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Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and Model ATR72-212A airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that interference occurred between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the surrounding passenger cabin furnishing during a production check. This AD requires measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and certain overhead stowage compartment fittings; removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments and measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, if necessary; re-installing or repairing, as applicable, the Type III Emergency Exit doors; and modifying the overhead stowage compartments. We are issuing this AD to prevent interference between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the overhead stowage compartment fitting installed on the rail, which could result in obstructed opening of a Type III Emergency Exit door during an emergency evacuation.

DATES:

This AD is effective October 20, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 20, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email continued.airworthiness@atr.fr; Internet http://www.aerochain.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-Start Printed Page 633681221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0077.

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-2015-0077; 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:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and Model ATR72-212A airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on May 12, 2016 (81 FR 29511) (“the SNPRM”). We preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that published in the Federal Register on January 23, 2015 (80 FR 3531) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM proposed to require measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and certain overhead stowage compartment fittings; removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments and measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, if necessary; and re-installing or repairing, as applicable, the Type III Emergency Exit doors. The SNPRM proposed to add requirements for modifying the overhead stowage compartments (including removing the hooks and fittings from the lateral rails) and re-identifying the overhead stowage compartments with new part numbers. We are issuing this AD to prevent interference between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the overhead stowage compartment fitting installed on the rail, which could result in obstructed opening of a Type III Emergency Exit door during an emergency evacuation.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0018, dated February 5, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and Model ATR72-212A airplanes. The MCAI states:

Interference between a Type III Emergency Exit door opening and surrounding passenger cabin furnishing was detected during a production check.

Subsequent investigation identified an insufficient gap between the emergency exit door internal skin structure and the overhead stowage compartment fitting, installed on the rail, as a cause of the interference.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could prevent an unobstructed opening of both Type III Emergency Exit doors in case of emergency evacuation.

Prompted by this finding, EASA issued AD 2013-0280 to require a one-time check of the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit door internal skin and a relevant fitting and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s). That [EASA] AD was considered to be a temporary measure.

Since that [EASA] AD was issued, ATR developed a design solution to ensure that no interference with surrounding structure occurs during opening of an emergency exit. ATR Service Bulletins (SB) ATR42-25-0185, SB ATR42-25-0186, SB ATR72-25-1148 and SB ATR72-25-1149 were issued to provide the necessary modification instructions for in-service aeroplanes. For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0280, which is superseded, and requires modification of the overhead bin attachment adjacent to the Type III emergency exit doors [The modification includes removing the hooks and fittings from the lateral rails and re-identifying the overhead stowage compartments].

Required actions include an additional measurement of the gap between the internal skin and overhead stowage compartment hooks of both Type III Emergency Exits, if necessary. Corrective actions include re-installing the Type III Emergency Exit doors and doing a repair. 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-2015-0077.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the SNPRM 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 SNPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the SNPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Avions de Transport Régional Service has issued the following service information:

  • ATR Service Bulletin ATR42 25-0180, dated August 19, 2013, which describes procedures for, among other things, removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments, measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, re-installing the Type III Emergency Exit doors, and repairing the Type III Emergency Exit doors.
  • ATR Service Bulletin ATR72 25-1141, dated August 19, 2013, which describes procedures for, among other things, removing certain fittings from the overhead stowage compartments, measuring the gap between the Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, and re-installing the Type III Emergency Exit doors.
  • ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0185, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.
  • ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0186, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.
  • ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1148, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.
  • ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1149, dated November 21, 2014, which describes procedures for modifying the overhead stowage compartments.

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 4 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it will take about 4 work-hours per product to Start Printed Page 63369comply with the new basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $1,360, or $340, or per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 1 work-hour for a cost of $85 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

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

2016-18-14 ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional: Amendment 39-18645; Docket No. FAA-2015-0077; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-254-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective October 20, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

(1) ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) on which ATR Modification 6518 has been embodied in production, except those airplanes on which ATR Modification 7294 has been embodied in production.

(2) ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72-212A airplanes on which ATR Modification 6517 has been embodied in production, except those airplanes on which ATR Modification 7294 has been embodied in production.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report indicating that interference occurred between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the surrounding passenger cabin furnishing during a production check. We are issuing this AD to prevent interference between a Type III Emergency Exit door and the overhead stowage compartment fitting installed on the rail; which could result in obstructed opening of a Type III Emergency Exit door during an emergency evacuation.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Measurement of Gap Between Type III Emergency Exit Doors and Certain Overhead Stowage Compartment Fittings

For all airplanes, except those airplanes on which ATR Modification 7152 has been embodied in production and except airplanes having MSN 1002, 1005, 1089, 1094, 1095, 1097, 1098, 1099, 1100, 1101, or 1102: Within 2 months after the effective date of this AD, measure the gap between each Type III Emergency Exit door, left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH), and the overhead stowage compartment fitting installed on the rail by unlocking and slightly rotating the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit doors with the doors remaining on the lower fittings. Use a shim gauge 6 millimeters (mm) (0.236 inch) thick, to measure the gap between the internal skin of the doors and the relevant fittings, part numbers (P/N) S2522924620000 (LH fitting) and P/N S2522924620100 (RH fitting).

Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

Illustrations may be found in the applicable ATR Illustrated Parts Catalog (IPC) 25-23-02, figure 87, item 90/100.

Note 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

It might be necessary to pull on the door blanket to correctly see the door internal skin.

(h) Re-Installation of Type III Emergency Exit Doors

During the measurement required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if it is determined that there is a gap equal to or greater than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, re-install the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit Doors, in accordance with paragraph 3.C.(1)(d) of the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0180, dated August 19, 2013; or ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1141, dated August 19, 2013; as applicable.

(i) Removal of Fitting and Measurement of Gap Between Door Internal Skin and Overhead Stowage Compartment Hooks

During the measurement required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if it is determined that there is a gap less than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, remove the fitting having P/N S2522924620000 (LH fitting) or P/N S2522924620100 (RH fitting), and measure the gap between the internal skin of the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit doors and the overhead stowage compartment hooks, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0180, dated August 19, 2013; or ATR72-25-1141, dated August 19, 2013; as applicable.

(1) If, during the measurement required by paragraph (i) of this AD, it is determined that there is a gap equal to or greater than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, re-install the LH and RH Type III Emergency Exit Doors, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0180, dated August 19, 2013; or ATR72-25-1141, dated August 19, 2013; as applicable.

(2) If, during the measurement required by paragraph (i) of this AD, it is determined that there is a gap less than 6 mm (0.236 inch): Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).Start Printed Page 63370

(j) Modification of Overhead Stowage Compartments and Re-Identification of Part Number

Within 4 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the overhead stowage compartments, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(4) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0185, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0185, dated November 21, 2014.

(2) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0186, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0186, dated November 21, 2014.

(3) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1148, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1148, dated November 21, 2014.

(4) For airplanes identified in ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1149, dated November 21, 2014: ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1149, dated November 21, 2014.

(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: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; 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.

(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 EASA; or ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(l) Related Information

Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0018, dated February 5, 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-2015-0077.

(m) 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) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0180, dated August 19, 2013.

(ii) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0185, dated November 21, 2014.

(iii) ATR Service Bulletin ATR42-25-0186, dated November 21, 2014.

(iv) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1141, dated August 19, 2013.

(v) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1148, dated November 21, 2014.

(vi) ATR Service Bulletin ATR72-25-1149, dated November 21, 2014.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email continued.airworthiness@atr.fr; Internet http://www.aerochain.com.

(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 25, 2016.

John P. Piccola, Jr.,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-21292 Filed 9-14-16; 8:45 am]

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