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Airworthiness Directives; Dassault Aviation 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 Start Printed Page 6121Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that fuselage panels were manufactured with defects that could reduce panel fatigue limits. This AD requires a one-time inspection of the affected panels and repair if necessary, and for certain airplanes, installation of a stiffener. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective March 20, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 20, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0694.

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-2017-0694; 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:

Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; 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 Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2017 (82 FR 32498) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that fuselage panels were manufactured with defects that could reduce panel fatigue limits. The NPRM proposed to require a one-time inspection of the affected panels and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct discrepancies of certain fuselage lateral panels, which could lead to crack propagation and possible reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0250, dated December 15, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes. The MCAI states:

A few pockets of fuselage Section T5 lateral panels were manufactured with defects in certain chemically-milled profiles. The technical investigation concluded that the fatigue limit of the affected panels might be reduced, depending on the defect characteristics.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to crack propagation, possibly resulting in reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

To address this potential unsafe condition, DA published Service Bulletin (SB) F7X-042 providing inspection instructions.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time [detailed] inspection of the chemically-milled profiles of the pockets of the Section T5 fuselage lateral panels and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s). This [EASA] AD also requires, for some aeroplanes, the installation of a stiffener on the forward pocket.

Applicable corrective actions include repair, if necessary. 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-2017-0694.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. 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

We reviewed Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-042, Revision 1, dated May 3, 2016. This service information describes the inspection of the chemically milled profiles of the pockets of the Section T5 fuselage lateral panels and the installation of a stiffener on the forward pocket on affected airplanes. 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 4 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
Panel inspectionsUp to 10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850$0Up to $850Up to $3,400.
Stiffener installation (up to 3 airplanes)2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1708,769$8,939Up to $26,817.
Start Printed Page 6122

According to the manufacturer, all of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

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

2018-03-19 Dassault Aviation: Amendment 39-19192; Docket No. FAA-2017-0694; Product Identifier 2017-NM-007-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective March 20, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Dassault Aviation Model FALCON 7X airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers (S/Ns) 2 through 19 inclusive, except S/Ns 3 and 8.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 51, Structure.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report indicating that a few pockets of fuselage Section T5 lateral panels were manufactured with defects that could reduce the fatigue limit of the affected panels. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct discrepancies of certain fuselage lateral panels, which could lead to crack propagation and possible reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection

Within 99 months or 4,100 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection to measure the pocket depth of the Section T5 fuselage lateral panels, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-042, Revision 1, dated May 3, 2016.

(h) Repair

During the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if any discrepancy is found, as defined in Accomplishment Instructions of Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-042, Revision 1, dated May 3, 2016, before further flight, contact the FAA, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), or Dassault Aviation's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA) for approved repair instructions, and, within the compliance time specified in those instructions, accomplish the repair accordingly.

(i) Installation

For airplanes having S/Ns 16, 17, and 19: Within 99 months or 4,100 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD, install a stiffener on the forward pocket of Section T5 fuselage lateral panels, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-042, Revision 1, dated May 3, 2016.

(j) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-042, dated January 3, 2011.

(k) 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 manager of the International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(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 EASA; or Dassault Aviation's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0250, dated December 15, 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-2017-0694.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1149.Start Printed Page 6123

(3) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3) and (m)(4) of this AD.

(m) 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) Dassault Service Bulletin 7X-042, Revision 1, dated May 3, 2016.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation, Teterboro Airport, P.O. Box 2000, South Hackensack, NJ 07606; telephone 201-440-6700; internet http://www.dassaultfalcon.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 January 30, 2018.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-02748 Filed 2-12-18; 8:45 am]

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