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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

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

SUMMARY:

We are revising an earlier NPRM for all PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Models PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47, and PC-12/47E airplanes that would supersede AD 2014-22-01. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as a need to incorporate new revisions into the Limitations section, Chapter 4, of the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual). We are issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 17, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments 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., Start Printed Page 59920Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD., Customer Service Manager, CH-6371 STANS, Switzerland; telephone: +41 (0) 41 619 33 33; fax: +41 (0) 41 619 73 11; Internet: http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com or email: SupportPC12@pilatus-aircraft.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

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-2016-7003; 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:

Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: doug.rudolph@faa.gov.

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-2016-7003; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-015-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 because of 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 proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 with an NPRM for all PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Models PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47, and PC-12/47E airplanes that would supersede AD 2014-22-01, which was published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2016 (81 FR 36810). The NPRM proposed to require actions intended to address the unsafe condition for the products listed above and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by another country. The MCAI states:

The airworthiness limitations are currently defined and published in the Pilatus PC-12 Aircraft Maintenance Manual(s) (AMM) under Chapter 4, Structural, Component and Miscellaneous—Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) documents. The limitations contained in these documents have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

Failure to comply with these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

EASA issued AD 2014-0170 requiring the actions as specified in ALS, Chapter 4 of AMM report 02049 issue 28, for PC-12, PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 aeroplanes, and Chapter 4 of AMM report 02300 issue 11, for PC-12/47E aeroplanes.

Since that AD was issued, Pilatus issued Chapter 4 of PC-12 AMM report 02049 issue 31, and Chapter 4 of PC-12 AMM report 02300 issue 14 (hereafter collectively referred to as `the applicable ALS' in this AD), to incorporate new six-year and ten-year inspection intervals for several main landing gear (MLG) attachment bolts, and an annual inspection interval for the MLG shock absorber attachment bolts, which was previously included in the AMM Chapter 5 annual inspection. After a further review of the in-service data, Pilatus issued Service Letter (SL) 186, extending the special compliance time applicable for the MLG bolts inspection.

For the reasons described above, this AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0170, which is superseded, and requires the accomplishment of the new maintenance tasks, as described in the applicable ALS.

The MCAI can be found in the AD docket on the Internet at https://www.regulations.gov/​document?​D=​FAA-2016-7003-0002.

Since the NPRM was issued, PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. has issued new revisions to the Limitations section, Chapter 4, to be incorporated into the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. has issued Structural, Component and Miscellaneous—Airworthiness Limitations, document 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, dated July 12, 2016, and Structural and Component Limitations—Airworthiness Limitations, document 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, dated July 19, 2016. 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 of this supplemental NPRM.

Comments

We have considered the following comments received on the NPRM.

Request To Incorporate Newly Issued Revisions to the Limitations Section, Chapter 4, of the FAA-Approved Maintenance Program (e.g., Maintenance Manual)

Johan Kruger of Pilatus Aircraft requested incorporating a newly issued revision of the Limitation section, Chapter 4, of each applicable maintenace manual into the proposed AD.

Johan Kruger of Pilatus Aircraft stated that in the Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM) Airworthines Limitations Section (ALS) 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, the Supplemental Structural Inspection Document (SSID) part has been updated with kit numbers and brought in line with Service Bulletin (SB) SB 04-009. The commenter stated that the changes were coordinated with the FAA, who concurred that no new limitations are incorporated in the ALS. The AMM/ALS 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A has also been updated by introducing an inspection of the passenger oxygen (drop down mask) system if installed, and this change was also coordinated with the FAA. Since the drop down O2 system is only required by European operation requirements and not currently earmarked for the United States, it is also not introducing new limitations for U.S. operators.

We agree with the commenter and have changed this supplemental NPRM based on this comment.

Request To Change the Compliance Times for Inspecting the Main Landing Gear (MLG) Attachment Bolts

Johan Kruger of Pilatus Aircraft and Blake Morley of Aero Air, LLC requested changing the compliance time for inspecting the main landing gear (MLG) attachment bolts. The commenters stated that the compliance time in the proposed AD is causing confusion because the way it is currently stated, which is “within the next 6 years . . . or within the next 3 months . . . whichever occurs later,” does not makes sense because 6 years Start Printed Page 59921will always occur later and it goes against what is specified in the revisions to the ALS that is being incorporated by this proposed AD.

Johan Kruger of Pilatus Aircraft stated that, in the ALS Notes, Note 1 (ALS 12-B-04) and Note 3 (ALS 12-A-04) respectively, the inspection is to be done by a specific date, and he wants those dates incorporated into this proposed AD. Blake Morley of Aeroa Air, LLC stated that EASA has also adopted the grace period extension in EASA AD 2016-0083, stating: “Note 1: For the purpose of this AD, the thresholds and intervals include `special' compliance times for certain tasks as defined in the applicable ALS, and the `special' compliance time for the inspection of MLG bolts, as defined in SL 186.” Blake Morley also requested the “3-month” grace period compliance time be changed to “before December 31, 2016.”

