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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Lindstrand Balloons Ltd. Models 42A, 56A, 60A, 69A, 77A, 90A, 105A, 120A, 150A, 180A, 210A, 240A, 260A, and 310A Balloons

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above that would supersede an existing AD. 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:

Defective burner hoses have been identified which might develop a leak. A significant leak, if it was ignited, could hazard the balloon and occupants.

Since the issue of AD G-2003-0010 there have been occurrences of hose failure in batches not identified in the earlier bulletins. LHAB Service Bulletin (SB) No. 11 supersedes the earlier SBs and revises the applicability as required.

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 19, 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 W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 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 Management Facility 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 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:

Taylor Martin, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4138; fax: (816) 329-4090.

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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-2008-0446; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-021-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 because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://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

On March 12, 2008, we issued AD 2008-06-15, Amendment 39-15427 (73 FR 13113). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on the products listed above.

AD 2008-06-15 was issued as an interim action in order to address the need for the immediate inspection and pressure test of applicable burner hoses for leaks and replacement of hoses and end fittings if found defective.

The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority, which is the aviation authority for the United Kingdom, has issued Emergency Airworthiness Directive AD No. G-2008-0001, dated January 9, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products.

The MCAI allows for repetitive inspections of applicable burner hoses at intervals not to exceed ten hours time in service. The MCAI also requires replacing applicable burner hoses and end fittings before the next annual inspection.

The Administrative Procedure Act does not permit the FAA to “bootstrap” a long-term requirement into an urgent safety of flight action where the rule becomes effective at the same time the public has the opportunity to comment. The short-term action and the long-term action were analyzed separately for justification to bypass prior public notice.

We are issuing this proposed AD to address the mandatory replacement of the burner hose and end fitting.

Relevant Service Information

Lindstrand Balloons Ltd. has issued Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons Ltd. Service Bulletin No. 11, Issue 1, dated September 24, 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 the 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 this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. Start Printed Page 21073

Differences Between This Proposed 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

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 422 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour 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 $33,760, or $80 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 1 work-hour and require parts costing $200, for a cost of $280 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

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

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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.

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[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-15427 (73 FR 13113), and adding the following new AD:

Lindstrand Balloons Ltd.: Docket No. FAA-2008-0446; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-021-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by May 19, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2008-06-15, Amendment 39-15427.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Models 42A, 56A, 60A, 69A, 77A, 90A, 105A, 120A, 150A, 180A, 210A, 240A, 260A, and 310A balloons that are:

(i) Certificated in any category; and

(ii) Equipped with burners with serial numbers BU502 through BU792, except BU507, BU511, BU512, BU614, BU643, BU655, BU656, BU719, BU723, BU746, BU749, BU752, BU754, BU762, BU779, BU781, BU785, BU787, and BU789.

Subject

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

Reason

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

Defective burner hoses have been identified which might develop a leak. A significant leak, if it was ignited, could hazard the balloon and occupants.

Since the issue of AD G-2003-0010 there have been occurrences of hose failure in batches not identified in the earlier bulletins. LHAB Service Bulletin (SB) No. 11 supersedes the earlier SBs and revises the applicability as required.

The MCAI requires you inspect the hose and to identify whether the hose is from the affected batch of hoses and to inspect and replace any defective hose and end fitting from the affected batch.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Do the following unless already done:

(1) Before further flight as of April 1, 2008 (the compliance date retained from AD 2008-06-15), inspect the balloon burner to determine whether it has a hose from the affected batch of hoses following Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons Ltd. Service Bulletin No. 11, Issue 1, dated September 24, 2007.

(2) If as a result of the inspection required by (f)(1) of this AD you find a hose from the affected batch, before further flight, inspect for leaks and conduct a pressure test following Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons Ltd. Service Bulletin No. 11, Issue 1, dated September 24, 2007, and repetitively thereafter inspect and conduct a pressure test at intervals not to exceed 10 hours time-in-service.

(3) If as a result of any inspection or test required by (f)(2) of this AD you find a defective hose, before further flight, replace it and the end fitting with a new hose and new end fitting following the maintenance manual. This action terminates the repetitive requirement in (f)(2) of this AD.

(4) Unless already done, within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, replace any hose from the affected batch with a new hose and end fitting. After doing this replacement, no further action is required by this AD.

Note 1:

At any time after the effective day of this AD, you may replace the hose and end fitting to terminate the repetitive inspection and testing requirements 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, Standards Office, 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: Taylor Martin, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; Start Printed Page 21074telephone: (816) 329-4138; fax: (816) 329-4090. 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 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), 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 United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Emergency Airworthiness Directive AD No. G-2008-0001, dated January 9, 2008; and Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons Ltd. Service Bulletin No. 11, Issue 1, dated September 24, 2007, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 11, 2008.

James E. Jackson,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-8361 Filed 4-17-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P