Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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 all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes; and Airbus Model A340-500, and -600 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that non-conforming aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts on the inboard flap. This proposed AD would require identification of the potentially affected inboard flap parts, a one-time eddy current inspection to identify which material the parts are made of, and depending on findings, replacement with serviceable parts. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct structural parts of inboard flaps made of nonconforming aluminum alloy, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 17, 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 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 Start Printed Page 59923SW., 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-2016-8851; 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

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:

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-2016-8851; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-070-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 2016-0082, dated April 27, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes; and Airbus Model A340-500, and -600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Following an Airbus quality control review on the final assembly line, it was discovered that non-conforming aluminium alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts on the inboard flap.

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) A330-57-3120 and SB A340-57-5036 to provide instructions to identify and inspect the potentially affected parts.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires identification of the potentially affected inboard flap parts, a one-time Special Detailed Inspection (SDI) [eddy current measurement] to identify which material they are made of 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-2016-8851.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3120, dated September 18, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5036, dated September 18, 2015. The service information describes procedures for inspecting inboard flaps using eddy current inspection methods. 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 31 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Inspection5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425$0$425$13,175

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of airplanes that might need these replacements:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Remove and Replace Flap60 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,100Unavailable$5,100

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. The cost of purchasing a flap spare is not available. As a result, we have included only labor 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 Start Printed Page 59924the 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
[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-2016-8851; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-070-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by October 17, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes; A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes; A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; A340-541 airplanes; and A340-642 airplanes; certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports that nonconforming aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts on the inboard flap. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct structural parts of inboard flaps made of nonconforming aluminum alloy, 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) Inboard Flap Serial Number Identification

Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Inspect each left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) inboard flap, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3120, dated September 18, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5036, dated September 18, 2015; as applicable; to identify the serial number. A review of airplane delivery and maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of inspecting the inboard flaps, provided those records can be relied upon for that purpose and the serial number of the affected parts can be conclusively identified from that review. The serial numbers of affected inboard flaps are identified in figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD.

Note 1 to paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD:

Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3120, dated September 18, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5036, dated September 18, 2015; list the serial numbers of potentially affected LH and RH inboard flaps and the corresponding airplane serial number on which these parts were installed during production. The airplane serial number list is for information only, as it cannot be excluded that a potentially affected inboard flap has been removed from an airplane and later re-installed on another airplane.

Figure 1 to Paragraph (g) of This AD—Affected Flap Serial Numbers (s/n)

