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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 certain Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracking found in the pylon box, which was due to the stresses resulting from the pressure applied by the engines' thrust reverser cowl bumpers. This proposed AD would require repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking, and replacement of all fittings if necessary. Replacement of all fittings would terminate the repetitive HFEC inspections. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the pylon rib 5, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 29, 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-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-2014-0230; 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, Washington 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 Start Printed Page 20838to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2014-0230; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-242-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 2013-0286, dated December 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:

Cracks were found on the lower side of rib 5 in the pylon box on A300 aeroplanes powered with General Electric engines.

Investigations revealed that these cracks were due to the stresses resulting from the pressure applied by the thrust reverser cowl bumpers.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

Airbus developed an inspection programme to detect the cracks and associated actions to correct them.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive [HFEC] inspections of the pylon rib 5 on the left hand side (LH) and right hand (RH) side and, when cracks are detected, replacement of the affected structural part(s) [Replacement of all fittings would terminate the repetitive HFEC inspections.]

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-2014-0230.

Relevant Service Information

Airbus has issued the following service bulletins. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

  • Airbus Service Bulletin A300-54-6031, dated May 30, 1996.
  • Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-54-6034, Revision 02, dated August 26, 2013.

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.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

While paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2013-0286, dated December 4, 2013, gives a compliance time of within 250 flight hours to replace fittings, this AD requires replacement of those fitting before further flight.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 129 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 9 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 $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $98,685 or $765 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 32 work-hours and require parts costing $2,450, for a cost of $5,170 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

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-2014-0230; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-242-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by May 29, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, B4-622, B4-605R, B4-622R, F4-605R, F4-622R, and C4-605R Variant F airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 11110 has been embodied in production, or that have been modified in service as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A300-54-6031, dated May 30, 1996. Start Printed Page 20839

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 54, Nacelles/Pylons.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of cracking found in the pylon box, which was due to the stresses resulting from the pressure applied by the thrust reverser cowl bumpers. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the pylon rib 5, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection and Replacement

(1) Before the accumulation of 15,000 total flight hours since the airplane's first flight, or within 6,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking on the lower area of rib 5 on the left-hand and right-hand side pylons, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-54-6034, Revision 02, dated August 26, 2013. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 15,000 flight hours.

(2) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, before further flight, replace all the fittings with new standard fittings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-54-6031, dated May 30, 1996.

(h) Terminating Action

Replacement of all fittings as required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, or modification of pylons in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-54-6031, dated May 30, 1996, terminates the repetitive HFEC inspections required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for the inspections required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-54-6034, Revision 01, dated September 14, 1999, 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, Washington 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). 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) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2013-0286, dated December 4, 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-2014-0230.

(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 April 1, 2014.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-08303 Filed 4-11-14; 8:45 am]

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