Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A319-111, -112, and -132 Airplanes; Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214 and -232 Airplanes; and Model A321-111, -211, -212, and -231 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

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:

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:

Cases of corrosion findings have been reported on the overwing refueling aperture (used to fill the fuel tank by gravity) on the wing top skin. * * *

* * * * *

This condition, if not corrected, could, in combination with a lightning strike in this area, create a source of ignition in a fuel tank, possibly resulting in a fire or explosion and consequent loss of the aeroplane.

* * * * *

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 November 21, 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, Airworthiness Office—EAS, 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:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 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-2011-0998; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-046-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 2011-0034, dated March 2, 2011 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Cases of corrosion findings have been reported on the overwing refueling aperture (used to fill the fuel tank by gravity) on the wing top skin. The reported corrosion was on the mating surface of the aperture flange, underneath the refuel adaptor. Corrosion findings have been repaired on a case by case basis in accordance with approved data.

For certain aeroplanes (identified by MSN in the applicability section of this AD), the provided repair contained instructions to apply primer coating on the mating surface. Since doing those repairs, it has been found that this primer coating may prevent proper electrical bonding provision between the overwing refuelling cap adaptor and the wing skin.

This condition, if not corrected, could, in combination with a lightning strike in this area, create a source of ignition in a fuel tank, possibly resulting in a fire or explosion and consequent loss of the aeroplane.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires a one-time electrical bonding check between the gravity fill re-fuel adaptor and the top skin panels on the affected aeroplanes and, in case of findings [a general visual inspection for corrosion of the component interface and adjacent area], the application of the associated corrective actions [i.e. repair].

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

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-57-1152, dated June 14, 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 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 Start Printed Page 61642AD 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 67 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 6 work-hours per product to comply with the basic 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 $34,170 or $510 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 6 work-hours and require parts costing $0, for a cost of $510 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 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 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-2011-0998; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-046-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by November 21, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A319-111, -112, and -132 airplanes; Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214 and -232 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -211, -212, and -231 airplanes; certificated in any category; having manufacturer serial numbers 0039, 0078, 0109, 0118, 0120, 0153, 0174, 0187, 0203, 0215, 0218, 0226, 0227, 0228, 0236, 0237, 0269, 0270, 0278, 0285, 0286, 0287, 0288, 0294, 0301, 0337, 0377, 0462, 0463, 0464, 0465, 0520, 0523, 0528, 0876, 0888, 0921, 0935, 0974, 1014, 1102, 1130, 1160, 1162, 1177, 1215, 1250, 1287, 1336, 1388, 1404, 1444, 1449, 1476, 1505, 1524, 1564, 1605, 1616, 1622, 1640, 1645, 1658, 1677, 1691, 1729, and 1905.

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57: Wings.

Reason

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

Cases of corrosion findings have been reported on the overwing refueling aperture (used to fill the fuel tank by gravity) on the wing top skin. * * *

* * * * *

This condition, if not corrected, could, in combination with a lightning strike in this area, create a source of ignition in a fuel tank, possibly resulting in a fire or explosion and consequent loss of the aeroplane.

* * * * *

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.

Actions

(g) Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do an electrical bonding test to check for bonding between the re-fuel adaptor of the gravity fill and the top skin panels on the left-hand and right-hand wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1152, dated June 14, 2010.

(1) If the resistance value is 10 milliOhms or less at the left-hand and right-hand wing, no further action is required.

(2) If the resistance value is greater than 10 milliOhms at the left-hand or right-hand wing, before further flight do a general visual inspection for corrosion of the component interface and adjacent area, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1152, dated June 14, 2010. If any corrosion is found during the inspection, before further flight repair the gravity fuel adaptor, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1152, dated June 14, 2010; except where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1152, dated June 14, 2010, specifies to contact Airbus before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (or its delegated agent).

FAA AD Differences

Note 1:

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

Other FAA AD Provisions

(h) The following provisions also apply to this AD:Start Printed Page 61643

(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: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 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

(i) Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2011-0034, dated March 2, 2011; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1152, dated June 14, 2010; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 22, 2011.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-25569 Filed 10-4-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P