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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A330-243, A330-243F, A330-341, A330-342, and A330-343 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of thrust reverser unit (TRU) beams found with evidence of thermally caused material degradation in the rearmost section of the TRU beam at certain latches. This proposed AD would require an inspection for heat damage of each left-hand and right-hand TRU beam. Depending on findings, this proposed AD might also require inspections of the TRU beam latches, the TRU beam clevises, and the thrust reverser outer fixed structure rear area; corrective actions; and replacement of TRU beams; as specified in a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be incorporated by reference. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 12, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:Start Printed Page 30053

  • 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For the material identified in this proposed AD that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 89990 1000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material 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 in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

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-2019-0485; 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 NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2019-0485; Product Identifier 2019-NM-064-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on those comments.

The FAA will post all comments, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact the agency receives about this NPRM.

Discussion

The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0148R1, dated April 5, 2019 (“EASA AD 2018-0148R1”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A330-243, A330-243F, A330-341, A330-342, and A330-343 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Occurrences have been reported on A330 aeroplanes fitted with Trent 700 engines where a TRU beam was found with evidence of thermally caused material degradation in the rearmost section of the TRU beam at latches 5, 6 and 7 areas. Subsequent fatigue analysis determined that the static strength margins of the material of the TRU beam could be reduced, with detrimental effect on the operational fatigue life of the beam.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to disconnection of the TRU from the engine, with possible damage to the engine adjacent structure and controls, and/or damage to the aeroplane, and injury to persons on the ground.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued the SB [service bulletin], which includes reference to the instructions of the NMSB [non-modification service bulletin], providing instructions to inspect each TRU beam.

For the reasons described above, EASA issued AD 2018-0148 to require repetitive special detailed inspections (SDI) of the TRU beams and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

Since that [EASA] AD was issued, it was found that there may be cases where the flight cycles (FC) accumulated by a TRU beam are unknown (at that time, not a tracked part). This [EASA] AD is revised to clarify that the FC accumulated by the TRU assembly can be used to determine the first inspection. This revised [EASA] AD also introduces a new Table 1 (previous Table 1 becomes Table 2) to improve understanding of the initial compliance time and clarifies the area to be inspected, as specified in Table 2 of this revised AD.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR part 51

EASA AD 2018-0148R1 describes procedures for a special detailed inspection for heat damage of each left-hand and right-hand TRU beam, detailed inspections of the TRU beam latches for bush migration and cracks or deformation, detailed inspections of the TRU beam clevises for cracks and deformation, ultrasonic inspections of the thrust reverser outer fixed structure rear area for delamination, replacement of TRU beams, and corrective actions. Corrective actions include restoring paint, repairing delaminated areas, and measuring latch pin hole fitting diameters near migrated bushes. This material 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 Proposed AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the agency evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2018-0148R1 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. As a result, EASA AD 2018-0148R1 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with the provisions specified in EASA AD 2018-0148R1, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2018-0148R1 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2018-0148R1 will be available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0485 after the FAA final rule is published.Start Printed Page 30054

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 51 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Labor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85$0$85$4,335

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions *

Labor costParts costCost per product
2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170$0$170
* The table only includes the costs for on-condition inspections. The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide cost estimates for the on-condition corrective actions and replacement specified in this proposed AD.

According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, the FAA has included all known 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.

The FAA is 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 proposed 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

The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 this proposed regulation:

1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866;

2. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

3. 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

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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

Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2019-0485; Product Identifier 2019-NM-064-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by August 12, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A330-243, A330-243F, A330-341, A330-342, and A330-343 airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 78, Engine exhaust.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of thrust reverser unit (TRU) beams found with evidence of thermally caused material degradation in the rearmost section of the TRU beam at certain latches. The FAA is issuing this AD to address degradation of TRU beams, which could lead to disconnection of the TRU from the engine, causing possible damage to the engine adjacent structure and controls, possible damage Start Printed Page 30055to the airplane, and possible injury to people on the ground.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2018-0148R1, dated April 5, 2019 (“EASA AD 2018-0148R1”).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2018-0148R1

(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where EASA AD 2018-0148R1 refers to its effective date, or July 27, 2018 (the effective date of EASA AD 2018-0148, dated July 13, 2018), this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2018-0148R1 does not apply to this AD.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-0148R1 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

(j) 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 (k)(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 instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-0148R1 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, RC 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.

(k) Related Information

(1) For information about EASA AD 2018-0148R1, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 89990 6017; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; Internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this EASA AD 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. EASA AD 2018-0148R1 may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0485.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229.

Start Signature

Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on June 18, 2019.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-13421 Filed 6-25-19; 8:45 am]

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