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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus 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 Airbus Model A330-200, -200 Freighter, and -300 series airplanes; and all Airbus Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracks at certain frames of the forward cargo door. This proposed AD would require a detailed inspection for cracking of certain forward cargo doors, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracking at certain frames, which could result in the loss of structural integrity of the forward cargo door.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 15, 2015.

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 Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email airworthiness.A330-A340@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.

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-2015-0675; 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:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Start Printed Page 17001Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; 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-2015-0675; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-213-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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0228, dated October 20, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-200, -200 Freighter, and -300 series airplanes; and all Airbus Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

An A330 aeroplane operator reported recently cases of crack findings on two different aeroplanes, at frame 20A and at frame 20B close to beam 3 of the forward cargo door. The first finding was detected during scheduled maintenance, while the second one was found during an inspection prompted by the first finding. Subsequent analyses of these cracks identified that the first crack initiated at frame 20B, which is the first primary load path, leading to excessive loads at frame 20A and consequent cracking. Nevertheless, on the other aeroplane, a crack was detected on frame 20A only. Rupture of both frames 20A and 20B could lead to frame 21 failure after a limited number of flight cycles (FC).

This condition, if not detected and corrected, may potentially result in the loss of structural integrity of the forward cargo door, which could ultimately jeopardise the aeroplane's safe flight.

Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52L010-14 to provide instructions for a one-time inspection of frames 20A, 20B and 21 in the area of beam 3, until the half pitch between beam 2 and beam 3.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires identification of the Part Number (P/N) of the affected forward cargo doors, a one-time detailed inspection (DET) of each affected door and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s) [contacting Airbus].

This [EASA] AD is considered to be an interim action and further AD action may follow.

Required actions also include sending inspection results to Airbus. 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-2015-0675.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52L010-14, dated September 30, 2014. The service information describes procedures for an inspection for cracking of certain forward cargo doors, and repair if necessary. The actions described in this AOT are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

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 these same type designs.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 89 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. Required parts would cost $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $7,565, or $85 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 32 work-hours and require parts costing $654,850, for a cost of $657,570 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

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 proposed 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 proposed 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;Start Printed Page 17002

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

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-0675; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-213-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by May 15, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, certificated in any category.

(1) Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 202702 has been embodied in production.

(2) Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of cracks at certain frames of the forward cargo door. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking at certain frames, which could result in the loss of structural integrity of the forward cargo door.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection and Repair

(1) Within 200 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection for cracking of an affected forward cargo door, having a part number identified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through (g)(1)(xii) of this AD, at frames 20A, 20B, and 21 areas located above beam 3, from outside and inside, in accordance with Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52L010-14, dated September 30, 2014.

(i) F523-70500-000.

(ii) F523-70550-004.

(iii) F523-70500-006.

(iv) F523-70500-008.

(v) F523-70500-010.

(vi) F523-70500-012.

(vii) F523-70500-014.

(viii) F523-70550-000.

(ix) F523-70550-002.

(x) F523-70500-004.

(xi) F523-70550-008.

(xii) F523-70550-050.

(2) If any crack is found during the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, before further flight, repair 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).

(h) Definition of Detailed Inspection

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is an intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as a mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.

(i) Reporting Requirement

Submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the inspection required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD to Serge KIYMAZ, Structure Engineer, Structure Engineering—SEES1 CUSTOMER SERVICES, Phone: +33(0)5 82 05 10 33, Fax: +33(0)5 61 93 36 14, email: serge.kiymaz@airbus.com, at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD. The report must include the information identified in Airbus AOT A52L010-14, dated September 30, 2014.

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

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

(j) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, installing a forward cargo door having any part number specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) through (g)(1)(xii) of this AD is permitted on any airplane, provided that prior to installation, the door is inspected and, depending on the findings, corrected, in accordance with Airbus AOT A52L010-14, dated September 30, 2014.

(k) 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: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; 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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0228, dated October 20, 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-2015-0675.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email airworthiness.A330-A340@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may Start Printed Page 17003view 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 March 19, 2015.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-07172 Filed 3-30-15; 8:45 am]

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