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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; GROB Aircraft AG Gliders

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for GROB Aircraft AG Models GROB G 109 and GROB G 109B gliders. 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 broken pivots of the tail wheel mounting bracket resulting from corrosion and damage due to wear. 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 March 6, 2017.

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 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact GROB Aircraft AG, Product Support, Lettenbachstrasse 9, D-86874 Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, telephone: + 49 (0) 8268-998-105; fax: + 49 (0) 8268-998-200; email: productsupport@grob-aircraft.com; Internet: grob-aircraft.com. You may review this 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-2017-0019; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. Start Printed Page 5457and 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:

Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: jim.rutherford@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-2017-0019; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-038-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://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 Community, has issued EASA AD No.: 2016-0228, dated November 14, 2016 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Occurrences were reported of broken pivots of the tail wheel mounting bracket. Subsequent investigation attributed these events to corrosion and damage due to wear.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to loss of rudder control, resulting in reduced control of the powered sailplane.

To address this potentially unsafe condition, Grob Aircraft AG issued Mandatory Service Bulletin (MSB) 817-70 (hereafter referred to as `the MSB' in this AD) to provide inspection and repair instructions.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires repetitive inspections of the tail wheel mounting bracket and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0019.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

GROB Aircraft AG has issued Service Bulletin No. MSB817-70, dated September 28, 2016, and GROB Aircraft AG Repair Instruction RI 817-015, dated September 16, 2016. In combination, this service information describes procedures for inspection of the tail mounting bracket and instructions for any necessary repair. 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 NPRM.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the 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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 57 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $50 per product.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $17,385, or $305 per product.

In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 5 work-hours and require parts costing $100, for a cost of $525 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may 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 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

GROB Aircraft AG: Docket No. FAA-2017-0019; Directorate Identifier 2016-CE-038-AD.Start Printed Page 5458

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by March 6, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to GROB Aircraft AG Models GROB G 109 and GROB G 109B gliders, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 32: Landing Gear.

(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 broken pivots of the tail wheel mounting bracket resulting from corrosion and damage due to wear. We are issuing this proposed AD to detect and correct if necessary any corrosion or damage to the tail wheel mounting bracket, which could cause loss of rudder control and result in reduced control.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Unless already done, do the following actions:

(1) Within the next 3 months after the effective date of this AD or 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, and repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed every 100 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first, inspect the tail wheel mounting bracket following the Accomplishment Instructions in section 1.8 of GROB Aircraft AG Service Bulletin (SB) No. MSB817-70, dated September 28, 2016.

(2) If any damage is found during any inspection required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, before further flight, repair following GROB Aircraft AG Repair Instruction RI 817-015, dated September 16, 2016.

Note 1 to paragraph (f)(2) of this AD:

The bolt in Figure 1, Pos. 10 of GROB Aircraft AG Repair Instruction RI 817-015, dated September 16, 2016, is welded into place onto the steel base plate. Therefore, in order to facilitate the removal of the bolt, the welding seams may be carefully ground off using caution to not damage the steel base plate, instead of completely cutting off the bolt head.

(3) Repairs made as required by paragraph (f)(2) of this AD do not qualify as terminating action for the repetitive inspections required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

(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: Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: jim.rutherford@faa.gov. 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.

(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.: 2016-0228, dated November 14, 2016, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0019. For service information related to this AD, contact GROB Aircraft AG, Product Support, Lettenbachstrasse 9, D-86874 Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, telephone: + 49 (0) 8268-998-105; fax: + 49 (0) 8268-998-200; email: productsupport@grob-aircraft.com; Internet: grob-aircraft.com. You may review this 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 January 6, 2017.

Melvin Johnson,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-00658 Filed 1-17-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P