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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A319 and A320 Series Airplanes

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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 Start Printed Page 67626products 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:

One operator has reported a torn out aspirator following scheduled (for on-ground testing purposes) deployment of the Left Hand (LH) OWS [off-wing escape slide].

Investigations have revealed that the aspirator of the off-wing ramp/slide system interferes with the extrusion lip of the OWS enclosure during the initial stage of the deployment sequence.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in both LH and Right Hand (RH) off-wing exits being unserviceable which, during an emergency, would impair the safe evacuation of occupants, possibly resulting in personal injuries.

* * * * *

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 December 19, 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, 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; email 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-2011-1167; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-058-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 2010-0210, dated October 21, 2010; corrected October 27, 2010 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

One operator has reported a torn out aspirator following scheduled (for on-ground testing purposes) deployment of the Left Hand (LH) OWS [off-wing escape slide].

Investigations have revealed that the aspirator of the off-wing ramp/slide system interferes with the extrusion lip of the OWS enclosure during the initial stage of the deployment sequence.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in both LH and Right Hand (RH) off-wing exits being unserviceable which, during an emergency, would impair the safe evacuation of occupants, possibly resulting in personal injuries.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the modification of the OWS enclosures on both sides.

* * * * *

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

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-25-1649, dated February 16, 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 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 694 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 14 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 $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 parts. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Start Printed Page 67627Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $825,860, or $1,190 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.

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-2011-1167; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-058-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by December 19, 2011.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; and Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers; except for airplanes delivered with Airbus Modification 30088 on which off-wing escape slides (OWS) having part numbers (P/N) D31865-111 and P/N D31865-112 are installed.

Subject

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

Reason

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

One operator has reported a torn out aspirator following scheduled (for on-ground testing purposes) deployment of the Left Hand (LH) OWS [off-wing escape slide].

Investigations have revealed that the aspirator of the off-wing ramp/slide system interferes with the extrusion lip of the OWS enclosure during the initial stage of the deployment sequence.

This condition, if not corrected, could result in both LH and Right Hand (RH) off-wing exits being unserviceable which, during an emergency, would impair the safe evacuation of occupants, possibly resulting in personal injuries.

* * * * *

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 36 months after the effective date of this AD, modify both left-hand and right-hand OWS enclosures, in accordance with the instructions in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1649, dated February 16, 2010.

Parts Installation

(h) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install an OWS having P/N D31865-109, P/N D31865-110, P/N D31865-209, or P/N D31865-210 on any airplane.

FAA AD Differences

Note 1:

This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows:

(1) The MCAI specifies that certain parts may not be installed after doing the modification. However, this AD specifies that those parts may not be installed as of the effective date of this AD.

(2) The applicability of the MCAI is limited to manufacturer serial numbers (MSN) equipped with Air Cruisers/Aerazur P/N D31865-109; P/N D31865-110; P/N D31865-209; or P/N D31865-210 OWS; however, this AD is applicable to all MSNs with the exception of airplanes delivered with Airbus Modification 30088 on which OWS having P/Ns D31865-111 and P/N D31865-112 are installed.

(3) Although the applicability of the MCAI includes Model A318 series airplanes, the airplane models identified in the effectivity of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1649, dated February 16, 2010, are limited to Model A319 and Model A320 series airplanes. Therefore, the applicability of this AD does not include Model A318 series airplanes.

Other FAA AD Provisions

(i) 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: 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 emailed 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

(j) Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2010-0210, dated October 21, 2010, corrected October 27, 2010; and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-25-1649, dated February 16, 2010; for related information.

Start Signature
Start Printed Page 67628

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 21, 2011.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-28368 Filed 11-1-11; 8:45 a.m.]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P