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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) 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 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135BJ airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive fuel limitations are needed. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate new compliance times and fuel limitations. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of various structural elements and prevent ignition sources in the fuel system.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 10, 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 Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brasil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet http://www.flyembraer.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-2014-0586; 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:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; 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-2014-0586; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-255-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 Agência Nacional De Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2013-12-02, effective December 27, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135BJ airplanes. The MCAI states:

This [Brazilian] AD was prompted by a new revision to the Airworthiness Limitations Requirements of the Maintenance Planning Guide (MPG-1483). We are issuing this [Brazilian] AD to allow timely detection and correction of fatigue cracking of various structural elements, and to allow the necessary preclusion of ignition sources in the fuel system.

Required actions include revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new compliance times and fuel limitations. 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-2014-0586.

Relevant Service Information

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

  • Temporary Revision (TR) 8-1, dated October 26, 2012, to the Embraer Legacy BJ Maintenance Planning Guide (MPG), MPG-1483.
  • TR 8-2, dated December 5, 2012, to the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483.
  • TR 8-3, dated April 8, 2013, to the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483.

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 Start Printed Page 50858Design 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.

“Contacting the Manufacturer” Paragraph in This Proposed AD

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 proposed AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the actions must be accomplished using a method approved by the FAA, the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), or ANAC's authorized Designee.

The Contacting the Manufacturer paragraph also clarifies that, if approved by the ANAC Designee, the approval must include the Designee's authorized signature. The Designee signature indicates that the data and information contained in the document are ANAC-approved, which is also FAA-approved. Messages and other information provided by the manufacturer that do not contain the ANAC Designee's authorized signature approval are not ANAC-approved, unless ANAC directly 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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 53 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 $4,505, or $85 per product.

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 Start Printed Page 50859

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

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer): Docket No. FAA-2014-0586; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-255-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by October 10, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135BJ airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel; 53, Fuselage; 54, Nacelles/Pylon.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive fuel limitations are needed. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of various structural elements and prevent ignition sources in the fuel system.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD.

(1) Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating the Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs) specified in Embraer Temporary Revision (TR) 8-1, dated October 26, 2012, to the Embraer Legacy BJ Maintenance Planning Document (MPG), MPG-1483, into Appendix 2,“Airworthiness Limitations Requirements,” of the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483.

(2) Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating the tasks and compliance times specified in Embraer TR 8-3, dated April 8, 2013, of Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483; and Embraer TR 8-2, dated December 5, 2012, to the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483; into Appendix 2, “Airworthiness Limitations Requirements,” of the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483. The initial compliance times for the tasks start at the applicable time specified in Embraer TR 8-2, dated December 5, 2012, and TR 8-3, dated April 8, 2013; or within 500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. Where Embraer TR 8-2, dated December 5, 2012, specifies a compliance time in “flight cycles” for the pre-mod service bulletin, those compliance times are total flight cycles.

(3) Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating the new fuel system limitations specified in Embraer TR 8-1, dated October 26, 2012, to the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483, into Appendix 2, “Airworthiness Limitations Requirements,” of the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483. The initial compliance times for the tasks are specified in paragraphs (g)(3)(i) and (g)(3)(ii) of this AD.

(i) For tasks with reference numbers 28-50-01-220-001-A02, 28-50-08-212-001-A00, 28-50-09-212-001-A00, and 28-50-10-212-001-A00, at the later of the times specified in paragraph (g)(3)(i)(A) or (g)(3)(i)(B) of this AD.

(A) Before the accumulation of 10,000 total flight hours or within 48 months since the date of issuance of the original Brazilian standard airworthiness certificate or date of issuance of the original Brazilian export certificate of airworthiness, whichever occurs first.

(B) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD.

(ii) For task reference number 28-50-01-720-001-A00, at the later of the times specified in paragraph (g)(3)(ii)(A) or (g)(3)(ii)(B) of this AD.

(A) Before the accumulation of 20,000 total flight hours or within 96 months since the date of issuance of the original Brazilian standard airworthiness certificate or date of issuance of the original Brazilian export certificate of airworthiness, whichever occurs first.

(B) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD.

(h) Incorporation of TRs Into General Revisions

When the information from Embraer TR 8-1, dated October 26, 2012; TR 8-2, dated December 5, 2012; and TR 8-3, dated April 8, 2013; to the Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483, has been included in the general revisions of Embraer Legacy BJ MPG, MPG-1483, the general revisions may be inserted in the MPG, provided that the relevant information in the general revision is identical to that in Embraer TR 8-1, dated October 26, 2012; TR 8-2, dated December 5, 2012; and TR 8-3, dated April 8, 2013; and the TRs may be removed.

(i) No Alternative Actions, Intervals, and/or Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs)

After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, and/or CDCCLs may be used unless the actions, intervals, and/or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of 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: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; 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 Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC); or ANAC's authorized Designee. If approved by the ANAC Designee, the approval must include the Designee's authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2013-12-02, effective December 27, 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-2014-0586.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brasil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet http://www.flyembraer.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 August 15, 2014.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-20260 Filed 8-25-14; 8:45 am]

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