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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model EMB-135BJ, -135ER, -135KE, -135KL, -135LR, -145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145XR, -145MP, and -145EP Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

During aircraft full scale fatigue test, it has been found the occurrence of cracks in the cockpit windshield post lower eyelet fitting at the attachment of the center post on the forward fuselage (SSI 53-10-19). Further analysis of this cracking resulted in modifications on the aircraft Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI), to include new inspection tasks and its respective intervals. Undetected fatigue cracking in this area could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

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 March 20, 2009.

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-Start Printed Page 757130, 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.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—BRASIL; telephone: +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax: +55 12 3927-7546; e-mail: distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet: http://www.flyembraer.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221 or 425-227-1152.

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-2009-0132; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-081-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 Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2007-07-02, effective August 21, 2007 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

During aircraft full scale fatigue test, it has been found the occurrence of cracks in the cockpit windshield post lower eyelet fitting at the attachment of the center post on the forward fuselage (SSI 53-10-19). Further analysis of this cracking resulted in modifications on the aircraft Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI), to include new inspection tasks and its respective intervals. Undetected fatigue cracking in this area could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new structural inspection requirements. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

EMBRAER has issued the following documents:

  • The EMB135/ERJ140/EMB145 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR) MRB-145/1150, Revision 11, dated September 19, 2007, which includes Appendix 2, “Airworthiness Limitation Requirements.”
  • Appendix 2, “Airworthiness Limitation Requirements,” of the Legacy BJ Maintenance Planning Guide (MPG) MPG-1483, Revision 5, dated March 22, 2007, found in the EMBRAER Legacy Scheduled Maintenance Requirements Document Manual, SMRD-1533.

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 709 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take 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 $56,720 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 Start Printed Page 7572substantial 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:

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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 adding the following new AD:

Empresa Brasileira De Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Docket No. FAA-2009-0132; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-081-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by March 20, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all EMBRAER Model EMB-135BJ, -135ER, -135KE, -135KL, -135LR, -145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145XR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers, except EMB-145LR airplanes that have been modified in accordance with Brazilian Supplemental Type Certificates 2002S06-09, 2002S06-10, and 2003S08-01.

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. The FAA has provided guidance for this determination in Advisory Circular (AC) 25-1529-1A.

Subject

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

Reason

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

During aircraft full scale fatigue test, it has been found the occurrence of cracks in the cockpit windshield post lower eyelet fitting at the attachment of the center post on the forward fuselage (SSI 53-10-19). Further analysis of this cracking resulted in modifications on the aircraft Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI), to include new inspection tasks and its respective intervals. Undetected fatigue cracking in this area could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new structural inspection requirements.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate the structural inspection item (SSI) 53-10-19's applicable tasks identified in Appendix 2, “Airworthiness Limitation Requirements,” of the applicable document listed in Table 1 of this AD. The initial compliance times for the tasks start from the applicable time specified in SSI 53-10-19 or within 200 flight cycles after revising the ALS, whichever occurs later. Repeat the applicable inspection thereafter at the interval specified in Appendix 2 of the applicable document listed in Table 1 of this AD, except as provided by paragraphs (f)(2) and (g) of this AD.

Table 1—Service Information

ModelEMBRAER Document
EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, -135LR, -145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145XR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanesEMB135/ERJ140/EMB145 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR) MRB-145/1150, Revision 11, dated September 19, 2007.
EMB-135BJ airplanesLegacy BJ—Maintenance Planning Guide (MPG) MPG-1483, Revision 5, dated March 22, 2007, found in the EMBRAER Legacy Scheduled Maintenance Requirements Document Manual, SMRD-1533.

Note 2:

Appendix 2, “Airworthiness Limitation Requirements,” of EMBRAER EMB135/ERJ140/EMB145 MRBR MRB-145/1150, Revision 11, dated September 19, 2007, includes EMBRAER Temporary Revision 10-6, dated May 23, 2007, which is referred to in the MCAI as an applicable document to incorporate into the maintenance program.

(2) After accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, no alternative inspections or inspection intervals may be used unless the inspection or inspection interval is approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) (or its delegated agent); or unless the inspection or interval is approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

FAA AD Differences

Note 3:

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

(1) We have removed the requirement to mandate the SSI tasks in Section 4—“Structural Inspection Requirements,” of the applicable document listed in Table 1 of this AD, which are referred to in the MCAI. Those SSI tasks are included in Appendix 2, “Airworthiness Limitation Requirements,” of the applicable document listed in Table 1 of this AD.

(2) We have not included the 21,336-flight-cycle threshold specified in the MCAI because the airplanes in the U.S.-registered fleet have surpassed that threshold. Instead, we included a 200-flight-cycle grace period for accomplishing the SSI 53-10-19 tasks.

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, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to Start Printed Page 7573approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, 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 principal maintenance inspector (PMI) or principal avionics inspector (PAI), as appropriate, or lacking a principal inspector, your local Flight Standards District Office.

(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 Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2007-07-02, effective August 21, 2007, and the service information listed in Table 1 of this AD, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 30, 2009.

Stephen P. Boyd,

Assistant Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E9-3399 Filed 2-17-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P