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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems 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 all Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model SAAB 2000 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of hydraulic accumulator failure. This proposed AD would require replacing certain hydraulic accumulators with stainless steel hydraulic accumulators, and structural modifications in the nose landing gear bay. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of hydraulic accumulators, which may result in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 13, 2012.

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 Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email saab2000.techsupport@saabgroup.com; Internet http://www.saabgroup.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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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-2011-1410; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-033-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 2011-0004, dated January 17, 2011 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Three cases of failure have been reported, affecting the same type of hydraulic accumulator as installed on SAAB 2000 aeroplanes, although all occurred on other aeroplane types. The reported cause of these failures has been traced to corrosion. Any of the end parts on the accumulator may depart from the pressure vessel if they are affected by corrosion.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, may lead to fatigue failure of a hydraulic accumulator, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants. In addition, a quality issue during the replacement of the base material in the end parts of the accumulator may have affected the service life of the accumulator.

To address this unsafe condition, SAAB has introduced a new type of hydraulic accumulator, which is made of stainless steel.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the replacement of all Part Number (P/N) 08 8423 030 1 hydraulic accumulators with stainless steel P/N 40800-2050 hydraulic accumulators and associated structural modifications in the nose landing gear bay.

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

Relevant Service Information

Saab has issued Service Bulletin 2000-29-024, Revision 01, dated November 5, 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.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 8 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 12 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 $9,995 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 Start Printed Page 81890than estimated here. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $88,120, or $11,015 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

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

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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.

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[Amended]

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

Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems: Docket No. FAA-2011-1410; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-033-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by February 13, 2012.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model SAAB 2000 airplanes, all serial numbers; certificated in any category.

Subject

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

Reason

(e) This AD was prompted by reports of hydraulic accumulator failure. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of hydraulic accumulators, which may result in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.

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 12 months after the effective date of this AD, replace all hydraulic accumulators having part number (P/N) 08 8423 030 1, with stainless steel hydraulic accumulators having P/N 40800-2050, and do the structural modifications in the nose landing gear bay, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-29-024, Revision 01, dated November 5, 2010.

Parts Installation

(h) After replacement of hydraulic accumulators having P/N 08 8423 030 1 with hydraulic accumulators having P/N 40800-2050, and doing the structural modifications in the nose landing gear bay, as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no person may install any hydraulic accumulator having P/N 08 8423 030 1 on any airplane.

Credit for Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service Information

(i) Replacing the hydraulic accumulators and doing the structural modifications in the nose landing gear bay, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-29-024, dated November 18, 2009, before the effective date of this AD, is acceptable for compliance with the corresponding replacement and structural modifications required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

Other FAA AD Provisions

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

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, ANM-116, International Branch, 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 appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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

(k) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2011-0004, dated January 17, 2011; and Saab Service Bulletin 2000-29-024, Revision 01, dated November 5, 2010; for related information.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 19, 2011.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2011-33275 Filed 12-28-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P