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Airworthiness Directives; ATR Model ATR42 and ATR72 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), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above that would revise an existing AD. This 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:

Subsequent to accidents involving Fuel Tank System explosions in flight * * * and on ground, * * * Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88 (SFAR88) * * * required a safety review of the aircraft Fuel Tank System * * *.

* * * * *

Fuel Airworthiness Limitations are items arising from a systems safety analysis that have been shown to have failure mode(s) associated with an `unsafe condition' * * *. These are identified in Failure Conditions for which an unacceptable probability of ignition risk could exist if specific tasks and/or Start Printed Page 56714practices are not performed in accordance with the manufacturers' requirements.

This AD requires actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective November 18, 2009.

On April 3, 2008 (73 FR 10652, February 28, 2008), the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD.

We must receive comments on this AD by December 18, 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 AD, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; e-mail continued.airworthiness@atr.fr; Internet http://www.aerochain.com.

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 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; fax (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

On February 15, 2008, we issued AD 2008-04-19, Amendment 39-15391 (73 FR 10652, February 28, 2008). That AD applied to all ATR Model ATR42-200, -300, -320, and -500 airplanes; and all ATR Model ATR72-101, -201, -102, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes. That AD required revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems.

Critical design configuration control limitations (CDCCLs) are limitation requirements to preserve a critical ignition source prevention feature of the fuel tank system design that is necessary to prevent the occurrence of an unsafe condition. The purpose of a CDCCL is to provide instruction to retain the critical ignition source prevention feature during configuration change that may be caused by alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions. A CDCCL is not a periodic inspection.

Since we issued that AD, we have determined that it is necessary to clarify the AD's intended effect on spare and on-airplane fuel tank system components, regarding the use of maintenance manuals and instructions for continued airworthiness.

Section 91.403(c) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 91.403(c)) specifies the following:

No person may operate an aircraft for which a manufacturer's maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness has been issued that contains an airworthiness limitation section unless the mandatory * * * procedures * * * have been complied with.

Some operators have questioned whether existing components affected by the new CDCCLs must be reworked. We did not intend for the AD to retroactively require rework of components that had been maintained using acceptable methods before the effective date of the AD. Owners and operators of the affected airplanes therefore are not required to rework affected components identified as airworthy or installed on the affected airplanes before the required revisions of the ALS. But once the CDCCLs are incorporated into the ALS, future maintenance actions on components must be done in accordance with those CDCCLs.

FAA's Determination

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. We are issuing this AD to revise AD 2008-04-19. This new AD retains the requirements of the existing AD, and adds a new note to clarify the intended effect of the AD on spare and on-airplane fuel tank system components. We have renumbered subsequent notes accordingly.

Explanation of Additional Change to AD

AD 2008-04-19 allowed the use of alternative inspections, inspection intervals, and CDCCLs if they are part of a later revision of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR), Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007. That provision has been removed from this AD. Allowing the use of “a later revision” of a specific service document violates Office of the Federal Register policies for approving materials that are incorporated by reference. Affected operators, however, may request approval to use an alternative inspection, inspection interval, or CDCCL that is part of a later revision of the referenced service documents as an alternative method of compliance, under the provisions of paragraph (g) of this AD.

Differences Between the 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 required 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 AD.

Costs of Compliance

This revision imposes no additional economic burden. The current costs for this AD are repeated for the convenience of affected operators, as follows:

We estimate that this AD will affect about 84 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD to the U.S. operators to be $6,720, or $80 per product.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

This revision merely clarifies the intended effect on spare and on-airplane fuel tank system components, and Start Printed Page 56715makes no substantive change to the AD's requirements. For this reason, it is found that notice and opportunity for prior public comment for this action are unnecessary, and good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2009-0999; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-155-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD because of 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 AD.

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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 AD:

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 AD and placed it in the AD docket.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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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]
Start Amendment Part

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-15391 (

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2008-04-19 R1 ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional (Formerly Aerospatiale): Amendment 39-16069. Docket No. FAA-2009-0999; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-155-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective November 18, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD revises AD 2008-04-19, Amendment 39-15391.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all ATR Model ATR 42-200, -300, -320, and -500 airplanes; and all ATR Model ATR 72-101, -201, -102, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes; certificated in any category.

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.

Subject

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

Reason

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

Subsequent to accidents involving Fuel Tank System explosions in flight * * * and on ground, the FAA published Special Federal Aviation Regulation 88 (SFAR 88) in June 2001. SFAR 88 required a safety review of the aircraft Fuel Tank System to determine that the design meets the requirements of FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) § 25.901 and § 25.981(a) and (b).

A similar regulation has been recommended by the JAA (Joint Aviation Authorities) to the European National Aviation Authorities in JAA letter 04/00/02/07/03-L024 of 3 February 2003. The review was requested to be mandated by NAA's (National Aviation Authorities) using JAR (Joint Aviation Regulation) § 25.901(c), § 25.1309.

