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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model SAAB 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B Airplanes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 refueling, the ground crew detected smoke from the refuel/defuel panel illuminated placard 160VU. * * *

* * * * *

The unsafe condition is an electrical malfunction in the illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel, which could result in fire. 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 June 15, 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 Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aerosystems, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; e-mail saab2000.techsupport@saabgroup.com; Internet http://www.saabgroup.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:

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-2009-0447; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-172-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 2008-0127R1, dated August 7, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

During refueling, the ground crew detected smoke from the refuel/defuel panel illuminated placard 160VU. The design of the refuel/defuel panel illuminated placard was changed during 1997 from its original specification, to fill the cavity inside the placard with silicone to avoid moisture/fluid ingress. SAAB has reviewed the working procedure and has developed a placard filled with a bi-component silicone-based material to minimize the cavity inside the panels.

For the reasons described above, this EASA AD requires the identification of the manufacturing date of the affected placard, a visual inspection of the placard for heat and/or burn marks and the installation of a new placard in accordance with the instructions of SAAB Service Bulletin (SB) 340-28-027.

This AD has been revised to identify the affected VIBRACHOC (the part manufacturer) placard with Part Number (P/N) C4FL5031C001, instead of the corresponding SAAB P/N 9303719-001, which was (also) quoted inaccurately. In addition, it has been recognised that the original AD did not allow installation of the placards with a manufacturing date before 31/97; that has now been corrected.

The unsafe condition is an electrical malfunction in the illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel, which could result in fire. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Saab has issued Service Bulletin 340-28-027, Revision 01, dated July 7, 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 Start Printed Page 22713country, 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 141 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. Required parts would cost about $1,500 per product. Where the service information lists required parts costs that are covered under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these costs. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $234,060, or $1,660 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

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:

Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems: Docket No. FAA-2009-0447; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-172-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by June 15, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model SAAB 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes; certified in any category; all serial numbers.

Subject

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

Reason

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

During refueling, the ground crew detected smoke from the refuel/defuel panel illuminated placard 160VU. The design of the refuel/defuel panel illuminated placard was changed during 1997 from its original specification, to fill the cavity inside the placard with silicone to avoid moisture/fluid ingress. SAAB has reviewed the working procedure and has developed a placard filled with a bi-component silicone-based material to minimize the cavity inside the panels.

For the reasons described above, this EASA AD requires the identification of the manufacturing date of the affected placard, a visual inspection of the placard for heat and/or burn marks and the installation of a new placard in accordance with the instructions of SAAB Service Bulletin (SB) 340-28-027.

This AD has been revised to identify the affected VIBRACHOC (the part manufacturer) placard with Part Number (P/N) C4FL5031C001, instead of the corresponding SAAB P/N 9303719-001, which was (also) quoted inaccurately. In addition, it has been recognised that the original AD did not allow installation of the placards with a manufacturing date before 31/97; that has now been corrected.

The unsafe condition is an electrical malfunction in the illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel, which could result in fire.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect the illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel, part number (P/N) C4FL5031C001, for signs of heat and burn marks, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-027, Revision 01, dated July 7, 2008.

(2) If any sign of heat or burn marks are found, before further flight, replace the illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel with a new illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel, having part number C4FL5031C001, and marked with a manufacturer date before 31/97 (i.e., week 31 of 1997), or a manufacturing date of 37/07 (i.e., week 37 of 2007) or higher and marked `Amdt:A.', in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-027, Revision 01, dated July 7, 2008.

(3) If no signs of heat and burn marks are found, within 12 months after accomplishing the inspection required by (f)(1) of this AD is done, replace the illuminated placard of the fuel and defuel panel with a new illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel, having part number C4FL5031C001, and marked with a manufacturer date before Start Printed Page 2271431/97 (i.e., week 31 of 1997) or a manufacturing date of 37/07 (i.e., week 37 of 2007) or higher and marked `Amdt:A.', in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-027, Revision 01, dated July 7, 2008.

(4) As of 15 months after the effective date of this AD, installing an illuminated placard of the refuel and defuel panel is prohibited on any airplane, unless it has a manufacturing date before 31/97, or unless it has a manufacturing date of 37/07 or higher and is marked `Amdt:A'.

(5) Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-027, dated April 30, 2008, are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1), (f)(2), and (f)(3) of this AD.

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: 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. 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. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(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 2008-0127R1, dated August 7, 2008; and Saab Service Bulletin 340-28-027, Revision 01, dated July 7, 2008, for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 6, 2009.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E9-11281 Filed 5-13-09; 8:45 am]

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