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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A300 Series Airplanes; Model A310 Series Airplanes; and Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R Series Airplanes, and Model C4-605R Variant F Airplanes (Collectively Called A300-600 Series Airplanes)

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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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. 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:

* * * * *

A recent analysis conducted by the manufacturer showed a particular risk for explosive failure of the * * * hydraulic accumulator.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, might, for some aeroplane installations, lead to damage to all three hydraulic circuits, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane or could, for certain other aeroplane installations, lead to an undetected fire in the wheel bay.

* * * * *

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 August 8, 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, 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—EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; e-mail: account.airworth-eas@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://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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Start Printed Page 36388Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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-2011-0570; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-014-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

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2011-0006, dated January 17, 2011 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Since 1984, the design of the hydraulic accumulator installed on all the affected Airbus types has changed. The Part Number (P/N) remained the same, but the manufacturer did not record the serial number of the part that was the first to be manufactured to the changed design specification.

The new design hydraulic accumulator is manufactured with 2 pieces unit welded, instead of 4 pieces unit with 3 welds (old design) as pictured in Appendix 1 of this [EASA] AD. The welding process of the new design hydraulic accumulator provides a higher strength shell material and more reliability.

A recent analysis conducted by the manufacturer showed a particular risk for explosive failure of the old design hydraulic accumulator.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, might, for some aeroplane installations, lead to damage to all three hydraulic circuits, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane or could, for certain other aeroplane installations, lead to an undetected fire in the wheel bay.

For the reasons explained above, this [EASA] AD requires a one time detailed visual inspection to identify the old designed accumulators installed on certain hydraulic systems, the replacement of those accumulators by new designed accumulators and, irrespective of findings, the installation of warning placards to avoid installation of old designed accumulators on the affected hydraulic systems.

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

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued the service bulletins identified in the following table. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

Table—Service information

Airbus mandatory service bulletin—Revision—Dated—
A300-29-0126, including Appendices 01 and 0201October 12, 2010.
A300-29-0127OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A300-29-6063, including Appendix 01OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A300-29-6064OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A310-29-2099, including Appendix 01OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A310-29-2100OriginalAugust 12, 2010.

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 184 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 7 work-hours 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 $197 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 $145,728, or $792 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 5 work-hours and require parts costing $10,700, for a cost of $11,125 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

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 36389the 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:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2011-0570; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-014-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by August 8, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to the products identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes.

(2) Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes.

(3) Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes; A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes; A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes; and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29: Hydraulic power.

Reason

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

A recent analysis conducted by the manufacturer showed a particular risk for explosive failure of the * * * hydraulic accumulator.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, might, for some aeroplane installations, lead to damage to all three hydraulic circuits, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane or could, for certain other aeroplane installations, lead to an undetected fire in the wheel bay.

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.

Inspection, Replacement, and Placard Installation

(g) Within 30 months or 6,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do a detailed inspection of each type 5 hydraulic accumulator, part number (P/N) 3059103-1, P/N 3059103-2, P/N 3059103-8, and P/N 3059103-9, to determine if an old design accumulator (i.e., pre-1984) is installed on any affected hydraulic circuit indicated in table 1 of this AD, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus mandatory service bulletin identified in table 2 of this AD.

Table 1—Applicable hydraulic circuits

Airbus modelHydraulic circuit
A300 airplanes pre-modification 02447Blue and Green.
A300 airplanes post-modification 02447Blue.
A300-600 airplanesBlue.
A310 airplanesGreen.

Table 2—Applicable service information

Airbus mandatory service bulletin—Revision —Dated —
A300-29-0126 (for Model A300 airplanes)01October 12, 2010.
A300-29-6063 (for Model A300-600 airplanes)OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A310-29-2099 (for Model A310 airplanes)OriginalAugust 12, 2010.

(h) If, during any detailed inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, an old design hydraulic accumulator (i.e., pre-1984) is found installed on any affected hydraulic circuit as indicated in table 1 of this AD, as applicable to airplane model, before further flight replace each affected old design accumulator with a new design accumulator, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus mandatory service bulletin identified in table 2 of this AD.

(i) Before further flight after accomplishing the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Install a placard at the designated location of any affected hydraulic circuit indicated in table 1 of this AD, as applicable to airplane model, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus mandatory service bulletin identified in table 3 of this AD.

Table 3—Other applicable service information

Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin—Dated—
A300-29-0127August 12, 2010.
A300-29-6064August 12, 2010.
A310-29-2100August 12, 2010.

FAA AD Differences

Note 1:

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, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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 Start Printed Page 36390appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; 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 MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2011-0006, dated January 17, 2011; and the service bulletins identified in table 4 of this AD; for related information.

Table 4—Related service information

Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin—Revision—Dated—
A300-29-012601October 12, 2010.
A300-29-0127OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A300-29-6063OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A300-29-6064OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A310-29-2099OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
A310-29-2100OriginalAugust 12, 2010.
Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 10, 2011.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-15535 Filed 6-21-11; 8:45 am]

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