Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by analysis that in a specific failure case of the upper primary attachment of the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA); the THSA upper secondary attachment would engage because it could only withstand the loads for a limited period of time. This proposed AD would require installation of three secondary retention plates for the gimbal bearings on the THSA upper primary attachment. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the secondary load path, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 22, 2012.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
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.
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-2012-0041; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-167-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.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2011-0112, dated June 15, 2011 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:
A specific failure case of the THSA [trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator] upper primary attachment, which may result in a loading of the upper secondary attachment, has been identified by analysis.
Primary load path failure can be caused by bearing migration from the upper attachment gimbal by failure or loss of a retention bolt.
In case of failure of the THSA upper primary attachment, the THSA upper secondary attachment would engage. Because the upper attachment secondary load path can only withstand the loads for a limited period of time, the condition where it would be engaged could lead, if not detected and corrected, to the failure of the secondary load path, which would likely result in loss of control of the aeroplane.
For the reasons explained above, this [EASA] AD requires installation of three secondary retention plates for the gimbal bearings on the THSA upper primary attachment.
You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.
Relevant Service Information
Airbus has issued Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-27-0204, dated March 11, 2011. 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 15 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 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 $6,541 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. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $100,665, or $6,711 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.
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 affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and
4. 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.
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:
Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2012-0041; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-167-AD.
(a) Comments Due Date
We must receive comments by March 22, 2012.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to all Airbus Model A300 B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes, certificated in any category.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27: Flight controls.
This AD was prompted by analysis that in a specific failure case of the upper primary attachment of the trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator (THSA); the THSA upper secondary attachment would engage because it could only withstand the loads for a limited period of time. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the secondary load path, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.
You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.
Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD, install 3 retention plates for the gimbal bearings on the THSA upper primary attachment, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-27-0204, dated March 11, 2011.
(h) Other FAA AD Provisions
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 appropriate. 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 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.
(i) Related Information
Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2011-0112, dated June 15, 2011; and Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-27-0204, dated March 11, 2011; for related information.
Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 23, 2012.
Kalene C. Yanamura,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-2622 Filed 2-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P