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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Embraer S.A. 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 Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 170 airplanes and Model ERJ 190-100 STD, -100 LR, -100 IGW, -200 STD, -200 LR, and -200 IGW airplanes. This AD requires repetitive detailed inspections of the web aft face of the forward pressure bulkhead for any cracking and discrepancy; and modification of the forward pressure bulkhead, which would terminate the repetitive inspections. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the forward bulkhead is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 31, 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 Embraer S.A., Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brazil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet http://www.flyembraer.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-2017-0697; 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:

Ana Martinez Hueto, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1622; 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 proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2017-0697; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-041-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

Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Widespread damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site damage and multiple-element damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane. This condition is known as widespread fatigue damage. It is associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.

The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD Start Printed Page 32659rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.

The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.

In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.

The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian Airworthiness Directive 2017-03-01, dated March 24, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 170 airplanes and Model ERJ 190-100 STD, -100 LR, -100 IGW, -200 STD, -200 LR, and -200 IGW airplanes. The MCAI states:

This [Brazilian] AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the forward pressure bulkhead is subject to widespread fatigue damage. The modification required by this AD is intended to support the airplane reaching its limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the established structural maintenance program. We are issuing this [Brazilian] AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the forward pressure bulkhead, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

Required actions include repetitive detailed inspections of the web aft face of the forward pressure bulkhead for any cracking and discrepancy (i.e., corrosion, dents, gauge marks, fastener anomalies); repair if necessary; and modification of the forward pressure bulkhead, which would terminate the repetitive inspections. 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-2017-0697.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed the following Embraer S.A. service information, which describes an airworthiness limitation task for a detailed inspection of the web aft face of the forward pressure bulkhead for any cracking or discrepancies. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models.

  • Task 53-10-001-0005 of Embraer 170/175 Maintenance Review Board Report, MRB-1621, Temporary Revision 12-3, dated September 19, 2016.
  • Task 53-10-001-0005 of Embraer 190/195 Maintenance Review Board Report, MRB-1928, Temporary Revision 10-4, dated September 19, 2016.

We also reviewed the following Embraer S.A. service information, which describes procedures for modifying the forward pressure bulkhead. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models.

  • Embraer Service Bulletin 170-53-0051, Revision 03, dated August 21, 2013.
  • Embraer Service Bulletin 190-53-0019, Revision 03, dated August 21, 2013.

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 these same type designs.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 482 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
Inspection1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle$0$85 per inspection cycle$40,970 per inspection cycle.
Modification158 work-hours × $85 per hour = $13,430Up to $13,409$26,839$12,936,398.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

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 Start Printed Page 32660under 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

Embraer S.A.: Docket No. FAA-2017-0697; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-041-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by August 31, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

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

(1) Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 170-100 LR, -100 STD, -100 SE, and -100 SU airplanes; and Model ERJ 170-200 LR, -200 SU, and -200 STD airplanes; as identified in Embraer Service Bulletin 170-53-0051, Revision 03, dated August 21, 2013.

(2) Embraer S.A. Model ERJ 190-100 STD, -100 LR, and -100 IGW airplanes; and Model ERJ 190-200 STD, -200 LR, and -200 IGW airplanes; as identified in Embraer Service Bulletin 190-53-0019, Revision 03, dated August 21, 2013.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the forward bulkhead is subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking of the forward pressure bulkhead, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections and Repairs

Before the accumulation of 25,954 total flight cycles, or within 3,600 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Do a detailed inspection of the web aft face of the forward pressure bulkhead for any cracking or discrepancy (i.e., corrosion, dents, gauge marks, fastener anomalies), in accordance with Task 53-10-001-0005 of Embraer 170/175 Maintenance Review Board Report, MRB-1621, Temporary Revision 12-3, dated September 19, 2016; or Task 53-10-001-0005 of Embraer 190/195 Maintenance Review Board Report, MRB-1928, Temporary Revision 10-4, dated September 19, 2016; as applicable. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 6,489 flight cycles. If any cracking or discrepancy is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair the forward pressure bulkhead using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC); or ANAC's authorized Designee.

(h) Modification of the Forward Pressure Bulkhead

Before the accumulation of 38,931 total flight cycles: Modify the forward pressure bulkhead, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Embraer Service Bulletin 170-53-0051, Revision 03, dated August 21, 2013; or Embraer Service Bulletin 190-53-0019, Revision 03, dated August 21, 2013; as applicable. Accomplishing the modification required by this paragraph terminates the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

(1) This paragraph provides credit for the actions applicable to Model ERJ 170 airplanes required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD, using the service information specified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i), (i)(1)(ii), or (i)(1)(iii) of this AD.

(i) Embraer Service Bulletin 170-53-0051, dated February 26, 2010.

(ii) Embraer Service Bulletin 170-53-0051, Revision 01, dated May 25, 2011.

(iii) Embraer Service Bulletin 170-53-0051, Revision 02, May 28, 2012.

(2) This paragraph provides credit for actions applicable to Model ERJ 190 airplanes required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD, using the service information specified in paragraphs (i)(2)(i), (i)(2)(ii), or (i)(2)(iii) of this AD.

(i) Embraer Service Bulletin 190-53-0019, dated February 26, 2010.

(ii) Embraer Service Bulletin 190-53-0019, Revision 01, dated May 25, 2011.

(iii) Embraer Service Bulletin 190-53-0019, Revision 02, dated May 28, 2012.

(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, 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 manager of the International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. 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 the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC); or ANAC's authorized Designee. If approved by the ANAC Designee, the approval must include the Designee's authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Brazilian AD 2017-03-01, dated March 24, 2017, 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-2017-0697.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Ana Martinez Hueto, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1622; fax 425-227-1149.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Embraer S.A., Technical Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170—Putim—12227-901 São Jose dos Campos—SP—Brasil; telephone +55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet http://www.flyembraer.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
Start Printed Page 32661

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 6, 2017.

Dionne Palermo,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-14795 Filed 7-14-17; 8:45 am]

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