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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146-100A, -200A, and -300A Series Airplanes, and Model Avro 146-RJ70A, 146-RJ85A, and 146-RJ100A Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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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 that would supersede an existing AD. 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: In 1991, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued AD 015-08-91 [which corresponds to FAA AD 93-01-11], requiring the accomplishment of inspections of, and in case of crack findings, corrective actions on, the wing top skin at rib `0' of pre-modification HCM00851C BAe 146 series aircraft in accordance with British Aerospace Service Bulletin (SB) 57-41 dated 26 July 1991. Recently, BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd has determined that a revised inspection programme for the wing top skin and joint strap at rib `0' on all BAe 146 and AVRO 146-RJ aircraft is necessary to assure the continued structural integrity of this area. Cracking of the wing centre section top skin, if undetected, could lead to structural failure and consequent loss of the aircraft.

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 February 26, 2010.

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 BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, 13850 McLearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171; telephone 703-736-1080; e-mail raebusiness@baesystems.com; Internet http://www.baesystems.com/​Businesses/​RegionalAircraft/​index.htm. 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:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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-2009-1250; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-169-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 have lengthened the 30-day comment period for proposed ADs that address MCAI originated by aviation authorities of other countries to provide adequate time for interested parties to submit comments. The comment period Start Printed Page 1564for these proposed ADs is now typically 45 days, which is consistent with the comment period for domestic transport ADs.

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

On January 8, 1993, we issued AD 93-01-11, Amendment 39-8465 (58 FR 6081, January 26, 1993). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on the products listed above.

Since we issued AD 93-01-11, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0168, dated September 2, 2008 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

In 1991, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued AD 015-08-91 [which corresponds to FAA AD 93-01-11], requiring the accomplishment of inspections of, and in case of crack findings, corrective actions on, the wing top skin at rib `0' of pre-modification HCM00851C BAe 146 series aircraft in accordance with British Aerospace Service Bulletin (SB) 57-41 dated 26 July 1991. Recently, BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd has determined that a revised inspection programme for the wing top skin and joint strap at rib `0' on all BAe 146 and AVRO 146-RJ aircraft is necessary to assure the continued structural integrity of this area. Cracking of the wing centre section top skin, if undetected, could lead to structural failure and consequent loss of the aircraft.

For the reasons described above, this new EASA [European Aviation Safety Agency] AD supersedes UK CAA AD 015-08-91 and requires repetitive high-frequency eddy current (HFEC), radiographic, ultrasonic, and detailed visual inspections [for cracking and corrosion] of the wing top skin and joint strap at rib `0', the reporting of all inspection results to BAE Systems and, in case of findings, the accomplishment of corrective actions.

The corrective actions include repairing cracking and corrosion, and contacting BAE Systems (Operations) Limited for repair instructions and doing the repair. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

BAE Systems (Operations) Limited has issued Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-070, dated October 15, 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 1 product of U.S. registry.

The actions that are required by AD 93-01-11 and retained in this proposed AD take about 4 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the currently required actions is $320 per product.

We estimate that it would take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the new 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 $320.

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:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-8465 (58 FR 6081, January 26, 1993) and adding the following new AD:

BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited: Docket No. FAA-2009-1250; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-169-AD.Start Printed Page 1565

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by February 26, 2010.

Affected ADs

(b) The AD supersedes AD 93-01-11, Amendment 39-8465.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Model BAe 146-100A, -200A, and -300A series airplanes, and Model Avro 146-RJ70A, 146-RJ85A, and 146-RJ100A airplanes; certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57: Wings.

Reason

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

In 1991, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued AD 015-08-91 [which corresponds to FAA AD 93-01-11], requiring the accomplishment of inspections of, and in case of crack findings, corrective actions on, the wing top skin at rib `0' of pre-modification HCM00851C BAe 146 series aircraft in accordance with British Aerospace Service Bulletin (SB) 57-41 dated 26 July 1991. Recently, BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd has determined that a revised inspection programme for the wing top skin and joint strap at rib `0' on all BAe 146 and AVRO 146-RJ aircraft is necessary to assure the continued structural integrity of this area. Cracking of the wing centre section top skin, if undetected, could lead to structural failure and consequent loss of the aircraft.

For the reasons described above, this new EASA [European Aviation Safety Agency] AD supersedes UK CAA AD 015-08-91 and requires repetitive high-frequency eddy current (HFEC), radiographic, ultrasonic, and detailed visual inspections [for cracking and corrosion] of the wing top skin and joint strap at rib `0', the reporting of all inspection results to BAE Systems and, in case of findings, the accomplishment of corrective actions.

