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Airworthiness Directives; Beechcraft Corporation Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Inc. Ltd.) Model MU-300 airplanes, and Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Beech Aircraft Corporation) Model 400, 400A, and 400T airplanes. This AD was prompted by multiple reports of fatigue cracking in the horizontal stabilizer ribs. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the horizontal stabilizer rib assemblies for cracking, and replacement if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracking, which could result in the failure of the horizontal stabilizer and loss of pitch control of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 5, 2014.

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-2014-0187; 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 regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is 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 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Paul Chapman, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-118W, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: 316-946-4152; fax: 316-946-4107; email: paul.chapman@faa.gov.

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 Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Inc. Ltd.) Model MU-300 airplanes Type Certificate previously held by Mitsubishi; Raytheon Aircraft Company) Model MU-300 airplanes, and Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Beech Aircraft Corporation) Model 400, 400A, and 400T airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2014 (79 FR 18848). The NPRM was prompted by multiple reports of fatigue cracking in the horizontal stabilizer ribs. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections of the horizontal stabilizer rib assemblies for cracking, and replacement if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracking, which could result in the failure of the horizontal stabilizer and loss of pitch control of the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (79 FR 18848, April 4, 2014) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 18848, April 4, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 18848, April 4, 2014).

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 735 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:Start Printed Page 44678

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Inspection20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 per inspection cycle$30$1,730 per inspection cycle$1,271,550 per inspection cycle.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these replacements:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Replacement280 work-hours × $85 per hour = $23,800$8,321$32,121

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

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 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

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

2014-15-15 Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Beech Aircraft Corporation); and Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Inc. Ltd.): Amendment 39-17917; Docket No. FAA-2014-0187; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-087-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective September 5, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(5) of this AD.

(1) Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Inc. Ltd.) Model MU-300 airplanes, serial numbers A003SA through A093SA inclusive.

(2) Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Beech Aircraft Corporation) Model 400 airplanes, serial numbers RJ-1 through RJ-65 inclusive.

(3) Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Beech Aircraft Corporation) Model 400A airplanes, serial numbers RK-1 through RK-604 inclusive.

(4) Beechcraft Corporation (Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Beech Aircraft Corporation) Model 400T (T-1A) airplanes, serial numbers TT-1 through TT-180 inclusive.

(5) Beechcraft Corporation Beechcraft Corporation (Type Certificate Previously Held by Hawker Beechcraft Corporation; Raytheon Aircraft Company; Beech Aircraft Corporation) Model 400T (TX), serial numbers TX-1 through TX-13 inclusive.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by multiple reports of fatigue cracking in the horizontal stabilizer ribs. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracking, which could result in the failure of the horizontal stabilizer and loss of pitch control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

Before the accumulation of 7,400 total flight hours or within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, perform a radiographic (x-ray) inspection or a borescope inspection for cracking of the horizontal stabilizer rib assemblies, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,400 flight hours. For an inspection Start Printed Page 44679method to be approved by the Manager, Wichita ACO, as required by this paragraph, the Manager's approval letter must specifically refer to this AD.

(h) Replacement

If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, replace the horizontal rib assemblies with new horizontal rib assemblies, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Wichita ACO. For a replacement method to be approved by the Manager, Wichita ACO, as required by this paragraph, the Manager's approval letter must specifically refer to this AD. This replacement does not terminate the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Special Flight Permit

Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the airplane can be repaired (if the operator elects to do so), provided the restrictions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) through (i)(4) of this AD are followed.

(1) Do not exceed 10 flight hours of operation.

(2) Only operations under daylight conditions and under visual flight rules are allowed.

(3) Only operations with the minimum flightcrew and with no passengers are allowed.

(4) Do not exceed maneuver speed as specified in the applicable airplane flight manual.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Airframe Branch, ACE-118W, 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 manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k) of this AD.

(2) 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.

(k) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Paul Chapman, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ACE-118W, FAA, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: 316-946-4152; fax: 316-946-4107; email: paul.chapman@faa.gov.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 14, 2014.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-17921 Filed 7-31-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P