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Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS 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 Airbus SAS Model A319-131, A319-132, A319-133, A320-231, A320-232, A320-233, A321-131, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of fan cowl door (FCD) losses during take-off. This AD requires modification and re-identification, or replacement, of certain FCDs, and installation of a placard in the flight deck. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective November 19, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 19, 2018.

ADDRESSES:

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 account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; internet http://www.airbus.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-2018-0358.

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-2018-0358; 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 Start Printed Page 51820information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is 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:

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

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus SAS Model A319-131, A319-132, A319-133, A320-231, A320-232, A320-233, A321-131, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2018 (83 FR 19648). The NPRM was prompted by reports of FCD losses during take-off. The NPRM proposed to require modification and re-identification, or replacement, of certain FCDs, and installation of a placard in the flight deck.

We are issuing this AD to address in-flight loss of an FCD, which could result in damage to the airplane and injury to persons on the ground.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0178, dated September 15, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A319-131, A319-132, A319-133, A320-231, A320-232, A320-233, A321-131, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Fan Cowl Door (FCD) losses during take-off were reported on Airbus A320 family aeroplanes equipped with IAE [International Aero Engines] V2500 engines. Investigations confirmed that in all cases, the FCD were opened prior to the flight and were not correctly re-secured. During the pre-flight inspection, it was not detected that the FCD were not properly latched.

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

EASA issued AD 2016-0053 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2017-13-10, Amendment 39-18940 (82 FR 29371, June 29, 2017) (“AD 2017-13-10”)], requiring modification of the FCD installed on affected aeroplanes, and installation of a placard in the cockpit, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320-71-1069 (which in turns refers to Goodrich SB V2500-NAC-71-0331 for FCD modification and re-identification).

The monolithic FCDs, installed on aeroplanes embodying Short Brothers supplemental type certificate (STC) 10029547, are also affected by this potential unsafe condition. Consequently, the STC Holder, trading as Bombardier Short Brothers, developed a modification, similar to the one designed by Airbus, and issued SB V25MFC-71-1003. The modification consists of a new FCD front latch and keeper assembly, 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. The applicable Flight Crew Operating Manual has been amended accordingly. After modification, the FCD is identified with a different Part Number (P/N).

Mixed FCD installation can be found on aeroplanes embodying [EASA] STC 10029547 (i.e., Monolithic FCD and standard production non-Monolithic FCD). For standard production non-Monolithic FCD, Bombardier Short Brothers SB V25MFC-71-1003 specifies to accomplish the instructions of Goodrich SB V2500-NAC-71-0331, as applicable.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification and re-identification of FCD, and installation of a placard in the cockpit.

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-2018-0358.

Comments

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

Support for the NPRM

The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) supported the NPRM.

Request To Extend Compliance Time

United Airlines (UAL) requested that the compliance time stated in the proposed AD be extended from 18 months to 36 months to match the compliance time stated in AD 2017-13-10. UAL noted that both the proposed AD and AD 2017-13-10 address the same unsafe condition, but on different FCDs. UAL added that it has a mixture of FCD configurations, which will be subject to different compliance times.

We disagree with the commenter's request to extend the compliance time to 36 months. We based the compliance time for this AD on the compliance time required by the EASA MCAI, which was determined by considering the urgency associated with the unsafe condition, the availability of required parts, and the practical aspect of accomplishing the required modification within a timeframe that corresponds to the normal scheduled maintenance for most affected operators. In addition, the manufacturer recommended that the service bulletin be accomplished no later than March 28, 2019. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed with the changes 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 Under 1 CFR Part 51

Bombardier Short Brothers, PLC has issued Service Bulletin V25MFC-71-1003, dated September 28, 2016. The service information describes procedures for installing modified latches on the left and right engine FCDs, and re-identifying the FCDs. 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 557 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:Start Printed Page 51821

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Modification and re-identification (or replacement), and placard installation8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680$1,500$2,180$1,214,260

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, 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

2018-21-05 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19463; Docket No. FAA-2018-0358; Product Identifier 2017-NM-142-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective November 19, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A319-131, A319-132, A319-133, A320-231, A320-232, A320-233, A321-131, A321-231, and A321-232 airplanes, certificated in any category, if modified by Bombardier Short Brothers, PLC Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST03076NY.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of fan cowl door (FCD) losses during takeoff. We are issuing this AD to prevent in-flight loss of an FCD, which could result in damage to the airplane and injury to persons on the ground.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Modification and Re-Identification of FCDs

Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD: Do the modification and re-identification specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.

(1) Modify each left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) FCD having a part number listed as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Short Brothers Service Bulletin V25MFC-71-1003, dated September 28, 2016.

(2) Re-identify each modified FCD with the part number listed as “New Part Number” in table 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Short Brothers Service Bulletin V25MFC-71-1003, dated September 28, 2016.

Start Printed Page 51822

(h) Optional Compliance by Replacement or Installation

(1) Replacement of the FCDs having a part number listed as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD, with the FCDs having the corresponding part number listed as “New Part Number” in table 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD, is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(2) Installation on an engine of a LH and RH FCD having a part number approved after the effective date of this AD is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD for that engine only, provided the conditions specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD are met.

(i) The part number is approved using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Bombardier Short Brothers, PLC's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(ii) The installation is accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Bombardier Short Brothers, PLC's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(i) Placard Installation

For airplanes on which Airbus SAS modification 157718 has not been embodied in production: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, install a placard that specifies the FCD keys stowage location in the flight deck on the box located at the bottom of the 120VU panel, or at the bottom of the coat stowage, as applicable to airplane configuration, using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Bombardier Short Brothers, PLC's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(j) 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.

(k) Alternate Location of FCD Keys and Placard

As an option to paragraph (i) of this AD, an alternate 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 18 months after the effective date of this AD.

(l) Parts Installation Prohibition

No person may install on any airplane an FCD with a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD, after the time specified in paragraph (l)(1) or (l)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) For any airplane with an installed FCD having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD: After modification of that airplane as required by paragraph (g) of this AD or as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(2) For any airplane without an installed FCD having a part number identified as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraphs (g), (h), and (l) of this AD: After the effective date of this AD.

(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 Bombardier Short Brothers, PLC'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 2017-0178, dated September 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-2018-0358.

(2) For more information about this AD, 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.

(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.

(i) Bombardier Short Brothers Service Bulletin V25MFC-71-1003, dated September 28, 2016.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier Short Brothers, PLC, Airworthiness, P.O. Box 241, Airport Road, Belfast, BT3 9DZ Northern Ireland; telephone +44(0)2890-462469; fax +44(0)2890-468444; email michael.mulholland@aero.bombardier.com; internet http://www.bombardier.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.Start Printed Page 51823

(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 September 20, 2018.

John P. Piccola,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-21963 Filed 10-12-18; 8:45 am]

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