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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing defect that affects the durability of affected parts in the cargo and cabin compartment. This AD requires an inspection of affected structural parts in the cargo and cabin compartments to determine if proper heat treatment has been done, and replacement if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent crack initiation and propagation, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 8, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of September 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office-EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: airworthiness.A330-A340@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-2016-5460.

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-2016-5460; 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 Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is 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 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; 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 A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 12, 2016 (81 FR 21486) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report of a manufacturing defect that affects the durability of affected parts in the cargo and cabin compartment. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection of affected structural parts in the cargo and cabin compartments to determine if proper heat treatment has been done, and replacement if necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent crack initiation and propagation, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued European Airworthiness Directive 2015-0212, dated November 4, 2015, to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Airbus quality controls identified that several structural parts, intended for cargo or Start Printed Page 51326cabin compartment installation, were manufactured from improperly heat-treated materials. Subsequent review identified that some of those parts were installed on airplanes manufactured between November 2011 and February 2013. From February 2013, Airbus implemented measures into manufacturing processes to ensure detection and to prevent installation of such non-conforming parts.

A detailed safety assessment was accomplished to identify the possible impact of affected parts on the airplane structure. The result of this structural analysis demonstrated the capability of the affected structure to sustain static limit loads, but failed to confirm that the affected structures met the certified fatigue life.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to crack initiation and propagation, possibly resulting in reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

To address this potentially unsafe condition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) SB A330-53-3227 and SB A330-53-3228 to provide inspection instructions for affected cargo and cabin structural parts respectively.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time Special Detailed Inspection (SDI) [eddy current inspection] to measure the electrical conductivity of affected structural parts, to identify the presence or absence of heat treatment, and, depending on findings, corrective action [replacement].

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-2016-5460.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data 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:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued the following service information:

  • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3227, dated August 18, 2015. The service information describes procedures to inspect affected structural parts in the cargo compartment to determine if proper heat treatment has been done, and replacement of parts; and
  • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3228, dated August 18, 2015. The service information describes procedures to inspect affected structural parts in the cabin compartment to determine if proper heat treatment has been done, and replacement of parts.

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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 20 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Inspection11 work-hours × $85 per hour = $935$0$935$18,700

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that will be required based on the results of the required inspection. We have received no definitive data that will enable us to provide the cost of replacement parts for the on-condition actions specified in this AD, nor the cost of repairs. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Replacement45 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,825Not AvailableNot Available.

According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this 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 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;Start Printed Page 51327

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

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

2016-16-01 Airbus: Amendment 39-18599; Docket No. FAA-2016-5460; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-188-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective September 8, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, manufacturer serial numbers 1175, 1180, 1287 through 1475 inclusive, 1478, 1480, 1483, and 1506.

(1) Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.

(2) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.

(3) Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing defect (i.e. improperly heat treated materials) that affects the durability of affected parts in the cargo and cabin compartment. We are issuing this AD to prevent crack initiation and propagation, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection of Affected Structure in the Cargo Compartment

Within 72 months since first flight of the airplane, do an eddy current inspection (i.e., conductivity measurement) of affected structural parts in the cargo compartment to determine if proper heat treatment has been done as identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3227, dated August 18, 2015.

(h) Replacement of Non-Conforming Parts in the Cargo Compartment

If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, an affected structural part in the cargo compartment is identified to have a measured value greater than 26 megasiemens per meter (MS/m), or greater than 44.8% International Annealed Copper Standard (IACS), before further flight, replace the affected structural part with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3227, dated August 18, 2015.

(i) Repair of Non-Conforming Parts in the Cargo Compartment

If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, an affected structural part in the cargo compartment is identified to have a measured value other than those specified in Figure A-GFAAA, Sheet 01, “Inspection Flowchart,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-3227, dated August 18, 2015, before further flight, repair 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).

(j) Inspection of Affected Structure in the Cabin Compartment

Within 72 months since first flight of the airplane, do an eddy current inspection of affected structural parts in the cabin compartment to determine if proper heat treatment has been done as identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3228, dated August 18, 2015.

(k) Replacement of Non-Conforming Parts in the Cabin Compartment

If, during the inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD, an affected structural part in the cabin compartment is identified to have a measured value greater than 26 MS/m or greater than 44.8% IACS, before further flight, replace the affected structural part with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3228, dated August 18, 2015.

(l) Repair of Non-Conforming Parts in the Cabin Compartment

If, during the inspection required by paragraph (j) of this AD, an affected structural part in the cabin compartment is identified to have a measured value other than those specified in Figure A-GFAAA, Sheet 01, “Inspection Flowchart,” of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-53-3228, dated August 18, 2015, before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.

(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: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; 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 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.

(n) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0212, dated November 4, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-5460.

(o) 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.Start Printed Page 51328

(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 A330-53-3227, dated August 18, 2015.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-53-3228, dated August 18, 2015.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 45 80; email: airworthiness.A330-A340@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 July 21, 2016.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-18168 Filed 8-3-16; 8:45 am]

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