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Airworthiness Directives; Aircraft Industries a.s. Model L 23 Super Blanik Sailplanes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), 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) issued by the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as:

Cracks were reported on the rear horizontal stabilizer bracket of two L 23 SUPER-BLANIK sailplanes.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in no longer retaining the horizontal stabilizer in place and consequent loss of control of the aeroplane.

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

DATES:

This AD becomes effective February 14, 2011.

On February 14, 2011, the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD.

We must receive comments on this AD by March 11, 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.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Aircraft Industries, a.s.-Na zahonech 1177, 686 04 Kunovice, Czech Republic; telephone: +420 572 817 660; fax: +420 572 816 112; e-mail: ots@let.cz; Internet: http://www.let.cz/​. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816-329-4148.

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 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: (816) 329-4090.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent Start Printed Page 4227for the Member States of the European Community, has issued AD No.: 2010-0274-E, dated December 22, 2010 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Cracks were reported on the rear horizontal stabilizer bracket of two L 23 SUPER-BLANIK sailplanes.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in no longer retaining the horizontal stabilizer in place and consequent loss of control of the aeroplane.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires immediate inspection of the bracket located at the top of the fin (drawing No. A 730 420 N) and its replacement depending on findings. As a result of the on-going investigation further mandatory terminating action and/or repetitive inspection is likely to follow.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Aircraft Industries a.s. has issued LET Aircraft Industries Mandatory Bulletin No.: L23/053a, dated December 14, 2010; and LET Aircraft Industries Information Bulletin No.: L23/054b, dated December 20, 2010. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the 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 this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by the State of Design Authority and determined the 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 have also required different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are described in a separate paragraph of the AD. These requirements take precedence over those copied from the MCAI.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because cracks were reported on the rear horizontal stabilizer bracket of two L 23 Super Blanik sailplanes. This condition, if not corrected, could result in no longer retaining the horizontal stabilizer in place and consequent loss of control. Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

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-2011-0053; Directorate Identifier 2010-CE-073-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 that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

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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.

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

End Amendment Part

2011-02-08 Aircraft Industries a.s.: Amendment 39-16581; Docket No. FAA-2011-0053; Directorate Identifier 2010-CE-073-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective February 14, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) None

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Aircraft Industries a.s. Model L 23 Super Blanik sailplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.Start Printed Page 4228

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 55: Stabilizers.

Reason

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

Cracks were reported on the rear horizontal stabilizer bracket of two L 23 SUPER-BLANIK sailplanes.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in no longer retaining the horizontal stabilizer in place and consequent loss of control of the aeroplane.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires immediate inspection of the bracket located at the top of the fin (drawing No. A 730 420 N) and its replacement depending on findings. As a result of the on-going investigation further mandatory terminating action and/or repetitive inspection is likely to follow.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) Before further flight after the effective date of this AD, inspect the rear horizontal stabilizer bracket critical areas (hinge welding areas) for cracks following LET Aircraft Industries Mandatory Bulletin No.: L23/053a, dated December 14, 2010.

(2) If during the inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD a crack is found, before further flight, replace the bracket following LET Aircraft Industries Information Bulletin No.: L23/054b, dated December 20, 2010.

(3) Within 10 days after the replacement required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD, do the following actions:

(i) Send the damaged bracket to the address listed in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD.

(ii) Send a report to the address listed in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD containing the following information: Registration mark, serial number, total hours time-in-service, and number of take-offs (if available) since the sailplane has been in operation.

FAA AD Differences

Note:

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

Other FAA AD Provisions

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

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, 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: Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: (816) 329-4090. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(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, 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.

Related Information

(h) Refer to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No.: 2010-0274-E, dated December 22, 2010; LET Aircraft Industries Mandatory Bulletin No.: L23/053a, dated December 14, 2010; and LET Aircraft Industries Information Bulletin No.: L23/054b, dated December 20, 2010; for related information.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(i) You must use LET Aircraft Industries Mandatory Bulletin No.: L23/053a, dated December 14, 2010; and LET Aircraft Industries Information Bulletin No.: L23/054b, dated December 20, 2010, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(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 Aircraft Industries, a.s.-Na zahonech 1177, 686 04 Kunovice, Czech Republic; telephone: +420 572 817 660; fax: +420 572 816 112; e-mail: ots@let.cz; Internet: http://www.let.cz/​.

(3) You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 816-329-4148.

(4) You may also review copies of the service information incorporated by reference for this AD 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 Kansas City, Missouri, on January 12, 2011.

Earl Lawrence,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-1137 Filed 1-24-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P