Skip to Content

Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

Start Printed Page 52175

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes; Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes; Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of rupture of the uplock springs of the nose landing gear (NLG) and main landing gear (MLG) doors and legs. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the uplock springs of the NLG and MLG doors and legs for broken and damaged springs, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct improper free fall extension of the MLG or NLG, which could lead to possible loss of control of the airplane on the ground, and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective October 8, 2014.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 8, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0137;​ 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 all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes; Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes; Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 7, 2014 (79 FR 13003).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0150, dated July 16, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 series airplanes; Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes; Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Some cases of Nose Landing Gear (NLG) and Main Landing Gear (MLG) Door and Leg Uplock spring ruptures on A300, A310 or A300-600 aeroplanes have been reported in service.

Springs within the uplock are used to either lock the gear or the door in the up position, or to participate in emergency mechanical unlocking.

The springs are positioned in pairs, and in case of rupture of one spring the other one remains to fulfill the function, whereas the rupture of both springs will disable the locking function or the emergency unlocking function.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could prevent proper free fall extension of the MLG or NLG, possibly leading to loss of control of the aeroplane on the ground, consequently resulting in damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants.

For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires [repetitive] detailed visual inspection[s] of the NLG and MLG Door and Leg Uplock springs [for broken and damaged springs] and, depending of findings, their replacement.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0137-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (79 FR 13003, March 7, 2014) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

“Contacting the Manufacturer” Paragraph in This 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.

We have become 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 AD 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 Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (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 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 Start Printed Page 52176recommendation. 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 AD.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data 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 minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 13003, March 7, 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 13003, March 7, 2014).

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 156 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Repetitive inspections1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection$0$85 per inspection$13,260 per inspection.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary replacement would take about 9 work-hours for a cost of $765 per product. The cost of parts is minimal. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

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 AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0137;​ 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 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

2014-17-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-17960. Docket No. FAA-2014-0137; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-135-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective October 8, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) of this AD; certificated in any category; all serial numbers.

(1) Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes.

(2) Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

(3) Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

(4) Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

(5) Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

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

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of rupture of the uplock springs of the nose landing gear (NLG) and main landing gear (MLG) doors and legs. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct improper free fall extension of the MLG or NLG, which could lead to possible loss of control of the airplane on the ground, and consequent damage to the airplane and injury to occupants.Start Printed Page 52177

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD: Perform a detailed inspection of the uplock springs of the MLG and NLG legs and doors for broken and damaged springs, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 18 months.

(1) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-32-0465, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2013 (for Model A300 series airplanes).

(2) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-32-6111, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2013 (for Model A300-600 series airplanes).

(3) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-32-2147, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2013 (for Model A310 series airplanes).

(h) Corrective Actions

The corrective actions required by paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD do not constitute terminating actions for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(1) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, one spring on the MLG or NLG door uplock is found broken or damaged, within 2 months after the inspection, replace the affected MLG or NLG door uplock, as applicable, with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD.

(2) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, one spring on the MLG or NLG leg uplock is found broken or damaged, repeat the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 flight cycles. Replacement of any affected leg uplock, as required by paragraph (h)(2)(i) or (h)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable, constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD.

(i) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, the second free fall spring on the MLG or NLG leg uplock is found broken or damaged, before further flight, replace the affected MLG or NLG leg uplock, as applicable, with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD.

(ii) Within 1,000 flight cycles after doing the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD during which the spring has been found broken, replace the affected MLG or NLG leg uplock, as applicable, with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD.

(3) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, two free fall springs on the same MLG or NLG leg uplock are found broken or damaged, before further flight, replace the affected MLG or NLG leg uplock, as applicable, with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin identified in paragraph (g)(1), (g)(2), or (g)(3) of this AD.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for the applicable actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information identified in paragraph (i)(1), (i)(2), or (i)(3) of this AD.

(1) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-32-0465, dated July 20, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(2) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-32-6111, dated July 20, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(3) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-32-2147, dated July 20, 2012, which is 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-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 Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0150, dated July 16, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0137-0002.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference may be viewed 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 Service Bulletin A300-32-0465, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2013.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-32-6111, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2013.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-32-2147, Revision 01, dated April 25, 2013.

(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 August 15, 2014.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-20259 Filed 9-2-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P