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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Airplanes

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for all Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340B airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection of the stick pusher rigging and an adjustment to the correct setting if necessary. The NPRM was prompted by a report that the elevator position quoted in an aircraft maintenance manual is incorrect and a report that the trunnion at the lower part of the control column was installed incorrectly. This action revises the NPRM by proposing to require an inspection of the installation of the trunnion and the stick pusher rigging, and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to correct the rigging of the elevator position of the stick pusher to reduce the probability of a negative effect on the handling quality during stall, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the NPRM and at the request of a commenter, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 26, 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 Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email saab340techsupport@saabgroup.com; Internet http://www.saabgroup.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-2013-0460; 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 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:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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-2013-0460; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-222-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.regulationsgov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340B airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2013 (78 FR 33010). The NPRM proposed to require actions intended to correct the rigging of the elevator position of the stick pusher to reduce the probability of a negative effect on the handling quality during stall, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

Actions Since Previous NPRM (78 FR 33010, June 3, 2013) Was Issued

Since we issued the NPRM (78 FR 33010, June 3, 2013), it has been reported that on some airplanes, during implementation of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-105, Revision 01, dated August 31, 2012, the trunnion at the lower part of the control column was installed incorrectly, which prevented proper inspection of the stick pusher rigging.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0253, dated October 18, 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:

The standard stick pusher maximum elevator position of a SAAB 340B, prior to delivery, is set at 7.5 degrees trailing edge down. It was recently discovered that this value has been incorrectly referenced in the SAAB 340B Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), which quotes an elevator position of 4 degrees trailing edge down for all aeroplanes, which is the correct value for SAAB SF340A aeroplanes only.Start Printed Page 47026

If a SAAB 340B aeroplane has been re-rigged in accordance with current AMM procedure, there is a possibility that the deflection of the elevator will be less than intended.

This condition, if not corrected, will affect the stall characteristics on the outer part of the envelope at maximum flap setting and aft centre of gravity (CG) configuration, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, SAAB AB Aeronautics issued Service Bulletin (SB) 340-27-105 to reduce the probability of a negative effect on the handling quality during stall. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2012-0256 [http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0460-0002] to require a one-time inspection of the stick pusher rigging and, depending on findings, adjustment to the correct setting.

Since that [EASA] AD was issued, it has been reported that on some aeroplanes, during implementation of SB 340-27-105, the trunnion at the lower part of the control column was incorrectly installed. This prevents proper inspection of the stick pusher rigging.

Prompted by this finding, SAAB issued SB 340-27-115 with instructions for all aeroplanes, regardless whether SB 340-27-105 has been accomplished or not.

For the reasons described above, this AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2012-0256, which is superseded, but requires the use of the improved and expanded instructions specified in SAAB SB 340-27-115.

The required actions include a detailed inspection of the installation of the trunnion at the lower part of the control column and the stick pusher rigging, and corrective actions if necessary. Corrective actions include adjusting to the correct setting, and repair. 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-2013-0460.

Relevant Service Information

Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems has issued Service Bulletin 340-27-115, dated July 19, 2013. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to comment on the NPRM (78 FR 33010, June 3, 2013). The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Delay Issuance of AD

Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems (Saab) requested that the issuance of the final rule be delayed until new service information is introduced.

As stated previously, Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-115, dated July 19, 2013, has been issued, which supersedes Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-114, dated July 8, 2013; and Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-105, Revision 01, dated August 31, 2012. We have revised paragraphs (g) and (h) of this SNPRM to refer to Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-115, dated July 19, 2013, as the appropriate source of service information for the proposed requirements.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

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.

Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM (78 FR 33010, June 3, 2013). As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

“Contacting the Manufacturer” Paragraph in This SNPRM

Since late 2006, we have included a standard paragraph titled “Airworthy Product” in all MCAI ADs in which the FAA develops an AD based on a foreign authority's AD.

The MCAI or referenced service information in an FAA AD often directs the owner/operator to contact the manufacturer for corrective actions, such as a repair. Briefly, the Airworthy Product paragraph allowed owners/operators to use corrective actions provided by the manufacturer if those actions were FAA-approved. In addition, the paragraph stated that any actions approved by the State of Design Authority (or its delegated agent) are considered to be FAA-approved.

