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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Sicma Aero Seat 88xx, 89xx, 90xx, 91xx, 92xx, 93xx, 95xx, and 96xx Series Passenger Seat Assemblies, Installed on Various Transport Category 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:

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

SUMMARY:

We are revising an earlier NPRM for the products listed above. This action revises the earlier NPRM by expanding the scope. 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:

Cracks have been found on seats [with] backrest links P/N (part number) 90-000200-104-1 and 90-000200-104-2. These cracks can significantly affect the structural integrity of seat backrests.

Failure of the backrest links could result in injury to an occupant during emergency landing conditions. 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 June 9, 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 Sicma Aero Seat, 7, Rue Lucien Coupet, 36100 ISSOUDUN, France; telephone 33 (0) 2 54 03 39 39; fax 33 (0) 2 54 03 39 00; e-mail: customerservices@sicma.zodiac.com; Internet http://www.sicma.zodiac.com/​en/​. 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://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:

Jeffrey Lee, Aerospace Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-7161; fax (781) 238-7170.

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-2010-0040; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-203-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://Start Printed Page 22831www.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 proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 with an earlier NPRM for the specified products, which was published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2010 (75 FR 2826). That earlier NPRM proposed to require actions intended to address the unsafe condition for the products specified above.

Since that NPRM was issued, we have determined that the series 91C3 seat was not included in that NPRM because it was originally included in the wrong service bulletin. Sicma Aero Seat issued revised service information that includes that seat model with the other seat models affected by that NPRM, as discussed in the comment responses that follow. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Comments

We have considered the following comments received on the earlier NPRM.

Request To Revise Service Bulletin Reference

Boeing requested that we update all references to Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 3, dated December 19, 2001, to Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004, including Annex 1, Issue 2, dated March 19, 2004. The commenter justified the request by stating that seat model 91C3 (installed on Boeing Model 737 airplanes) was inadvertently excluded in Issue 3 of that service bulletin, and that Issue 4 of that service bulletin corrects the applicability to those seats installed that are affected. The commenter also requested that we revise the “Relevant Service Information” section of the NPRM to refer to Issue 4 of that service bulletin.

We agree to update the service information in the supplemental NPRM for the reason given. We have revised paragraphs (c), (f)(1) through (f)(3), (f)(5), and (h) of this supplemental NPRM to refer to Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004, including Annex 1, Issue 2, dated March 19, 2004. We also have added new paragraph (f)(6) to this supplemental NPRM to give credit for actions done according to Issue 3 of that service bulletin. We also have removed the specific reference to series 91C3 seats, in paragraph (c) of this supplemental NPRM, from the list of those series to which this supplemental NPRM does not apply, because this AD, as now proposed, does apply to series 91C3 seats. We have not changed the “Relevant Service Information” section of the NPRM because that section does not appear in this supplemental NPRM.

Request To Remove Boeing Model 777 Airplanes From Applicability Table 1

Boeing requested that we revise table 1 of the NPRM to remove Model 777 airplanes, because those airplanes, due to their certification, do not have the affected seat series installed.

We agree to revise table 1 of the supplemental NPRM, for the reason given.

Request To Identify Affected Seats by Main Component Number

Vallejo Investments, Inc. requested that we specify the affected seats by their main component part number rather than the part number of the subassembly. The commenter stated that it could better participate in the rule-making process with this information.

We do not agree to provide the main component part numbers for the affected seats, because the seat assembly part numbers as listed are consistent with the Technical Standard Order (TSO) part number labels attached to each seat. We have not changed the supplemental NPRM in this regard.

Explanation of Changes Made to This Proposed AD

We have revised this supplemental NPRM to identify the legal name of the manufacturer as published in the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected airplane models.

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.

Certain changes described above expand the scope of the earlier 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 proposed AD.

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.

Explanation of Change to Costs of Compliance

Since issuance of the NPRM, we have increased the labor rate used in the Costs of Compliance from $80 per work-hour to $85 per work-hour. The Costs of Compliance information, below, reflects this increase in the specified hourly labor rate.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 611 seats on 4 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. Required parts would cost about $0 per product. Where the service information lists required parts costs that are covered under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these costs. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $51,935, or $85 per seat.

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 Start Printed Page 22832the 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
[Amended]

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

SICMA Aero Seat: Docket No. FAA-2010-0040; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-203-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by June 9, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Sicma Aero Seat 88xx, 89xx, 90xx, 91xx, 92xx, 93xx, 95xx, and 96xx series passenger seat assemblies identified in Annex 1, Issue 2, dated March 19, 2004, of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004, that have backrest links having part numbers (P/Ns) 90-000200-104-1 and 90-000200-104-2; and that are installed on, but not limited to, the airplanes identified in table 1 of this AD, certificated in any category. This AD does not apply to Sicma Aero Seat series 9140, 9166, 9173, 9174, 9184, 9188, 9196, 91B7, 91B8, 91C0, 91C2, 91C4, 91C5, 9301, and 9501 passenger seat assemblies.

