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Rule

Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional 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 all ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 23, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 23, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, contact ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email continued.airworthiness@atr-aircraft.com. 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. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0166.

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-2018-0166; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 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:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3220.

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 ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2018 (83 FR 12508). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations are necessary. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or revised maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in principal structural elements, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0223R1, dated December 15, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72 airplanes. The MCAI states:

The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance requirements (CMR) for ATR aeroplanes, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the ATR72-101/-201/-102/-202/-211/-212/-212A Time Limits (TL) document. These instructions have been identified as mandatory actions for continued airworthiness.

Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

Consequently, ATR published Revision 15 of the ATR72-101/-201/-102/-202/-211/-212/-212A TL document, which contains new and/or more restrictive CMRs and airworthiness limitation tasks.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ATR72-101/-201/-102/-202/-211/-212/-212A TL document Revision 15, hereafter referred to as `the TLD' in this [EASA] AD.

This [EASA] AD, in conjunction with two other [EASA] ADs related to ATR42-200/-300/-320 (EASA AD 2017-0221) and ATR42-400/-500 (EASA AD 2017-0222) aeroplanes, retains the requirements of EASA AD 2009-0241 and EASA AD 2012-0193. Once all these three ADs are effective, EASA will cancel EASA AD 2009-0242 and EASA AD 2012-0193.

This [EASA] AD is revised to provide the correct issue date (02 May 2017) of the TLD. The original [EASA] AD inadvertently referenced the EASA approval date for that document.

This AD requires revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate certain maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations. The unsafe condition is fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in principal structural elements, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. 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-2018-0166.

Comment

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response.

Request To Correct Typographical Error

Empire Airlines asked that airworthiness limitations (AWL) task number 572401-1, identified in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD, be changed to AWL task number 572402-1. Empire Airlines stated that AWL task number 572401-1 corresponds to maintenance review board report (MRBR) task numbers ZL-500-01-1 and ZL-600-01-1; and the MRBR task numbers ZL-520-01-1 and ZL-620-01-1, identified in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD, correspond with AWL task number 572402-1. Empire Airlines provided substantiation data to this effect.

We agree with the commenter that a typographical error was made in the AWL task number 572401-1, identified in table 1 to paragraph (h) of this AD. We have corrected this error accordingly.Start Printed Page 34032

Airworthiness Limitations Based on Type Design

The FAA recently became aware of an issue related to the applicability of ADs that require incorporation of an airworthiness limitations section (ALS) revision into an operator's maintenance or inspection program.

Typically, when these types of ADs are issued by civil aviation authorities of other countries, they apply to all airplanes covered under an identified type certificate (TC). The corresponding FAA AD typically retains applicability to all of those airplanes.

In addition, U.S. operators must operate their airplanes in an airworthy condition, in accordance with 14 CFR 91.7(a). Included in this obligation is the requirement to perform any maintenance or inspections specified in the ALS, and in accordance with the ALS as specified in 14 CFR 43.16 and 91.403(c), unless an alternative has been approved by the FAA.

When a type certificate is issued for a type design, the specific ALS, including revisions, is a part of that type design, as specified in 14 CFR 21.31(c).

The sum effect of these operational and maintenance requirements is an obligation to comply with the ALS defined in the type design referenced in the manufacturer's conformity statement. This obligation may introduce a conflict with an AD that requires a specific ALS revision if new airplanes are delivered with a later revision as part of their type design.

To address this conflict, the FAA has approved alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) that allow operators to incorporate the most recent ALS revision into their maintenance/inspection programs, in lieu of the ALS revision required by the AD. This eliminates the conflict and enables the operator to comply with both the AD and the type design.

However, compliance with AMOCs is normally optional, and we recently became aware that some operators choose to retain the AD-mandated ALS revision in their fleet-wide maintenance/inspection programs, including those for new airplanes delivered with later ALS revisions, to help standardize the maintenance of the fleet. To ensure that operators comply with the applicable ALS revision for newly delivered airplanes containing a later revision than that specified in an AD, we plan to limit the applicability of ADs that mandate ALS revisions to those airplanes that are subject to an earlier revision of the ALS, either as part of the type design or as mandated by an earlier AD.

This AD therefore applies to ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72-101, -102, -201, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness that was issued on or before the date of approval of the ALS revision identified in this AD. Operators of airplanes with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued after that date must comply with the airworthiness limitations specified as part of the approved type design and referenced on the type certificate data sheet.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule with the change described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

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

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final rule.

Related Service Information Under1 CFR Part 51

ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional has issued the ATR72 Time Limits document, Revision 15, dated May 2, 2017. This service information describes preventive maintenance requirements and includes updated limitations, tasks, thresholds and intervals to be incorporated into the maintenance or inspection program. 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 26 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

We have determined that revising the maintenance or inspection program takes an average of 90 work-hours per operator, although we recognize that this number may vary from operator to operator. In the past, we have estimated that this action takes 1 work-hour per airplane. Since operators incorporate maintenance or inspection program changes for their affected fleet(s), we have determined that a per-operator estimate is more accurate than a per-airplane estimate. Therefore, we estimate the total cost per operator to be $7,650 (90 work-hours × $85 per work-hour).

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 and associated appliances to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

Regulatory Findings

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, Start Printed Page 34033on 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

2018-14-11 ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional: Amendment 39-19331; Docket No. FAA-2018-0166; Product Identifier 2017-NM-169-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective August 23, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD affects AD 2000-23-26, Amendment 39-11999 (65 FR 70775, November 28, 2000) (“AD 2000-23-26”); and AD 2008-04-19 R1, Amendment 39-16069 (74 FR 56713, November 3, 2009) (“AD 2008-04-19 R1”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR72-101, -102, -201, -202, -211, -212, and -212A airplanes, certificated in any category; with an original certificate of airworthiness or original export certificate of airworthiness issued on or before May 2, 2017.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance instructions and airworthiness limitations are necessary. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking, damage, and corrosion in principal structural elements, 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) Revision of Maintenance or Inspection Program

Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the limitations and tasks at the applicable thresholds and intervals specified in the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS), of the ATR72 Time Limits document, Revision 15, dated May 2, 2017. The initial compliance time for accomplishing the tasks specified in the ALS of the ATR72 Time Limits document, Revision 15, dated May 2, 2017, is at the applicable time specified in the ALS, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, except for the tasks identified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(h) Initial Compliance Times for Certain Tasks

For accomplishing airworthiness limitations (AWL) and certification maintenance requirement (CMR)/maintenance significant item (MSI) tasks identified in table 1 and table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, the initial compliance time is at the applicable time specified in the ALS of the ATR72 Time Limits document, Revision 15, dated May 2, 2017, or at the applicable compliance time in table 1 or table 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(i) No Alternative Actions, and Intervals

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

(j) Terminating Action

Accomplishing paragraph (g) of this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2000-23-26 and AD 2008-04-19 R1.

(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 Start Printed Page 3403439.19, 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or EASA Design Organization Approval (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 AD 2017-0223R1, dated December 15, 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-2018-0166.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3220.

(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) ATR72 Time Limits document, Revision 15, dated May 2, 2017.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional, 1, Allée Pierre Nadot, 31712 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 (0) 5 62 21 62 21; fax +33 (0) 5 62 21 67 18; email continued.airworthiness@atr-aircraft.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 July 3, 2018.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-14809 Filed 7-18-18; 8:45 am]

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