nondestructive Testing Manual, Chapter 51-90-00, Revision dated February 1, 2003, is one approved method for performing the detailed inspection. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 8 days, or before further flight after a hard landing, whichever is first. As of the effective date of this AD, the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (i) of this AD must be accomplished in lieu of the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is: “An intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.”

Optional Inspection Method

(g) Performing an ultrasonic inspection for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of the left- and right-hand MLG in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116; or the EASA (or its delegated agent; is an acceptable alternative method of compliance for the initial and repetitive inspections required by paragraph (f) of this AD. Doing the actions specified in the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Nondestructive Testing Manual, Chapter 57-29-03, Revision dated February 1, 2005 (for Model A318, A319, and A320 airplanes), or Chapter 57-29-04, Revision dated May 1, 2005 (for Model A321 airplanes), as applicable, is one approved method for performing the ultrasonic inspection.

Optional Terminating Action

(h) For Model A319, A320, and A321 airplanes: Repair of the forward lugs of the support rib 5 fitting of the left- and right-hand MLG in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116; or the EASA (or its delegated agent); constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD. Doing the repair in accordance with Airbus A319 Structural Repair Manual (SRM), Chapter 5.C., 57-26-13, Revision dated November 1, 2004; Airbus A320 SRM, Chapter 5.D., 57-26-13, Revision dated November 1, 2004; or Airbus A321 SRM, Chapter 5.D., 57-26-13, Revision dated February 1, 2005; as applicable; is one approved method.

New Requirements of This AD

New Repetitive Inspections

(i) At the applicable time specified in Table 1 of this AD, or before further flight after a hard landing, whichever is first: Do a visual inspection or ultrasonic inspection for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of the left and right MLG, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1138, Revision 01, dated October 27, 2006. Repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable interval specified in Table 1 of this AD or before further flight after a hard landing, whichever is first, until the modification required by paragraph (k) of this AD has been accomplished. Accomplishing the initial inspection terminates the requirements of paragraph (f) of this AD.

Table 1.—Compliance Times

AirplanesInitial inspectionRepetitive interval
Model A318, A319, and A320 airplanesIf the most recent inspection is a detailed inspection done in accordance with paragraph (f) of this AD, inspect within 150 flight cycles after the most recent detailed inspectionWithin 150 flight cycles after a visual inspection.
If the most recent inspection is an ultrasonic inspection done in accordance with paragraph (g) of this AD, inspect within 940 flight cycles after the most recent ultrasonic inspectionWithin 940 flight cycles after an ultrasonic inspection.
Model A321 airplanesIf the most recent inspection is a detailed inspection done in accordance with paragraph (f) of this AD, inspect within 100 flight cycles after the most recent detailed inspectionWithin 100 flight cycles after a visual inspection.
If the most recent inspection is an ultrasonic inspection done in accordance with paragraph (g) of this AD, inspect within 630 flight cycles after the most recent ultrasonic inspectionWithin 630 flight cycles after an ultrasonic inspection.
Start Printed Page 19977

Corrective Action

(j) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (i) of this AD: Before further flight, repair or replace the cracked MLG fitting using a method approved by either the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or the EASA (or its delegated agent).

Terminating Action

(k) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the rib bushings of the left and right MLG, by accomplishing all of the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1118, Revision 03, dated April 23, 2007. Accomplishing the modification terminates the requirements of this AD.

Credit for Actions Done According to Previous Issue of Service Bulletin

(l) For Model A319, A320, and A321 airplanes, modifying the lugs of the support rib 5 fitting of the left and right MLG is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (k) of this AD if done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with one of the following service bulletins: Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1118, dated September 5, 2002; Revision 01, dated August 28, 2003; or Revision 02, dated August 2, 2006.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(m)(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.

(3) AMOCs approved previously in accordance with AD 2006-11-04 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

Related Information

(n) EASA airworthiness directive 2007-0213, dated August 7, 2007, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(o) You must use Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1118, Revision 03, dated April 23, 2007; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1138, Revision 01, dated October 27, 2006; as applicable; to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of these documents in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for a copy of this service information. 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 31, 2008.

Dionne Palermo,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-7182 Filed 4-11-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P