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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. 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 certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracking on the skin panels and skin splice joints and angles at certain stringers at various locations between certain fuselage stations. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations, and incorporating structural repairs and modifications to preclude widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are proposing this AD to detect and correct WFD, which could adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 17, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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 Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email thd.crj@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.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-2014-0653; 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:

Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone: 516-228-7329; fax: 516-794-5531; email: aziz.ahmed@faa.gov.

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-2014-0653; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-057-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://Start Printed Page 59158www.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

Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as widespread fatigue damage (WFD). As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-07, dated January 31, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. The MCAI states:

Complete aeroplane fatigue testing on a CL-600-2B19 aeroplane by the aeroplane manufacturer revealed the onset of simultaneous cracking on the skin panels and skin splice joints and angles at stringers number 6 and 20 at various locations between fuselage stations (FS) 409.00 to FS 589.00.

Cracks at multiple locations may reduce the residual strength of the joint below the required levels if the cracks are not detectable under the existing maintenance program established at the time of certification. This multiple site damage (MSD) behavior, if not corrected, could lead to widespread fatigue damage (WFD) and adversely affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane and/or could result in rapid decompression of the aeroplane.

A Temporary Revision (TR) has been made to the Maintenance Requirements Manual (MRM) to revise existing Airworthiness Limitations (AWL) tasks and introduce new inspection tasks for the detection of MSD. The aeroplane manufacturer is also developing a structural modification to preclude WFD from occurring in the fleet at these locations.

This [Canadian] AD mandates the incorporation of the new and revised AWL tasks [into the maintenance program], and a structural modification to preclude WFD.

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-2014-0653.

Relevant Service Information

Bombardier has issued the following AWL tasks to Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of Appendix B, Airworthiness Limitations, of Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Maintenance Requirements Manual, CSP A-053:

  • AWL Task 53-41-109, “Longitudinal Str. 6 splice at STR 6 and 20”;
  • AWL Task 53-41-110, “Longitudinal Str. 6 splice butt strap at Str. 6, FS409.0 to FS617.0”;
  • AWL Task 53-41-204, “Frame splice angles at STR 6 and 20”; and
  • AWL Task 53-41-205, “Longitudinal skin splice at STR 6 and 20”.

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

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 the same type design.

This proposed AD would require revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections). Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator may not be able to accomplish the actions described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (j) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required actions that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

The TCCA AD specifies that, if there are findings from the airworthiness limitations section (ALS) inspection tasks, then corrective action must be accomplished in accordance with Bombardier. But this proposed AD does not include that requirement because operators of U.S.-registered airplanes are required by general airworthiness and operational regulations to use FAA-acceptable methods when performing maintenance. We consider those methods to be adequate to address any Start Printed Page 59159corrective action necessitated by the findings of ALS inspections required by this proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that This proposed AD affects 526 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. We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the repairs and modifications specified in 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 $44,710, 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

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

Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2014-0653; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-057-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by November 17, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 7003 and subsequent.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Periodic Inspections.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of cracking on the skin panels and skin splice joints and angles at certain stringers at various locations between certain fuselage stations. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct widespread fatigue damage, which could adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating the airworthiness limitations (AWL) tasks specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD, of Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of Appendix B, Airworthiness Limitations, of Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Maintenance Requirements Manual, CSP A-053. The initial compliance times for the tasks start from the applicable threshold times specified in Part 2 Airworthiness Requirements, Revision 9, dated June 10, 2013, of Appendix B, Airworthiness Limitations, of Bombardier CL-600-2B19, Maintenance Requirements Manual, CSP A-053; except that, for airplanes that have accumulated more than 38,000 total flight cycles as of the effective date of this AD, the initial compliance time for the AWL tasks is before the accumulation of 2,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

(1) AWL Task 53-41-109, “Longitudinal Str. 6 splice at STR 6 and 20.”

(2) AWL Task 53-41-110, “Longitudinal Str. 6 splice butt strap at Str. 6, FS409.0 to FS617.0.”

(3) AWL Task 53-41-204, “Frame splice angles at STR 6 and 20.”

(4) AWL Task 53-41-205, “Longitudinal skin splice at STR 6 and 20.”

(h) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

(i) Repairs and Modifications

Before the accumulation of 60,000 total flight cycles: Install repairs and modifications to preclude widespread fatigue damage at locations specified in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this AD, using a method approved by the Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York ACO, ANE-170, 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 ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. 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, New York ACO, ANE-170, Engine and Propeller Directorate, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, Start Printed Page 59160the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-07, dated January 31, 2014, 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-2014-0653.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-855-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email thd.crj@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.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 September 20, 2014.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-23376 Filed 9-30-14; 8:45 am]

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