We partially agree with the commenters. We do agree that the compliance times for the inspection of the MLG attachment bolts needs to be corrected to reflect before or upon the accumulation of time-in-service (TIS) on the MLG attachment bolts instead of the TIS on the airplane, which then makes the 3-month grace period more applicable. We have changed this supplemental NPRM action based on this portion of the comment.

We do not agree with using a specific date as a compliance time. There is no correlation with the requested dates and the unsafe condition. The mere fact that the service document or an international civil aviation authority's AD refers to a calendar date is not enough to justify using a calendar date in a U.S. AD. We have not changed this supplemental NPRM action based on this portion of the comment.

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 this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

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 supplemental NPRM.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 770 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 1.5 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $98,175, or $127.50 per product. This breaks down as follows:

  • Incorporating new revisions into the Limitations section, Chapter 4, of the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual): .5 work-hour for a fleet cost of $32,725, or $42.50 per product.
  • New inspections of the MLG attachment bolts: 1 work-hour with no parts cost for fleet cost of $65,450 or $85 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary corrective actions (on-condition costs) that must be taken based on the proposed inspections, would take about 1 work-hour and require parts costing approximately $100 for a cost of $185 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these necessary corrective actions.

The only costs that would be imposed by this proposed AD over that already required by AD 2014-22-01 is the costs associated with the insertion of the revised Limitation section and the MLG attachment bolts inspection and replacement as necessary.

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:

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 AD:

End Amendment Part

PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD.: Docket No. FAA-2016-7003; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-015-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by October 17, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2014-22-01, 39-18005 (79 FR 67343, November 13, 2014).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Models PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47, and PC-12/47E airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs), certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 5: Time Limits.Start Printed Page 59922

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as a need to incorporate new revisions into the Limitations section, Chapter 4, of the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual). The limitations were revised to include repetitive inspections of the main landing gear (MLG) attachment bolts. These actions are required to ensure the continued operational safety of the affected airplanes.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Unless already done, do the actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (6) of this AD:

(1) Before further flight after October 5, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), insert the following revisions into the Limitations section of the FAA-approved maintenance program (e.g., maintenance manual):

(i) STRUCTURAL, COMPONENT AND MISCELLANEOUS—AIRWORTHINESS LIMITATIONS, Data module code 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, dated July 12, 2016, of the Pilatus Model type—PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47, Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Document No. 02049, 12-A-AM-00-00-00-I, revision 32, dated July 18, 2016; and

(ii) STRUCTURAL AND COMPONENT LIMITATIONS—AIRWORTHINESS LIMITATIONS, Data module code 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, dated July 19, 2016, of the Pilatus Model type—PC-12/47E MSN-1001-UP, Aircraft Maintenance Manual (AMM), Document No. 02300, 12-B-AM-00-00-00-I, revision 15, dated July 30, 2016.

(2) The new limitations section revisions listed in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this AD specify the following:

(i) Establish inspections of the MLG attachment bolts,

(ii) Specify replacement of components before or upon reaching the applicable life limit, and

(iii) Specify accomplishment of all applicable maintenance tasks within certain thresholds and intervals.

(3) Only authorized Pilatus Service Centers can do the Supplemental Structural Inspection Document (SSID) as required by the documents in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this AD because deviations from the type design in critical locations could make the airplane ineligible for this life extension.

(4) If no compliance time is specified in the documents listed in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this AD when doing any corrective actions where discrepancies are found as required in paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this AD, do these corrective actions before further flight after doing the applicable maintenance task.

(5) During the accomplishment of the actions required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD, including all subparagraphs, if a discrepancy is found that is not identified in the documents listed in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (ii) of this AD, before further flight after finding the discrepancy, contact PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. at the address specified in paragraph (h) of this AD for a repair scheme and incorporate that repair scheme.

(6) Before or upon accumulating 6 years time-in-service (TIS) on the MLG attachment bolts or within the next 3 months TIS after October 5, 2016 (the effective date of this AD), whichever occurs later, inspect the MLB attachment bolts for cracks and corrosion and before further flight take all necessary corrective actions.

(g) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: doug.rudolph@faa.gov.

(i) Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(ii) AMOCs approved for AD 2014-22-01, 39-18005 (79 FR 67343, November 13, 2014) are not approved as AMOCs for this AD.

(2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(h) Related Information

Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2016-0083, dated April 28, 2016, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at https://www.regulations.gov/​document?​D=​FAA-2016-7003-0002. For service information related to this AD, contact PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD., Customer Service Manager, CH-6371 STANS, Switzerland; telephone: +41 (0) 41 619 33 33; fax: +41 (0) 41 619 73 11; Internet: http://www.pilatus-aircraft.com or email: SupportPC12@pilatus-aircraft.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

Start Signature

Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 23, 2016.

David R. Showers,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-20828 Filed 8-30-16; 8:45 am]

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