Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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 certain Airbus Model A318-112 airplanes, A319-111, -112, -115, -132, and -133 airplanes, A320-214, -232, and -233 airplanes, and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a quality control review on the final assembly line, which determined that the wrong aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts. This proposed AD would require a one-time eddy current conductivity measurements of certain cabin and cargo compartment structural parts to determine if an incorrect aluminum alloy was used, and replacement if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and replace structural parts made of incorrect aluminum alloy. This condition could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 11, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this NPRM, 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-2016-6893; 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 Start Printed Page 33439

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-2016-6893; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-181-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 2015-0218, dated November 3, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A318-112, A319-111, -112, -115, -132, and -133, A320-214, -232, and -233, and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Following an Airbus quality control review on the final assembly line, it was discovered that wrong aluminum alloy were delivered by a supplier for several structural parts. The results of the investigations highlighted that 0.04% of the stock could be impacted by this wrong material.

Structural investigations demonstrated the capability to sustain the static limits loads, and sufficient fatigue life up to a certain inspection threshold.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-53-1298 and SB A320-53-1299 to provide inspection instructions.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time Special Detailed Inspection (SDI) [eddy current conductivity measurements] of certain cabin and cargo compartment parts for material identification and, depending on findings, replacement with serviceable parts.

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-2016-6893.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletins A320-53-1298 and A320-53-1299, both dated February 16, 2015; both including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a one-time eddy current conductivity measurement of certain cabin and cargo compartment structural parts to determine if an incorrect aluminum alloy was used, and replacement of any affected part with a serviceable part. 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.

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 167 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour 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 $14,195, or $85 per product.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

According to the manufacturer, some 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 available 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; 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
Start Printed Page 33440
[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-2016-6893; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-181-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by July 11, 2016.

(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; manufacturer serial numbers 3586, 3588, 3589, 3590, 3595, 3604, 3608, 3614, 3615, 3620, 3632, 3634, 3638, 3647, 3651, 3657, 3660, 3661, 3663, 3671, 3675, 3680, 3683 through 3687 inclusive, 3689, 3691, 3694, 3700, 3702, 3704, 3705, 3710, 3720, 3727, 3728, 3733, 3735, 3742, 3744, 3746, 3754, 3757, 3759, 3763, 3768, 3770, 3772, 3774, 3775, 3779, 3788, 3790, 3794, 3797, 3799, 3801, 3803, 3808, 3810, 3818, 3822, 3824, 3826 through 4329 inclusive, 4331 through 6051 inclusive, 6053 through 6061 inclusive, 6063 through 6072 inclusive, 6074 through 6100 inclusive, 6102 through 6115 inclusive, 6117 through 6126 inclusive, 6128 through 6136 inclusive, 6138 through 6143 inclusive, 6145 through 6150 inclusive, 6152 through 6159 inclusive, 6161 and 6162.

(1) Airbus Model A318-112 airplanes.

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

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

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

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a quality control review of the final assembly line which determined that the wrong aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct structural parts made of incorrect aluminum alloy. This condition could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) One-Time Measurement

Within 6 years after the effective date of this AD, but not exceeding 12 years since the date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness or the date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness: Do a one-time eddy current conductivity measurements (with 60kHz and 480kHz) of the cabin and cargo compartment structural parts identified in the “Affected P/N” column of table 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD to determine if an incorrect aluminum alloy was used, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletins A320-53-1298, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cabin parts); and A320-53-1299, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cargo parts).

Table 1 to Paragraphs (g) and (h) of This AD—Parts To Be Inspected/Installed

Affected P/NAcceptable replacement P/NArea
D5347120720000D5347120720051Cabin.
D5347120720100D5347120720151Cabin.
D5347120920000D5347120920051Cabin.
D5347120920100D5347120920151Cabin.
D5347118820400D5347118820451Cabin.
D5347717620000D5347717620051Cargo.
D5357020620000D5357020620051Cargo.
D5358526421200D5358526421251Cargo.
D5358526421400D5358526421400Cargo.
D5358526421000D5358526421051Cargo.
D5358513120001D5358513120051Cargo.

(h) Replacement

If during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any affected part having a part number (P/N) specified in table 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD is found to have a measured value greater than that specified in Figure A-GFAAA, Sheet 02, “Inspection Flowchart,” of the applicable service information identified in paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, replace with an acceptable replacement part having a P/N specified in table 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletins A320-53-1298, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cabin parts); and A320-53-1299, dated February 16, 2015, including Appendices 01, 02, and 03, dated February 16, 2015 (for cargo parts).

(i) 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 DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) 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 an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0218, dated November 3, 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-2016-6893.Start Printed Page 33441

(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 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 May 17, 2016.

Dionne Palermo,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-12352 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P