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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 5902

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. This AD was prompted by a design review of the airplane configuration incorporating certain fire extinguisher bottles and an optional galley cooling rack installation, which revealed that the air cooling rack is installed too close to the supply hose of a high rate fire extinguishing bottle. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective February 27, 2018.

We must receive comments on this AD by March 29, 2018.

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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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-2018-0076; or in person at the Docket Operations office 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 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:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2014-0248, dated November 19, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes. The MCAI states:

During a design review of aeroplane configuration incorporating Kidde fire extinguisher bottles and optional galley cooling rack installation, it was identified that the air cooling rack is installed too close to the supply hose of the high rated fire extinguishing bottle in the area of frame (FR)34. Inadequate physical separation between the flexible hose and the air cooling rack could lead to chafing, likely resulting in loss of the Fire Extinguishing System for the Lower Deck Cargo Compartment.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead, in case of fire, to an uncontrolled fire in the cargo compartment, which could ultimately jeopardise the aeroplane's safe flight.

To address this unsafe condition, Airbus developed an improved flexible hose assembly (Airbus mod 200195, available for in-service aeroplanes through Airbus SB A330-26-3046) and EASA issued AD 2013-0250 (later revised) to require replacement of Part Number (P/N) P/N A2627045200000 flexible hose assembly of the Fire Extinguisher System at FR34.

Since EASA AD 2013-0250R1 was issued, it was discovered that another flexible hose assembly, P/N A2627045400200, is also affected by this chafing issue.

Prompted by this finding, Airbus issued SB A330-26-3046 Revision 02 to incorporate this additional affected P/N and to provide additional work instructions for aeroplanes which accomplished the SB at a previous revision.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0250R1, which is superseded, and requires additional work on aeroplanes that have already been modified in accordance with the instructions of the original issue or Revision 01 of the SB.

You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0076.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This 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. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0076; Product Identifier 2013-NM-227-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this 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 AD.

Costs of Compliance

Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI AD, we are providing the following cost Start Printed Page 5903estimates for an affected airplane that is placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Modification6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510$399$909

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

2018-03-21 Airbus: Amendment 39-19194; Docket No. FAA-2018-0076; Product Identifier 2013-NM-227-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective February 27, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers which incorporate the Airbus modifications specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), or (c)(3) of this AD; except those airplanes which incorporate Airbus modification 200195, or Airbus modification 40487 (in production modification for installation of Pacific-Scientific fire extinguisher bottles), or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-26-3013 (in-service modification for installation of Pacific-Scientific fire extinguisher bottles).

(1) Airbus modification 45785.

(2) Airbus modification 45883.

(3) Airbus modification 46616.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a design review of the airplane configuration incorporating Kidde fire extinguisher bottles and an optional galley cooling rack installation, which revealed that the air cooling rack is installed too close to the supply hose of the high rate fire extinguishing bottle in the area of frame (FR) 34. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct inadequate physical separation between the flexible supply hose and the air cooling rack and consequent chafing and possible loss of the fire extinguishing system for the lower deck cargo compartment. Such a condition could result in an uncontrolled fire in the cargo compartment.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Action(s)

Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the actions at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2014-0248, dated November 19, 2014.

(h) 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 (i)(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.

(i) Related Information

(1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2014-0248, dated November 19, 2014, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0076.Start Printed Page 5904

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 2, 2018.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-02750 Filed 2-9-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P