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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A310-221, -222, -322, -324, and -325 Airplanes, and Model A300B4-620, B4-622, B4-622R, F4-605R, and F4-622R Airplanes, Equipped With Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or JT9D-7R4 Series Engines

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:

During the year 2000, life extension exercise programs were launched for Airbus A310 and A300-600 aircraft. Certification of Extended Service Goal (ESG) is based on analysis, except for fan cowl and thrust reverser (T/R) latches, which are always certified by tests.

* * * testing of the T/R door centre latch has shown that this does not meet the requirements for ESG.

* * * * *

The unsafe condition is possible failure of the T/R latch and detachment of the T/R from the airplane, which could result in structural damage and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. 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 August 17, 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 SAS-EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; 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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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 Start Printed Page 34517 ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2009-0613; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-013-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 2008-0226, dated December 19, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

During the year 2000, life extension exercise programs were launched for Airbus A310 and A300-600 aircraft. Certification of Extended Service Goal (ESG) is based on analysis, except for fan cowl and thrust reverser (T/R) latches, which are always certified by tests.

Currently, the Airworthiness Limitation Item (ALI) task 54-50-28 for engine pylon T/R hinges requires inspection every 1,200 Flight Cycles (FC). An analysis performed by Airbus shows that forward and aft T/R door latches have been demonstrated successful for ESG, with inspection task every 1,200 FC. However, testing of the T/R door centre latch has shown that this does not meet the requirements for ESG.

For the reason described above, this EASA AD requires the replacement of the T/R centre latches with serialized latches on LH [left hand] and RH [right hand] engines and repetitive inspections [for cracking] of the serialized latches. In addition, this AD introduces a life limit of 18,000 FC for the serialized centre latches.

The unsafe condition is possible failure of the T/R latch and detachment of the T/R from the airplane, which could result in structural damage and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. The corrective action includes replacing the T/R latch if any surface crack is found during any inspection. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Mandatory Service Bulletins A300-78-6029 and A310-78-2030, both including Appendix 1, both dated October 3, 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 207 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 30 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 $6,442 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 $1,830,294, or $8,842 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:

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:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2009-0613; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-013-AD.Start Printed Page 34518

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by August 17, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A310-221, -222, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes, and Model A300B4-620, B4-622, B4-622R, F4-605R, and F4-622R airplanes, all serial numbers; certificated in any category; equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or JT9D-7R4 series engines.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 78: Engine exhaust.

Reason

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

During the year 2000, life extension exercise programs were launched for Airbus A310 and A300-600 aircraft. Certification of Extended Service Goal (ESG) is based on analysis, except for fan cowl and thrust reverser (T/R) latches, which are always certified by tests.

Currently, the Airworthiness Limitation Item (ALI) task 54-50-28 for engine pylon T/R hinges requires inspection every [1,200] Flight Cycles (FC). An analysis performed by Airbus shows that forward and aft T/R door latches have been demonstrated successful for ESG, with inspection task every 1200 FC. However, testing of the T/R door centre latch has shown that this does not meet the requirements for ESG.

For the reason described above, this EASA AD requires the replacement of the T/R centre latches with serialized latches on LH [left hand] and RH [right hand] engines and repetitive inspections [for cracking] of the serialized latches. In addition, this AD introduces a life limit of 18000 FC for the serialized centre latches.

The unsafe condition is possible failure of the T/R latch and detachment of the T/R from the airplane, which could result in structural damage and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. The corrective action includes replacing the T/R latch if any surface crack is found during any inspection.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Before the accumulation of 30,000 total flight cycles since first flight of the airplane, or within 1,200 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Replace the non-serialized T/R center latch LH (left hand) and RH (right hand) sides, having part number (P/N) 221D0029-11 and P/N 221D0029-13, with a serialized T/R center latch having P/N 221D0029-15 in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-78-6029 or A310-78-2030, both including Appendix 1, both dated October 3, 2008; as applicable.

(2) Within 1,200 flight cycles after accomplishing the replacement required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD: Perform an inspection for surface cracking of the T/R center serialized latches having P/N 221D0029-15, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-78-6029 or A310-78-2030, both including Appendix 1, both dated October 3, 2008; as applicable. If any crack is found, before further flight, replace the serialized T/R center latch with a new serialized T/R center latch in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-78-6029 or A310-78-2030, both including Appendix 1, both dated October 3, 2008; as applicable. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,200 flight cycles.

(3) Before the accumulation of 18,000 total flight cycles since accomplishing the most recent replacement required by paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this AD: Replace the serialized T/R center latch having P/N 221D0029-15 with a new serialized T/R center latch having P/N 221D0029-15 in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-78-6029 or A310-78-2030, both including Appendix 1, both dated October 3, 2008; as applicable. Replacement of the center latches does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (f)(2) 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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 2008-0226, dated December 19, 2008; and Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletins A300-78-6029 and A310-78-2030, both including Appendix 1, both dated October 3, 2008; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 2, 2009.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E9-16942 Filed 7-15-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P