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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 34262

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found during the manufacturing process for some oxygen pipe assemblies that are used to supply oxygen to the flightcrew. This AD requires an inspection to determine the batch number or installation date of the oxygen pipe assembly that is installed at the end of the right-hand crew distribution line, and, if necessary, replacement of the pipe. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct corrosion, which could lead to blocked or reduced oxygen supply to a flightcrew member during a decompression event or a smoke/fire event in the cockpit. Under certain conditions, corrosion particles could increase the risk of fire in the cockpit.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective July 21, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 21, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0585 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 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. 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-2014-0585.

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:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 26, 2014 (79 FR 50872).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0278, dated November 26, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Some oxygen pipe assemblies, Part Number (P/N) D3511032000640, have been found corroded during manufacturing at supplier level. The affected pipe assembly is installed at the end of the right hand (RH) crew distribution line, just upstream of the First Officer and RH Observer oxygen mask boxes.

The investigation showed that the affected pipes had been heat treated just 4 weeks before the summer factory closure and were only cleaned after re-opening of the factory. During this interruption, corrosion developed in these pipes.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to blocked or reduced oxygen supply to one flight crew member in case of decompression or smoke/fire in the cockpit. In addition, the presence of particles in oxygen lines, under certain conditions, increases the risk of fire in the cockpit.

The parts manufacturer identified the batch numbers of the potentially affected pipes that were manufactured in a specific period in 2011. Based on that information, Airbus has identified the aeroplanes on which those pipes have been installed on the production line and has issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-35-1069, containing instructions to remove the affected pipes from service.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the identification of the affected oxygen pipes P/N D3511032000640, and for those included in the affected batches, replacement of the oxygen pipe. This [EASA] AD also prohibits installation of any of the affected pipes on other aeroplanes.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0585-0002.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We have considered the comments received. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

United Airlines stated that, while they appreciated the opportunity to comment, they had no comments on the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014).

Request To Revise Language Allowing Use of a Records Check

Delta Air Lines (DAL) requested that the second sentence in paragraph (h) of the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 2014) be revised to add a provision for when an operator can show compliance if the “review conclusively determined that the suspect part number and batch number was never installed on the aircraft.” DAL contended that the additional provision would allow an operator with an airplane that was not identified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013, and on which the originally installed pipe was never replaced, to be in compliance with the proposed AD without knowing the part number (P/N) and installation date.

We agree that if operators can conclusively determine that the crew oxygen pipes having P/N D3511032000640 have never been installed on an airplane after June 2011, then AD compliance can be demonstrated for paragraph (h) of this AD. However, we do not agree to revise paragraph (h) of this AD as the current language requires operators to either do the inspection for the part or verify that the part is not installed by reviewing their maintenance records. If an operator can verify through review of maintenance records that no crew oxygen pipe having P/N D3511032000640 was installed after June 2011, then compliance with paragraph (h) of this AD can be demonstrated. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:Start Printed Page 34263

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 50872, August 26, 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 50872, August 26, 2014).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the crew oxygen pipe to determine the batch number of the pipe, and replacing the crew oxygen pipe, as applicable. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 2 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $340, or $170 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 5 work-hours, for a cost of $425 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

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-2014-0585;​ 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

2015-12-08 Airbus: Amendment 39-18182. Docket No. FAA-2014-0585; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-248-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective July 21, 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) Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

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

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

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

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of corrosion found during the manufacturing process for some oxygen pipe assemblies that are used to supply oxygen to the flightcrew. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct corrosion, which could lead to blocked or reduced oxygen supply to a flightcrew member during a decompression event or a smoke/fire event in the cockpit. Under certain conditions, corrosion particles could increase the risk of fire in the cockpit.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection for Batch Numbers and Replacement

For airplanes identified in paragraph 1.A. of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013: Within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the crew oxygen pipe, having part number (P/N) D3511032000640, to determine the batch number of that pipe, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the batch number of the pipe can be conclusively determined from that review. If the batch number of the oxygen pipe is 19356252, 40008586, 40076689, 40187414, 40292749, 40405164, 40649383, 40724994, 40820410, or 40911832: Within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the oxygen pipe with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013.

(h) Inspection for Part Number and Installation Date of Crew Oxygen Pipe

For airplanes not identified in paragraph 1.A. of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013: Within 7,500 flight hours or 26 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the crew oxygen pipe to determine whether P/N D3511032000640 was installed after June 2011. A review of airplane Start Printed Page 34264maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and installation date of the pipe can be conclusively determined from that review. If the pipe was installed after June 2011, or the date cannot be conclusively determined, before further flight, do the actions required in paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Parts Installation Prohibition

As of the effective date of this AD, do not install, on any airplane, a crew oxygen pipe P/N D3511032000640, that is identified as belonging to batch number 19356252, 40008586, 40076689, 40187414, 40292749, 40405164, 40649383, 40724994, 40820410, or 40911832.

(j) 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) 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 the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0278, dated November 26, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!documentDetail;​D=​FAA-2014-0585-0002.

(l) 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) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-35-1069, dated April 26, 2013.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For 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.

(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 June 3, 2015.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-14395 Filed 6-15-15; 8:45 am]

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