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Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 24397

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A310-203, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a design approval holder (DAH) evaluation indicating that the outer wing lower junction is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires modifying the fastener holes at certain locations, which includes related investigative actions and applicable corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 3, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 3, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, 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-2018-0025.

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-2018-0025; 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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax: 206-231-3225.

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 all Airbus Model A310-203, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 8, 2018 (83 FR 5584) (“the NPRM”).

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0122, dated July 18, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A310-203, -221, -222, -304, -308, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes. The MCAI states:

In response to the FAA Part 26 rule, wing structural items of the Airbus A310 design were assessed regarding Widespread Fatigue Damage (WFD) phenomenon. One outcome was that the outer wing lower junction is prone to WFD at level of the first fasteners row, close to Rib 1 between Frame (FR) 40 and FR 47.

This condition, if not corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the wing.

Prompted by the conclusion of WFD analysis, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A310-57-2105 to provide modification instructions. The accomplishment of this modification at the specified time will recondition/renovate/extend the life of the fasteners holes at Rib 1, in order to reach the Limit Of Validity.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires cold working of the affected holes at Rib 1, stiffeners 1 to 14, on both outer wings between FR 40 and FR 47.

Required actions include a modification of the fastener holes at rib 1, stiffeners 1 to 14, on both outer wings between FR 40 and FR 47 by cold-working. The modification includes related investigative actions and applicable corrective actions. The related investigative actions include a rotating probe test of the fastener holes for cracks and checking the hole diameter for certain diameters. The corrective action is repair.

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-2018-0025.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. We considered the comment received. FedEx supported the NPRM.

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 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

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A310-57-2105, Revision 00, dated November 23, 2016. The service information describes procedures for a modification of the fastener holes at rib 1, stiffeners 1 to 14, on both outer wings between FR 40 and FR 47 by cold-working and includes related investigative actions and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the Start Printed Page 24398interested 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 13 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
Modification, including related investigative actions66 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,610$24,200$29,810$387,530

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repair that will be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this repair:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Repair9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765$254$1,019

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

2018-11-06 Airbus: Amendment 39-19294; Docket No. FAA-2018-0025; Product Identifier 2017-NM-101-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective July 3, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Airbus Model A310-203, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a design approval holder (DAH) evaluation indicating that the outer wing lower junction is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to prevent WFD at the outer wing lower junction, 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) Modification

Before exceeding the compliance time specified in figure 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Modify the fastener holes at rib 1, stiffeners 1 to 14, on both outer wings between frame (FR) 40 and FR 47, including doing all related investigative and applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-57-2105, Revision 00, dated November 23, 2016, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Do all related investigative and applicable corrective actions before further flight.

Start Printed Page 24399

(h) Service Information Exception

Where Airbus Service Bulletin A310-57-2105, Revision 00, dated November 23, 2016, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD.

(i) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 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 Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(j) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0122, dated July 18, 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-2018-0025.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax: 206-231-3225.

(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) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-57-2105, Revision 00, dated November 23, 2016.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; internet: http://www.airbus.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

(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 Des Moines, Washington, on May 17, 2018.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-11171 Filed 5-25-18; 8:45 am]

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