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Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. This AD was prompted by the determination that new inspection tasks for the drag brace support fitting of the main landing gear (MLG) and corrosion prevention and control program (CPCP) related tasks are necessary. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate airworthiness limitations, including new inspection tasks for the drag brace support fitting of the MLG and to implement CPCP related tasks. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective November 27, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 27, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email saab340techsupport@saabgroup.com; Internet http://www.saabgroup.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0563.

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-2017-0563; 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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1112; fax: 425-227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2017 (82 FR 28271) (“the NPRM”).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0033, dated February 17, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. The MCAI states:

The airworthiness limitations and/or certification maintenance instructions for SAAB SF340A and 340B, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the SAAB SF340A and 340B Airworthiness Limitation Manual (ALM). These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition [reduced structural integrity of the airplane].

Recently, Saab AB, Aeronautics issued SAAB SF340A and 340B ALM Revision 1, mainly to add new inspection tasks for the Main Landing Gear drag brace support fitting, and to implement Corrosion Prevention and Control Program related tasks.

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-2017-0563.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The Start Printed Page 48918following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response.

Request To Clarify the Reason for the NPRM

Silver Airways requested clarification of the need for an AD. Silver Airways stated that the proposed requirements are already covered by the airworthiness limitation manual.

We agree that clarification is necessary. Once an aircraft is produced under a type certificate, the type design of that particular aircraft is fixed in time. Under 14 CFR 21.31(c), the airworthiness limitation section (ALS) is part of a product's type design. In order to require a revision to an ALS for in-service aircraft, the FAA issues an AD under notice and comment rulemaking procedures in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Therefore, an AD is necessary to mandate the airworthiness limitations in SAAB 340 Airworthiness Limitation Manual, Revision 1, dated December 1, 2016, including inspection tasks for the drag brace support fitting of the MLG and CPCP related tasks. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed. We have determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics has issued SAAB 340 Airworthiness Limitation Manual, Revision 1, dated December 1, 2016. This service information describes airworthiness limitations, including inspection tasks for the drag brace support fitting of the MLG and CPCP related tasks. 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.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 87 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Revision of the airplane maintenance or inspection program1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85$0$85$7,395

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 transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:

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

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 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

2017-21-05 Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems): Amendment 39-19076; Docket No. FAA-2017-0563; Product Identifier 2017-NM-021-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective November 27, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (formerly known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes, certificated in any category, with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness that was issued on or before December 1, 2016.Start Printed Page 48919

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by the determination that new inspection tasks for the drag brace support fitting of the main landing gear (MLG) and corrosion prevention and control program (CPCP) related tasks are necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Maintenance or Inspection Program Revision

Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate airworthiness limitations, including inspection tasks for the drag brace support fitting of the MLG and CPCP related tasks, specified in SAAB 340 Airworthiness Limitation Manual, Revision 1, dated December 1, 2016. The compliance time for the initial airworthiness limitation tasks is at the applicable compliance time specified in SAAB 340 Airworthiness Limitation Manual, Revision 1, dated December 1, 2016, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(h) No Alternative Actions, Intervals, Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs)

After the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, has been revised as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, and/or CDCCLs may be used unless the actions, intervals, and/or CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, 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 International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(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 Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics' EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017-0033, dated February 17, 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-2017-0563.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, ANM-116, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1112; fax: 425-227-1149.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

(i) SAAB 340 Airworthiness Limitation Manual, Revision 1, dated December 1, 2016.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email saab340techsupport@saabgroup.com; Internet http://www.saabgroup.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 11, 2017.

Dionne Palermo,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-22562 Filed 10-20-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P