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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes; and Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-622, B4-605R, and B4-622R airplanes. That AD currently requires performing a one-time detailed visual inspection of the forward fitting at frame (FR) 40 on both sides of the airplane for cracks, and repair if necessary. This new AD requires repetitive detailed inspections of the forward fitting at FR 40 without nut removal, and a one-time eddy current or liquid penetrant inspection of the forward fitting at FR 40 with nut removal, and repair if necessary. This AD was prompted by reports that new cracks were found in the FR 40 forward fitting. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the FR 40 forward fitting, which could result in a deterioration of the structural integrity of the frame.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective January 30, 2013.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of January 30, 2013.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain other publications listed in this AD as of April 15, 2010 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010).

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 27, 2012 (77 FR 51717), and proposed to supersede AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010). That NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) states:

One A300-600 aeroplane operator reported that, during a routine inspection, a crack was found in the right hand frame (FR) 40 forward fitting between stringer 32 and stringer 33. The subject aeroplane had previously been modified in accordance with Airbus SB A300-57-6053 (Mod. 10453).

Therefore and pending completion of the full analysis using a refined Finite Element Model, EASA [European Aviation Safety Agency] issued AD 2009-0094 [which corresponds with FAA AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)] to require a one-time Detailed Visual Inspection (DVI) of the post-SB A300-57-6053 A300-600 aeroplanes and post-SB A300-53-0297 A300 aeroplanes in order to ensure the structural integrity of frame 40.

During a recent maintenance check, on two aeroplanes (one A300B4 and one A300-600), cracks were found in the FR 40 forward fitting.

These new crack findings are considered as unexpected, since they were found after:

—Application of modification SB A300-57-6053 or SB A300-53-0297 which cancels the inspection programme, and

—Accomplishment of EASA AD 2009-0094.

For the reasons described above, this new [EASA] AD, which supersedes EASA AD 2009-0094, requires repetitive DVI of the FR 40 forward fitting (without nut removal), accomplishment of a one time Eddy Current (EC) inspection or liquid penetrant inspection of this area (with nut removal) and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of associated corrective action [repair if any cracking found]. Passing the EC or liquid penetrant inspection constitutes terminating action for the repetitive DVI.

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

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (77 FR 51717, August 27, 2012), or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect about 134 products of U.S. registry.

The actions that are required by AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010), and retained in this AD take about 3 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the currently required actions is $255 per product.

We estimate that it will take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD to the U.S. operators to be $34,170, or $255 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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:

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 AD and placed it in the AD docket.

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 the NPRM (77 FR 51717, August 27, 2012), 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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 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 removing airworthiness directive (AD) 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (

2012-25-06 Airbus: Amendment 39-17287. Docket No. FAA-2012-0858; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-183-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective January 30, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD supersedes AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD. For airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297 or A300-57-6053 (Airbus Modification 10453), as applicable, has been incorporated as a corrective action (repair following crack finding), no action is required by this AD.

(1) Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes, all serial numbers, modified preventively in service (without any preliminary crack findings), as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297 (Airbus Modification 10453).

(2) Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes, all serial numbers, modified preventively in service (without any preliminary crack findings), as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6053 (Airbus Modification 10453).

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, 57: Fuselage, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports that cracks were found in the frame (FR) 40 forward fitting. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the FR 40 forward fitting, which could result in a deterioration of the structural integrity of the frame.

(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) Retained Detailed Inspection

This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraphs (f)(1), (f)(2), and (f)(3) of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010).

(1) At the applicable time specified in table 1 to paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Do a one-time detailed visual inspection of the forward fitting at FR 40 on both sides of the airplane, in accordance with Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57A6108 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes) or A300-53A0387 (for Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes), both including Appendices 01 and 02, both dated September 12, 2008.

Table 1 to Paragraph (g)(1) of this AD—Compliance Times

Airplane models/configurationCompliance time
A300 B4-2C and B4-103 airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297 was done prior to the accumulation of 9,000 total flight cyclesPrior to the accumulation of 18,000 total flight cycles, or within 3 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)), whichever occurs later.
A300 B4-2C and B4-103 airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297 was done on or after the accumulation of 9,000 total flight cyclesWithin 5,500 flight cycles after accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297, or within 6 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)), whichever occurs later; except, for airplanes that, as of April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05), have accumulated 11,000 flight cycles or more since accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297, within 3 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05).
A300 B4-203 airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297 was done prior to the accumulation of 8,300 total flight cyclesPrior to the accumulation of 15,000 total flight cycles, or within 3 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)), whichever occurs later.
A300 B4-203 airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297 was done on or after the accumulation of 8,300 total flight cyclesWithin 4,100 flight cycles after accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297, or within 6 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)), whichever occurs later; except, for airplanes that, as of April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05), have accumulated 8,200 flight cycles or more since accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0297, within 3 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05).
A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6053 was done prior to the accumulation of 6,100 total flight cyclesPrior to the accumulation of 11,500 total flight cycles, or within 3 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)), whichever occurs later.
A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6053 was done on or after the accumulation of 6,100 total flight cyclesWithin 3,300 flight cycles after accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6053, or within 6 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)), whichever occurs later; except, for airplanes that, as of April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05), have accumulated 6,600 flight cycles or more since accomplishment of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6053, within 3 months after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05).

