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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, A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by several reports of a burning smell and/or smoke in the cockpit during cruise phase leading, in some cases, to diversion to alternate airports. This proposed AD would require an inspection to identify the installed windshields and replacement of any affected windshield. We are proposing this AD to prevent significantly increased workload for the flightcrew, which could, under some flight phases and/or circumstances, constitute an unsafe condition.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 24, 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, 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:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 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-2012-1162; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-002-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 2011-0242, dated December 19, 2011 (corrected February 15, 2012), (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products.

The MCAI states:

Several operators have reported cases of burning smell and/or smoke in the cockpit during cruise phase leading in some cases to diversion.

Findings have shown that the cause of these events is the burning of the Saint-Gobain Sully (SGS) windshield connector terminal block.

This condition, if not corrected, could significantly increase the flight crew workload which would, under some flight phases and/or circumstances, constitute an unsafe condition.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the identification of the installed windshields and replacement of the affected part.

* * * * *

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

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued the following service bulletins.

  • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-56-3009, Revision 01, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated January 27, 2011 (for Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes).
  • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-4008, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated May 4, 2010 (for Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes).
  • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-5002, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated May 4, 2010 (for Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes).

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 55 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. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $9,350, or $170 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 10 work-hours and require parts costing $0, for a cost of $850 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. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

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-2012-1162; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-002-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by December 24, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 56, Windows.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by several reports of a burning smell and/or smoke in the cockpit during cruise phase leading, in some cases, to diversion to alternate airports. We are proposing this AD to prevent significantly increased workload for the flightcrew, which could, under some flight phases and/or circumstances, constitute an unsafe condition.

(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) Inspection

Within 1,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, inspect to identify the manufacturer, the part number, and the serial number of the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) windshields installed on the airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus service information identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD. A review of airplane delivery or maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the manufacturer, part number, and serial number of the installed windshields can be conclusively determined from that review.

(1) For Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A330-56-3009, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated January 27, 2011.

(2) For Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-4008, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 2010.

(3) For Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-5002, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 2010.

(h) Replacement

If it is found during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD that any installed LH or RH windshield was manufactured by Saint-Gobain Sully (SGS) and the part number and serial number are identified in the applicable Airbus service information identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD: Within 9 months or 1,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace all affected LH and RH windshields, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus service information identified in paragraph (h)(1), (h)(2), or (h)(3) of this AD.

(1) For Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A330-56-3009, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated January 27, 2011.

(2) For Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-4008, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 2010.

(3) For Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-5002, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 2010.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD for Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-56-3009, dated May 4, 2010, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, do not install on an airplane any affected windshield from SGS and having a part number and serial number as identified in the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (j)(1), (j)(2), and (j)(3) of this AD, unless a suffix “U” is present at the end of the S/N.

(1) For Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A330-56-3009, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated January 27, 2011.

(2) For Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-4008, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 2010.

(3) For Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes: Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-5002, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 2010.

(k) 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: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2011-0242, dated December 19, 2011 (corrected February 15, 2012), and the service information identified in paragraphs (k)(1)(i) through (k)(1)(iii) of this AD, for related information.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-56-3009, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated January 27, 2011.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-4008, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 2010.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-56-5002, including Appendix 01, excluding Appendices 02 and 03, dated May 4, 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, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 31, 2012.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-27142 Filed 11-6-12; 8:45 am]

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