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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 supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-13-04, for certain Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. AD 2013-13-04 currently requires installing a power interruption protection circuit for the landing gear control interface unit (LGCIU). Since we issued AD 2013-13-04, we have determined that additional work is necessary to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. This proposed AD would require a new modification of any previously modified LGCIU. This proposed AD would also require revising the maintenance or inspection program to reduce a certain functional check interval. This proposed AD also adds airplanes to the applicability. We are proposing this AD to prevent untimely unlocking and/or retraction of the nose landing gear (NLG), which, while on the ground, could result in injury to ground personnel and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:Start Printed Page 17008

  • 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 AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EAS, 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.

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-2015-0678; 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:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; 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-2015-0678; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-207-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

On June 14, 2013, we issued AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013). AD 2013-13-04 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on certain Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. Since we issued AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0202, dated September 5, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

After a push back from the gate, an A320 aeroplane was preparing to initiate taxi, when an uncommanded nose landing gear (NLG) retraction occurred, causing the nose of the aeroplane to hit the ground. Investigations revealed that the retraction was caused by a combination of a power interruption to Landing Gear Control and Interface Units (LGCIU) and an internal hydraulic leak through the landing gear (LG) selector valve 40GA.

Deeper investigations have revealed that LGCIU power interruption appears during engine start at each flight. Even though no incident has been reported in service, it has been determined that a non-compliance to the safety objective exists when combined with a dormant single failure of the selector valve seal leaking.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to further incidents of untimely unlocking and/or retraction of the NLG which, while on the ground, could result in injury to ground personnel and damage to the aeroplane.

To address the possible hydraulic leak of the LG selector valve, EASA issued AD 2007-0065 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/​blob/​easa_​ad_​2007_​0065.pdf/​AD_​2007-0065] currently at Revision 2.

To address the risk of untimely unlocking and/or retraction of the NLG, EASA issued AD 2011-0202 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/​blob/​easa_​ad_​2011_​0202.pdf/​AD_​2011-0202] to require installation of a power interruption protection circuit to the LGCIU and accomplishment of associated modifications.

Since that [EASA] AD was issued, it has been discovered that additional work is necessary to adequately correct this unsafe condition and consequently, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-32-1346 to Revision 05. An update of the maintenance programme is required as well, following the required modification.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2011-0202, which is superseded, and requires certain additional actions, as defined in the revised Airbus SB, as applicable to aeroplane model, and an update of the approved maintenance programme.

The additional actions include a new modification of any previously modified LGCIU, and reducing a certain functional check interval. This proposed AD also adds airplanes on which Airbus modification 37866 has been embodied in production to the applicability. 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-2015-0678.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 05, dated January 13, 2012. The service information describes procedures for modifying the LGCIU. The actions described in this service information 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 851 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions required by AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013), take about 48 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $8,220 Start Printed Page 17009per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2013-13-04 is $12,300 per product.

We estimate that it would take about 46 work-hours per product to comply with the new modification in this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $9,650 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the new modification on U.S. operators to be $11,539,560 or $13,560 per product.

We estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to revise the maintenance or inspection program in this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of revising the maintenance program on U.S. operators to be $72,335 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 ( 78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013), and adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-0678; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-207-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by May 15, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013).

(c) Applicability

(1) This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that additional work is necessary to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to prevent untimely unlocking and/or retraction of the nose landing gear (NLG), which, while on the ground, could result in injury to ground personnel and damage to the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Retained Modification

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013). For all airplanes except airplanes on which Airbus modification 37866 has been embodied in production: At the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD: Install a power interruption protection circuit for the landing gear control interface unit (LGCIU), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 04, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated April 22, 2011 (for Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes other than the Model A319CJ (corporate jet) airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1349, Revision 03, including Appendix 1, dated October 5, 2011 (for Model A319CJ (corporate jet) airplanes).

(1) For airplanes that have embodied Airbus Modification 38947 specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1348 during production or in service: Within 72 months after August 14, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013)).

(2) For all airplanes other than those identified in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Within 60 months after August 14, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013)).

(h) Retained Re-Identification of Identification Plates

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013). For airplanes on which the installation required by paragraph (g) of this AD has been done before August 14, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013)) using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, dated December 4, 2008 (for Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes other than Model A319CJ (corporate jet) airplanes): Within the applicable times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, re-identify the identification plates, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 04, including Appendices 01 and 02, dated April 22, 2011 (for Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes other than Model A319CJ (corporate jet) airplanes).

(i) New Modification

For airplanes identified in paragraphs (i)(1), (i)(2), and (i)(3) of this AD except airplanes on which Airbus modification 37866 has been embodied in production: Modify the LGCIU at the applicable time specified in paragraph (i)(1), (i)(2), or (i)(3) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 05, dated January 13, 2012, or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1349, Revision 03, including Appendix 1, dated October 5, 2011 (for Model A319CJ (corporate jet) airplanes). Accomplishing the modification in this paragraph terminates the actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.Start Printed Page 17010

(1) For airplanes on which any LG selector valve having part number (P/N) 114079019 is installed and that have embodied Airbus Modification 38947 specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1348 during production or in service: Modify the LGCIU within 72 months after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For airplanes on which any LG selector valve 40GA having a part number listed in paragraphs (i)(2)(i) through (i)(2)(xii) of this AD, provided the valve has the marking “DI” or “DI-BE” recorded on its amendment plates: Modify the LGCIU within 72 months after the effective date of this AD.

(i) P/N 114079001.

(ii) P/N 114079005.

(iii) P/N 114079009.

(iv) P/N 114079013.

(v) P/N 114079001A.

(vi) P/N 114079005A.

(vii) P/N 114079009A.

(viii) P/N114079015.

(ix) P/N 114079001AB.

(x) P/N 114079005AB.

(xi) P/N 114079009AB.

(xii) P/N 114079017.

(3) For all airplanes other than those identified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD: Modify the LGCIU within 60 months after the effective date of this AD.

(j) New Modification for Airplanes Previously Modified

For airplanes that have been modified as of the effective date of this AD as specified in the applicable service information identified in paragraph (j)(1), (j)(2), (j)(3), or (j)(4) of this AD, except airplanes on which Airbus modification 37866 has been embodied in production: Within 72 months after the effective date of this AD, do the additional modification of the LGCIU, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 05, dated January 13, 2012.

(1) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 01, dated October 27, 2009, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(2) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 02, dated November 4, 2009, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(3) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, Revision 03, dated January 7, 2010, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(4) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1346, including Appendices 01 and 02, Revision 04, dated April 22, 2011, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013).

(k) New Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

Before further flight after accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (i) or (j) of this AD or within 7 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate Task 32.30.00.17, “Functional Check of LGCIU Power Supply Relays,” of Section C-32 of Section C, Systems and Powerplant, of the Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Maintenance Review Board Report, Revision 18, dated March 2013. The initial compliance time is within 4,000 flight hours after accomplishing the additional modification of the LGCIU.

(l) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for A319 Corporate Jet airplanes for the modification required by paragraph (g) of this AD if that modification was performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1349, dated December 4, 2008; Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1349, Revision 01, dated August 31, 2009; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1349, Revision 02, dated June 16, 2010.

(m) 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: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; 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) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2013-13-04, Amendment 39-17492 (78 FR 41286, July 10, 2013) are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

(3) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, 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.

(n) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0202, dated September 5, 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-2015-0678.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EAS, 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 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 20, 2015.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-07281 Filed 3-30-15; 8:45 am]

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