Date of first operationLH s/nRH s/nDate of first operationLH s/nRH s/nDate of first operationLH s/nRH s/n
29/09/10110041100428/02/11112021120119/12/121134911349
21/07/09110301102822/02/11111981120217/12/121135211352
17/08/09110341100207/03/11112031120315/11/121135311353
21/05/10110311103130/03/11112041120430/10/121135411354
09/08/10110711107131/05/11112051122922/10/121135511355
10/07/09110331105715/03/11112061120631/10/121138311357
06/08/10110361109824/03/11112081120830/10/121138011356
29/07/09110351103504/04/11112091120926/11/121135911393
19/08/09110571103622/03/11112101121030/11/121136111361
23/12/09110371103323/03/11112111121316/11/121135811358
14/09/09110381103824/03/11112121121230/11/121132511360
17/09/10110421103914/04/11112131121412/12/121139911365
23/09/09110401104014/04/11112291121526/11/121136211362
11/09/09110411104111/04/11112151121709/11/121136311363
12/05/10110461104206/04/11112161121630/11/121136411364
01/10/09110431104312/04/11112171121923/11/121136511368
01/10/09110441104415/04/11112181121807/12/121136611366
08/09/09110471104504/05/11112191122106/12/121136711367
07/09/09110491104629/04/11112201122019/12/121136811370
18/09/0919701104711/05/11112381122211/12/121136911369
Start Printed Page 59925
30/09/09110481104813/05/11112221122321/12/121137011372
26/10/09110551104906/05/11112231122413/12/121137211375
03/09/10110511105119/05/11112241122520/12/121137311373
30/10/09110541105419/05/11112251120521/12/121137411374
19/11/09110531105329/06/11112261122616/01/131137511377
28/10/10110081101925/05/11112271122711/01/131137611376
27/10/09110151105516/05/11112281122815/01/131137711350
28/10/09110591105910/06/11110921109205/02/131137811381
29/10/09110601106023/11/11112311123125/01/131137911379
16/11/10110631106308/07/11112321123218/01/131138211380
23/12/09110611106123/06/11112341123422/03/131138111382
23/11/09110661106622/06/11112331123327/02/131137111371
03/11/10110701107024/06/11112371123708/03/131138511383
30/11/09110651106515/06/11112351123506/02/131138411384
30/11/09110321103201/07/11112361123605/02/131138611385
18/11/09110671106712/07/11112391123919/02/131140611389
17/12/09110721107225/11/11111151111516/03/131138711387
24/11/09110741107429/07/11112401124025/02/131138811388
17/09/10111471114706/10/11112431124315/02/131139011390
23/12/09110951109529/07/11112441124125/02/131139211392
10/12/09110751107503/08/11112451124501/03/131139111403
07/12/09110761107629/08/11112461124401/03/131139411394
23/12/09110771107722/08/11112471124711/03/131139311395
22/12/09110691106920/12/11112481124608/03/131139711397
07/12/09110791107930/08/11112491124914/03/131139511399
19/01/10110781107825/08/11111361124818/03/131139611396
11/02/10110811108106/09/11112501125018/03/131135611400
26/03/10110801108027/09/11112521125428/03/131139811398
28/01/10110821108228/09/11112211125122/03/131140111401
28/01/10110841108415/09/11112141125509/04/131140011402
04/02/10110981103020/10/11112661125621/03/131140411404
29/01/10110851108519/12/11112581125809/04/131140211405
05/02/10110391103719/10/11112551125926/04/131140311407
29/03/10110861108610/11/11112591126015/04/131136011406
09/03/10110871108705/10/11112611126111/04/131140711408
15/04/10110881108817/10/11112601126319/04/131140911409
16/04/10110891108910/11/11112541125224/04/131141011410
29/03/10110901109017/11/11112621126219/04/131141114411
11/06/10110911109116/11/11112631126422/04/131140811412
22/06/11112301123016/11/11112641126526/04/131141311413
23/03/10110931109325/11/11112651126630/04/131141411414
23/02/10110941109428/11/11112671126722/04/131141211415
24/03/10110731107305/12/11112681126815/07/131141611416
31/03/10110961109629/11/11112701127017/05/131140511417
16/03/10110971109706/12/11112711127128/05/131141511418
10/03/10111011110112/12/11112721127223/05/131141911419
15/03/10110991109907/12/11112751127517/05/131141711421
23/03/10111001110014/12/11112691126930/05/131141811420
16/06/10111051110515/12/11112741127430/05/131135711386
07/12/10111021113012/12/11112761127627/05/131142011422
13/04/10111061110611/01/12112791127913/06/131142111423
27/04/10111041110420/01/12112781127804/06/131142411424
30/04/10111031110319/01/12111641116417/06/131142611378
07/04/10111081110812/01/12112771127710/06/131142311427
16/04/10111331113319/01/12112801128127/06/131142811428
10/05/10111141111423/01/12112981128220/06/131142511425
10/05/10111101111017/01/12112821128427/06/131142911426
06/05/10111161111630/01/12112831128321/06/131142711429
27/05/10111121111201/02/12112841128501/07/131143411434
13/07/11112411123824/02/12112861128601/07/131143211432
11/05/10111111103417/02/12112851128723/07/131143011430
17/06/10111181111829/02/12112871128931/07/131143111431
09/06/10111201112022/02/12112881128819/07/131143611436
16/07/10111221112223/02/12112891129112/07/131143311433
06/07/10111231112324/02/12112901129001/08/131143711437
21/05/10111241112421/02/12112911129315/07/131143511435
12/07/10111261112604/04/12112921129219/07/131143811316
28/06/10111271112705/04/12112931129413/11/131144011438
18/06/10111291112920/03/12112941129606/08/131144111441
22/06/10111301110209/03/12112951129502/08/131143911439
