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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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Model PC-12/47E airplanes. 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 an error within the flight management system caused by installing Primus APEX software Build 10 or 10.9, which could cause deviation from the correctly calculated barometric vertical navigation nominal glide path. 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 May 5, 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 PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD., Customer Support PC-12, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; phone: +41 41 619 33 33; fax: +41 41 619 73 11; email: SupportPC12@pilatus-aircraft.com; Internet: www.pilatus-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-2017-0194; 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-2017-0194; Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-006-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. 2017-0024, dated February 13, 2017 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to Start Printed Page 14489correct an unsafe condition for PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Model PC-12/47E airplanes and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information originated by an aviation authority of another country. The MCAI states:

An occurrence was reported of a split between the vertical guidance data and the flight director steering commands during a Vertical Glide Path (VGP) approach. Subsequent investigation identified an error within the Flight Management System (FMS) that was introduced into Primus APEX software (S/W) Build 10 and S/W Build 10.9.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to loss of control of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Pilatus issued Temporary Revision (TR) No. 38 to the PC-12/47E Pilot's Operating Handbook, (POH) Report No: 02277 (hereafter referred to as “POH TR 38” in this AD), limiting VGP Approach mode sourced on baro Vertical Navigation (VNAV) to visual meteorological conditions (VMC) only, and providing procedures applicable in case of VGP deviation occurring during baro VNAV approaches.

For the reason described above, this AD requires amendment of the applicable Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM).

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0194.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. has issued Temporary Revision No. 38 to PC-12/47E Pilot's Operating Handbook, Report No: 02277, Section 2—Limitations, dated February 8, 2017. The service information describes procedures for limiting the use of the autopilot and flight director to day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) during barometric vertical navigation (baro VNAV) during a vertical glide path approach (VGP). 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 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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 350 products of U.S. registry. 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 $29,750, 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

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD.: Docket No. FAA-2017-0194; Directorate Identifier 2017-CE-006-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by May 5, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD. Model PC-12/47E airplanes, all serial numbers, that:

(1) have Primus APEX Software Build 10 with Honeywell part number (P/N) EB60000487-0110 or Primus APEX Software Build 10.9 with Honeywell P/N EB60000487-0112 installed; and

(2) are certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 34: Navigation.

(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 an error within the flight management system caused by installing Primus APEX software Build 10 or 10.9, which could cause deviation from the correctly calculated barometric vertical navigation nominal guide path. We are issuing this AD to prevent the pilot from following incorrect data from the flight management system, which could result in loss of control.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Unless already done, within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, insert Temporary Revision No. 38 to PC-12/47E Pilot's Operating Handbook, Report No: 02277, Section 2—Limitations, dated February 8, 2017, into PILATUS Airplane Flight Manual 02277, Section 2—Limitations.

Note 1 to paragraph (f) of this AD: For airplanes affected by this AD, the Pilot's Start Printed Page 14490Operating Handbook and the Airplane Flight Manual are the same document with the Report No.: 02277.

(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. 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. 2017-0024, dated February 13, 2017, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0194. For service information related to this AD, contact PILATUS AIRCRAFT LTD., Customer Support PC-12, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; phone: +41 41 619 33 33; fax: +41 41 619 73 11; email: SupportPC12@pilatus-aircraft.com; Internet: www.pilatus-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 March 7, 2017.

Pat Mullen,

Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-05160 Filed 3-20-17; 8:45 am]

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