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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 A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of premature aging of certain passenger chemical oxygen generators that resulted in the generators failing to activate. This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine if certain passenger chemical oxygen generators are installed and replacement of affected passenger chemical oxygen generators. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the passenger chemical oxygen generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to airplane occupants.

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 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 SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 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 B/E Aerospace service information identified in this proposed AD, contact B/E Aerospace Inc., 10800 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215; telephone: 913-338-9800; fax: 913-469-8419; Internet http://beaerospace.com/​home/​globalsupport.

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-2015-7528; 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 Start Printed Page 79746street 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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116 Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-2125; 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-2015-7528; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-004-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 AD 2015-0118, dated June 24, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Reports have been received indicating premature ageing of certain chemical oxygen generators, Part Number (P/N) 117042-XX (XX representing any numerical value), manufactured by B/E Aerospace. Some operators reported that when they tried to activate generators, some older units failed to activate. Given the number of failed units reported, all generators manufactured in 1999, 2000 and 2001 were considered unreliable.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to failure of the generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to aeroplane occupants.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35W008-14, making reference to B/E Aerospace Service Information Letter (SIL) D1019-01 (currently at Revision 1) and B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin (SB) 117042-35-001. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0280 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/​ad/​2014-0280] to require identification and replacement of the affected oxygen generators.

Since EASA AD 2014-0280 was issued, and following new investigation results, EASA [has] decided to introduce a life limitation concerning all P/N 117042-XX chemical oxygen generators, manufactured by B/E Aerospace.

For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0280, which is superseded, expands the scope of the [EASA] AD to include chemical oxygen generators manufactured after 2001, and requires their removal from service before exceeding 10 years since date of manufacture.

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-2015-7528.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014.

B/E Aerospace has issued Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014.

This service information describes procedures to replace certain passenger chemical oxygen generators. 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 166 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 2 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 $390 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $92,960, or $560 per product.

Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to 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 control number for the collection of information required by this proposed AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this proposed AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this proposed AD is 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.

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 Start Printed Page 79747responsibilities 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-2015-7528; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-004-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 identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4), and (c)(5) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

(3) Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

(4) Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

(5) Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of premature aging of certain passenger chemical oxygen generators that resulted in the generators failing to activate. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the passenger chemical oxygen generator to activate and consequently not deliver oxygen during an emergency, possibly resulting in injury to airplane occupants.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Part Number Inspection

Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time inspection of passenger chemical oxygen generators, part numbers (P/N) 117042-02 (15 minutes (min)—2 masks), 117042-03 (15 min—3 masks), 117042-04 (15 min—4 masks), 117042-22 (22 min—2 masks), 117042-23 (22 min—3 masks), or 117042-24 (22 min—4 masks), to determine the date of manufacture as specified in Airbus Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014. Refer to Figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD and Figure 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD for the location of the date. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable for the inspection required by this paragraph, provided the date of manufacture can be conclusively determined by that review.

Start Printed Page 79748

Start Printed Page 79749

(h) Replacement of Passenger Chemical Oxygen Generators Manufactured in 1999, 2000, and 2001

If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any passenger chemical oxygen generator having a date of manufacture in 1999, 2000, or 2001 is found: At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1), (h)(2), or (h)(3) of this AD, remove and replace the affected passenger chemical oxygen generator with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014 (for 15 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); or Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014 (for 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); as applicable.

(1) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 1999: Remove and replace within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 2000: Remove and replace within 6 months after the effective date of this AD.

(3) For passenger chemical oxygen generators that have a date of manufacture in 2001: Remove and replace within 12 months after the effective date of this AD.

(i) Replacement of Passenger Chemical Oxygen Generators Manufactured in 2002 and Later

If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any passenger chemical oxygen generator having a date specified in Table 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD is found: At the applicable time specified in Table 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD, remove and replace the affected passenger chemical oxygen generator with a serviceable unit, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of B/E Aerospace Service Bulletin 117042-35-001, dated December 10, 2014 (for 15 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); or Airbus AOT A35N006-14, dated December 10, 2014, including Appendix 01 (for 22 minute passenger chemical oxygen generators); as applicable.

Table 1 to Paragraph (i) of This AD—Replacement Compliance Times

Year of manufactureCompliance time
2002Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD.
2003Within 16 months after the effective date of this AD.
2004Within 20 months after the effective date of this AD.
2005Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD.
2006Within 28 months after the effective date of this AD.
2007Within 32 months after the effective date of this AD.
2008Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD.
Start Printed Page 79750
2009Before exceeding 10 years since date of manufacture of the passenger chemical oxygen generator.

(j) Definition of Serviceable

For the purpose of this AD, a serviceable unit is a passenger chemical oxygen generator having P/N 117042-XX (XX represents any numerical value) with a manufacturing date not older than 10 years, or any other approved part number, provided that the generator has not exceeded the life limit established for that generator by the manufacturer.

(k) Reporting

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2) of this AD, submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, in accordance with paragraph 7, “Reporting,” of Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014. The report must include the information specified in Appendix 1 of Airbus AOT A35W008-14, dated December 18, 2014.

(1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.

(2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(l) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a passenger chemical oxygen generator, unless it is determined, prior to installation, that the oxygen generator is a serviceable unit (as defined in paragraph (j) 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116 Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-2125; 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.

(3) Reporting Requirements: 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.

(n) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0118, dated June 24, 2015, 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-2015-7528.

(2) For Airbus service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 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 B/E service identified in this AD, contact B/E Aerospace Inc., 10800 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS 66215; telephone: 913-338-9800; fax: 913-469-8419; Internet http://beaerospace.com/​home/​globalsupport. 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 December 11, 2015.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-32084 Filed 12-22-15; 8:45 am]

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