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 supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-10-17, for all Airbus Model A300 and A310 series airplanes, and Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called A300-600 series airplanes). AD 2011-10-17 currently requires revising the maintenance program by incorporating certain airworthiness limitation items (ALIs). Since we issued AD 2011-10-17, the manufacturer has revised certain ALI documents, which specify more restrictive instructions and/or airworthiness limitations. This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised structural inspection requirements. This proposed AD would also remove Model A310 and A300-600 series airplanes from the applicability. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in certain structure; such fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 27, 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., Washington, DC, 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—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.

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-2016-9066; 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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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:

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-2016-9066; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-113-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

On May 2, 2011, we issued AD 2011-10-17, Amendment 39-16698 (76 FR 27875, May 13, 2011) (“AD 2011-10-17”). AD 2011-10-17 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A300 and A310 series airplanes, and Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called A300-600 series airplanes).

Since we issued AD 2011-10-17, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued Airworthiness Directive 2015-0115, dated June 23, 2015; (collectively referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”) to correct an unsafe condition. The MCAI states:

The airworthiness limitations applicable to the Damage Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT ALIs) are currently listed in the Airbus Airworthiness Limitations Sections [ALS] Part 2.

Airbus recently revised the A300 ALS Part 2 and this Revision 02 was approved by EASA. Airbus A300 ALS Part 2 Revision 02 introduces more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations, which have been identified as mandatory actions for continued airworthiness.

EASA issued AD 2014-0124 to require compliance with the maintenance requirements and associated airworthiness limitations defined in Airbus A300 ALS Part 2 Revision 01.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0124 for A300 aeroplanes and requires implementation of new or more restrictive maintenance instructions and/or airworthiness limitations as specified in Airbus A300 ALS Part 2 Revision 02.

The requirements for A310 and A300-600 aeroplanes remain unchanged and are covered by EASA AD 2014-0124R1 [FAA AD 2013-13-13, Amendment 39-17501 (79 FR 47857, August 19, 2014), contains the corresponding requirements for the Model A300-600 and A310 series airplanes].

The unsafe condition is fatigue cracking, damage, or corrosion in certain structure (principal structural Start Printed Page 62680elements), which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. 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-2016-9066.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Airbus A300 Airworthiness Limitations Section Part 2, Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items (DT ALIs), Revision 02, dated October 3, 2014. This service information describes airworthiness limitations applicable to the DT ALIs.

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 the same type design.

This proposed AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new inspections. Compliance with these inspections is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (j)(1) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 11 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The actions that are required by AD 2011-10-17 and retained in this proposed AD take about 1 work-hour per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2011-10-17 is $85 per product.

We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour 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 $935, or $85 per product.

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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-10-17, Amendment 39-16698 ( 76 FR 27875, May 13, 2011), and adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2016-9066; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-113-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by October 27, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2011-10-17, Amendment 39-16698 (76 FR 27875, May 13, 2011) (“AD 2011-10-17”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Airbus Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B4-2C, B2K-3C, B4-103, B2-203, and B4-203 airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Codes 52, Doors; 53, Fuselage; 54, Nacelles/pylons; 55, Stabilizers; and 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a revision of certain airworthiness limitations items (ALI) documents, which specify more restrictive instructions and/or airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in certain structure; such fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Retained Revision of the ALS of the Instructions for ICA, With Changes

This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (s) of AD 2011-10-17, with changes. Within 3 months after June 17, 2011 (the effective date of AD 2011-10-17): Revise the maintenance program to incorporate the structural inspections and inspection intervals defined in the Airbus A300 ALI Document AI/SE-M2/95A.1308/07, Issue 4, dated June 2008. Thereafter, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD and except as provided by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, no alternative structural inspections and inspection intervals may be approved. The actions must be accomplished in accordance with the applicable issue of the ALI. The initial ALI tasks must be done at the times specified in Airbus A300 ALI Document AI/Start Printed Page 62681SE-M2/95A.1308/07, Issue 4, dated June 2008.

(h) New Requirement of This AD: Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

Within 3 months the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance program or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the structural inspections and inspection intervals defined in Airbus A300 ALS Part 2, Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items, Revision 02, dated October 3, 2014. The initial compliance time for the ALI tasks identified in Airbus A300 ALS Part 2, Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items, Revision 02, dated October 3, 2014, is at the applicable times specified in Airbus A300 ALS Part 2, Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items, Revision 02, dated October 3, 2014, or within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. Accomplishing the applicable initial ALI tasks constitutes terminating action for the requirements of paragraphs (g) of this AD for that airplane only.

(i) No Alternative Actions and Intervals

After the maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an AMOC in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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.

(i) 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.

(ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2011-10-17 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, 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.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0124R1, dated June 23, 2015, 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-2016-9066.

(2) 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. 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 24, 2016.

John P. Piccola, Jr.,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-21149 Filed 9-9-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P