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Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A319-133 airplanes and Model A321-232 airplanes. This AD requires modification and re-identification, or replacement, of certain engine fan cowl doors (FCDs) and installation of a placard in the flight deck. This AD was prompted by reports of in-service engine FCD losses, and the development of a new FCD front latch and keeper assembly that addresses this unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes 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 3, 2017 (82 FR 29371, June 29, 2017).

We must receive comments on this AD by September 24, 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.

For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email Start Printed Page 38954 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-2018-0640.

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-2018-0640; 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:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

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 2016-0053, dated March 14, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A319-131, -132, and -133 airplanes, Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-131, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Fan Cowl Door (FCD) losses during take-off were reported on aeroplanes equipped with IAE V2500 engines. Prompted by these occurrences, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued AD 2000-444-156(B), mandating FCD latch improvements. This [DGAC] AD was later superseded by [DGAC] AD 2001-381(B) [which corresponds to FAA AD 2003-18-06, Amendment 39-13297 (68 FR 53501, September 11, 2003)], requiring installation of additional fan cowl latch improvement by installing a hold open device.

Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, further FCD in flight losses were experienced in service. Investigations confirmed that in all cases, the fan cowls were opened prior to the flight and were not correctly re-secured. During the pre-flight inspection, it was then not detected that the FCD were not properly latched.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to in-flight loss of a FCD, possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane and/or injury to persons on the ground.

Prompted by these recent events, new FCD front latch and keeper assembly were developed, having a specific key necessary to un-latch the FCD. This key cannot be removed unless the FCD front latch is safely closed. The key, after removal, must be stowed in the flight deck at a specific location, as instructed in the applicable Aircraft Maintenance Manual. Applicable Flight Crew Operating Manual has been amended accordingly. After modification, the FCD is identified with a different Part Number (P/N).

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC AD 2001-381(B), which is superseded, and requires modification and re-identification of FCD.

You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0640.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016. This service information describes procedures for modifying the engine FCDs, installing placards, and re-identifying the FCDs with new part numbers. 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.

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 and service information referenced above. 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 these same type designs.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information

The MCAI applies to Airbus SAS Model A319-131 and -132 airplanes; Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131 and -231 airplanes, in addition to Model A319-133 airplanes and Model A321-232 airplanes. The unsafe condition on Model A319-131 and -132 airplanes; Model A320-231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-131 and -231 airplanes is already addressed in AD 2017-13-10, Amendment 39-18940 (82 FR 29371, June 29, 2017); therefore this AD only applies to Model A319-133 airplanes and Model A321-232 airplanes.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

There are currently no domestic operators of this product. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary and 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-2018-0640; Product Identifier 2018-NM-075-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. If an affected airplane is imported and placed on the U.S. Register in the future, we provide the following cost estimates to comply with this AD:Start Printed Page 38955

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Labor costParts costCost per product
6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510$4,813$5,323

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

2018-16-03 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19343; Docket No. FAA-2018-0640; Product Identifier 2018-NM-075-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective August 23, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A319-133 airplanes and Model A321-232 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71, Powerplant.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of in-service engine fan cowl door (FCD) losses, and the development of a new FCD front latch and keeper assembly that addresses this unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to address in-flight loss of an engine FCD and possible consequent damage to the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Modification

Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016.

(1) Modify the left-hand and right-hand engine FCDs on engines 1 and 2.

(2) Install a placard that specifies the FCD keys stowage location in the flight deck on the box located at the bottom of panel 120VU or at the bottom of the coat stowage, as applicable to airplane configuration.

(3) Re-identify both engine FCDs with the new part numbers, as specified in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD.

Start Printed Page 38956

(h) Missing FCD Keys or Placard

Flights with one or both FCD keys missing from the stowage location in the fight deck, or with the placard (that specifies the FCD keys stowage location) missing or damaged, are permitted for a period not to exceed 10 calendar days from the date of discovery.

(i) Alternative Location of FCD Keys and Placard

As an option to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, an alternative location for the key stowage in the flight deck and installation of a placard for identification of that stowage location are permitted as specified in the operator's FAA-accepted maintenance or inspection program, provided the keys can be retrieved from that flight deck location when needed and the placard installation is done within 36 months after the effective date of this AD.

(j) Optional Compliance by Replacement or Installation

(1) Replacing an engine FCD having a part number listed as “Old Part Number” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD with an FCD having the corresponding part number listed as “New Part Number” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD is an acceptable method of compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(3) of this AD for that engine FCD only.

(2) An airplane on which Airbus Modification 157516 has been embodied in production is compliant with the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(3) of this AD, provided no engine FCD having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD is installed on that airplane.

(3) An airplane on which Airbus Modification 157718 has been embodied in production is compliant with the requirements of paragraph (g)(2) of this AD.

(4) Installation on an engine of a right-hand and left-hand engine FCD having a part number approved after the effective date of this AD is a method of compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(3) of this AD for that engine only, provided the part number is approved, and the installation is 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.

(k) Parts Installation Limitations

(1) For an airplane with an engine FCD installed having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD: After modification of that airplane as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, do not install an engine FCD, having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD.

(2) For an airplane that does not have an engine FCD installed having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD: On or after the effective date of this AD, do not install an engine FCD having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in figure 1 to paragraphs (g), (j), and (k) of this AD.

(l) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, dated December 18, 2015.

(m) 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 (n)(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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(n) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2016-0053, dated March 14, 2016, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0640.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Start Printed Page 38957Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

(3) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (o)(4) and (o)(5) of this AD.

(o) 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.

(3) The following service information was approved for IBR on August 3, 2017 (82 FR 29371, June 29, 2017).

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-71-1069, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated April 28, 2016.

(ii) Reserved.

(4) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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 23, 2018.

James Cashdollar,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-16576 Filed 8-7-18; 8:45 am]

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