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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 all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a rupture of a main landing gear (MLG) sliding tube axle. This proposed AD would require an inspection to identify the part number and serial number of the MLG sliding tubes installed on the airplane; and an inspection of the axle on certain MLG sliding tubes for burned areas, and replacement of the sliding tube if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the axle and (partial) detachment of the axle and wheel from the sliding tube, which could result in failure of an MLG.

Start Printed Page 22940

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 8, 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 Airbus service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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.

For Messier-Bugatti-Dowty service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Messier Services Americas, Customer Support Center, 45360 Severn Way, Sterling, VA 20166-8910; phone: 703-450-8233; fax: 703-404-1621; Internet: https://techpubs.services/​messier-dowty.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-2015-0831; 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-2015-0831; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-061-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 2014-0058, dated March 11, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

A main landing gear (MLG) sliding tube axle rupture occurred in service. Investigation of the affected part showed that this failure was due to an abnormal grinding operation during overhaul by a certain maintenance and repair organisation located in Singapore. A population of MLG sliding tubes was subsequently identified whose axles may have been subject to this grinding operation, which may have resulted in areas of residual stress on the axles on the MLG sliding tubes. In addition, the MSN [manufacturer serial number] of the aeroplanes which are known to have had the affected parts installed have been identified.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to cracks in the axle and (partial) detachment of axle and wheel from the sliding tube, possibly resulting in failure of a MLG with consequent damage to the aeroplane and injury to occupants.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, the MLG gear manufacturer, issued Service Bulletin (SB) 200-32-313 and SB 201-32-62 [both dated February 25, 2013], providing inspection instructions and criteria for removal from service of the affected MLG sliding tubes.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time Special Detailed Inspection (SDI) of the axle on the affected MLG sliding tubes and, depending on findings, replacement of the MLG sliding tube.

The SDI includes a detailed visual inspection of the chromium plate for damage, and a Barkhausen noise inspection of the sliding tube axles for burned areas. 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-2015-0831.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-32-1416, including Appendix 01, dated March 10, 2014 (for Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes). This service bulletin describes procedures for inspection of the MLG sliding tube axles, and replacement if necessary.

Messier-Bugatti-Dowty has issued Service Bulletin 200-32-313, including Appendices A, B, and C, dated February 25, 2013 (for Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes); and Service Bulletin 201-32-62, including Appendices A, B, and C, dated February 25, 2013 (for Model A321 series airplanes). These service bulletins describe procedures for inspection of the MLG axles and brake flanges, and replacement if necessary.

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.

Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests in Service Information

The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an Start Printed Page 22941owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures and tests identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

As specified in a NOTE under the Accomplishment Instructions of the specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 3 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 18 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of 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 $4,590, or $1,530 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 3 work-hours, for a cost of $255 per product. We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide part cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

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

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-0831; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-061-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by June 8, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

(3) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

(4) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of a rupture of a main landing gear (MLG) sliding tube axle. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the axle and (partial) detachment of the axle and wheel from the sliding tube, which could result in failure of an MLG.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) MLG Sliding Tube Part Number and Serial Number Identification

Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD: Do an inspection to identify the part number and serial number of the MLG sliding tubes installed on the airplane. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and serial number of the MLG sliding tubes can be conclusively determined from that review.

(h) Identification of Airplanes Not Affected by the Requirements of Paragraph (i) of This AD

An airplane with a manufacturer serial number (MSN) not listed in figure 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD is not affected by the requirements of paragraph (i) of this AD, provided it can be determined that no MLG sliding tube having a part number and serial number listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD has been installed on that airplane since first flight of the airplane.