24/09/10111351113530/03/12112961129805/08/131144211440
Start Printed Page 59926
25/06/10111321113229/03/12112971129709/08/131144311391
26/07/10E110061111116/03/12112991117527/08/131144611442
23/07/10111381113829/03/12113001130019/08/131144711443
14/09/11112511113618/04/12112811130104/09/131144411444
15/07/10110621106212/04/12113021118003/09/131144511445
23/07/10111411114126/04/12113011130325/09/131144911446
23/08/10111451114520/04/12113031130613/09/131145011447
27/08/10111171111724/04/12113041130729/10/131144811448
13/08/10111461114627/04/12113051130526/09/131145311449
13/09/10111491114925/04/12113061130802/12/131145411450
27/09/10111501115026/04/12113071119625/09/131145111451
14/11/11111481114814/05/12113081131025/09/131147211464
17/09/10111511115110/05/12113101131227/09/131145711453
28/09/10111071110711/05/12113121131728/10/131145811454
27/09/10111591115909/05/12113091129922/10/131145611455
25/10/10111531115325/05/12113111131111/10/131145511456
29/09/10111551115529/05/12113131131325/10/131145911459
08/10/10111561115631/05/12113141131420/11/131146011458
13/10/10111571115728/06/12113171131517/10/131146111461
15/10/10111681116815/06/12113161133621/10/131146211460
13/10/10111861116015/06/12113181131823/10/131146311463
22/10/10111611116131/05/12113191131905/11/131146511462
22/10/10111631116318/06/12113201132004/11/131146611466
25/01/12112561128022/06/12113211132113/11/131145211473
22/11/10111651116519/07/12113221132204/11/131138911465
10/11/10111671116729/06/12113231132322/11/131146811457
02/12/101960196011/07/12113241132427/11/131146711467
15/11/10111691116926/06/12113481132511/12/131147011468
30/11/10111781117009/07/12113261132618/11/131146911469
10/11/10111711117103/07/12113271132702/12/131147411470
30/11/10111831117212/07/12113281132802/12/131147111471
26/11/10111731117316/07/12113291132930/12/131150311488
14/12/10111741117424/08/12113301133016/12/131147611474
15/06/12111751130213/07/12113311133116/12/131147711477
19/11/10111771117723/07/12113321133206/12/131147511475
23/12/10111721117829/08/12113331133303/12/131147911476
11/04/12113151130410/08/12113341133409/12/131148011480
16/12/10111811118123/07/12113351133509/12/131147811489
15/12/10111841118330/08/12113371133709/12/131148111481
15/12/10111871118430/07/12113361130917/12/131148211482
14/01/11111881118831/08/12111801133909/01/141148311483
25/01/11111891118718/09/12113401134021/01/141148411484
21/01/11111601118930/11/12113391134127/02/141148611486
12/01/11111901119012/09/12113411134327/01/141148711487
25/01/11111921118615/10/12113431134517/01/141148511485
07/02/11111911119117/09/12113461134731/01/141148911490
07/02/11111931119228/09/12113451134414/01/141149011491
18/02/11111951119309/10/12113421134229/01/141148811492
24/02/11111961119524/09/12113441134630/01/141149211493
25/02/11111991121115/10/1211347901524/01/141149311479
25/02/11112001119821/09/12113381134827/02/141149111494
21/02/11112011119919/10/12113501135916/06/141149511495
14/02/11111701120017/10/12113511135114/02/141149811498

(h) Eddy Current Conductivity Measurement

For each affected inboard flap, within 6 years after the effective date of this AD, or within 12 years after the date of the flap first operation, whichever occurs first, accomplish an eddy current conductivity measurement, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3120, dated September 18, 2015; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5036, dated September 18, 2015; as applicable.

Note 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD:

The date of first operation is shown in figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD as day, month, year (dd/mm/yy).

(i) Replacement

If a part manufactured from non-conforming material is detected during the eddy current inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, within 30 days after doing the eddy current inspection, replace the affected part 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) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, an inboard flap may be installed on any airplane, provided the part is a serviceable part. A serviceable part is:

(1) A part that is not listed by serial number in figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD; or

(2) A part that has a serial number listed in figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, but which has passed an eddy current conductivity measurement in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3120, dated September 18, 2015; or Airbus Service Start Printed Page 59927Bulletin A340-57-5036, dated September 18, 2015; as applicable.

(k) 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 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) 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0082, dated April 27, 2016, 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-2016-8851.

(2) 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. 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 August 18, 2016.

Dorr M. Anderson,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-20696 Filed 8-30-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P