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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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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 Airbus Model A300 B4-600 and A300 B4-600R series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found in certain bottom wing skin stringers during full-scale fatigue testing and in service. This AD requires modifying the profile of stringer run-outs of both wings, including a high frequency eddy current inspection of the fastener holes for defects and, if necessary, repairs. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking in the bottom wing skin stringers, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 21, 2014.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 21, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0668; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, 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 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.

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:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600 and A300 B4-600R series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 1, 2013 (78 FR 46536). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracks found in the bottom wing skin stringers at rib 14 during full-scale fatigue testing and in service. The NPRM proposed to require modifying the profile of stringer run-outs at rib 14 of both wings, including a high frequency eddy current inspection of the fastener holes for defects and repairs if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking in the bottom wing skin stringers, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0008R1, dated January 22, 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 full-scale fatigue testing, cracks were detected in the bottom wing skin stringers at rib 14. In addition, A300 aeroplane operators have also reported finding cracks in the same area.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could impair the structural integrity of the wings.

Additional analysis results showed that the improved design of the stringer run-out is necessary for aeroplanes operating beyond the ESG 1 [extended service goal 1: 42,500 flight cycles].

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the removal of the stringer end run-out plate at stringer 19 on the bottom wing skin and the re-profiling modification of the stringers 10, 11, 12, 17 and 19.

* * * * *

The modification also includes doing a high frequency eddy current inspection of the fastener holes for defects and, if necessary, repairs. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0668-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM (78 FR 46536, August 1, 2013) and the FAA's response to the comment.

Request To Refer to New Service Information

UPS requested that the source of work instructions for accomplishing the proposed actions be revised to Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 02, dated June 21, 2013. UPS noted that the NPRM (78 FR 46536, August 1, 2013) referenced Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 01, dated April 18, 2011, as the source of work instructions.

We agree. We have revised paragraph (g) of this final rule to refer to Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 02, dated June 21, 2013, instead. We have revised paragraph (i) of this AD to also identify Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 01, dated April 18, 2011, as an acceptable source of instructions if those actions are accomplished before the effective date of this AD.

Additional Change

We have revised paragraph (g) of this final rule to clarify when the applicable repairs are required to be done.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (78 FR 46536, August 1, 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 46536, August 1, 2013).

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 29 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:Start Printed Page 21393

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Modification of the profile of stringer run-outs60 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,100None$5,100$147,900

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for any on-condition actions specified in this AD. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this repair.

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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0668-0002; 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 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

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
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:

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

2014-08-02 Airbus: Amendment 39-17826. Docket No. FAA-2013-0668; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-017-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective May 21, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes; and Airbus Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes; certificated in any category, except airplanes on which Airbus Modification 10324 or 10325 has been embodied in production.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found in the bottom wing skin stringers at rib 14 during full-scale fatigue testing and in service. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking in the bottom wing skin stringers, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings.

(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) Modification of Rib 14

Before the accumulation of 42,500 total flight cycles, or within 2,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, modify the profile of stringer run-outs at rib 14 of both wings, including a high frequency eddy current inspection of the fastener holes for defects and all applicable repairs, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 02, dated June 21, 2013, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Do all applicable repairs before further flight.

(h) Exception to the Service Information

Where Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 02, dated June 21, 2013, specifies to contact Airbus for repair instructions, this AD requires contacting the Manager, ANM-116, International Branch, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (or its delegated agent) for repair instructions and doing those repairs before further flight.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, dated January 18, 1994; or Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 01, dated April 18, 2011 (which are 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-Start Printed Page 21394ANM-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.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0008R1, dated January 22, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0668-0002.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference may be obtained at the addresses specified in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this AD.

(l) 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) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-57-6046, Revision 02, dated June 21, 2013.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(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 April 2, 2014.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-08455 Filed 4-15-14; 8:45 am]

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