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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model EMB-135BJ 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 NPRM for the products listed above. This action revises the earlier 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:

Fuel system reassessment, performed according to RBHA-E88/SFAR-88 (Regulamento Brasileiro de Homologacao Aeronautica 88/Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88), requires the inclusion of new maintenance tasks in the Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL) and in the Fuel System Limitations (FSL), necessary to preclude ignition sources in the fuel system. * * *

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 27, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Po rtal: 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:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 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-2008-0194; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-263-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 February 21, 2008 (73 FR 9500). 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 have determined that for certain airplanes the initial compliance times Start Printed Page 25607for doing the tasks specified in paragraph (f)(2) of the earlier NPRM must be reduced. That earlier NPRM resulted from Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2007-08-01, dated September 27, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”).

The MCAI does not provide an initial compliance time for doing the tasks. In the earlier NPRM we proposed an initial compliance time that started from the effective date of the AD; or the date of issuance of the original Brazilian standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original Brazilian export certificate of airworthiness; whichever occurs later. Although unstated in the MCAI, we have determined that the intent of the MCAI is for the initial compliance time to start from the initial delivery date of the airplane in order to address the identified unsafe condition in a timely manner. We have also revised the initial compliance times for clarity by providing a threshold and grace period for each task. We have revised this supplemental NPRM by adding Table 1 to specify the initial compliance times for each task. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Comments

We have considered the following comments received on the earlier NPRM.

Request To Clarify Compliance Times

EMBRAER requests that we revise the NPRM to enable operators to comply if replacement parts are not immediately available. EMBRAER states that paragraph (section) A2.5.1 of Appendix 2 of the EMBRAER Legacy BJ Maintenance Planning Guide (MPG) MPG-1483, Revision 5, dated March 22, 2007, contains provisions to allow operators to implement the required fuel system limitation inspections in a more timely manner. EMBRAER therefore requests that we revise the NPRM to include paragraph A2.5.1 of the MPG.

We do not agree with the request to include MPG paragraph A2.5.1, which describes deferring the first mandatory inspections to the next “C” check (5,000 flight hours). However, as described previously, we have revised paragraph (f)(2) of the supplemental NPRM to clarify the initial compliance times. With these revised compliance times, there should be sufficient spare parts. In addition, if an operator decides that more compliance time is needed, the operator may request an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with paragraph (g)(1) of the supplemental NPRM.

Clarification of Increased Costs

The original NPRM specified that about 37 airplanes would be affected by that proposed action. We have determined that about 49 airplanes would be affected by this proposed action, and have revised the Costs of Compliance accordingly in this supplemental NPRM.

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 49 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 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 $3,920, or $80 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
Start Printed Page 25608
[Amended]

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

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer): Docket No. FAA-2008-0194; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-263-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by May 27, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all EMBRAER Model EMB-135BJ airplanes, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new inspections. Compliance with these inspections is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (g) of this AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued operational safety of the airplane.

Subject

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

Reason

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

Fuel system reassessment, performed according to RBHA-E88/SFAR-88, requires the inclusion of new maintenance tasks in the Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL) and in the Fuel System Limitations (FSL), necessary to preclude ignition sources in the fuel system. * * *

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) The term “MPG,” as used in this AD, means the EMBRAER Legacy BJ Maintenance Planning Guide (MPG) MPG-1483, Revision 5, dated March 22, 2007.

(2) Before December 16, 2008, revise the ALS of the ICA to incorporate Section A2.5.2, Fuel System Limitation Items, of Appendix 2 of the MPG. For all tasks identified in Section A2.5.2 of Appendix 2 of the MPG, the initial compliance times start from the applicable times specified in Table 1 of this AD; and the repetitive inspections must be accomplished thereafter at the interval specified in section A2.5.2 of Appendix 2 of the MPG, except as provided by paragraphs (f)(4) and (g) of this AD.

Table 1.—Initial Inspections

Reference No.DescriptionCompliance time (whichever occurs later)
ThresholdGrace period
28-11-00-720-001-A00Functionally Check critical bonding integrity of selected conduits inside the wing tank, Fuel Pump and FQIS connectors at tank wall by conductivity measurementsBefore the accumulation of 30,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-13-01-720-002-A00Functionally Check Aft Fuel tank critical bonding integrity of Fuel Pump, FQGS and Low Level SW connectors at tank wall by conductivity measurementsBefore the accumulation of 30,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-15-04-720-001-A00Functionally Check Fwd Fuel tank critical bonding integrity of Fuel Pump, FQGS and Low Level SW connectors at tank wall by conductivity measurementsBefore the accumulation of 30,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-21-01-220-001-A00Inspect Wing Electric Fuel Pump ConnectorBefore the accumulation of 10,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-23-03-220-001-A00Inspect Pilot Valve harness inside the conduitBefore the accumulation of 20,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-23-04-220-001-A00Inspect Vent Valve harness inside the conduitBefore the accumulation of 20,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-41-01-720-001-A00Functionally Check Fuel Conditioning Unit (FCU)Before the accumulation of 10,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-41-03-220-001-A00Inspect FQIS harness for clamp and wire jacket integrityBefore the accumulation of 20,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-46-02-220-001-A00Aft Fuel Tank Internal Inspection: FQGS harness and Low Level SW harness for clamp and wire jacket integrityBefore the accumulation of 20,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-46-04-220-001-A00Fwd Fuel Tank Internal Inspection: FQGS harness and Low Level SW harness for clamp and wire jacket integrityBefore the accumulation of 20,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.
28-46-05-720-001-A00Functionally Check Auxiliary Fuel Conditioning Unit (FCU)Before the accumulation of 10,000 total flight hoursWithin 90 days after the effective date of this AD.

(3) Before December 16, 2008, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, revise the ALS of the ICA to incorporate items 1, 2, and 3 of Section A2.4, Critical Design Configuration Control Limitation (CDCCL), of Appendix 2 of the MPG.

(4) After accomplishing the actions specified in paragraphs (f)(2) and (f)(3) of this AD, no alternative inspections, inspection intervals, or CDCCLs may be used unless the Start Printed Page 25609inspections, intervals, or CDCCLs are part of a later revision of Appendix 2 of the MPG that is approved by the Manager, ANM-116, FAA, or ANAC (or its delegated agent); or unless the inspections, intervals, or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

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

(1) The MCAI specifies a compliance date of “Before December 31, 2008” for doing the ALI revisions. We have already issued regulations that require operators to revise their maintenance/inspection programs to address fuel tank safety issues. The compliance date for these regulations is December 16, 2008. To provide for coordinated implementation of these regulations and this AD, we are using this same compliance date in this AD.

(2) The MCAI specifies a compliance time of 180 days to revise the ALS of the ICA to incorporate items 1, 2, and 3 of Section A2.4 of Appendix 2 of the MPG. This AD requires a compliance time of 90 days to do this revision. This difference has been coordinated with ANAC.

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: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 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 Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2007-08-01, effective September 27, 2007; and Sections A2.5.2, Fuel System Limitation Items, and A2.4, Critical Design Configuration Control Limitation (CDCCL), of Appendix 2 of the MPG; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 30, 2008.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-10063 Filed 5-6-08; 8:45 am]

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