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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Model PC-12, PC-12/45, and PC-12/47E airplanes. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as a malfunction of the universal joint. We are issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments 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 Start Printed Page 40950W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD, Customer Support Manager, CH-6371 STANS, Switzerland; phone: +41 (0)41 619 33 33; fax: +41 (0)41 619 73 11; email: SupportPC12@pilatus-aircraft.com; internet: http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

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-2015-2775; 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 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:

Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: doug.rudolph@faa.gov.

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-2015-2775; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-021-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 because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://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 Community, has issued AD No.: 2015-0111, dated June 16, 2015 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

A case of malfunctioning was reported of a universal joint installed between the control tube assembly and the control column on a PC-12/47E aeroplane.

Investigation determined that the malfunction was caused by an incorrectly manufactured universal joint. Universal joints from the same manufacturing batch were provided to operators between 01 March 2014 and 28 February 2015, and are thus potentially affected.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to other cases of malfunctioning of a universal joint, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. issued Service Bulletin (SB) No. 27-022 to provide instructions for replacement of the universal joints in the flight controls.

For the reason described above, this AD requires removal from service of the potentially incorrectly manufactured universal joints.

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2775.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Pilatus Aircraft Limited has issued PILATUS PC-12 Service Bulletin No: 27-022, dated March 17, 2015. The PILATUS PC-12 Service Bulletin No: 27-022, dated March 17, 2015, describes procedures for replacement of the universal joint on the aileron control system. 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 NPRM.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the 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 this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 55 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 3 work-hours 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 about $1,000 per product.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $69,025 or $1,255 per product.

According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

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, andStart Printed Page 40951

(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 AD:

End Amendment Part

PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD.: Docket No. FAA-2015-2775; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-021-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by August 28, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Models PC-12, PC-12/45, and PC-12/47E airplanes, manufacturer serial numbers 244, 307, 409, 646, 1447 through 1450, 1461, 1462, 1466 through 1514, 1516 through 1520, and 1523, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 27: Flight Controls.

(e) Reason

This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as a malfunction of the universal joint. We are issuing this proposed AD to replace defective aileron control system universal joints.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Unless already done, do the following actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(2) of this AD:

(1) For airplanes equipped with aileron control system universal joints part number (P/N) 944.61.73.012 or P/N 527.10.12.195, purchased between March 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015; or universal joints installed in service through an aileron control system inspection kit P/N 500.50.12.314, purchased between March 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015, do one of the following actions as applicable:

(i) For airplanes with less than 200 flight cycles since first flight of the airplane or less than 200 flight cycles since installation of an affected universal joint or inspection kit, whichever applies: Within 10 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD or 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace with a new universal joint P/N 527.10.12.195 purchased after March 1, 2015, and marked with a placard “RT iO” following the Accomplishment Instructions in PILATUS PC-12 Service Bulletin No: 27-022, dated March 17, 2015.

(ii) For airplanes with 200 flight cycles or more since first flight of the airplane or 200 flight cycles or more since installation of an affected universal joint or inspection kit, whichever applies: Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, replace with a new universal joint P/N 527.10.12.195 purchased after March 1, 2015, and marked with a placard “RT iO” following the Accomplishment Instructions in PILATUS PC-12 Service Bulletin No: 27-022, dated March 17, 2015.

(iii) For all airplanes where total flight cycles are not tracked: The conversion formula is one flight cycle equals one flight hour.

(2) For all airplanes: After the effective date of this AD, do not install the following parts on any airplane after the modification of the airplane as required in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD or any airplane that does not have an affected part installed:

(i) A universal joint P/N 944.61.73.012 or P/N 527.10.12.195 (except for a P/N 527.10.12.195 marked with a placard “RT iO”).

(ii) Inspection kit P/N 500.50.12.314 purchased between March 1, 2014, and February 28, 2015.

(g) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: doug.rudolph@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, 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.

(h) Related Information

Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No.: 2015-0111, dated June 16, 2015. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-2775. For service information related to this AD, contact PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD, Customer Support Manager, CH-6371 STANS, Switzerland; phone: +41 (0)41 619 33 33; fax: +41 (0)41 619 73 11; email: SupportPC12@pilatus-aircraft.com; internet: http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 7, 2015.

Earl Lawrence,

Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-17205 Filed 7-13-15; 8:45 am]

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