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Airworthiness Directives; SOCATA Airplanes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplanes. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued 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 TBM700 operator reported an occurrence where, as a result of handling the standby compass lighting bulb cover in flight, both essential bus bars (ESS BUS 1 and ESS BUS 2) failed, leading to loss of a number of instruments and navigation systems.

The technical investigations carried out by SOCATA have shown that the cause of this occurrence was that the electrical protection of some TBM 700 aeroplanes is insufficient to allow in-flight handling of the standby compass lighting cover when energized.

This condition, if not corrected, may compromise the ability of the pilot to safely operate the aeroplane under certain flight conditions due to the increase of workload.

We are issuing this AD to require actions to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective December 6, 2011.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of December 6, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

For service information identified in this AD, contact SOCATA—Direction des Services, 65921 Tarbes Cedex 9, France; telephone: +33 (0)5 62 41 73 00; fax: +33 (0)5 62 41 7654; or in the United States contact SOCATA North America, Inc., North Perry Airport, 7501 South Airport Road, Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023; telephone: (954) 893-1400; fax: (954) 964-4141; Internet: http://www.socatanorthamerica.com. 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Albert Mercado, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4119; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: albert.mercado@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 16, 2011 (75 FR 50706). That NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

A TBM700 operator reported an occurrence where, as a result of handling the standby compass lighting bulb cover in flight, both essential bus bars (ESS BUS 1 and ESS BUS 2) failed, leading to loss of a number of instruments and navigation systems.

The technical investigations carried out by SOCATA have shown that the cause of this occurrence was that the electrical protection of some TBM 700 aeroplanes is insufficient to allow in-flight handling of the standby compass lighting cover when energized.

This condition, if not corrected, may compromise the ability of the pilot to safely operate the aeroplane under certain flight conditions due to the increase of workload.

To address this unsafe condition, SOCATA have developed a modification which consists of installing a protection fuse on the wire at the standby compass connector, introduced by SOCATA Service Bulletin (SB) 70-192-34.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires installation of a protection of the electrical wire at the standby compass connector.

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

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comment received.

Request To Correct Fax Number

Jeanne Da Costa of DAHER SOCATA stated that there is a typographical error in the fax number for the SOCATA office located in France. Currently, the fax number listed under the ADDRESSES section and in the Related Information section is +33 (0)5 62 41 7-54. The commenter states that the correct fax number is +33 (0)5 62 41 7654 and requests the correction be made in the final rule AD action.

We agree with the commenter and have revised the final rule AD action to incorporate the correct fax number.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data, including the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of the 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 required 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 AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 124 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $350 per product.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $53,940 or $435 per product.

According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

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 Start Printed Page 67342detail 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 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.

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 the NPRM (75 FR 50706, August 16, 2011), 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 List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

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:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part

2011-23-03 SOCATA: Amendment 39-16854; Docket No. FAA-2011-0868; Directorate Identifier 2011-CE-027-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective December 6, 2011.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplanes, serial numbers 148, 434 through 572, 574, and 576, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 34: Navigation.

(e) Reason

The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

A TBM700 operator reported an occurrence where, as a result of handling the standby compass lighting bulb cover in flight, both essential bus bars (ESS BUS 1 and ESS BUS 2) failed, leading to loss of a number of instruments and navigation systems.

The technical investigations carried out by SOCATA have shown that the cause of this occurrence was that the electrical protection of some TBM 700 aeroplanes is insufficient to allow in-flight handling of the standby compass lighting cover when energized.

This condition, if not corrected, may compromise the ability of the pilot to safely operate the aeroplane under certain flight conditions due to the increase of workload.

To address this unsafe condition, SOCATA have developed a modification which consists of installing a protection fuse on the wire at the standby compass connector, introduced by SOCATA Service Bulletin (SB) 70-192-34.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires installation of a protection of the electrical wire at the standby compass connector.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Unless already done, within 6 months after December 6, 2011 (the effective date of this AD), install a protection fuse on the wire at the standby compass connector following the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-192-34, dated April 2011.

(g) FAA AD Differences

Note:

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

(h) Other FAA AD Provisions

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: Albert Mercado, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4119; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: albert.mercado@faa.gov. 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.

(i) Related Information

Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2011-0130, dated July 8, 2011; and DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-192-34, dated April 2011, for related information.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) You must use DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-192-34, dated April 2011, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51 on December 6, 2011.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact SOCATA—Direction des Start Printed Page 67343Services, 65921 Tarbes Cedex 9, France; telephone: +33 (0)5 62 41 73 00; fax: +33 (0)5 62 41 7654; or in the United States contact SOCATA North America, Inc., North Perry Airport, 7501 South Airport Road, Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023; telephone: (954) 893-1400; fax: (954) 964-4141; Internet: http://www.socatanorthamerica.com.

(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 that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at an NARA facility, 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 October 24, 2011.

Earl Lawrence,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 2011-27949 Filed 10-31-11; 8:45 am]

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