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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Aerospace Limited Model FU-24 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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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:

To prevent the possible in-flight failure of the vertical fin, leading to 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 June 12, 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:

Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; 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-2008-0543; Directorate Identifier 2007-CE-092-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://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 Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, which is the aviation authority for New Zealand, has issued AD DCA/FU24/176C, dated September 27, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

To prevent the possible in-flight failure of the vertical fin, leading to loss of control of the aircraft * * *

The MCAI requires inspections of the vertical fin for cracking, corrosion, scratches, dents, creases or buckling and the repair of any damaged area. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, which is the aviation authority for New Zealand, makes reference to Pacific Aerospace Limited Chapter 05, page 25 of the FU-24-950 Series Maintenance Manual, issued December 1978. 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.

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 2 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 $160, or $80 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 24 work-hours and require parts costing $1,000, for a cost of $2,920 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. Start Printed Page 27481

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

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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 adding the following new AD:

Pacific Aerospace Limited: Docket No. FAA-2008-0543; Directorate Identifier 2007-CE-092-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by June 12, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to FU-24 airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 53: Fuselage.

Reason

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

To prevent the possible in-flight failure of the vertical fin, leading to loss of control of the aircraft * * *

The MCAI requires inspections of the vertical fin for cracking, corrosion, scratches, dents, creases or buckling, and the repair of any damaged area.

Actions and Compliance

(f) Unless already done, after the effective date of this AD, do the following actions following Chapter 05, page 25 of the FU-24-950 Series Maintenance Manual:

(1) Before the first flight of the day, visually inspect the vertical stabilizer leading edge skin and fin for any cracking, corrosion, scratches, dents, creases or buckling, and repair as necessary. All non-transparent protective coatings and their adhesive must be removed for this inspection.

(2) Within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD and repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 hours TIS, perform a detailed inspection of the vertical stabilizer leading edge skin, leading edge, fin skin, and the fin forward attachment point for any cracking, corrosion, scratches, dents, creases, or buckling to include:

(i) Inspection of the entire leading edge down to the forward attach fitting; and removal of dorsal fin extensions if installed in order to inspect the obscured areas of the fin.

(ii) Inspection of the fin skin for corrosion and cracks, paying particular attention to the center rib rivet holes and the skin joint at the fin base.

(iii) Inspection of the fin forward attachment point for corrosion, removal of the fin tip, and inspection of the top rib for cracks at the skin stiffener cut outs.

(3) If any damage is found during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this AD, before further flight, obtain an FAA-approved repair scheme from the manufacturer and incorporate that repair.

(4) The following transparent polyurethane protective tapes have been assessed as suitable for use to re-protect the leading edge and may remain in situ for subsequent inspections, provided they are sound and in a condition to permit visual inspection of the skin beneath them:

ManufacturerProduct
(i) 3M8591, or 8671, 8672 and 8681HS (aeronautical grade).
(ii) ScapaAeroshield P2604 (transparent).

Note 1:

You may apply for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) for an alternative to the transparent polyurethane protective tapes listed above.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

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

(1) The inspections required in this AD must be performed by a person authorized under 14 CFR part 43 to perform inspections, as opposed to the MCAI, which allows the holder of a pilot license to perform the inspections.

(2) The 50-hour inspection required in the MCAI goes away because the “before each flight” inspection captures the intent.

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: Karl Schletzbaum, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4146; 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 Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand AD DCA/FU24/176C, dated September 27, 2007, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 6, 2008.

Margaret Kline,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-10649 Filed 5-12-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P