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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 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), 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: An A320 operator experienced difficulties in extending the RAT [ram air turbine] during a deployment testing. During the trouble shooting, the Ejection Jack of the RAT was removed and investigated. The investigation identified excessive wear of the uplock segments against the inner cylinder of the Ejection Jack, due to an incorrect blend radius of the inner cylinder. This Ejection Jack failure may prevent the effective deployment and use of the RAT in emergency conditions. 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 May 29, 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-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 W12-40, 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 Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; e-mail: account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.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:

Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; fax (425) 227-1149.

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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-2009-0379; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-220-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 2008-0199, dated November 5, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

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An A320 operator experienced difficulties in extending the RAT [ram air turbine] during a deployment testing.

During the trouble shooting, the Ejection Jack of the RAT was removed and investigated.

The investigation identified excessive wear of the uplock segments against the inner cylinder of the Ejection Jack, due to an incorrect blend radius of the inner cylinder. This problem was determined to be caused during the previous rework of the Ejection Jack and was possible due to the incomplete requirements contained within the Component Maintenance Manual (CMM).

This Ejection Jack failure may prevent the effective deployment and use of the RAT in emergency conditions.

This AD therefore mandates the replacement of an Ejection Jack that has been previously reworked in accordance with the incomplete CMM requirements. This will restore the reliability of the Ejection Jack of the RAT.

The implementation of this modification was originally managed by an Airbus monitoring campaign. However, the rate of installation of the corrective action by operators has not met the predicated [sic] target. As such and to ensure continued compliance with the certification requirements, it is considered necessary to require compliance by means of an AD.

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

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-29-1136, including Appendix 01, dated February 20, 2007. 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 187 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 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 $29,920, or $160 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:

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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:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2009-0379; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-220-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by May 29, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes, certificated in any category, all certified models, all serial numbers, equipped with Hamilton Sundstrand (formerly Dowty) Ram Air Turbine (RAT) Ejection Jack, Model ERPS13EJ, part number (P/N) 114160004A or 114160005, except those airplanes on which Airbus modification 27189 was done in production or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-29-1100 was done in service, and on which Airbus modification 28413 was not done in production.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29: Hydraulic Power.

Reason

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

An A320 operator experienced difficulties in extending the RAT during a deployment testing.

During the trouble shooting, the Ejection Jack of the RAT was removed and investigated.

The investigation identified excessive wear of the uplock segments against the inner cylinder of the Ejection Jack, due to an incorrect blend radius of the inner cylinder. This problem was determined to be caused during the previous rework of the Ejection Jack and was possible due to the incomplete requirements contained within the Component Maintenance Manual (CMM).Start Printed Page 19464

This Ejection Jack failure may prevent the effective deployment and use of the RAT in emergency conditions.

This AD therefore mandates the replacement of an Ejection Jack that has been previously reworked in accordance with the incomplete CMM requirements. This will restore the reliability of the Ejection Jack of the RAT.

The implementation of this modification was originally managed by an Airbus monitoring campaign. However, the rate of installation of the corrective action by operators has not met the predicated [sic] target. As such and to ensure continued compliance with the certification requirements, it is considered necessary to require compliance by means of an AD.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, identify the serial number of the installed ejection jack of the RAT, in accordance with Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-29-1136, dated February 20, 2007. If the serial number is included in the affected batch identified in the service bulletin, before further flight, replace the ejection jack of the RAT with a modified or reworked ejection jack, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-29-1136, dated February 20, 2007.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a RAT Ejection Jack Model ERPS13EJ, P/N 114160004A or 114160005, on any airplane unless the ejection jack has been modified or reworked in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A320-29-1136, dated February 20, 2007.

FAA AD Differences

Note 1:

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, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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: Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2141; 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 European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2008-0199, dated November 5, 2008, and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-29-1136, dated February 20, 2007, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 15, 2009.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service

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[FR Doc. E9-9712 Filed 4-28-09; 8:45 am]

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