The corrective actions include repairing cracking and corrosion, and contacting BAE Systems (Operations) Limited for repair instructions and doing the repair.

Restatement of Requirements of AD 93-01-11, With No Changes

(f) Unless already done, for Model BAe 146-100A, -200A, and -300A series airplanes: Prior to the accumulation of 24,000 landings, or within 60 days after March 2, 1993 (the effective date of AD 93-01-11), whichever occurs later: Perform an x-ray inspection to detect fatigue cracks in the left and right wing upper skins, joint straps, and stringers in the vicinity of rib “0,” in accordance with British Aerospace Inspection Service Bulletin 57-41, dated July 26, 1991. Doing the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD terminates the inspection required by this paragraph.

(1) If cracks are found, prior to further flight, repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Standardization Branch, ANM-113, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA. As of the effective date of this AD, repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA. Thereafter, repeat the inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD at intervals not to exceed 9,000 landings, in accordance with British Aerospace Inspection Service Bulletin 57-41, dated July 26, 1991, until the initial inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD is accomplished.

(2) If no cracks are found, repeat the inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD at intervals not to exceed 9,000 landings, in accordance with British Aerospace Inspection Service Bulletin 57-41, dated July 26, 1991, until the initial inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD is accomplished.

New Requirements of This AD

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

Note 1:

The instructions of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-070, dated October 15, 2007, which is the subject of this AD, are divided into two parts; consequently, the statement in paragraph 1.C. of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-070, dated October 15, 2007, that there are three parts is incorrect and can be disregarded.

(1) At the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph (g)(1)(i) or (g)(1)(ii) of this AD: Do an HFEC inspection of the front and rear spar flanges, a detailed visual inspection of the stringers, and a detailed visual inspection of the stringer crown fittings, all at the rib “0” joint strap, for cracking and corrosion, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with “Part 1” of paragraph 2.C., “Inspection,” of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-070, dated October 15, 2007. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight cycles. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Accomplishment of these initial inspections terminates the inspections required by paragraphs (f), (f)(1), and (f)(2) of this AD.

(i) For airplanes on which an inspection was not done in accordance with Supplemental Structural Inspection (SSI) 57-10-101 (MPD 571001-DVI-10000-1) as of the effective date of this AD: Prior to the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles, or within 4,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(ii) For airplanes on which an inspection was done in accordance with SSI 57-10-101 (MPD 571001-DVI-10000-1) as of the effective date of this AD: Within 3,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

(2) At the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph (g)(2)(i) or (g)(2)(ii) of this AD: Do detailed visual and HFEC inspections to detect cracking and corrosion of the rib “0” strap, a radiographic inspection of the rib “0” joint, and an ultrasonic inspection of the skin at the rib “0” joint strap, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with “PART 2” of paragraph 2.C. “Inspection” of BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-070, dated October 15, 2007. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspections thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight cycles.

(i) For airplanes on which an inspection was not done in accordance with SSI 57-10-102 and 57-10-102A (MPD 571002-SDI-10000-1 and 571002-SDI-10000-2) as of the effective date of this AD: Before the accumulation of 24,000 total flight cycles, or within 4,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(ii) For airplanes on which an inspection was done in accordance with SSI 57-10-102 or 57-10-102A (MPD 571002-SDI-10000-1 or 571002-SDI-10000-2) as of the effective date of this AD: Within 3,000 flights cycles after the effective date of this AD.

(3) Submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the initial inspections required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD to BAE Systems (Operations) Limited, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(3)(i) or (g)(3)(ii) of this AD. The report must include the inspection results, a description of any discrepancies found, the airplane serial number, and the number of landings and flight hours on the airplane. Send reports to Customer Liaison, Customer Support (Building 37), BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Limited, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland; fax +44 (0) 1292 675432; e-mail raengliaison@baesystems.com.

(i) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

(ii) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(4) Accomplishment of any repair does not constitute terminating action for the inspection requirements of this AD.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: No differences.

Other FAA AD Provisions

(h) The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, 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: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1175; 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.Start Printed Page 1566

(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 (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

(i) Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2008-0168, dated September 2, 2008; British Aerospace Inspection Service Bulletin 57-41, dated July 26, 1991; and BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Inspection Service Bulletin ISB.57-070, dated October 15, 2007; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 30, 2009.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2010-382 Filed 1-11-10; 8:45 am]

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