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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A340-200 and A340-300 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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. 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:

A review of A340 missions has demonstrated that CFM56-5C forward engine mount thrust links fitted with oversized bearing[s] will not reach the updated link fatigue life limit of 15,500 Flight Cycles (FC) due to an increase in bore diameter.

* * * The consequent potential failure of the affected thrust link would reduce the forward engine mounts' structural integrity and could eventually lead to engine separation, constituting an unsafe condition.

* * * * *

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

DATES:

This AD becomes effective March 12, 2010.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of March 12, 2010.

We must receive comments on this AD by April 12, 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.

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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1138; fax (425) 227-1149.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 2009-0108, dated May 5, 2009 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

A review of A340 missions has demonstrated that CFM56-5C forward engine mount thrust links fitted with oversized bearing[s] will not reach the updated link fatigue life limit of 15,500 Flight Cycles (FC) due to an increase in bore diameter.

Oversized bearing repairs have been possible through the accomplishment of CMM 71-21-12 Repair 1. The consequent potential failure of the affected thrust link would reduce the forward engine mounts' structural integrity and could eventually lead to engine separation, constituting an unsafe condition.

Consequently, this AD requires:

—The [detailed] inspection of the link assembly to identify a possible oversized bearing repair and, in case of finding, the application of the associated corrective actions, or

—The repetitive [detailed] inspection [for cracking, damage (e.g., dents), and missing fasteners] of the forward engine mounts until accomplishment of the inspection of the link assembly for the identification of a possible oversized bearing repair.

The corrective actions for finding oversized bearings in the forward engine mount thrust link assembly include contacting Goodrich for instructions and doing the repair. The corrective actions for finding cracking, damage (e.g., dents), and missing fasteners in the forward engine mounts include, depending on the findings, replacing cracked parts and missing fasteners, and polishing damaged areas. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-71-4007, including Appendix 1, dated April 1, 2009. 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 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 issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

There are no products of this type currently registered in the United States. However, this rule is necessary to ensure that the described unsafe condition is addressed if any of these products are placed on the U.S. Register in the future.Start Printed Page 8472

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.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are unnecessary.

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-2010-0131; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-132-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.

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part

2010-05-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-16216. Docket No. FAA-2010-0131; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-132-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective March 12, 2010.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes; and Model A340-311, -312, and -313 series airplanes; certificated in any category.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71: Powerplant.

Reason

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

A review of A340 missions has demonstrated that CFM56-5C forward engine mount thrust links fitted with oversized bearing[s] will not reach the updated link fatigue life limit of 15500 Flight Cycles (FC) due to an increase in bore diameter.

Oversized bearing repairs have been possible through the accomplishment of CMM 71-21-12 Repair 1. The consequent potential failure of the affected thrust link would reduce the forward engine mounts structural integrity and could eventually lead to engine separation, constituting an unsafe condition.

Consequently, this AD requires:

—The [detailed] inspection of the link assembly to identify a possible oversized bearing repair and, in case of finding, the application of the associated corrective actions, or

—The repetitive [detailed] inspection [for cracking, damage (e.g., dents), and missing fasteners] of the forward engine mounts until accomplishment of the inspection of the link assembly for the identification of a possible oversized bearing repair.

The corrective actions for finding oversized bearings in the forward engine mount thrust link assembly include contacting Goodrich for instructions and doing the repair. The corrective actions for finding cracking, damage (e.g., dents), and missing fasteners in the forward engine mounts include, depending on the findings, replacing cracked parts and missing fasteners, and polishing damaged areas.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Within 1,700 flight cycles or 24 months from the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do the actions required by paragraph (f)(1)(i) or (f)(1)(ii) of this AD.

(i) Perform a detailed inspection for oversized bearing repair of the forward engine mount thrust link assembly, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-71-4007, dated April 1, 2009. If oversized bearings are found, before further flight, contact Goodrich for instructions, and do the repair.

(ii) Perform a detailed inspection of the forward engine mounts for cracking, damage (e.g., dents), and missing fasteners, in accordance with Task 71-21-11-210-801-0 of the Airbus A340 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Revision 68, dated October 1, 2009. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight in accordance with Task 71-21-11-210-801-0 of the Airbus A340 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Revision 68, dated October 1, 2009. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,700 flight cycles or 24 months, whichever occurs Start Printed Page 8473first, until the inspection required by paragraph (f)(2) of this AD is done.

(2) For airplanes on which the inspection specified in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this AD is done: Within 4,500 flight cycles from the effective date of this AD, do the inspection and applicable corrective actions required by paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this AD. Doing the inspection and applicable corrective actions required by paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this AD.

FAA AD Differences

Note 1:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows:

Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-71-4007, dated April 1, 2009; does not contain corrective actions if damage is found during the inspection of the forward engine mounts. The corrective actions are specified in Task 71-21-11-210-801-0 of the Airbus A340 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Revision 68, dated October 1, 2009. Therefore, this AD refers to Task 71-21-11-210-801-0 of the Airbus A340 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Revision 68, dated October 1, 2009, for the inspection and corrective actions.

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: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1138; 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 (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 2009-0108, dated May 5, 2009; Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-71-4007, dated April 1, 2009; and Task 71-21-11-210-801-0 of the Airbus A340 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Revision 68, dated October 1, 2009; for related information.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-71-4007, including Appendix 1, dated April 1, 2009; and Task 71-21-11-210-801-0 of the Airbus A340 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Revision 68, dated October 1, 2009; as applicable; to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Airbus aircraft maintenance manual contains the following effective pages:

List of Effective Pages

Page title/descriptionPage Nos.Revision No.Date shown on page(s)
AMM Title PageNone shown68October 1, 2009.
AMM Introduction—Description and Operation1-6None shown*None shown.*
Chapter 71—Table of Contents1, 3, 5None shown*January 1, 2009.
Chapter 71—Effective Pages2, 4, 6-11None shown*January 1, 2008.
Task 71-21-11-210-801-01-5None shown*None shown.*
*The revision level and date is indicated only on the title page of this document.

(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 Airbus SAS—Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; e-mail airworthiness.A330-A340@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.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 February 16, 2010.

Stephen P. Boyd,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2010-3472 Filed 2-24-10; 8:45 am]

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