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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc., Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by the failure of the fire control amplifier, which was likely caused by an electrical short in a discharged squib for a fire extinguishing bottle. This proposed AD would require replacing certain circuit breakers. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 17, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email thd.qseries@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. Start Printed Page 25555You 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-2017-0518; 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:

Assata Dessaline, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Services Branch, ANE-172, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7301; fax 516-794-5531.

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-2017-0518; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-167-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

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-25, dated September 5, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-400 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

An operator reported having a false SMOKE warning light for the Aft Baggage compartment, which caused the pilots to discharge the Aft Baggage compartment fire extinguishing bottles per Aircraft Flight Manual procedures. Subsequently, there were continuous engine and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) fire warning lights, and the fire extinguishing bottles for both engines (forward and aft) and the APU were automatically discharged. Post event investigation of the Fire Control Amplifier (FCA) revealed a burnt 2600-P2 connector. The FCA was also found to have sustained significant thermal damage. In a separate event involving a different operator, several fire extinguishing bottles discharged after an electrical short was introduced into the FCA by a shorted squib tester (external ground support equipment) during maintenance.

The FCA manufacturer has identified the most likely failure condition to be an electrical short at the discharged squib. The squib's burst disk may have caused a short circuit of the bridgewires, which caused the FCA's internal power wires to experience thermal damage, consequently powering other squibs and fire alarm lines and resulting in the uncommanded discharge of the fire extinguishing bottles and false fire indications.

Bombardier (BA) has issued service bulletin (SB) 84-26-16 to change two 7.5 amp circuit breakers to lower current rating 1 amp circuit breakers to prevent damage to squib discharge circuits and the inadvertent discharge of fire extinguishing bottles.

This [Canadian] AD mandates the incorporation of [Bombardier Service Bulletin] SB 84-26-16 to prevent the inadvertent discharge of fire extinguishing bottles; [leaving the flight crew with less firefighting capability in the event of a real fire].

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-2017-0518.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-16, Revision A, dated February 12, 2016. This service information describes procedures for locating and replacing certain 7.5-amp circuit breakers with 1-amp circuit breakers. 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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 53 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Replacement of Circuit Breakers3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255$0$255$13,515

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.Start Printed Page 25556

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 airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2017-0518; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-167-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by July 17, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc., Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 4001, and 4003 through 4504 inclusive.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 26, Fire Protection.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by the failure of the fire control amplifier (FCA), which was likely caused by an electrical short in a discharged squib for a fire extinguishing bottle. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the FCA and subsequent discharge of fire extinguishing bottles and false fire indications, leaving the flightcrew with less firefighting capability in the event of a real fire.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement of Affected Circuit Breakers

Within 6,000 flight hours or 3 years, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD: Replace the 7.5-amp circuit breakers specified in Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-16, Revision A, dated February 12, 2016, with 1-amp circuit breakers, part number MS3320-1, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-16, Revision A, dated February 12, 2016.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 84-26-16, dated August 14, 2015.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, 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 ACO send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. 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, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2016-25, dated September 5, 2016, 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-2017-0518.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Assata Dessaline, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics and Services Branch, ANE-172, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7301; fax 516-794-5531.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email thd.qseries@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.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 May 19, 2017.

Victor Wicklund,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-10981 Filed 6-1-17; 8:45 am]

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