In an NPRM having Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-101-AD (78 FR 78285, December 26, 2013), we proposed to prevent the use of repairs that were not specifically developed to correct the unsafe condition, by requiring that the repair approval provided by the State of Design Authority or its delegated agent specifically refer to the FAA AD. This change was 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 proposed to change the phrase “its delegated agent” to include a design approval holder (DAH) with State of Design Authority design organization approval (DOA), as applicable, to refer to a DAH authorized to approve required repairs for the proposed AD.

One commenter to the NPRM having Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-101-AD (78 FR 78285, December 26, 2013) stated the following: “The proposed wording, being specific to repairs, eliminates the interpretation that Airbus messages are acceptable for approving minor deviations (corrective actions) needed during accomplishment of an AD mandated Airbus service bulletin.”

This comment has made the FAA aware that some operators have misunderstood or misinterpreted the Airworthy Product paragraph to allow the owner/operator to use messages provided by the manufacturer as approval of deviations during the accomplishment of an AD-mandated action. The Airworthy Product paragraph does not approve messages or other information provided by the manufacturer for deviations to the requirements of the AD-mandated actions. The Airworthy Product paragraph only addresses the requirement to contact the manufacturer for corrective actions for the identified unsafe condition and does not cover deviations from other AD requirements. However, deviations to AD-required actions are addressed in 14 CFR 39.17, and anyone may request the approval for an alternative method of compliance to the AD-required actions using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

To address this misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Airworthy Product paragraph, we have changed the paragraph and retitled it “Contacting the Manufacturer.” This paragraph now clarifies that for any requirement in this SNPRM to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the actions must be accomplished using a method approved by the FAA, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), or Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems' EASA DOA.

The Contacting the Manufacturer paragraph also clarifies that, if approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. The DOA signature indicates that the data and information contained in the document are EASA-approved, which is also FAA-approved. Messages and other information provided by the manufacturer that do not contain the DOA-authorized signature approval are not EASA-approved, unless EASA Start Printed Page 47027directly approves the manufacturer's message or other information.

This clarification does not remove flexibility previously afforded by the Airworthy Product paragraph. Consistent with long-standing FAA policy, such flexibility was never intended for required actions. This is also consistent with the recommendation of the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee to increase flexibility in complying with ADs by identifying those actions in manufacturers' service instructions that are “Required for Compliance” with ADs. We continue to work with manufacturers to implement this recommendation. But once we determine that an action is required, any deviation from the requirement must be approved as an alternative method of compliance.

We also have decided not to include a generic reference to either the “delegated agent” or “design approval holder (DAH) with State of Design Authority design organization approval,” but instead we have provided the specific delegation approval granted by the State of Design Authority for the DAH throughout this SNPRM.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this SNPRM affects 109 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate that it would take about 12 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this SNPRM. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $10 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this SNPRM on U.S. operators to be $112,270, or $1,030 per product.

Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

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:

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

End Amendment Part

Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems: Docket No. FAA-2013-0460; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-222-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by September 26, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340B airplanes, certificated in any category, all serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report that the elevator position quoted in an aircraft maintenance manual is incorrect and a report that the trunnion at the lower part of the control column was installed incorrectly. We are issuing this AD to correct the rigging of the elevator position of the stick pusher to reduce the probability of a negative effect on the handling quality during stall, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection

Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection of the installation of the trunnion at the lower part of the control column and the stick pusher rigging, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-115, dated July 19, 2013.

(h) Corrective Actions

If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, an incorrect setting of the stick pusher maximum elevator position is found, or if the trunnion at the lower part of the control column is installed incorrectly, before further flight, accomplish all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-115, dated July 19, 2013; except where Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-115, dated July 19, 2013, specifies to contact SAAB for corrective action, repair before further flight, using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Start Printed Page 47028Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems' EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(i) Reporting Requirement

After accomplishing the corrective action as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, record any incorrect rigging value that was detected and send a report to: Saab AB, Business Area Support and Services, Air Division, Technical Support email: Saab340.techsupport@saabgroup.com Fax: +46 (0) 13 18 48 74, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD.

(1) If the corrective action was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after accomplishing the corrective action.

(2) If the corrective action was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, ANM-116, International Branch, 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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1112; 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) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems' EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0253, dated October 18, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2013-0460-0002.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email saab340techsupport@saabgroup.com; Internet http://www.saabgroup.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 Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 1, 2014.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-19018 Filed 8-11-14; 8:45 am]

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