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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model SAAB 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B Airplanes Modified in Accordance With Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST00224WI-D, ST00146WI-D, or SA984GL-D

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), DOT.

ACTION:

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

SUMMARY:

We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model SAAB 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. The first supplemental NPRM would have required inspecting the fuselage surface for corrosion and cracking behind the external adapter plate of the antennae installation, and repair if necessary. The first supplemental NPRM resulted from a report of a crack found behind the external adapter plate of the antennae during inspection. Similar cracking was found on two additional airplanes, and Start Printed Page 3565extensive corrosion was found on one airplane. This action revises the first supplemental NPRM by correcting an STC number, which would expand the applicability of the first supplemental NPRM. We are proposing this second supplemental NPRM to detect and correct corrosion and cracking behind the external adapter plate of the antennae of certain damage-tolerant structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity and consequent rapid depressurization of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this supplemental NPRM by March 7, 2011.

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 W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 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 Management Facility 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 Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

William Griffith, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-118W, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone (316) 946-4116; fax (316) 946-4107.

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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-2010-0042; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-010-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 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 proposed AD.

Discussion

We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (the “first supplemental NPRM”) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model SAAB 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. That first supplemental NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 23, 2010 (75 FR 51696). That first supplemental NPRM proposed to require inspecting the fuselage surface for corrosion and cracking behind the external adapter plate of the antennae installation, and repair if necessary.

Actions Since First Supplemental NPRM Was Issued

Since we issued the first supplemental NPRM, we have determined that STC number SA00224WI-D, identified in the applicability of the first supplemental NPRM, is an incorrect STC number; the correct number is ST00224WI-D. We have corrected this error, which expands the airplanes affected by the first supplemental NPRM.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to comment on the first supplemental NPRM. We received no comments on that NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

FAA's Determination and Proposed Requirements of the Supplemental NPRM

We are proposing this second supplemental NPRM because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs. The change described above expands the scope of the first supplemental NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this second supplemental NPRM.

Proposed Requirements of the Supplemental NPRM

This second supplemental NPRM would retain all the requirements in the first supplemental NPRM.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 201 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed inspection would take about 4 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $85 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $68,340, or $340 per airplane.

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 affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities Start Printed Page 3566under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of compliance 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:

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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 AD:

Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems: Docket No. FAA-2010-0042; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-010-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by March 7, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to the Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, that have been modified in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST00224WI-D, ST00146WI-D, or SA984GL-D.

(1) Model SAAB 340A (SAAB/SF340A) airplanes, serial numbers 004 through 159 inclusive.

(2) Model SAAB 340B airplanes, serial numbers 160 through 459 inclusive.

Subject

(d) Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53: Fuselage.

Unsafe Condition

(e) This AD results from a report of a crack found behind the external adapter plate of the antennae during inspection. Similar cracking was found on two additional airplanes, and extensive corrosion was found on one airplane. The Federal Aviation Administration is issuing this AD to detect and correct corrosion and cracking behind the external adapter plate of the antennae of certain damage-tolerant structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity and consequent rapid depressurization of the airplane.

Compliance

(f) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified.

Inspection/Corrective Actions

(g) Within 600 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD: Remove the external adapter plate of the antennae installation and do a general visual inspection of the fuselage surface for corrosion and cracking behind the external adapter plate of the antennae installation. If any corrosion or cracking is found, repair before further flight. If no corrosion or cracking is found, before further flight, ensure that proper corrosion protection has been applied before reinstalling the adapter plate. Do all the actions required by this paragraph in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: “A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.”

Reporting Requirement

(h) At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD: Submit a report of the positive findings of the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD. Send the report to the Manager, Wichita ACO. The report must contain, at a minimum, the inspection results, a description of any discrepancies found, the airplane serial number, and the number of flight cycles and flight hours on the airplane since installation of the STC. 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 contained in this AD and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

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

(2) 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.

(3) A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

Special Flight Permit

(i) Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), may be issued to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished, but concurrence by the Manager, Wichita ACO, FAA, is required prior to issuance of the special flight permit.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(j)(1) The Manager, Wichita 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: William Griffith, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-118W, FAA, Wichita ACO, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone (316) 946-4116; fax (316) 946-4107.

(2) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington on January 12, 2011.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-1118 Filed 1-19-11; 8:45 am]

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