Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Final rule; request for comments.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A320-251N and A320-271N airplanes. This AD was prompted by analysis and laboratory testing of the behavior of the flight control laws, which identified reduced efficiency of the angle of attack (AoA) protection that may result in excessive pitch attitude in certain configurations in combination with specific maneuvers commanded by the flight crew. This AD requires revising the existing airplane flight manual (AFM) to incorporate operational limitations, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
This AD becomes effective September 4, 2019.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 4, 2019.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 4, 2019.
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.
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 the material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, at 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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0607.
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-2019-0607; 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 AD, 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:
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
Start Supplemental Information
The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0189, dated July 31, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0189”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A320-251N and A320-271N airplanes. The MCAI states:
Analysis and laboratory testing of the behaviour of the flight control laws of the A320neo identified a reduced efficiency of the angle of attack protection when the aeroplane is set in certain flight configurations and in combination with specific manoeuvres commanded by the flight crew, as described through Section 2 of Airbus Flight Operations Transmission 999.0059/19.
This condition, although never encountered during operations, if not corrected, could lead to excessive pitch attitude, possibly resulting in increased flight crew workload.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued the AFM TR [temporary revision], limiting the centre of gravity Start Printed Page 43040envelope, which prevents the aforementioned condition, and the Flight Operations Transmission 999.0059/19, providing aeroplane loading recommendations.
For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires amendment of the applicable AFM by incorporating the applicable AFM TR.
This [EASA] AD is considered to be an interim action and further AD action may follow.
The potential unsafe condition addressed by this [EASA] AD and related required actions are different from those addressed by EASA AD 2019-0171R1 for A321neo aeroplanes.
Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2019-0189 describes procedures for revising the existing AFM to incorporate operational limitations and updated procedures related to center of gravity.
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.
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 agency has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD because it has evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.
Requirements of This AD
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2019-0189 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 2019-0189 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2019-0189 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to “all required actions and compliance times,” compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled “Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)” in the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2019-0189 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2019-0189 will be available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0607 after the FAA final rule is published.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective Date
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures for rules when the agency, for “good cause,” finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking. Similarly, Section 553(d) of the APA authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days, upon a finding of good cause.
As noted above and in EASA AD 2019-0189, these airplanes are subject to reduced efficiency of the AoA protection that may result in excessive pitch attitude in certain configurations in combination with specific maneuvers commanded by the flight crew resulting in reduced control of the airplane. The FAA considers the prevention of this unsafe condition to be an urgent safety issue. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.
This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and the FAA did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. The FAA invites 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-2019-0607; Product Identifier 2019-NM-135-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.
The FAA will post all comments received, 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 received about this AD.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 69 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product||Cost on U.S. operators|
|1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85||$0||$85||$5,865|
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.Start Printed Page 43041
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 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.
The FAA has 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, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
Start List of Subjects
End List of Subjects
- Air transportation
- Aviation safety
- Incorporation by reference
Adoption of the Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
Start Amendment Part
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): End Amendment Part
2019-16-06 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19709; Docket No. FAA-2019-0607; Product Identifier 2019-NM-135-AD.
(a) Effective Date
This AD becomes effective September 4, 2019.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A320-251N and A320-271N airplanes, certificated in any category.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.
This AD was prompted by analysis and laboratory testing of the behavior of the flight control laws, which identified reduced efficiency of the angle of attack (AoA) protection that may result in excessive pitch attitude in certain configurations in combination with specific maneuvers commanded by the flight crew. The FAA is issuing this AD to address such reduced efficiency of the AoA protection, which could result in reduced control of the airplane.
Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.
Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0189, dated July 31, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0189”).
(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0189
(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where EASA AD 2019-0189 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2019-0189 does not apply to this AD.
(i) 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 (j) 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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (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): 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
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.
(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) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0189, dated July 31, 2019.
(3) For EASA AD 2019-0189, contact the EASA, at 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.
(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. EASA AD 2019-0189 may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0607.
(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 Printed Page 43042
End Supplemental Information
Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on August 8, 2019.
Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-17905 Filed 8-19-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P