(2) Except as required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD: If any crack is found during the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, before further flight, do a temporary or definitive repair, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0268, Revision 06, dated January 7, 2002 (for Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes); or A300-57-6052, Revision 03, dated May 27, 2002, including Airbus Drawings 15R53810394, Issue A, dated December 21, 1998, and 21R57110247, Issue A, dated June 20, 1997 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes).

(3) If any crack found during the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD cannot be repaired in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0268, Revision 06, dated January 7, 2002 (for Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes); or A300-57-6052, Revision 03, dated May 27, 2002, including Airbus Drawings 15R53810394, Issue A, dated December 21, 1998, and 21R57110247, Issue A, dated June 20, 1997 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes): Contact Airbus for repair instructions and, before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (or its delegated agent).

(h) Retained Reporting Requirement

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (f)(4) of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010). Submit an inspection report in accordance with Appendix 01 of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-53A0387, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated September 12, 2008 (for Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes); or Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57A6108, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated September 12, 2008 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes); to the address identified on the reporting sheet, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD.

(1) If the inspection was done on or after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)): Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

(2) If the inspection was done before April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010)): Submit the report within 30 days after April 15, 2010 (the effective date of AD 2010-06-05).

(i) New Requirement: Repetitive Detailed Inspections

Within 300 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD: Perform a detailed inspection for cracks of the forward fitting at FR 40 without nut removal on both sides of the airplane, in accordance with Airbus All Operator Telex A300-53A0391, dated August 9, 2011 (for Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes); or Airbus All Operator Telex A300-57A6111, dated August 9, 2011 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes). Thereafter, repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles.

(j) New Requirement: Eddy Current Inspection or Liquid Penetrant Inspection

Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD: Perform an eddy current inspection or a liquid penetrant inspection for cracks of the forward fitting at FR 40 with nut removal on both sides of the airplane, in accordance with Airbus All Operator Telex A300-53A0391, dated August 9, 2011 (for Model A300 B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes); or Airbus All Operator Telex A300-57A6111, dated August 9, 2011 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, and B4-622R airplanes).

(k) New Requirement: Corrective Action

If, during any inspection required by paragraph (i) or (j) of this AD, any crack is detected: Before further flight, repair the crack in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or EASA (or its delegated agent).

(l) New Requirement: Reporting Requirement

Submit a one-time report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the inspections required by paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD to Airbus, Sebastien Faure, SEES1, SAS—EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 31 68; fax +33 5 61 93 36 14; email sebastien.s.faure@airbus.com, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (l)(1) or (l)(2) of this AD.

(1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

(2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(m) New Requirement: Terminating Action

Accomplishment of the one-time eddy current inspection or a liquid penetrant inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD, including doing all applicable repairs, constitutes terminating action for the inspections required by paragraph (i) of this AD.

(n) 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, WA 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. AMOCs approved previously in accordance with AD 2010-06-05, Amendment 39-16229 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of 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.

(3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

(o) Related Information

Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2011-0163, dated August 30, 2011, and the service information specified in paragraphs (o)(1) through (o)(6) of this AD, for related information.

(1) Airbus All Operator Telex A300-53A0391, dated August 9, 2011.

(2) Airbus All Operator Telex A300-57A6111, dated August 9, 2011.

(3) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57A6108, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated September 12, 2008.

(4) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-53A0387, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated September 12, 2008.

(5) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0268, Revision 06, dated January 7, 2002.

(6) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6052, Revision 03, dated May 27, 2002, including Airbus Drawings 15R53810394, Issue A, dated December 21, 1998, and 21R57110247, Issue A, dated June 20, 1997.

(p) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on January 30, 2013.

(i) Airbus All Operator Telex A300-53A0391, dated August 9, 2011. (The issue date and document number of this document are specified on only the first page of the document.)

(ii) Airbus All Operator Telex A300-57A6111, dated August 9, 2011. (The issue date and document number of this document are specified on only the first page of the document.)

(4) The following service information was approved for IBR on April 15, 2010 (75 FR 11435, March 11, 2010).

(i) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57A6108, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated September 12, 2008.

(ii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-53A0387, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated September 12, 2008.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-0268, Revision 06, dated January 7, 2002. (Pages 1-6, 9, 10, and 25-27 of this document are identified as Revision 06, dated January 7, 2002. Pages 7, 8, 11-24, and 28-84 of this AD document are identified as Revision 05, dated June 9, 2000).

(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6052, Revision 03, dated May 27, 2002, which includes Airbus Drawing 15R53810394, Issue A, dated December 21, 1998 and Airbus Drawing 21R57110247, Issue A, dated June 20, 1997. Airbus Drawing 21R57110247, Issue A, dated June 20, 1997 has effective pages 1 and 2, dated May 28, 1997 and pages 3 and 4, dated June 20, 1997.

(5) For service information identified in this 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; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

(6) You may review copies of the 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.

(7) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 4, 2012.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-29992 Filed 12-21-12; 8:45 am]

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