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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 59837

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of main landing gear (MLG) access doors detaching from the airplane as a result of excessive vibration and metal fatigue in the attach fittings. This AD requires modification of the MLG access door by replacing seals in the MLG fairing and, for certain airplanes, adding an additional bolt. We are issuing this AD to prevent a fracture in the MLG access door associated with excessive vibration and metal fatigue in the attach fittings. This condition could lead to MLG access door detachment and consequent impact of flight controls, resulting in reduced control of an airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective October 5, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 5, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact EADS-CASA, Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD), Integrated Customer Services (ICS), Technical Services, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 55 05; email MTA.TechnicalService@casa.eads.net; Internet http://www.eads.net. 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-2016-5467.

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-2016-5467; 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:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; 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 Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2016 (81 FR 21766) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by reports of MLG access doors detaching from the airplane as a result of excessive vibration and metal fatigue in the attach fittings. The NPRM proposed to require modification of the MLG access door by replacing seals in the MLG fairing and, for certain airplanes, adding an additional bolt. We are issuing this AD to prevent a fracture in the MLG access door associated with excessive vibration and metal fatigue in the attach fittings. This condition could lead to MLG access door detachment and consequent impact of flight controls, resulting in reduced control of an airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued Airworthiness Directive 2015-0225, dated November 18, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model CN-235, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Occurrences of Main Landing Gear (MLG) Access Door detachment were reported. Subsequent investigation determined that the detachments of the MLG Door occurred during maneuvers performed at high speed and with high sideslip angle on airplanes not modified in accordance with the instructions EADS-CASA Service Bulletins (SBs) SB-235-52-0061 and SB-235-52-0068. Based on the investigation results, it was determined that the fracture mechanism was associated with excessive deformation that could produce scooping in the forward edge combined with an excessive vibration of the MLG Access Door.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to MLG Access Door detachment and consequent impact of flight controls, resulting in reduced control of an airplane and possible injury of persons on the ground.

To address this potential unsafe condition, EADS-CASA issued SB-235-52-0061 and SB-235-52-0068 to provide modification instructions.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of MLG Access Doors and prohibits installation of a MLG Access Door sealing part number (P/N) CAN36032R. This [EASA] AD also prohibits installation of not modified MLG Access Doors.

Required actions include modification of the MLG access door by replacing seals in the MLG fairing and, for certain airplanes, adding an additional bolt. 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-2016-5467.

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

We have reviewed the following service information:

  • EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0061, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2014. The service information describes procedures for modifying the MLG access door by installing an additional bolt.
  • EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0068, Revision 2, dated January Start Printed Page 598389, 2015. The service information describes procedures for modifying the MLG access door by installing an improved fairing seal.

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 30 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
Modification60 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,100$12,684$17,784$533,520

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;

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

2016-17-17 Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.): Amendment 39-18630; Docket No. FAA-2016-5467; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-186-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective October 5, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (formerly known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Model CN-235, CN 235-200, and CN 235-300 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of main landing gear (MLG) access doors detaching from the airplane as a result of excessive vibration and metal fatigue in the attach fittings. We are issuing this AD to prevent a fracture in the MLG access door associated with excessive vibration and metal fatigue in the attach fittings. This condition could lead to MLG access door detachment and consequent impact of flight controls, resulting in reduced control of an airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Modifications

(1) For all airplanes: Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, modify each MLG access door by installing an improved fairing seal, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0068, Revision 2, dated January 9, 2015.

(2) For all Model CN-235-200 airplanes: Concurrently with the action required in paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, modify each affected MLG access door by installing an additional bolt, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0061, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2014.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

(1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD, using EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0068, Revision 1, dated October 24, 2014; or SB-235-52-0068, dated July 15, 2002.

(2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0061, dated October 31, 1996.

(i) Parts Installation Prohibition and Limitation

(1) For airplanes modified as specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable, before the effective date of this AD: As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a seal having part number CAN36032R on any MLG access door.

(2) For airplanes not modified as specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable, before the effective date of this AD: After accomplishing the actions required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable, no person may install a seal having part number CAN36032R on any MLG access door.

(3) As of the effective date of this AD, installation of an MLG access door on an airplane is allowed, provided the MLG access door is modified as required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

(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 Start Printed Page 59839approve 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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; fax 425-227-1149. 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 Defense and Space S.A.'s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0225, dated November 18, 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-2016-5467.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this AD.

(l) 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) EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0061, Revision 1, Dated October 24, 2014.

(ii) EADS CASA Service Bulletin SB-235-52-0068, Revision 2, dated January 9, 2015.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact EADS-CASA, Military Transport Aircraft Division (MTAD), Integrated Customer Services (ICS), Technical Services, Avenida de Aragón 404, 28022 Madrid, Spain; telephone +34 91 585 55 84; fax +34 91 585 55 05; email MTA.TechnicalService@casa.eads.net; Internet http://www.eads.net. 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.

(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 August 18, 2016.

Dorr M. Anderson,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-20706 Filed 8-30-16; 8:45 am]

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