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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McCauley Propeller Systems Model 4HFR34C653/L106FA Propellers

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.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

This supplemental NPRM revises an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD), for McCauley Propeller Systems model 4HFR34C653/L106FA propellers. That proposed AD would have required a onetime fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) and eddy current inspection (ECI) of the propeller hub for cracks. That proposed AD resulted from reports of 3 hubs found cracked during propeller overhaul. This supplemental NPRM would require the same inspections. This supplemental NPRM results from reports of 7 additional hubs found cracked during propeller overhaul, totaling 10 cracked hubs. We are proposing this supplemental AD to prevent failure of the propeller hub, which could cause blade separation, damage to the airplane, and loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.

You can get the service information identified in this proposed AD from McCauley Propeller Systems, P.O. Box 7704, Wichita, KS 67277-7704; phone (800) 621-7767.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeff Janusz, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 1801 Airport Road, Wichita, KS 67209; e-mail: jeff.janusz@faa.gov; phone: (316) 946-4148; fax: (316) 946-4107.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send us any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2007-29176; Directorate Identifier 2007-NE-38-AD” in the subject line of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposed 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 with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of the Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including, if provided, the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78).

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 (phone (800) 647-5527) is the same as the Mail address provided in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Discussion

On September 24, 2007, we issued a proposal to amend part 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to add an AD, for McCauley Propeller Systems model 4HFR34C653/L106FA propellers. The proposed AD published as an NPRM in the Federal Register on September 28, 2007 (72 FR 55120). That NPRM proposed to require a onetime FPI and ECI of the propeller hub for cracks. That NPRM resulted from reports of 3 hubs found cracked during propeller overhaul.

Since we issued that NPRM, we received reports of 7 additional hubs found cracked during propeller overhaul. That brings the total of hubs that have had cracks located in the hub socket region, in the area of the outer bearing race press-fit surfaces, to 10. To date, the cause of these cracks appears to be fretting damage between the outer bearing race and the hub surface. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the propeller hub, which could cause blade separation, damage to the airplane, and loss of control of the airplane.

Also since we issued that NPRM, we eliminated the reporting requirement to McCauley Propeller Systems.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of that proposed AD. We have considered the comment received on the original NPRM.

Proposed AD Should Also Set a Time Limit

One commenter, a private citizen, recommends that the proposed AD also set a time limit on when inspections should take place. The commenter recommends an hour limit, and a year-old limit. We infer that the commenter is asking for a calendar time limit as well as the proposed operating hour time-since-new limit, to ensure the Start Printed Page 18775inspection occurs in a more timely manner.

We do not agree. The hub failure mechanism appears to be fretting damage which results in crack formation and subsequent growth. Propellers that are not operating do not accumulate fretting damage. Therefore, we cannot justify the use of calendar time. We did not change the proposed AD.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed and approved the technical contents of McCauley Propeller Systems Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. ASB254, dated August 20, 2007. That ASB describes procedures for a onetime FPI and ECI of propeller hubs for cracks.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

We have evaluated all pertinent information and identified an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on other products of this same type design. We are proposing this AD, which would require a onetime FPI and ECI of propeller hubs for cracks. The proposed AD would require you to use the service information described previously to perform these actions.

Interim Action

These actions are interim actions and we may take further rulemaking actions in the future.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this supplemental proposed AD would affect 128 propellers installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 41.5 work-hours per propeller to perform the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the proposed AD to U.S. operators to be $451,520.

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 have 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 that the proposed 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. Would 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. You may get a copy of this summary at the address listed under ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration 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:

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

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[Amended]

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

McCauley Propeller Systems: Docket No. FAA-2007-29176; Directorate Identifier 2007-NE-38-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) action by June 14, 2010.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to McCauley Propeller Systems model 4HFR34C653/L106FA propellers.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from reports of 10 hubs found cracked during propeller overhaul. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the propeller hub, which could cause blade separation, damage to the airplane, and loss of control of the airplane.

Compliance

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

(f) For propeller hubs with 6,000 or more operating hours time-since-new (TSN) on the effective date of this AD, perform the procedures in paragraphs (h) through (k) of this AD within 100 operating hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD.

(g) For propeller hubs with fewer than 6,000 operating hours TSN on the effective date of this AD, perform the procedures in paragraphs (h) through (k) of this AD before the propeller hub reaches 6,100 operating hours TSN.

Onetime Propeller Hub Inspection

(h) Remove and disassemble the propeller, and etch the propeller hub, using paragraphs 1.A. through 2.D. of the Accomplishment Instructions of McCauley Propeller Systems Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB254, dated August 20, 2007.

(i) Perform a onetime fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) of the propeller hub, using paragraphs 3.A. through 3.G. of the Accomplishment Instructions of McCauley Propeller Systems Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB254, dated August 20, 2007.

(j) For hubs that pass the FPI, perform a onetime eddy current inspection of the propeller hub, using paragraphs 4.A. through 4.F. of the Accomplishment Instructions of McCauley Propeller Systems Alert Service Bulletin No. ASB254, dated August 20, 2007.

(k) Remove cracked hubs from service and any other propeller parts found cracked.

Previous Credit

(l) If you performed the onetime inspection of the propeller hub using McCauley Propeller Systems Service Bulletin No. SB238A, or Alert Service Bulletin ASB254, both dated August 20, 2007, before the effective date of this AD, you have satisfied the inspection requirements of this AD.

Interim Action

(m) These actions are interim actions and we may take further rulemaking actions in the future.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(n) The Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, has the authority to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.Start Printed Page 18776

Special Flight Permits

(o) Under 14 CFR part 39.23, we are limiting the special flight permits for this AD as follows:

(1) The propeller must have no signs of external oil leakage from the hub; and

(2) The propeller has no current reports of abnormal operation or vibration.

Related Information

(p) McCauley Propeller Systems, Service Bulletin No. ASB254, dated August 20, 2007, pertains to the subject of this AD. Contact McCauley Propeller Systems, P.O. Box 7704, Wichita, KS 67277-7704; phone (800) 621-7767, for a copy of this service information.

(q) Contact Jeff Janusz, Aerospace Engineer, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 1801 Airport Road, Wichita, KS 67209; e-mail: jeff.janusz@faa.gov; phone: (316) 946-4148; fax: (316) 946-4107, for more information about this AD.

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Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on April 7, 2010.

Peter A. White,

Assistant Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 2010-8380 Filed 4-12-10; 8:45 am]

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