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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that erroneous height indication by one radio altimeter with engaged flare and retard mode, in case of go-around, might lead to a temporary loss of airplane longitudinal control. This proposed AD would require revising the airplane flight manual. We are proposing this AD to ensure that the flightcrew applies the appropriate operational procedures in the event of an erroneous indication of the radio altimeter, which could result in temporary loss of airplane longitudinal control.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 10, 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 Airbus SAS—Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email airworthiness.A330-A340@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, WA. 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:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1138; fax (425) 227-1149.

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-2012-1106; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-084-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 2012-0069, dated April 24, 2012 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Airbus performed tests to investigate the consequences of one radio altimeter providing an erroneous indication.

These tests concluded that with engaged flare and retard mode, in case of go-around, the situation may lead to a temporary loss of aeroplane longitudinal control.

To address this condition, Airbus issued a new Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) operational procedure.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires amendment of the applicable AFM to ensure that the flight crew applies the appropriate operational procedures.

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

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Temporary Revision TR37, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010; and Temporary Revision TR38, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010; to the Airbus A330/A340 AFM. 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

While the compliance time for doing the actions specified in EASA AD 2012-0069, dated April 24, 2012, is within 14 days after the effective date of EASA AD 2012-0069, dated April 24, 2012, this proposed AD has a required compliance time of within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 64 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour 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 $5,440, or $85 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);

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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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:

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

[Amended]

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

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2012-1106; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-084-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by December 10, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes; Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; and Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report that erroneous height indication by one radio altimeter with engaged flare and retard mode, in case of go-around, might lead to a temporary loss of airplane longitudinal control. We are issuing this AD to ensure that the flightcrew applies the appropriate operational procedures in the event of an erroneous indication of the radio altimeter, which could result in temporary loss of airplane longitudinal control.

(f) Compliance

You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

(g) Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) Revision

(1) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the applicable section of the Airbus A330/A340 AFM to include the information in Airbus Temporary Revision TR37, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010; or Airbus Temporary Revision TR38, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010; to the Airbus A330/A340 AFM. This may be done by inserting a copy of this AD, or Airbus Temporary Revision TR37, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010, and Airbus Temporary Revision TR38, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010; in the AFM.

Note 1 to paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: When the information in Airbus Temporary Revision TR37, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010; or Airbus Temporary Revision TR38, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010, to the Airbus A3330/A340 AFM, has been included in the applicable section of the general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be inserted into the AFM, and the copy of this AD may be removed from the AFM, provided the relevant information in the general revisions is identical to that in Airbus Temporary Revision TR37, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010; or Airbus Temporary Revision TR38, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010.

(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, 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: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1138; 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

(1) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2012-0069, dated April 24, 2012, and the service information specified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) and (i)(1)(ii) of this AD, for related information.

(i) Airbus Temporary Revision TR37, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010.

(ii) Airbus Temporary Revision TR38, Issue 1.0, dated June 15, 2010.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS—Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email airworthiness.A330-A340@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, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 14, 2012.

John P. Piccola,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-26264 Filed 10-24-12; 8:45 am]

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