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Airworthiness Directives; Cessna Aircraft Company Model 525A 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:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Cessna Aircraft Company (Cessna) Model 525A airplanes. This AD requires you to repetitively inspect the thrust attenuator paddle assemblies for loose and damaged fasteners and for cracks. This AD also requires you to replace loose or damaged fasteners and replace cracked thrust attenuator paddles found during any inspection. This AD results from reports of fatigue cracks found in thrust attenuator paddles. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct loose and damaged fasteners and cracks in the thrust attenuator paddles, which could result in in-flight departure of the thrust attenuator paddles. This failure could lead to rudder and elevator damage and result in loss of control.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective on December 15, 2009.

On December 15, 2009, the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD.

We must receive any comments on this AD by January 14, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Use one of the following addresses to comment on this AD.

  • 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 W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

To get the service information identified in this AD, contact Cessna Aircraft Company, Product Support, P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, KS 67277; telephone: (316) 517-6000; fax: (316) 517-8500; Internet: http://www.cessna.com.

To view the comments to this AD, go to http://www.regulations.gov. The docket number is FAA-2009-1096; Directorate Identifier 2009-CE-056-AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

T.N. Baktha, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4155; fax: (316) 946-4107.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We received reports of fatigue cracks found in thrust attenuator paddles on Cessna Model 525A airplanes.

Four incidents of thrust attenuator paddles departing from airplanes have been reported. In two cases, the thrust attenuator paddles hit the rudder and caused structural damage to the rudder.

The thrust attenuator paddles are attached to the aft fuselage. The attachment fasteners fatigue and break.

It is also possible that a failed thrust attenuator paddle could depart the airplane and hit and damage the elevator.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in in-flight departure of the thrust attenuator paddles. This failure could lead to rudder and elevator damage and result in loss of control.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009. The service information describes procedures for inspecting and modifying the thrust attenuator paddle assemblies.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. This AD requires repetitively inspecting the thrust attenuator paddle assemblies for loose and damaged fasteners and for cracks. This AD also requires replacing loose or damaged fasteners and replacing cracked thrust attenuator paddles.

This is considered interim action. Cessna is working on a design improvement to change the attachment fasteners from the currently used counter sunk rivets to universal head rivets. The FAA will consider taking additional rulemaking action to supersede this AD and terminate the above repetitive inspections when Cessna completes the design change, and the FAA approves it as addressing the unsafe condition.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because the thrust attenuator paddles attached to the aft fuselage and the attachment fasteners are subject to fatigue. Fatigue in these parts could result in in-flight departure of the thrust attenuator paddles. This failure could lead to rudder and elevator damage and result in loss of control.

Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer 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 an opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number “FAA-2009-1096; Directorate Identifier 2009-CE-056-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the AD in light 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 concerning 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 Start Printed Page 62480air 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 that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket that contains the AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov;​ or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is located at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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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]
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2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

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2009-24-13  Cessna Aircraft Company: Amendment 39-16105; Docket No. FAA-2009-1096; Directorate Identifier 2009-CE-056-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective on December 15, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Model 525A airplanes, serial numbers 0001 through 0244, that are certificated in any category.

Subject

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

Unsafe Condition

(e) This AD results from reports of fatigue cracks found in thrust attenuator paddles. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the thrust attenuator paddles, which could result in in-flight departure of the thrust attenuator paddles. This failure could lead to rudder and elevator damage and result in loss of control.

Compliance

(f) To address this problem, you must do the following, unless already done:

ActionsComplianceProcedures
(1) Visually inspect the left and right thrust attenuator paddle assemblies to determine if there are any missing, loose, or damaged fasteners and to determine if there are any cracks in the paddleWithin the next 60 days after December 15, 2009 (the effective date of this AD) or within the next 30 hours time-in-service (TIS) after December 15, 2009 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs first. Repetitively inspect thereafter at intervals not to exceed 150 hours TISFollow Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009.
(2) If you do not find any cracks in the thrust attenuator paddles during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, install any missing fasteners, and replace any loose or damaged fastenersBefore further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD. Continue with the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this ADFollow Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009.
(3) If cracks are found during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, do a surface eddy current inspection of the thrust attenuator paddles and the fastener hole(s) to determine the length of the cracks(s)Before further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD in which cracks are foundFollow Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009.
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(4) If the cracks identified in paragraph (f)(3) of this AD meet or exceed the limits specified in paragraph 3 of Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009, replace the thrust attenuator paddle and attachment hardware, as applicable(i) If the conditions of paragraph 3.A.(1) of Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009, are met, replace before further flight after the inspection required in paragraph (f)(3) of this AD. After the replacement, continue with the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD (ii) If the conditions of paragraph 3.A.(2) of Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009, are met, replace within the next 150 hours TIS after the inspection required in paragraph (f)(3) of this AD. After the replacement, continue with the repetitive inspections specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this ADFollow Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g) The Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 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: T.N. Baktha, Aerospace Engineer, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4155; fax: (316) 946-4107. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(h) You must use Cessna Citation Alert Service Letter ASL525A-78-01, Revision 1, dated October 27, 2009, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Cessna Aircraft Company, Product Support, P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, KS 67277; telephone: (316) 517-6000; fax: (316) 517-8500; Internet: http://www.cessna.com.

(3) You may review copies of the service information incorporated by reference for this AD at the FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the Central Region, call (816) 329-3768.

(4) You may also review copies of the service information incorporated by reference for this AD 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.

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Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 19, 2009.

Patrick R. Mullen,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E9-28234 Filed 11-27-09; 8:45 am]

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