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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 and A310 series airplanes, and certain Model A300-600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a review of certain repairs, which revealed that the structural integrity of the airplane could be affected if those repairs are not re-worked. This proposed AD would require an inspection to identify certain repairs, and corrective action if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct certain repairs on the floor cross beams flange. If those repairs are not reworked, the structural integrity of the airplane could be negatively affected.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 2, 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; Start Printed Page 21414Internet 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-2014-0229; 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, ANM-116, International Branch, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98507-3356; 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-2014-0229; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-186-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 2013-0220, dated September 18, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 and A310 series airplanes, and certain 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:

In the frame of the Extended Service Goal (ESG) activity, all existing Structural Repair Manual (SRM) repairs were reviewed.

This analysis, which consisted in new static and fatigue calculations, revealed that some repairs were no longer applicable to some specific areas.

These repairs, if not reworked, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane. To address the repairs on the floor cross beams flange, Airbus issued Alert Operator Transmission (AOT) A300-53A0392, AOT A300-53A6171 and AOT A310-53A2135.

To address this unsafe condition, and further to the implementation of the Aging Aircraft Safety Rule (AASR), this [EASA] Airworthiness Directive requires a [general visual] inspection of the floor cross beams flange at frame (FR)11 and FR12A to identify SRM repairs and, depending on findings, accomplishment of corrective action [reworking the SRM repairs].

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0229.

Relevant Service Information

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

  • All Operator Telex A300-53A0392, dated March 14, 2012 (for Model A300 series airplanes).
  • All Operator Telex A300-53A6171, dated March 14, 2012 (for Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622; A300 B4-605R and B4-622R; A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes; and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes).
  • All Operator Telex A310-53A2135, dated March 14, 2012 (for Model A310 series airplanes).

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 these same type designs.

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 would require 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 177 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. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $15,045, or $85 per product.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost Start Printed Page 21415estimates for the on-condition actions 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. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2014-0229; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-186-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by June 2, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category.

(1) Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs).

(2) Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622; A300 B4-605R and B4-622R; A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes; and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; all MSNs, except those on which Airbus Modification 12699 has been embodied in production.

(3) Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes, all MSNs.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a review of repairs done using the structural repair manual (SRM), which revealed that the structural integrity of the airplane could be affected if certain SRM repairs are not re-worked. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct SRM repairs on the floor cross beams flange at frame (FR)11 and FR12A. If these SRM repairs are not reworked, the structural integrity of the airplane could be negatively affected.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection

(1) Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a general visual inspection of the floor cross beams flange at FR11 and FR12A to determine which SRM repairs have been done, in accordance with the instructions of the service information specified in paragraph (g)(1)(a), (g)(1)(b), or (g)(1)(c) of this AD, as applicable.

(a) For Model A300 series airplanes: Airbus All Operator Telex (AOT) A300-53A0392, dated March 14, 2012.

(b) For Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622; A300 B4-605R and B4-622R; A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes; and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Airbus AOT A300-53A6171, dated March 14, 2012.

(c) For Model A310 series airplanes: Airbus AOT A310-53A2135, dated March 14, 2012.

(2) A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of the general visual inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD if the SRM repairs can be positively identified from that review.

(h) Repair

If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, it is determined that any SRM repair specified in paragraph 2 of the service information identified in paragraph (g)(1)(a), (g)(1)(b), or (g)(1)(c) of this AD, as applicable, has been done: Within 30 months after the effective date of this AD, rework the 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 (DAH) with EASA design organization approval). For a repair method to be approved, the repair approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(i) 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 98507-3356; telephone (425) 227-2125; fax (425) 427-1149. 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). 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.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Airworthiness Directive 2013-0220, dated September 18, 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 Docket No. FAA-2014-0229.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Start Printed Page 21416Bellonte, 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 7, 2014.

John P. Piccola,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-08598 Filed 4-15-14; 8:45 am]

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