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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330-200 and -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), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above that would supersede an existing AD. 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:

* * * * *

The airworthiness limitations applicable to Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT ALI) are currently given in Airbus A330 ALI Document reference AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, which is approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and referenced in Airbus Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 2.

The issue 17 of Airbus A330 ALI Document introduces more restrictive maintenance requirements/airworthiness limitations. Failure to comply with this issue constitutes an unsafe condition.

This [EASA] AD supersedes EASA AD 2009-0102 [and retains the requirements therein], and requires the implementation of the new or more restrictive maintenance requirements/airworthiness limitations as specified in Airbus A330 ALI Document issue 17.

The unsafe condition is fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in certain structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. 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 May 6, 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 W12-40, 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 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. 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://Start Printed Page 15868www.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:

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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-2011-0224; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-210-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 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

On April 20, 2006, we issued AD 2006-09-07, Amendment 39-14577 (71 FR 25919, May 3, 2006). That AD requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, A340-200 and -300 series airplanes, and A340-541 and -642 airplanes.

Since we issued AD 2006-09-07, Airbus has revised certain A330 Damage tolerant airworthiness limitations items to include more restrictive maintenance requirements/airworthiness limitations. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2010-0174, dated August 17, 2010 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

The airworthiness limitations are distributed in the Airbus A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS).

The airworthiness limitations applicable to Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT ALI) are currently given in Airbus A330 ALI Document reference AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, which is approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and referenced in Airbus Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 2.

The issue 17 of Airbus A330 ALI Document introduces more restrictive maintenance requirements/airworthiness limitations. Failure to comply with this issue constitutes an unsafe condition.

This [EASA] AD supersedes EASA AD 2009-0102 [and retains the requirements therein], and requires the implementation of the new or more restrictive maintenance requirements/airworthiness limitations as specified in Airbus A330 ALI Document issue 17.

The unsafe condition is fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in certain structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Document AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, “A330 Airworthiness Limitation Items,” Issue 17, dated May 28, 2010. This document provides each mandatory time for maintenance tasks, structural inspection interval, and related structural inspection procedures.

Related Rulemaking

On February 3, 2011, we issued AD 2011-04-05, Amendment 39-16605 (76 FR 8612, February 15, 2011), for Airbus Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes, to require revising the maintenance program. Doing this revision terminates the requirements of AD 2006-09-07 for the Model A340 airplanes.

We are also considering issuance of another NPRM related to this NPRM. The NPRM we are considering, Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-211-AD, would restate the requirements of paragraph (f)(2) of AD 2006-09-07 for Model A330 airplanes.

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 54 products of U.S. registry.

The actions that are required by AD 2006-09-07, and retained in this proposed AD, take about 1 work-hour per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the currently required actions is $85 per product.

We estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the 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 $4,590, 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.Start Printed Page 15869

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
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-14577 (71 FR 25919, May 3, 2006) and adding the following new AD:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2011-0224; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-210-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by May 6, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2006-09-07, Amendment 39-14577.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, and -243F airplanes, and Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

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 (j)(1) 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.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05.

Reason

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

* * * * *

The airworthiness limitations applicable to Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT ALI) are currently given in Airbus A330 ALI Document reference AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, which is approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and referenced in Airbus Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 2.

The issue 17 of Airbus A330 ALI Document introduces more restrictive maintenance requirements/airworthiness limitations. Failure to comply with this issue constitutes an unsafe condition.

This [EASA] AD supersedes EASA AD 2009-0102 [and retains the requirements therein], and requires the implementation of the new or more restrictive maintenance requirements/airworthiness limitations as specified in Airbus A330 ALI Document issue 17.

The unsafe condition is fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in certain structure, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

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.

Restatement of Requirements of Paragraph (F)(2) of AD 2006-09-07

Airworthiness Limitations Revision

(g) For Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes: Within 3 months after June 7, 2006 (the effective date of AD 2006-09-07), revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by incorporating Airbus Document AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, “A330 Airworthiness Limitation Items,” Issue 12, dated November 1, 2003, as specified in Section 9-2 of the Airbus A330 Maintenance Planning Document (MPD), into the ALS.

New Requirements of This AD

Revise the Maintenance Program

(h) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance program by incorporating Airbus Document AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, “A330 Airworthiness Limitation Items,” Issue 17, dated May 28, 2010. At the times specified in Airbus Document AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, “A330 Airworthiness Limitation Items,” Issue 17, dated May 28, 2010, comply with all applicable maintenance requirements and associated airworthiness limitations included in Airbus Document AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, “A330 Airworthiness Limitation Items,” Issue 17, dated May 28, 2010. Accomplishing the revision in this paragraph ends the requirements in paragraph (g) of this AD.

Alternative Intervals or Limits

(i) Except as provided by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, after accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, no alternatives to the maintenance tasks, intervals, or limitations specified in paragraph (h) of this AD may be used.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

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

Other FAA AD Provisions

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

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it 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. Information may be e-mailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. 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.

(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.

Related Information

(k) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2010-0174, dated August 17, 2010; Airbus Document AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, “A330 Airworthiness Limitation Items,” Issue 12, dated November 1, 2003; and Airbus Document AI/SE-M4/95A.0089/97, “A330 Airworthiness Limitation Items,” Issue 17, dated May 28, 2010; for related information.

Start Signature
Start Printed Page 15870

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 14, 2011.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-6643 Filed 3-21-11; 8:45 am]

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