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Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72-101, -201, -102, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of airplane incidents and accidents that have occurred because of low-level fuel tank situations and fuel starvation that resulted in engine flameouts. This AD requires installing a fuel quantity indicator (FQI) equipped with a locking adaptor on the electrical connector. We are issuing this AD to prevent an engine flame-out, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective December 5, 2013.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 5, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0624 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 service information identified in this AD, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email continued.airworthiness@atr.fr; Internet http://www.aerochain.com. You may review this 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 Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; fax (425) 227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to the specified products. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 18, 2013 (78 FR 42898). The NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0047, dated March 4, 2013 (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:

Large aeroplane incidents and accidents have occurred because of fuel tank low level situations, or because of fuel starvation, resulting in one or several engine(s) flame-out. The results of the investigation into an ATR 72 accident in August 2005 have shown that overruling standard operational procedures and maintenance practices have led to this kind of occurrence.

Consequently, additional actions to help avoid maintenance errors, like installation of a wrong gauge or wrong indicator, need to be taken.

Although it is recognised that the fuel (indicating) system of the ATR 42/72 type design is compliant with the applicable requirements, the risk of other maintenance errors will be mitigated by making installation of an ATR 42 Fuel Quantity Indicator (FQI) on an ATR 72 aeroplane mechanically impossible through a specific design change on the ATR 72.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the ATR 72 FQI by installing a locking adaptor on the electrical connector. You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

We are issuing this AD to prevent an engine flame-out, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0624-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (78 FR 42898, July 18, 2013) 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 this AD as proposed—except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (78 FR 42898, July 18, 2013) for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (78 FR 42898, July 18, 2013).

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this AD affects 25 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it takes 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $3,882 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 Start Printed Page 65184the AD on U.S. operators to be $101,300, or $4,052 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/​#!docketDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0624;​ 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 AD, the MCAI, 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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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

2013-21-08 ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional: Amendment 39-17632. Docket No. FAA-2013-0624; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-071-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective December 5, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72-101, -201, -102, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes, certificated in any category, except airplanes that have received ATR Modification 5948 in production.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of airplane incidents and accidents that have occurred because of low-level fuel tank situations and fuel starvation that resulted in engine flameouts. We are issuing this AD to prevent an engine flame-out, 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) Installation

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD: Install a fuel quantity indicator (FQI) equipped with a locking adaptor on the electrical connector, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Avions de Transport Régional Service Bulletin ATR72-28-1026, dated February 26, 2013.

(1) For airplanes on which a fuel secondary low level detection system is not installed: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For airplanes on which a fuel secondary low level detection system is installed: Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD.

Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD: The fuel secondary low level detection system may have been installed through the embodiment of ATR Modification 04686 in production, or as applicable, through ATR Service Bulletins ATR72-28-1013 or ATR72-28-1022 in service.

(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: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1137; 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

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2013-0047, dated March 4, 2013, for related information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0624-0002.

(j) 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 this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Avions de Transport Régional Service Bulletin ATR72-28-1026, dated February 26, 2013.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, Start Printed Page 6518531712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email continued.airworthiness@atr.fr; Internet http://www.aerochain.com.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 30, 2013.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-24952 Filed 10-30-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P