Figure 1 to Paragraph (h) of This AD

Affected airplanes listed by MSN
017902140296041205580604
Start Printed Page 22942
060706680704072007260731
075407710799082808410855
090909140925093909861028
103010411070108310931098
110811481294135627132831

Table 1 to Paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of This AD—Affected MLG Sliding Tubes

Part No.Serial No.
20116030278B.
2011603021016B11.
2011603021144B.
201371302B4493.
201371302B4513.
201371302SS4359.
201371302B4530.
201371302B4517.
201371302B4568.
201371302B4498.
2013713024490B.
201371302B202-4598.
201371302B165-4623.
201371302B244-4766.
201371302B267-4794.
201371302B272-4813.
2011603021108B.
201371304B041-4871.
201371304B045-4869.
201371304B001-4781.
201371304B051-4892.
201371304B110-1952.
201371304B054-4891.
201371304B063-4921.
201371304B071-4911.
201371304B071-4917.
201371304B080-1933.
201371304B117-5010.
201371304B120-4989.
201371304B132-2023.
201371304B114-1956.
201371304B208-2009.
201371304B133-1947.
201371304B154-5037.
201371304B89 4952.
201371304B129-1964.
201371304B227-2010.
201371304B170-5031.
201371304B182-5047.
201371304B239-2053.
201371304B1401-2856.
201371304B1813-3142.
201371304B116-5004.
201522353B011-149.
201522350B014-25.
201522350B019-56.
201522350B019-57.
201522350B021-69.
201522350B022-60.
201522353B03-111.
201522353B03-110.
201522353B112-317.
201522353B174-351.
201522353B179-392.
2013833504377B.
2013833504393B.
201383350B1831.
201383350B1832.
201383350SS4355B.
201383350SS4400B.

(i) Inspections

For each MLG sliding tube, identified as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, having a part number and serial number listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD: Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, inspect each affected MLG axle and brake flange by doing a detailed visual inspection of the chromium plate for damage, and a Barkhausen noise inspection of the sliding tube axles for burned areas, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-313, including Appendices A, B, and C, dated February 25, 2013 (for Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes); or Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 201-32-62, including Appendices A, B, and C, dated February 25, 2013 (for Model A321 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1416, including Appendix 01, dated March 10, 2014 (for Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes).

(j) Corrective Action

If, during any inspection required by paragraph (i) of this AD, any damage is detected: Before further flight, replace the MLG sliding tube with a serviceable tube, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 200-32-313, including Appendices A, B, and C, dated February 25, 2013 (for Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes); or Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Service Bulletin 201-32-62, including Appendices A, B, and C, dated February 25, 2013 (for Model A321 series airplanes); or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1416, including Appendix 01, dated March 10, 2014 (for Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes).

(k) Definition of Serviceable Sliding Tube

For the purpose of this AD, a serviceable sliding tube is defined in paragraphs (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this AD.

(1) A sliding tube having a part number and serial number not listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD.

(2) A sliding tube having a part number and serial number listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD that has passed the inspections required by paragraph (i) of this AD.

(l) Parts Installation Prohibitions

(1) For airplanes that have an MLG sliding tube installed that has a part number and serial number listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD: After an airplane is returned to service following accomplishment of the actions required by paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) of this AD, no person may install on any airplane an MLG sliding tube having a part number and serial number listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD.

(2) For airplanes that, as of the effective date of this AD, do not have an MLG sliding tube installed that has a part number and serial number listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD: No person may install on any airplane an MLG sliding tube having a part number and serial number listed in table 1 to paragraphs (h), (i), (k)(1), (k)(2), (l)(1), and (l)(2) of this AD.

(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) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(3) 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 Start Printed Page 22943the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(n) Special Flight Permits

Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the airplane can be modified (if the operator elects to do so), provided the MLG remains extended throughout the flight.

(o) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive 2014-0058, dated March 11, 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-2015-0831.

(2) For Airbus service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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. (3) For Messier-Bugatti-Dowty service information identified in this AD, contact Messier Services Americas, Customer Support Center, 45360 Severn Way, Sterling, VA 20166 8910; phone: 703-450-8233; fax: 703-404-1621; Internet: https://techpubs.services/​messier-dowty.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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 9, 2015.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-09288 Filed 4-23-15; 8:45 am]

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