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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B 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:

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:

Several landing gear emergency extension valves have been found seized * * *. This condition, if not corrected, could result in malfunctioning of the landing gear release during an operational emergency.

This malfunction could cause failure of the landing gear to extend and lock in the extended position, which could result in a gear up landing and reduced controllability of the airplane on the ground. 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 30, 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-Start Printed Page 5676630, 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:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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-2008-1044; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-095-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

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0054, dated March 5, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Several landing gear emergency extension valves have been found seized when performing checks according to the SAAB 340 Maintenance Review Board (MRB) Report, Section F (Airworthiness Limitation Section) task number 323106. The valves have seized due to lack of internal lubrication. This condition, if not corrected, could result in malfunctioning of the landing gear release during an operational emergency.

Because the valve lubrication performance is dependant on calendar time since last valve operation, SAAB has revised the check to cycle the emergency release handle 5 times and amended the interval in MRB section F from 5,000 FH [flight hours] to every 2 years.

For the reasons described above, this Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires a functional check [for discrepancies, (e.g., landing gear does not extend, does not lock in down position)] of the landing gear emergency extension valve at the newly established intervals.

Malfunction of the landing gear release could cause failure of the landing gear to extend and lock in the extended position, which could result in a gear up landing and reduced controllability of the airplane on the ground. The corrective action for any discrepancy that is found is repair using a method approved by either the FAA or the EASA (or its delegated agent). You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

SAAB has issued Service Bulletin 340-32-136, dated January 9, 2008. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

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.

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 218 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 4 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 $69,760, or $320 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 Start Printed Page 56767this 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:

Saab Aircraft AB: Docket No. FAA-2008-1044; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-095-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by October 30, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32: Landing Gear.

Reason

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

Several landing gear emergency extension valves have been found seized when performing checks according to the SAAB 340 Maintenance Review Board (MRB) Report, Section F (Airworthiness Limitation Section) task number 323106. The valves have seized due to lack of internal lubrication. This condition, if not corrected, could result in malfunctioning of the landing gear release during an operational emergency.

Because the valve lubrication performance is dependant on calendar time since last valve operation, SAAB has revised the check to cycle the emergency release handle 5 times and amended the interval in MRB section F from 5,000 FH [flight hours] to every 2 years.

For the reasons described above, this Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires a functional check [for discrepancies, (e.g., landing gear does not extend, does not lock in down position)] of the landing gear emergency extension valve at the newly established intervals.

Malfunction of the landing gear release could cause failure of the landing gear to extend and lock in the extended position, which could result in a gear up landing and reduced controllability of the airplane on the ground. The corrective action for any discrepancy that is found is repair using a method approved by either the FAA or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (or its delegated agent).

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, do a functional check of the landing gear emergency extension valve in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-136, dated January 9, 2008. Repeat the functional check thereafter at intervals not to exceed 24 months.

(2) If any discrepancy is found during any functional check required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight, repair using a method approved by either the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (or its delegated agent).

FAA AD Differences

Note:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: Although the MCAI includes a note that allows the option of the repetitive inspections to be accomplished in accordance with SAAB 340 MRB Report, Section F, Revision 6, task number 323106, this AD does not include that option. That document is not yet available.

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: Shahrahm Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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 MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0054 dated March 5, 2008, and SAAB Service Bulletin 340-32-136, dated January 9, 2008, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 20, 2008.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-22915 Filed 9-29-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P