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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 Airbus Model A300 series airplanes, Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). This proposed AD was prompted by a report of chafing found on the overflow sensor harness of the surge tank, and subsequent contact between the electrical wiring and fuel tank structure. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection for chafing of the overflow sensor harness and structural damage of the outer tank, and repair if necessary. This proposed AD would also require modification of the sensor harness. We are proposing this AD to prevent chafing of the harness and subsequent contact between the electrical wiring and fuel tank structure, which could result in electrical arcing and a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 23, 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.Start Printed Page 19297
  • 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 SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 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 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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0189; 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:

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.

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-2014-0189; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-181-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 2013-0193, dated August 23, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes, Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes). The MCAI states:

During a scheduled maintenance check on an A300 aeroplane, chafing was found on the surge tank overflow sensor harness. The harness was found to contact the Magnetic Fuel Level Indicator (MFLI) canister.

Prompted by these findings, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued http://ad.easa.europa.eu/​blob/​easa_​ad_​1999_​404_​293.pdf/​AD_​1999-404-293 to require modification of the harness routing in accordance with the instructions of Airbus SB [service bulletin] A300-28-0058 or SB A300-28-6020, as applicable to aeroplane model.

Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, maintenance work on modified A300-600 aeroplanes revealed some chafing of the harness, creating a potential contact between the electrical wire and fuel tank structure. Investigations have shown that although measures were taken to prevent contact of the harness with the MFLI (through modification 04489),the installation can be subject to human error. As the MFLI is integral to the access panel in this location, any potential contact with the harness (as a result of incorrect installation) is hidden.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to electrical arcing, possibly resulting in a fuel tank explosion and loss of the aeroplane. To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued SB A300-28-0091 for A300 aeroplanes, SB A300-28-6109 for A300-600 aeroplanes, and A300-28-9022 for A300-600ST aeroplanes.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time inspection of the harness and, depending on findings, corrective actions, as well as replacement of angle brackets by error-proof harness brackets.

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-2014-0189.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued Mandatory Service Bulletins A300-28-0091, dated March 5, 2013; and A300-28-6109, Revision 01, dated December 20, 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.

Repair Approvals

In many FAA transport ADs, when the service information specifies to contact the manufacturer for further instructions if certain discrepancies are found, we typically include in the AD a requirement to accomplish the action using a method approved by either the FAA or the State of Design Authority (or its delegated agent).

We have recently been notified that certain laws in other countries do not allow such delegation of authority, but some countries do recognize design approval organizations. In addition, we have become aware that some U.S. operators have used repair instructions that were previously approved by a State of Design Authority or a Design Approval Holder (DAH) as a method of compliance with this provision in FAA ADs. Frequently, in these cases, the previously approved repair instructions come from the airplane structural repair manual or the DAH repair approval statements that were not specifically developed to address the unsafe condition corrected by the AD. Using repair instructions that were not specifically approved for a particular AD creates the potential for doing repairs that were not developed to address the unsafe condition identified by the MCAI AD, the FAA AD, or the applicable service information, which could result in the unsafe condition not being fully corrected.

To prevent the use of repairs that were not specifically developed to correct the unsafe condition, certain requirements of this proposed AD Start Printed Page 19298specify that the repair approval specifically refer to the FAA AD. This change is intended to clarify the method of compliance and to provide operators with better visibility of repairs that are specifically developed and approved to correct the unsafe condition. In addition, we use the phrase “its delegated agent, or the DAH with State of Design Authority design organization approval, as applicable” in this proposed AD to refer to a DAH authorized to approve certain required repairs for this proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 123 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the inspection required by this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this inspection proposed by this AD on U.S. operators to be $31,365, or $255 per product.

We estimate that it would take about 12 work-hours per product to comply with the modification requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $500 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this modification proposed by this AD on U.S. operators to be $186,960, or $1,520 per product.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this proposed AD.

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.

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. Amend § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2014-0189; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-181-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by May 23, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), and (c)(5) of this AD; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes.

(2) Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

(3) Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

(4) Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

(5) Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of chafing found on the overflow sensor harness of the surge tank, and subsequent contact between the electrical wiring and fuel tank structure. We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing of the harness and subsequent contact between the electrical wiring and fuel tank structure, which could result in electrical arcing and a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) One-Time Inspection and Repair

Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD: Perform a one-time visual inspection for chafing of the outer tank sensor harness between ribs 26 and 27, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-0091, dated March 5, 2013 (for Model A300 series airplanes); or Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-6109, Revision 01, dated December 20, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes).

(1) If any previous repairs are identified, or if braid and wire insulation is found damaged with the conductor exposed during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or EASA (or its delegated agent, or the Design Approval Holder with a State of Design Authority's design organization approval, as applicable). For a repair method to be approved, the repair approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(2) If the braid and wire insulation is found damaged without the conductor exposed during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, repair, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-0091, dated March 5, 2013 (for Model A300 series airplanes); or Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-6109, Revision 01, dated December 20, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes).

(h) Modification

(1) For airplanes on which no damage was found during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, install modified and error-proof angle brackets to stringer 15 between ribs 26 and 27 of the outer tank sensor harness, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-0091, dated March 5, 2013 (for Model A300 series airplanes); or Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-6109, Start Printed Page 19299Revision 01, dated December 20, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes).

(2) For airplanes on which any damage was found during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, and the applicable repair required by paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD has been done: Before further flight, install modified and error-proof angle brackets to stringer 15 between ribs 26 and 27 of the outer tank sensor harness, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-0091, dated March 5, 2013 (for Model A300 series airplanes); or Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-6109, Revision 01, dated December 20, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes).

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-28-6109, dated March 5, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) 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.

(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 the DAH with a State of Design Authority's design organization approval, as applicable). You are required to ensure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0193, dated August 23, 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-2014-0189.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 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 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 March 28, 2014.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-07801 Filed 4-7-14; 8:45 am]

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