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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, and A330-300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by the failure of the generator control unit-constant speed motor/generator (GCU-CSM/G) during a final assembly operational test. This proposed AD would require a detailed inspection of the connector wires for GCU-CSM/G connector 1XE-A for discrepancies (evidence of arcing or overheating damage), and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct incorrect locking of contacts into connector 1XE-A of the GCU-CSM/G, which could result in a loss of contact continuity and lead to the CSM/G not operating, which, in conjunction with an emergency electrical configuration loss of the main electrical system or total engine flame out, could adversely affect the airplane's safe flight.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 10, 2014.

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-Start Printed Page 7829530, 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 a irworthiness.A330-A340@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov;​ or in person at the Docket Management Facility 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:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1138; 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-2013-1031; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-155-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 Members of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0175, dated August 2, 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:

During Final Assembly Line tests on an A330 aeroplane, the Generator Control Unit—Constant Speed Motor/Generator (GCU-CSM/G) failed the operational test.

Investigations revealed that it is due to incorrect locking of some contacts (pins) into the GCU-CSM/G connector 1XE-A. An inspection of other aeroplanes confirmed this production quality issue. Among the 26 pins used in GCU-CSM/G connector 1XE-A, 6 pins have been identified as potentially affected by this issue.

A badly locked contact could result in a loss of continuity and lead to the non-operation of the CSM/G.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, and in conjunction with either an emergency electrical configuration loss of main electrical system or total engine flame out, could jeopardize the aeroplane's safe flight.

To address this condition, Airbus developed Alert Operator Transmission (AOT) A24L001-13, to provide instructions for a one-time inspection.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires a one-time [detailed] inspection of the potentially affected connector wires of GCU-CSM/G connector 1XE-A and, depending on [the] finding, accomplishment of [a related investigative action] and applicable corrective actions.

The related investigative action is a detailed inspection of the receptacle contacts of the GCU-CSM/G for proper engagement and evidence of arcing or overheating damage. The corrective actions include replacing damaged (evidence of arcing or overheating) contacts, and if necessary the electrical connector; and replacement of the GCU-CSM/G if the receptacle contacts show evidence of arcing or overheating damage.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2013-1031.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Alert Operators Transmission A24L001-13, dated July 25, 2013. 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

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 76 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour 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 $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $6,460, or $85 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 1 work-hour and require parts costing up to $17,314, for a cost of up to $17,399 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might 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 Start Printed Page 78296under 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 airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2013-1031; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-155-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by February 10, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, -343 airplanes; and A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes; certificated in any category; manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) 1 through 1391 inclusive, except MSNs 0925 and 1382.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24, Electrical Power.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by the failure of the generator control unit-constant speed motor/generator (GCU-CSM/G) during a final assembly operational test. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct incorrect locking of contacts into connector 1XE-A of the GCU-CSM/G, which could result in a loss of contact continuity and lead to the CSM/G not operating, which, in conjunction with an emergency electrical configuration loss of the main electrical system or total engine flame out, could adversely affect the airplane's safe flight.

(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) Inspections and Corrective Actions

(1) Within 1,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD: Do a detailed inspection for discrepancies (proper engagement and evidence of arcing or overheating) of the affected connector wires of GCU-CSM/G connector 1XE-A, in accordance with Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A24L001-13, dated July 25, 2013.

(2) If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, any discrepancy is detected, before further flight, do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A24L001-13, dated July 25, 2013.

(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, 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, Washington 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, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they were approved by the State of Design Authority (or its delegated agent, or by the Design Approval Holder with a State of Design Authority's design organization approval). For a repair method to be approved, the repair approval must specifically refer to this AD. You are required to ensure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(i) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2013-0175, dated August 2, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2013-1031.

(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 view this 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 December 17, 2013.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-30897 Filed 12-24-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P