Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model ERJ 170 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), 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 ERJ 170 airplane full scale fatigue test, cracks were found in some structural components of the airplane. Analysis of these cracks resulted in modifications on the airplane Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI), to include new inspections tasks or modification of existing ones and its respective thresholds and intervals. Failure to inspect these components according to the new tasks, thresholds and intervals could prevent a timely detection of fatigue cracks. Undetected fatigue cracks in these areas could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

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 April 19, 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 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos-SP-BRASIL; telephone: +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax: +55 12 3927-7546; e-mail: distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet: http://www.flyembraer.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:

Kenny Kaulia, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2848; fax (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Start Printed Page 9812

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-2010-0176; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-201-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 for 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

The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2009-04-01, effective April 29, 2009 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

During ERJ 170 airplane full scale fatigue test, cracks were found in some structural components of the airplane. Analysis of these cracks resulted in modifications on the airplane Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI), to include new inspections tasks or modification of existing ones and its respective thresholds and intervals.

Failure to inspect these components according to the new tasks, thresholds and intervals could prevent a timely detection of fatigue cracks. Undetected fatigue cracks in these areas could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

* * * * *

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new structural inspection requirements. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Embraer has issued temporary revisions to Appendix A—Part 2 of the Embraer 170 Maintenance Review Board Report MRB-1621, as identified in the following table.

Embraer 170 Temporary Revisions

Temporary revisionDate
TR 4-1October 15, 2007.
TR 4-3December 6, 2007.
TR 4-4January 18, 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 166 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $14,110, or $85 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
Start Printed Page 9813
[Amended]

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

Empresa Brasileira De Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Docket No. FAA-2010-0176; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-201-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by April 19, 2010.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model ERJ 170-100 LR, -100 STD, -100 SE, -100 SU, -200 LR, -200 STD, and -200 SU 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 (h) 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. The FAA has provided guidance for this determination in Advisory Circular (AC) 25-1529-1A.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53: Fuselage; 57: Wings.

Reason

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

During ERJ 170 airplane full scale fatigue test, cracks were found in some structural components of the airplane. Analysis of these cracks resulted in modifications on the airplane Airworthiness Limitation Items (ALI), to include new inspections tasks or modification of existing ones and its respective thresholds and intervals.

Failure to inspect these components according to the new tasks, thresholds and intervals, could prevent a timely detection of fatigue cracks. Undetected fatigue cracks in these areas could adversely affect the structural integrity of these airplanes.

* * * * *

The corrective action is revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new structural inspection requirements.

Compliance

(f) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Actions

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

(1) Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness (ICA) to incorporate the inspection tasks identified in the Embraer temporary revisions (TRs) to Appendix A—Part 2 of the Embraer 170 Maintenance Review Board Report MRB-1621, listed in Table 1 of this AD. The initial compliance times for the tasks start from the applicable threshold times specified in the TRs for the corresponding tasks of the maintenance review board report or within 500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. For certain tasks, the compliance times depend on the pre-modification and post-modification status of the actions specified in the associated service bulletin, as specified in the “Applicability” column of the applicable TRs identified in Table 1 of this AD. The threshold values stated in the TRs referenced in Table 1 of this AD are total flight cycles on the airplane since the date of issuance of the original Brazilian airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original Brazilian export certificate of airworthiness.

Table 1—MRBR Inspection Tasks

TRDateSubjectTask No.
TR 4-1October 15, 2007Ram air turbine compartment, support structure and cutout structure—internal53-10-012-0002
53-10-012-0003
Nose landing gear wheel well metallic structure53-10-021-0005
53-10-021-0006
TR 4-3December 6, 2007Wing stub spar 3 side fitting—internal57 -01-012-001
Wing upper skin panels—external57-10-010-0002
Fixed trailing edge lower skin panel—external57-50-002-0002
Fixed trailing edge rib 4A—external57-50-005-0003
Fixed trailing edge rib 6—internal57-50-005-0004
TR 4-4January 18, 2008Wing stub main box lower—internal57-01-002-003

(2) After accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, no alternative inspections or inspection intervals may be used unless the inspection or inspection interval is approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) (or its delegated agent); or unless the inspection or interval is approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (h)(1) 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, 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: Kenny Kaulia, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2848; 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.Start Printed Page 9814

Related Information

(i) Refer to MCAI Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2009-04-01, dated April 29, 2009; and the TRs to Appendix A—Part 2 of the Embraer 170 Maintenance Review Board Report MRB-1621, identified in Table 2 of this AD; for related information.

Table 2—Temporary Revisions

Temporary revisionsDate
TR 4-1October 15, 2007.
TR 4-3December 6, 2007.
TR 4-4January 18, 2008.
Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 25, 2010.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2010-4504 Filed 3-3-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P