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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus 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 Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that oxygen generators installed on a certain batch of passenger emergency oxygen container assemblies might become detached by extreme pulling of the mask tube at the end of oxygen supply causing a high temperature oxygen generator and mask to fall down. This proposed AD would require modifying the passenger emergency oxygen container assembly. We are proposing this AD to prevent a high temperature oxygen generator and mask from falling down and possibly resulting in an ignition source in the passenger compartment, injury to passengers, and reduced availability of supplemental oxygen.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 19, 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 Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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. 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:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 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-2013-0465; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-085-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 2012-0055, dated April 3, 2012 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

It has been determined that oxygen generators, installed on a specific batch of Type 1 (22 minute) passenger emergency oxygen container assemblies, may become detached by extreme pulling of the mask tube at the end of oxygen supply. Investigations revealed that such detachment can be caused by the increase in temperature towards the end of the generator operation, which may weaken the plastic housing in the attachment area of the bracket.

This condition, if not corrected, could make the rivets slip through the plastic housing, causing a `hot' oxygen generator and mask to fall down, possibly resulting in injury to passengers.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the affected oxygen container assemblies. This [EASA] AD also prohibits the installation of the affected (unmodified) containers on any aeroplane as replacement parts.

The modification consists of adding a reinforcement plate at the rear outside of the container and adding two washers to the rivets at the inside of the container to prevent the generator from detaching. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued the following service bulletins.

  • Service Bulletin A320-35-1049, dated June 15, 2011.
  • Service Bulletin A320-35-1053, dated June 15, 2011.
  • Service Bulletin A320-35-1054, dated June 15, 2011.
  • Service Bulletin A320-35-1055, dated June 15, 2011.
  • Service Bulletin A320-35-1056, dated June 15, 2011.
  • Service Bulletin A320-35-1057, dated June 15, 2011.
  • Service Bulletin A320-35-1058, dated June 15, 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 Start Printed Page 40075country, 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 4 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per oxygen container assembly to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. 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 $680 per oxygen container assembly.

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

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

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2013-0465; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-085-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by August 19, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that oxygen generators, installed on a certain batch of passenger emergency oxygen container assemblies, might become detached by extreme pulling of the mask tube at the end of oxygen supply causing a high temperature oxygen generator and mask to fall down. We are issuing this AD to prevent a high temperature oxygen generator and mask from falling down and possibly resulting in an ignition source in the passenger compartment, injury to passengers, and reduced availability of supplemental oxygen.

(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) Oxygen Container Assembly Modification

Except as specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD, within 5,000 flight cycles, or 7,500 flight hours, or 24 months, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD: Modify each type 1 (22 minute) passenger emergency oxygen container assembly installed on an airplane, having a part number (P/N) listed in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD and a serial number (S/N) listed in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1049, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1053, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1054, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1055, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1056, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1057, dated June 15, 2011; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1058, dated June 15, 2011; as applicable.

(1) An oxygen container that has a part number listed in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD and a serial number as listed in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD, and that has been modified in accordance with the instructions of B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 1XC22-0100-35-006, is compliant with the modification requirement of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Oxygen container part numbers listed in paragraphs (g)(1)(i)(A) through (g)(1)(i)(D) of this AD, where xxxx stands for and alphanumerical value.

(A) 13C22Lxxxxx0100.

(B) 13C22Rxxxxx0100.

(C) 14C22Lxxxxx0100.

(D) 14C22Rxxxxx0100

(ii) Oxygen container serial numbers listed in paragraphs (g)(1)(ii)(A) through (g)(1)(i)(H) of this AD.

(A) ARBC-0182 to ARBC-9999, inclusive.

(B) ARBD-0000 to ARBD-9999, inclusive.

(C) ARBE-0000 to ARBE-9999, inclusive.

(D) BEBF-0000 to BEBF-9999, inclusive.

(E) BEBH-0000 to BEBH-9999, inclusive.

(F) BEBK-0000 to BEBK-9999, inclusive.

(G) BEBL-0000 to BEBL-9999, inclusive.

(H) BEBM-0000 to BEBM-0454, inclusive.

(2) Airplanes on which Airbus modification 150704 has not been embodied in production are excluded from the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, unless an oxygen container with a part number listed in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD and a serial number listed in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD is installed.Start Printed Page 40076

(3) Airplanes on which Airbus modification 150704 has been embodied in production and that are not listed by model and manufacturer serial number in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1049, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1053, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1054, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1055, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1056, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1057, dated June 15, 2011; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1058, dated June 15, 2011; as applicable, are excluded from the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, unless an oxygen container with a part number listed in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD and a serial number listed in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD is installed.

Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

The oxygen container assemblies listed in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD and paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD are B/E Aerospace products with the mark “B/E AEROSPACE” on the identification plate.

(h) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, an oxygen container with a part number listed in paragraph (g)(1)(i) of this AD, and serial number listed in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this AD, unless the oxygen container has been modified according to Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1049, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1053, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1054, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1055, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1056, dated June 15, 2011; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1057, dated June 15, 2011; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1058, dated June 15, 2011; as applicable.

(i) 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 Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 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.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2012-0055, dated April 3, 2012; and the following service bulletins; for related information.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1049, dated June 15, 2011.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1053, dated June 15, 2011.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1054, dated June 15, 2011.

(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1055, dated June 15, 2011.

(v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1056, dated June 15, 2011.

(vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1057, dated June 15, 2011.

(vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1058, dated June 15, 2011.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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. 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 June 14, 2013.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-15950 Filed 7-2-13; 8:45 am]

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