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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 the discovery of corroded circlips in fuel vent protectors (FVP) having a certain part number. This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine the part number and serial number of the FVP, and replacement if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct corroded circlips. Corroded circlips could lead to failure of the circlips and consequent movement of the FVP, resulting in a reduction of the flame protector capability of the FVP cartridge, which could result in damage to the airplane in case of lightning impact or fire on the ground.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR Start Printed Page 7974311.43 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, 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.

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-2015-7526; 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-2015-7526; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-217-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 2014-0234R1, dated December 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:

On each aeroplane wing, a NACA [National Advisory committee for Aeronautics] duct assembly is installed, including a Fuel Vent Protector (FVP) which is used as flame arrestor. This FVP is maintained in its NACA duct assembly by a circlip (also known as C-clip). Following a wing water pressure test, the FVP is removed and dried with heat. During an inspection after this test, several circlips were reported to be discoloured. Investigation revealed that a batch of circlips fitted on some FVP Part Number (P/N) 786073-1-0 have an increased risk of corrosion due to a manufacturing quality issue.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to circlip failure and consequent FVP movement, reducing the flame protector capability of the FVP cartridge, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane in case of lightning impact or fire on ground.

For the reason described above, EASA issued AD 2014-0234 to require identification by serial number (s/n) of the affected FVP P/N 786073-1-0 and removal from service [and replacement with a serviceable part].

This [EASA] AD is revised to clarify that only maintenance records since August 2012 should be consulted to demonstrate, as required by paragraph (2), that not replacement FVP has been installed.

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-2015-7526.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-28-1221, dated July 21, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the FVP to determine the part number, and replacing the FVP if necessary. 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 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 7 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 5 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Parts would cost $25,640. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be up to $182,455, or $26,065 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 Start Printed Page 79744the 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-2015-7526; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-217-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by February 8, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (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 28, Fuel.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by the discovery of corroded circlips in fuel vent protectors (FVP) having a certain part number. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct corroded circlips. Corroded circlips could lead to failure of the circlips and consequent movement of the FVP, resulting in a reduction of the flame protector capability of the FVP cartridge, which could result in damage to the airplane in case of lightning impact or fire on the ground.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection of FVP and Corrective Action

For airplanes having a manufacturer serial number specified in figure 1 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD: At the earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD, do an inspection to determine the part number and serial number of the FVP. If the FVP has part number (P/N) 786073-1-0 with a serial number that is specified in figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD, and the FVP is not marked “Amdt B,” replace the FVP with a serviceable part, at the earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1221, dated July 21, 2014. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and serial number of the FVP can be conclusively determined from that review.

Figure 1 to Paragraphs (g) and (i) of This AD—Affected Airplane Manufacturer Serial Numbers

543854615485 through 5488 inclusive5536
544154635490 through 5493 inclusive5539
544454645495 through 5505 inclusive5541
544554695507 through 5515 inclusive5544
54475473 through 5478 inclusive55175547
5457548155185551
545954825520 through 5527 inclusive5553
5460548355305556

Figure 2 to Paragraphs (g) and (i) of This AD—Affected Serial Numbers for Part Number 786073-1-0

[Manufactured during August 2012]

Serial number 786073IN0xxxx (xxxx indicates the last four digits)
375238213868391139664010
375338263871391439674011
375438273874392239694013
375538293877392539714017
375638303878392739724019
375738333882393039774023
375838343893393739784024
375938363897393839804025
376038393898394039814026
376138403899394539824039
378738483900394639834048
378838493901394739844065
381038503904394839854066
381238513905395139864068
381438533906396139874070
381738593907396239964184
381938603908396439974187
38203867391039654009None
Start Printed Page 79745

(h) Compliance Times for the Requirements of Paragraph (g) of This AD

Do the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the earliest of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD.

(1) Before the accumulation of 5,000 total flight cycles after the date of manufacture of the airplane.

(2) Before the accumulation of 7,500 total flight hours after the date of manufacture of the airplane.

(3) Within 30 months after the date of manufacture of the airplane.

(i) Exclusion From Actions Required by Paragraph (g) of This AD

An airplane that does not have a manufacturer serial number specified in figure 1 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD is excluded from the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, provided that, a FVP having P/N 786073-1-0 with a serial number specified in figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD has not been installed on that airplane after July 2012. If a FVP having P/N 786073-1-0 with a serial number specified in figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD is installed, or the serial number cannot be identified: Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the FVP with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-28-1221, dated July 21, 2014. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable if it can be conclusively determined from that review that a FVP having a serial number specified in figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD has not been installed on that airplane after July 2012.

(j) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, a FVP having P/N 786073-1-0 and a serial number listed in figure 2 to paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD may be installed on any airplane, provided the FVP is marked with “Amdt B.”

(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: 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0234R1, dated December 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-2015-7526.

(2) 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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 11, 2015.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-32082 Filed 12-22-15; 8:45 am]

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