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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Stemme GmbH & Co. KG Model S10-VT Powered Sailplanes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

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:

AD 2007-0315-E was issued to address a possible fuel leakage in the gear compartment in front of the engine and mandated inspections and replacement of fuel plastic-made connectors by connectors made of metal. Since its publication, another fuel leakage has been reported on a S10-VT which had implemented the STEMME Service Bulletin (SB) A31-10-082 as required by AD 2007-0315-E.

It has been determined that the fuel leak may have been caused by the deformation that the originally installed clamps created on the fuel hoses and thus preventing the new clamps from being sufficiently pinched to perform a correct tightening.

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 August 4, 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:

Greg Davison, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4130; fax: (816) 329-4090.

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-2008-0685; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-039-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 May 23, 2008, we issued AD 2008-11-20, Amendment 39-15543 (73 FR 31355; June 2, 2008). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on the products listed above.

AD 2008-11-20 was issued as an interim action in order to address the need for the immediate prevention of leaks in the area of the fuel line.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued Emergency AD No. 2008-0053-E, dated March 5, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products.

The EASA AD requires mandatory replacement of STEMME part number (P/N) M476 single-ear clamps in the fuel system with P/N 10M-181 single-ear clamps on all affected sailplanes within 12 months after the effective date of the AD.

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 are analyzed separately for justification to bypass prior public notice.

We are issuing this AD to address the mandatory replacement of all P/Ns M476 in the fuel system with P/Ns 10M-181.

Relevant Service Information

STEMME F & D has issued Service Bulletin A31-10-083, Am-Index: 01.a, dated February 26, 2008. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. Start Printed Page 38161

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

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD will affect 46 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 3 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 $11,040, or $240 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

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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:

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-15543 (73 FR 31355; June 2, 2008), and adding the following new AD:

Stemme GmbH & Co. KG: Docket No. FAA-2008-0685; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-039-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by August 4, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2008-11-20, Amendment 39-15543.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Model S10-VT powered sailplanes, serial numbers 11-001 through 11-112, certificated in any category.

Subject

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

Reason

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

AD 2007-0315-E was issued to address a possible fuel leakage in the gear compartment in front of the engine and mandated inspections and replacement of fuel plastic-made connectors by connectors made of metal. Since its publication, another fuel leakage has been reported on a S10-VT which had implemented the STEMME Service Bulletin (SB) A31-10-082 as required by AD 2007-0315-E.

It has been determined that the fuel leak may have been caused by the deformation that the originally installed clamps created on the fuel hoses and thus preventing the new clamps from being sufficiently pinched to perform a correct tightening.

The present Airworthiness Directive (AD) supersedes AD 2007-0315-E and requires you to check the fuel system according to the STEMME SB A31-10-083 as well as to replace single-ear clamps and plastic connectors.

The actions specified by this AD are intended to reduce the potential for a fire to ignite and which could lead to loss of control of the sailplane.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) For all sailplanes affected by this AD, except for serial numbers 11-036, 11-067, 11-068, and 11-090: Before further flight after March 21, 2008 (the compliance date retained from AD 2008-03-06, which was superseded by AD 2008-11-20), replace all plastic T- and Y-connectors in the fuel system with metal connectors. Do the replacements following STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-082, AM.-Index: 01.a, dated November 30, 2007.

Note:

Serial numbers 11-036, 11-067, 11-068, and 11-090 had the plastic T- and Y-connectors in the fuel system replaced with metal connectors by the manufacturer.

(2) For all sailplanes affected by this AD: Before further flight after June 23, 2008 (the compliance date retained from AD 2008-11-20), inspect the fuel system for possible leakage. Do the inspection following STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-083, Am-Index: 01.a, dated February 26, 2008.

(3) For all sailplanes affected by this AD: If any leak is found during the inspection required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD, before further flight, repair the leak following an FAA-approved procedure (the appropriate maintenance manual contains these procedures) and replace all STEMME part number (P/N) M476 single-ear clamps in the fuel system with P/N 10M-181 single-ear clamps. Do the replacements following STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-Start Printed Page 38162083, Am-Index: 01.a, dated February 26, 2008.

(4) For sailplanes that had P/Ns M476 replaced with P/Ns 10M-181 in compliance with AD 2008-11-20: Before further flight after the effective date of this AD, do a leak test as specified in STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-083, Am-Index: 01.a, dated February 26, 2008.

(5) If a leak is found during the leak test required in paragraph (f)(4) of this AD, before further flight, repair the leak following an FAA-approved procedure. The appropriate maintenance manual contains these procedures.

(6) For all sailplanes affected by this AD: If no leak is found during the inspection required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD, within the next 12 months after the effective date of this AD, replace all P/Ns M476 in the fuel system with P/Ns 10M-181. Do the replacements following STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-083, Am-Index: 01.a, dated February 26, 2008.

(7) Before further flight after doing the replacement required in paragraph (f)(6) of this AD, do a leak test as specified in STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-083, Am-Index: 01.a, dated February 26, 2008.

(8) If a leak is found during the leak test required in paragraph (f)(7) of this AD, before further flight, repair the leak following an FAA-approved procedure. The appropriate maintenance manual contains these procedures.

(9) For all sailplanes affected by this AD: After June 23, 2008 (the compliance date retained from AD 2008-11-20), do not install plastic “T” and “Y” shape connectors and P/N M476 single-ear clamps in the fuel system.

FAA AD Differences

Note:

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: Greg Davison, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4130; fax: (816) 329-409. 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Emergency AD No. 2008-0053-E, dated March 5, 2008; STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-082, AM.-Index: 01.a, dated November 30, 2007; and STEMME F & D Service Bulletin A31-10-083, Am-Index: 01.a, dated February 26, 2008, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 27, 2008.

John Colomy,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-15177 Filed 7-2-08; 8:45 am]

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