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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 A300 B4-603, B4-605R, and B4-622R airplanes; and Model A310-304, -324, and -325 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found on door frame (FR) 73A between stringers 24 and 25. This AD requires inspections around the rivet heads of the seal retainer run-out holes at certain frames and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the door frame, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

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—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. 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-2016-0466.

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-2016-0466; 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.

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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:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A300 B4-603, B4-605R, and B4-622R airplanes; and Model A310-304, -324, and -325 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 18, 2016 (81 FR 8155) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report of a crack found on door FR 73A between stringers 24 and 25. The NPRM proposed to require inspections around the rivet heads of the seal retainer run-out holes at certain frames and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the door frame, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2014-0202R1, dated September 19, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-603, B4-605R, and B4-622R airplanes; and Model A310-304, -324, and -325 airplanes The MCAI states:

During the preparation phase for conversion of an A300-600 aeroplane from passenger to freighter configuration, a crack was detected on door frame (FR) 73A, between stringer (STRG) 24 and STRG 25.

DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France had issued AD 1999-013-276R1 to require inspections at FR 73A in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A310-53-2107 or SB A300-53-6116, as applicable. However, the new crack was found in an area not covered by the existing inspection and is therefore addressed by this new [EASA] AD. (DGAC France AD 1999-013-276R1 remains in place).

Further investigations identified that, on A300-600 aeroplanes, the areas at FR 56A and FR 57A have the same design and material as at FR 73A.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the airframe.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive [high frequency eddy current (HFEC)] inspections of the rivet heads of the seal retainer run out holes to detect cracks and, depending on findings, accomplishment of corrective actions [repair].

Even though no crack has been identified at FR 56A and FR 57A, as a preventive measure, the inspection is extended to these areas. On A310 aeroplanes, only the area at FR 73A needs to be inspected.

This [EASA] AD is revised to reduce the applicability to aeroplanes in post-MOD 06924 configuration.

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-2016-0466.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to the comment.

Request To Reduce Compliance Time

An anonymous commenter asked why the NPRM has not yet been enacted. The commenter stated that they do not want to be on a plane that lacks structural integrity because of cracks on the door frame.

ADs are federal regulations that have the force and effect of law. In simple terms, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Title 5 of the United States Code (5 U.S.C.) § 553, requires all regulatory agencies such as the FAA to provide the public with notice and time for comment prior to issuing a regulation. ADs are issued in accordance with the public rulemaking procedures of the APA, FAA procedures in 14 CFR part 11, and several other relevant regulations. For this AD, we did not substantiate that a critical, immediate safety of flight problem exists that would warrant issuing a rule without prior notice or opportunity for public comment. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, 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 Service Bulletins A300-53-6175 and A310-53-2138, both dated May 28, 2014. The service information describes procedures for doing HFEC inspections around the rivet heads of the seal retainer run-out holes at certain frame locations on the left-hand and right-hand sides. 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 24 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 per inspection cycle$0$935 per inspection cycle$22,440 per inspection cycle.

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

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 Start Printed Page 51322products 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;

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

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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

2016-16-06 Airbus: Amendment 39-18604; Docket No. FAA-2016-0466; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-188-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective September 8, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 B4-603, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A310-304, A310-324, and A310-325 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) in post-modification (MOD) 06924 configuration, except MSNs 464, 477, 479, 481, 482, 483, 484, and 488.

Note 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD: MSNs 464, 477, 479, 481, 482, 483, 484 and 488 partially embodied MOD 06924 by means of modification proposal D05902.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found on door frame (FR) 73A between stringers 24 and 25. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the door frame, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspections for Cracking

At the later of the compliance times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for any crack around the rivet heads of the seal retainer run-out holes at FR 56A, FR 57A, and FR 73A, left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides on Model A300-600 airplanes; and at FR 73A, LH and RH sides on Model A310 airplanes; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2138, dated May 28, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A300-53-6175, dated May 28, 2014; as applicable. Repeat the HFEC inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 7,500 flight cycles.

(1) Before the accumulation of 32,000 total flight cycles.

(2) Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, or before the accumulation of 36,000 total flight cycles, whichever occurs first.

(h) Corrective Actions

If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, repair before further flight 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).

(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: 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.

(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; EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: 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

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2014-0202R1, dated September 19, 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-2016-0466.

(k) 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.

(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 A300-53-6175, dated May 28, 2014.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-53-2138, dated May 28, 2014.

(3) For 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.

(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. 2016-18254 Filed 8-3-16; 8:45 am]

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