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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 340B airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that the elevator position quoted in an aircraft maintenance manual is incorrect for Saab 340B airplane. This proposed AD would require an inspection of the stick pusher rigging and an adjustment to the correct setting if necessary. We are proposing this AD to correct the rigging of the elevator position of the stick pusher to reduce the probability of a negative effect on the handling quality during stall, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 18, 2013.

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 Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email saab340techsupport@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, 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.

Start Further Info

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-2013-0460; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-222-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 aviation authority for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2012-0256, dated December 3, 2012 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

The standard stick pusher maximum elevator position of a SAAB 340B, prior to delivery, is set at 7.5 degrees trailing edge down. It was recently discovered that this value has been incorrectly referenced in the SAAB 340B Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), which quotes an elevator position of 4 degrees trailing edge down for all aeroplanes, which is the correct value for SAAB SF340A aeroplanes only.

If a SAAB 340B aeroplane has been re-rigged in accordance with current AMM procedure, there is a possibility that the deflection of the elevator will be less than intended.

This condition, if not corrected, will affect the stall characteristics on the outer part of the envelope at maximum flap setting and aft centre of gravity (CG) configuration, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, SAAB AB Aeronautics issued Service Bulletin (SB) 340-27-105 to reduce the probability of a negative effect on the handling quality during stall.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time inspection of the stick pusher rigging and, depending on findings, adjustment to the correct setting.

The reference in the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) for setting the maximum elevator position of the stick pusher of SAAB 340B model was corrected in December 2012 to show the correct value of 7.5 degrees trailing edge down. The revised AMM showing the correct value was provided to the operators of Saab 340B Model airplanes by the manufacturer. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Saab has issued Service Bulletin 340-27-105, Revision 01, dated August 31, 2012. 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 Start Printed Page 33011MCAI 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 109 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 $10 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 $112,270, or $1,030 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

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

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part

Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems: Docket No. FAA-2013-0460; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-222-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by July 18, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340B airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27: Flight Controls.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report that the elevator position quoted in an aircraft maintenance manual is incorrect for Saab 340B airplane. We are issuing this AD to correct the rigging of the elevator position of the stick pusher to reduce the probability of a negative effect on the handling quality during stall, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

(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) Actions

Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect the stick pusher rigging, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-105, Revision 1, dated August 31, 2012. If an incorrect setting of the stick pusher maximum elevator position is found, before further flight, adjust the stick pusher rigging and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-105, Revision 1, dated August 31, 2012.

(h) Reporting Requirement

If during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, the elevator position is found outside specified limit, submit a report of the findings to: Saab AB, Business Area Support and Services, Air Division, Technical Support email: Saab340.techsupport@saabgroup.com Fax: +46 (0) 13 18 48 74 at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD. The report must include the value and corrective action. Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements contained in this AD and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120 0056.

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

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

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-105, dated July 12, 2012.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

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/Start Printed Page 33012certificate 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.

(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.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2012-0256, dated December 3, 2012; and Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-105, Revision 01, dated August 31, 2012; for related information.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email saab340techsupport@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, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 22, 2013.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-13006 Filed 5-31-13; 8:45 am]

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