Table 1-Certain Affected Airplane Models

ManufacturerModel
AirbusA300 Airplanes.
AirbusA310, A318, A319, A320, A321, A330-200 and A330-300 Series Airplanes.
ATR-GIE Avions de Transport RégionalATR42-200, -300, -320, and -500 Airplanes.
ATR-GIE Avions de Transport RégionalATR72-101, -201, -102, -202, -211, -212, and -212A Airplanes.
The Boeing Company727, 727C, 727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F Series Airplanes.
The Boeing Company737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER Series Airplanes.
The Boeing Company747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP Series Airplanes.
The Boeing Company757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 Series Airplanes.
The Boeing Company767-200, -300, -300F, and -400ER Series Airplanes.
Bombardier, IncCL-600-1A11 (CL-600), CL-600-2A12 (CL-601), and CL-600-2B16 (CL-601-3A, CL-601-3R, and CL-604) Airplanes.
Bombardier, IncCL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 and 440) Airplanes.
Bombardier, IncCL-600-2C10 (Regional Jet Series 700, 701, and 702) Airplanes.
Bombardier, IncCL-600-2D15 (Regional Jet Series 705) Airplanes.
Bombardier, IncCL-600-2D24 (Regional Jet Series 900) Airplanes.
Bombardier, IncDHC-8-100, DHC-8-200, DHC-8-300, and DHC-8-400 Airplanes.
Fokker Services B.VF.27 Mark 050, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, and 700 Airplanes.
Fokker Services B.VF.28 Mark 0070, 0100, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 Airplanes.
The Boeing CompanyDC-8-11, DC-8-12, DC-8-21, DC-8-31, DC-8-32, DC-8-33, DC-8-41, DC-8-42, DC-8-43, DC-8-51, DC-8-52, DC-8-53, DC-8-55, DC-8F-54, DC-8F-55, DC-8-61, DC-8-62, DC-8-63, DC-8-61F, DC-8-62F, DC-8-63F, DC-8-71, DC-8-72, DC-8-73, DC-8-71F, DC-8-72F, and DC-8-73F Airplanes.
The Boeing CompanyDC-9-11, DC-9-12, DC-9-13, DC-9-14, DC-9-15, DC-9-15F, DC-9-21, DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32 (VC-9C), DC-9-32F, DC-9-33F, DC-9-34, DC-9-34F, DC-9-32F (C-9A, C-9B), DC-9-41, DC-9-51, DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), and DC-9-87 (MD-87) Airplanes.
The Boeing CompanyDC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, and DC-10-40F Airplanes.
The Boeing CompanyMD-11 and MD-11F Airplanes.

Note 1:

This AD applies to Sicma Aero Seat passenger seat assemblies as installed on any airplane, regardless of whether the airplane has been otherwise modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For airplanes that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (g)(1) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Start Printed Page 22833

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25: Equipment/Furnishings.

Reason

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

Cracks have been found on seats [with] backrest links P/N (part number) 90-000200-104-1 and 90-000200-104-2. These cracks can significantly affect the structural integrity of seat backrests.

Failure of the backrest links could result in injury to an occupant during emergency landing conditions. The required actions include a general visual inspection for cracking of the backrest links; replacement with new, improved links if cracking is found; and eventual replacement of all links with new, improved links.

Actions and Compliance

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

(1) At the later of the compliance times specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD, do a general visual inspection of the backrest links having P/Ns 90-000200-104-1 and 90-000200-104-2, in accordance with Part One of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004:

(i) Before 6,000 flight hours on the backrest link since new.

(ii) Within 900 flight hours or 5 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(2) If, during the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, cracking is found between the side of the backrest link and the lock-out pin hole but the cracking does not pass this lock-out pin hole (refer to Figure 2 of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004): Within 600 flight hours or 3 months after doing the inspection, whichever occurs first, replace both backrest links of the affected seat with new, improved backrest links having P/Ns 90-100200-104-1 and 90-100200-104-2, in accordance with Part Two of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004.

(3) If, during the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, cracking is found that passes beyond the lock-out pin hole (refer to Figure 2 of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004): Before further flight, replace both backrest links of the affected seat with new, improved backrest links having P/Ns 90-100200-104-1 and 90-100200-104-2, in accordance with Part Two of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004.

(4) If no cracking is found during the inspection required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD: Do the replacement required by paragraph (f)(5) of this AD at the compliance time specified in paragraph (f)(5) of this AD.

(5) At the later of the compliance times specified in paragraphs (f)(5)(i) and (f)(5)(ii) of this AD, replace the links, P/Ns 90-000200-104-1 and 90-000200-104-2, with new improved links, P/Ns 90-100200-104-1 and 90-100200-104-2, in accordance with Part Two of Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004. Doing this replacement for an affected passenger seat assembly terminates the inspection requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this AD for that passenger seat assembly.

(i) Before 12,000 flight hours on the backrest links, P/Ns 90-000200-104-1 and 90-000200-104-2, since new.

(ii) Within 900 flight hours or 5 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

Credit for Actions Done in Accordance With Previous Service Information

(6) Actions done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 3, dated December 19, 2001, including Annex 1, Issue 2, dated March 19, 2004, are acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions of this AD.

FAA AD Differences

Note 2:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: The MCAI specifies doing repetitive inspections for cracking of links having over 12,000 flight hours since new until the replacement of the link is done. This AD does not include those repetitive inspections because we have reduced the compliance time for replacing those links. This AD requires replacing the link before 12,000 flight hours since new or within 900 flight hours or 5 months of the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

Other FAA AD Provisions

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

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, 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 ACO, send it to ATTN: Jeffrey Lee, Aerospace Engineer, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803; telephone (781) 238-7161; fax (781) 238-7170. 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

(h) Refer to MCAI French Airworthiness Directive 2001-613(AB), dated December 12, 2001; and Sicma Aero Seat Service Bulletin 90-25-013, Issue 4, dated March 19, 2004, including Annex 1, Issue 2, dated March 19, 2004; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 18, 2011.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-9942 Filed 4-22-11; 8:45 am]

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