Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Vulcanair S.p.A. Model P68 Series 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), 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. 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:

The Safe Fatigue Limits (SFL) of the Wing Structure in the P68 Series aircraft have been redefined from the current 8,500 Flight Hours to a new value to be calculated up to a maximum of 17,500 Flight Hours. This has been developed by Vulcanair under Change No. MOD.P68/79 Rev. 1 and approved by EASA with No. EASA.A.C.02482 on 07 June 2006.

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 October 27, 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:

Sarjapur Nagarajan, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4145; 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-2008-1020; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-053-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 Start Printed Page 55787closing 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued AD No.: 2007-0027, dated February 5, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

The Safe Fatigue Limits (SFL) of the Wing Structure in the P68 Series aircraft have been redefined from the current 8,500 Flight Hours to a new value to be calculated up to a maximum of 17,500 Flight Hours. This has been developed by Vulcanair under Change No. MOD.P68/79 Rev. 1 and approved by EASA with No. EASA.A.C.02482 on 07 June 2006.

The new Safe Fatigue Limits depend on:

(a) Status of the modification (reinforcement) of the wing structure itself (Partenavia Service Bulletin No. 65 refers); and

(b) Aircraft Flight Hours accumulated before the modification (reinforcement) was implemented.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Vulcanair S.p.A. has issued Service Bulletin No. 120 Rev. 1, dated June 7, 2006. 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 72 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 80 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 $460,800, or $6,400 per product.

We have no way of determining the number of products that may need any necessary follow-on 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.

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
[Amended]

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

Vulcanair S.p.A. (Type Certificate No. A31EU formally held by Partenavia Costruzioni Aeronautiche S.p.A.): Docket No. FAA-2008-1020; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-053-AD.

Comments Due Date

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

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Models P 68, P 68B, P 68C, P 68C-TC, P 68 “OBSERVER,” AP68TP300 “SPARTACUS,” P68TC “OBSERVER,” AP68TP 600 “VIATOR,” and P68 “OBSERVER 2” airplanes; all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 51: Standard Practices/Structures.

Reason

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

The Safe Fatigue Limits (SFL) of the Wing Structure in the P68 Series aircraft have been redefined from the current 8,500 Flight Hours to a new value to be calculated up to a maximum of 17,500 Flight Hours. This has been developed by Vulcanair under Change No. MOD.P68/79 Rev. 1 and approved by EASA with No. EASA.A.C.02482 on 07 June 2006. Start Printed Page 55788

The new Safe Fatigue Limits depend on:

(1) Status of the modification (reinforcement) of the wing structure itself (Partenavia Service Bulletin No. 65 refers); and

(2) Aircraft Flight Hours accumulated before the modification (reinforcement) was implemented.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) For serial numbers 01 through 356, determine the safe fatigue limit of the wing structure following Vulcanair S.p.A. Service Bulletin No. 120 Rev. 1, dated June 7, 2006, within 8,500 hours time-in-service (TIS) since new or within 500 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(2) For serial numbers 01 through 356, inspect the wing structure and the wing to fuselage attachments following Vulcanair S.p.A. Service Bulletin No. 120 Rev. 1, dated June 7, 2006, within the safe fatigue limit determined in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD or within 500 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. Repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed every 500 hours TIS.

(3) For serial numbers 357 and above, inspect the wing structure and the wing to fuselage attachments following Vulcanair S.p.A. Service Bulletin No. 120 Rev. 1, dated June 7, 2006, within 17,500 hours TIS since new or within 500 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. Repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed every 500 hours TIS.

(4) For all serial numbers, inspect the stabilator following Vulcanair S.p.A. Service Bulletin No. 120 Rev. 1, dated June 7, 2006, within 8,500 hours TIS since new or within 500 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. Repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed every 500 hours TIS.

(5) If as a result of any inspection required by paragraphs (f)(2), (f)(3), or (f)(4) of this AD you find any discrepancies (for example, cracked or broken parts), do one of the following actions before further flight:

(i) Repair the airplane following FAA-approved repair instructions obtained from Vulcanair S.p.A.; or

(ii) Repair the airplane following a repair method approved by the FAA for this AD. Contact the FAA at the address in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD for an FAA-approved method.

Note 1:

For certain Model P 68 airplanes, AD 85-08-04 requires repetitive inspections of the front and rear wing spars for cracks with modification if cracks are found. The modification terminates the repetitive inspections required in AD 85-08-04 and may be done regardless if cracks are found. The actions of AD 85-08-08 are independent of this AD action and remain in effect.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

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

(1) The MCAI is extending the safe fatigue limits of the wing structure and the wing to fuselage attachments of certain airplanes. Airplanes registered in the United States did not have safe fatigue limits established for the wing structure and the wing to fuselage attachments. This AD is establishing safe fatigue limits for the wing structure and the wing to fuselage attachments. This AD is also establishing safe fatigue limits for the stabilator.

(2) The MCAI requires implementation of safe fatigue limits into the airplane maintenance program (maintenance program). An airplane registered in the United States and operated under 14 CFR part 91 is required to have a maintenance program, but not necessarily following the airplane maintenance manual. This AD requires you to do specific actions of Vulcanair S.p.A. Service Bulletin No. 120 Rev. 1, dated June 7, 2006, rather than incorporating those actions into the maintenance program.

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: Sarjapur Nagarajan, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4145; 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 European Aviation Safety Agency AD No.: 2007-0027, dated February 5, 2007; and Vulcanair S.p.A. Service Bulletin No. 120 Rev. 1, dated June 7, 2006, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 17, 2008.

James E. Jackson,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-22338 Filed 9-25-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P