In August 2005 EASA published a policy statement on the process for developing instructions for maintenance and inspection of Fuel Tank System ignition source prevention (EASA D 2005/CPRO, http://www.easa.eu.int/​home/​cert_​policy_​statements_​en.html) that also included the EASA expectations with regard to compliance times of the corrective actions on the unsafe and the not unsafe part of the harmonised design review results. On a global scale the TC (type certificate) holders committed themselves to the EASA published compliance dates (see EASA policy statement). The EASA policy statement has been revised in March 2006: The date of 31-12-2005 for the unsafe related actions has now been set at 01-07-2006.

Fuel Airworthiness Limitations are items arising from a systems safety analysis that have been shown to have failure mode(s) associated with an `unsafe condition' as defined in FAA's memo 2003-112-15 `SFAR 88—Mandatory Action Decision Criteria'. These are identified in Failure Conditions for which an unacceptable probability of ignition risk could exist if specific tasks and/or practices are not performed in accordance with the manufacturers' requirements.

This EASA Airworthiness Directive mandates the Fuel System Airworthiness Limitations (comprising maintenance/inspection tasks and Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCL)) for the type of aircraft, that resulted from the design reviews and the JAA recommendation and EASA policy statement mentioned above.

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems.Start Printed Page 56716

Restatement of AD 2008-04-19 With Changes to Compliance Method

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 3 months after April 3, 2008 (the effective date of AD 2008-04-19), revise the ALS of the ICA to incorporate Task 28.10.00 “Fuel Tank—General,” and Task 28.20.00 “Distribution,” of the Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR) Section of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report (MRBR), Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; the ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or the ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable. For all tasks identified in the applicable MRBR, the initial compliance times start from the later of the times specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD, except as provided by paragraphs (f)(3) and (g) of this AD. The repetitive inspections must be accomplished thereafter at the interval specified in the applicable MRBR.

(i) April 3, 2008.

(ii) The date of issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness.

(2) Within 3 months after April 3, 2008, revise the ALS of the ICA to incorporate the CDCCLs as defined in Section 4., “Critical Design Configuration Control List,” of the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 MRBR, Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; the ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or the ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable.

(3) For the task titled “Detailed visual inspection of the fuel tanks and associated equipment, wiring, piping and braids” (CMR task reference 28.10.00-1): The initial compliance time is the later of the times specified in paragraphs (f)(3)(i) and (f)(3)(ii) of this AD. Thereafter, the task titled “Detailed visual inspection of the fuel tanks and associated equipment, wiring, piping and braids” must be accomplished at the repetitive interval specified in Section 4., “Critical Design Configuration Control List,” of the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 MRBR, Revision 7, dated March 31, 2006; the ATR 42-400/-500 MRBR, Revision 6, dated March 26, 2007; or the ATR 72 MRBR, Revision 8, dated March 26, 2007; as applicable.

(i) Within 144 months since the date of issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness.

(ii) Within 72 months or 20,000 flight hours after April 3, 2008, whichever occurs first.

(4) After accomplishing the actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1), (f)(2), and (f)(3) of this AD, no alternative inspection, inspection intervals, or CDCCLs may be used unless the inspections, intervals, or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (g) of this AD.

New Information

Explanation of CDCCL Requirements

Note 2:

Notwithstanding any other maintenance or operational requirements, components that have been identified as airworthy or installed on the affected airplanes before the revision of the ALS, as required by paragraph (f) of this AD, do not need to be reworked in accordance with the CDCCLs. However, once the ALS has been revised, future maintenance actions on these components must be done in accordance with the CDCCLs.

FAA AD Differences

Note 3:

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: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; 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 ensure 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 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), 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 2006-0219R1, dated June 29, 2007, and the service information identified in Table 1 of this AD, for related information.

Table 1—Service Information

DocumentRevision levelDate
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report7March 31, 2006.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-400/-500 Maintenance Review Board Report6March 26, 2007.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 72 Maintenance Review Board Report8March 26, 2007.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use the applicable service information contained in Table 2 of this AD to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

Table 2—Material Incorporated by Reference

DocumentRevision levelDate
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-200/-300/-320 Maintenance Review Board Report7March 31, 2006.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 42-400/-500 Maintenance Review Board Report6March 26, 2007.
Time Limits Section of Part 1 of the ATR 72 Maintenance Review Board Report8March 26, 2007.
Start Printed Page 56717

(1) The Director of the Federal Register previously approved the incorporation by reference of this service information on April 3, 2008 (73 FR 10652, February 28, 2008).

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; e-mail continued.airworthiness@atr.fr; Internet http://www.aerochain.com.

(3) You may review copies of the 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.

(4) You may also review copies of the service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal_​register/​code_​of_​federal_​regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 22, 2009.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E9-26289 Filed 11-2-09; 8:45 am]

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