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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

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SUMMARY:

We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135 airplanes and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require a detailed inspection for chafing on the electrical harness of each electrical fuel pump in the fuel tanks, replacement of the affected electrical fuel pump with a new or serviceable pump if necessary, and installation of clamps on the fuel pump electrical harnesses. The NPRM was prompted by a report of chafing found between the fuel pump electrical harness and the fuel pump tubing during scheduled maintenance. This action revises the NPRM by expanding the proposed applicability and revising the compliance time for the detailed inspection. We are proposing this supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to detect and correct chafing of the fuel pump harnesses with other parts inside the fuel tank, which could present a potential ignition source that could result in a fire or fuel tank explosion. Since certain actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this SNPRM by September 19, 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 service information identified in this SNPRM, contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brasil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet http://www.flyembraer.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-2015-3143; 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 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:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; 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-2015-3143; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-047-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

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135 airplanes and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 21, 2015 (80 FR 50812) (“the NPRM”).

Actions Since Previous NPRM was Issued

Since we issued the NPRM, we have determined that certain airplanes were inadvertently omitted from the applicability, and the compliance time for the detailed inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD must be revised to “within 5,000 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.”

The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2015-03-01, effective March 23, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135 airplanes and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, and -145EP airplanes. The MCAI states:

Chafing between the fuel pump electrical harness and fuel pump tubing was detected during scheduled maintenance. We are issuing this [Brazilian] AD to protect the fuel pump harnesses against chafing with other parts inside the fuel tank, which could present a potential ignition source that could result in a fire or fuel tank explosion.

The required actions include a detailed inspection for chafing on the electrical harness of each electrical fuel pump in the fuel tanks, replacement of the affected electrical fuel pump with a new or serviceable pump if necessary, and installation of clamps on the fuel pump electrical harnesses. 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-2015-3143.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Embraer has issued Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, Revision 01, dated October 22, 2010; and Service Bulletin 145LEG-28-0032, Revision 01, dated November 20, 2012. The service information describes procedures for a detailed inspection for chafing on the electrical harness of each electrical fuel pump in the fuel tanks, replacement of the affected electrical fuel pump with a new or serviceable pump if necessary, and installation of clamps on the fuel pump electrical harnesses. 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.Start Printed Page 51817

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. We considered the comments received.

Request To Clarify Airplane Applicability

ExpressJet Airlines stated that the airplane effectivity in Embraer Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, Revision 01, dated October 22, 2010, included Model EMB-145XR airplanes. ExpressJet Airlines stated that Model EMB-145XR airplanes are not included in paragraph (c), “Applicability,” of the proposed AD (in the NPRM) and asked if this is the intent of the NPRM or if the Model EMB-145XR airplanes should be included.

We agree with the commenter to clarify the applicability of this SNPRM. Although ANAC unintentionally omitted Model EMB-145XR airplanes from the applicability of its AD, the serial numbers corresponding to Model EMB-145XR airplanes are identified in the Embraer Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, Revision 01, dated October 22, 2010. We have added Model EMB-145XR airplanes to the applicability of this SNPRM. We have coordinated this issue with ANAC.

Request To Extend the Compliance Time

ExpressJet requested that we revise the compliance time for the detailed inspection in the proposed AD (in the NPRM) to “within 5,000 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first,” instead of “within 2,500 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.” ExpressJet stated that this would allow the majority of the airplanes to be inspected during a C-check interval, which would be the most effective time to accomplish the task as the fuel tanks have to be drained and vented for the inspection to be performed. ExpressJet commented that these limits also line up with the current recommendations in the service information.

We agree with the commenter for the reasons stated previously. Data from Embraer confirms that increasing the flight hours another 2,500 flight hours is acceptable. We have changed this SNPRM accordingly.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

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.

Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM. As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this SNPRM affects 731 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate that it would take about 11 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this SNPRM. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this SNPRM on U.S. operators to be $683,485, or $935 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 6 work-hours and would require parts costing $11,242, for a cost of $11,752 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action.

According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this SNPRM 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 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:

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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

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer): Docket No. FAA-2015-3143; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-047-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by September 19, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

(1) Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, and -135LR airplanes; and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, -145EP, and -145XR airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Embraer Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, Revision 01, dated October 22, 2010.

(2) Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer) Model EMB-135BJ airplanes, Start Printed Page 51818certificated in any category, as identified in Embraer Service Bulletin 145LEG-28-0032, Revision 01, dated November 20, 2012.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of chafing found between the fuel pump electrical harness and the fuel pump tubing during scheduled maintenance. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafing of the fuel pump harnesses with other parts inside the fuel tank, which could present a potential ignition source that could result in a fire or fuel tank explosion.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Detailed Inspection and Corrective Action

Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD at the applicable times specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD.

(1) Do a detailed inspection for chafing on the electrical harness of each electrical fuel pump in the fuel tanks, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, Revision 01, dated October 22, 2010 (for Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, and -135LR airplanes; and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, -145EP, and -145XR airplanes); or Embraer Service Bulletin 145LEG-28-0032, Revision 01, dated November 20, 2012 (for Model EMB-135BJ airplanes). If any chafing is found, before further flight, replace the affected electrical fuel pump with a new or serviceable pump having the same part number, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, Revision 01, dated October 22, 2010; or Embraer Service Bulletin 145LEG-28-0032, Revision 01, dated November 20, 2012; as applicable.

(2) Install clamps on the fuel pump electrical harnesses, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, Revision 01, dated October 22, 2010 (for Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, and -135LR airplanes; and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, -145EP, and -145XR airplanes); or Embraer Service Bulletin 145LEG-28-0032, Revision 01, dated November 20, 2012 (for Model EMB-135BJ airplanes).

(h) Compliance Times

(1) For Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, and -135LR airplanes; and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, -145EP, and -145XR airplanes: Do the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD within 5,000 flight hours or 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(2) For Model EMB-135BJ airplanes: Do the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD within 4,800 flight hours or 48 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Embraer Service Bulletin 145-28-0030, dated September 1, 2010 (for Model EMB-135ER, -135KE, -135KL, and -135LR airplanes; and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, -145EP, and -145XR airplanes); or Embraer Service Bulletin 145LEG-28-0032, dated September 15, 2011 (for Model EMB-135BJ airplanes), as applicable. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) 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: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1175; 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 Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC); or ANAC's authorized Designee. If approved by the ANAC Designee, the approval must include the Designee's authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2015-03-01, effective March 23, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-3143.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (Embraer), Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brasil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet http://www.flyembraer.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 July 25, 2016.

Victor Wicklund,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-18500 Filed 8-4-16; 8:45 am]

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