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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau 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 all Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Models ASH 25M and ASH 26E 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 fatigue cracks found on the exhaust silencer. 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 November 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 Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau, Alexander-Schleicher-Str. 1, D-36163 Poppenhausen, Germany; phone: +49 (0) 06658 89-0; fax: +49 (0) 06658 89-40; Internet: http://www.alexander-schleicher.de/​;​ email: info@alexander-schleicher.de. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri Start Printed Page 4436264106. 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-2017-0911; 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:

Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Standards Branch, 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-2017-0911; Product Identifier 2017-CE-025-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 AD No. 2017-0136, dated July 31, 2017 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Occurrences were reported of finding cracks on exhaust silencer part number (P/N) 800.65.0001, installed on ASK 21 Mi powered sailplanes. Subsequent investigation determined that the affected part is susceptible to fatigue cracking and is also installed on other Schleicher powered sailplanes.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to heat damage in the engine compartment and to the engine installation, possibly resulting in reduced control of the powered sailplane.

To address this potentially unsafe condition, Schleicher issued Technical Note (TN) ASK 21 Mi No. 11, TN ASW 22 BLE 50R No. 16, TN ASH 25 M/Mi No. 32 and TN ASH 26 E No. 19 (single document, hereafter referred to as `the TN' in this [EASA] AD), to provide replacement instructions.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of the affected exhaust silencer with an improved part and introduces installation restrictions of a part with P/N 800.65.0001.

You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0911.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau has issued ASK 21 Mi Technical Note No. 11, ASW 22 BLE 50R Technical Note No. 16, ASH 25 M/Mi Technical Note No. 32, ASH 26 E Technical Note No. 19 (single document), dated January 8, 2016. The service information describes procedures for replacing the exhaust silencer with an improved part. 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 35 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 8 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 $3,900 per product.

Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $160,300, or $4,580 per product.

We have no way of determining the number of products that have an affected exhaust silencer, part number 800.65.0001, installed that would need to be replaced. Therefore, this cost estimate includes all affected gliders on the U.S. registry.

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.

This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to small airplanes, gliders, and domestic business jet transport airplanes to the Director of the Policy and Innovation Division.

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 Start Printed Page 44363Procedures (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

Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau: Docket No. FAA-2017-0911; Product Identifier 2017-CE-025-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by November 6, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Models ASH 25M and ASH 26E gliders, all serial numbers, that:

(1) Have an exhaust silencer, part number (P/N) 800.65.0001, installed; and

(2) are certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 78: Engine Exhaust.

(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 fatigue cracks found on the exhaust silencer. We are issuing this AD to prevent heat damage in the engine compartment and to the engine installation, which could result in reduced control.

(f) Actions and Compliance

Unless already done, do the following actions:

(1) Before exceeding 150 hours time-in-service (TIS) on the exhaust silencer, (P/N) 800.65.0001, since new, or within the next 5 hours TIS after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, replace P/N 800.65.0001 with an improved exhaust silencer, P/N 800.65.9010. Do the replacement as specified in Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau ASK 21 Mi Technical Note No. 11, ASW 22 BLE 50 R Technical Note No. 16, ASH 25 M/Mi Technical Note No. 32, ASH 26 E Technical Note No. 19 (single document), dated January 8, 2016.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install a P/N 800.65.0001 exhaust silencer.

(g) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Small Airplane Standards Branch, 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 Standards Branch, 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 glider 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) 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, Small Airplane Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

(h) Related Information

Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2017-0136, dated July 31, 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-2017-0911. For service information related to this AD, contact Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau, Alexander-Schleicher-Str. 1, D-36163 Poppenhausen, Germany; phone: +49 (0) 06658 89-0; fax: +49 (0) 06658 89-40; Internet: http://www.alexander-schleicher.de/​;​ email: info@alexander-schleicher.de. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 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 September 14, 2017.

Pat Mullen,

Acting Deputy Director, Policy & Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-20052 Filed 9-21-17; 8:45 am]

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