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Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 7285

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. This AD requires replacing a fitting that is part of the refuel control solenoid valve assembly. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective March 17, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0146;​ 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 Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email thd.qseries@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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0146.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mazdak Hobbi, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion and Services Branch, ANE-173, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228 7330; fax 516-794 5531.

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 Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 28, 2014 (79 FR 17459). The NPRM was prompted by fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. The NPRM proposed to require replacing a fitting that is part of the refuel control solenoid valve assembly. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2013-32, dated October 8, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

During the incorporation of Modsum 4-126630, mandated by [Canadian] AD CF-2010-31 [http://wwwapps3.tc.gc.ca/​Saf-Sec-Sur/​2/​cawis-swimn/​images/​doc-acrobat16x16.gif;​ corresponding FAA AD 2011-13-06, Amendment 39-16729 (76 FR 37258, June 27, 2011)], it has been reported that fitting part number (P/N) 82822074-951 has been installed through the rear spar instead of fitting P/N 82822074-005 or 82822074-007. Fitting P/N 82822074-951 does not comply with the fuel tank safety standards introduced in Chapter 525 of the Airworthiness Manual through [a certain] Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) * * *. Therefore, this fitting shall be replaced to mitigate unsafe conditions that could result in a potential ignition source within the fuel system.

This [Canadian] AD mandates the replacement of the above-mentioned fittings with compliant fittings P/N 82822074-009.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0146-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM (79 FR 17459, March 28, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Mandate Only Certain Sections of the Service Information

Horizon Air requested that we revise the NPRM (79 FR 17459, March 28, 2014), to mandate only the section of the Accomplishment Instructions that corrects the unsafe condition (i.e., paragraph 3.B., “Procedure”). Horizon Air reasoned that paragraph (g) of the NPRM mandates the entire Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-28-12, Revision A, dated June 20, 2013, and that the “Job Set-Up” and “Close Out” sections of the Accomplishment Instructions do not directly correct the unsafe condition. Horizon Air explained that requiring the “Job Set-Up” and “Close Out” sections restricts an operator's ability to perform other maintenance in conjunction with the incorporation of the service bulletin. As an example, Horizon Air suggested that an operator might need or want to have the gear pins out, but that would not be allowed because the NPRM mandates the installation of the gear pins through the work steps in the “Job Set-Up” section, and they cannot be removed until the “Job Close Out” section is accomplished.

For the reasons stated by Horizon Air, we agree to mandate only the section of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-28-12, Start Printed Page 7286Revision A, dated June 20, 2013, that corrects the unsafe condition in this AD. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD accordingly.

“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.

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 the NPRM (79 FR 17459, March 28, 2014), 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 this 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.

No comments were provided to the NPRM (79 FR 17459, March 28, 2014) about these proposed changes. However, a comment was provided for an NPRM having Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-101 AD (78 FR 78285, December 26, 2013). The commenter 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 AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the actions must be accomplished using a method approved by the FAA, the TCCA, or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO).

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

Other commenters to the NPRM having Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-101 AD (78 FR 78285, December 26, 2013) pointed out that in many cases the foreign manufacturer's service bulletin and the foreign authority's MCAI might have been issued some time before the FAA AD. Therefore, the DOA might have provided U.S. operators with an approved repair, developed with full awareness of the unsafe condition, before the FAA AD is issued. Under these circumstances, to comply with the FAA AD, the operator would be required to go back to the manufacturer's DOA and obtain a new approval document, adding time and expense to the compliance process with no safety benefit.

Based on these comments, we removed the requirement that the DAH-provided repair specifically refer to this AD. Before adopting such a requirement, the FAA will coordinate with affected DAHs and verify they are prepared to implement means to ensure that their repair approvals consider the unsafe condition addressed in this AD. Any such requirements will be adopted through the normal AD rulemaking process, including notice-and-comment procedures, when appropriate.

We also have decided not to include a generic reference to either the “delegated agent” or “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.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 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 17459, March 28, 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 17459, March 28, 2014).

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Bombardier has issued Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-28-12, Revision A, dated June 20, 2013. The service information describes procedures for replacing a fitting that is part of the refuel control solenoid valve assembly. This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.Start Printed Page 7287

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 55 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 9 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts costs are negligible. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $42,075, or $765 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 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-2014-0146; 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

2015-02-25 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18094. Docket No. FAA-2014-0146; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-243-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective March 17, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 4063 through 4118 inclusive.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement

Within 6,000 flight hours or 36 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Replace fitting part number (P/N) 82822074-951 with new P/N 82822074-009, in accordance with paragraph 3.B., “Procedure,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-28-12, Revision A, dated June 20, 2013.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-28-12, dated July 23, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (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, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2013-32, dated October 8, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-00146-0002.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (k)(3) and (k)(4) of this AD.

(k) 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) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-28-12, Revision A, dated June 20, 2013.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; Start Printed Page 7288email thd.qseries@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.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 January 21, 2015.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-01663 Filed 2-9-15; 8:45 am]

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