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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:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus SAS Model A318-112, -121, and -122; A319-111, -112, -115, -131, -132, and -133; A320-214, -216, -232, -233, -251N, and -271N; and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, -271N, and -272N airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of missing or loosened fasteners on connecting brackets of overhead stowage compartments (OHSC) and pivoting OHSC (POHSC). This AD requires modification of the OHSC and POHSC attachments, 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.

DATES:

This AD is effective October 31, 2019.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of October 31, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

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-2019-0486.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Start Printed Page 50717and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0486; 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 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

The FAA 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 A318-112, -121, and -122; A319-111, -112, -115, -131, -132, and -133; A320-214, -216, -232, -233, -251N, and -271N; and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, -271N, and -272N airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2019 (84 FR 30637). The NPRM was prompted by reports of missing or loosened fasteners on connecting brackets of OHSC and pivoting POHSC. The NPRM proposed to require modification of the OHSC and POHSC attachments.

The FAA is issuing this AD to address loosening of the OHSC or POHSC fasteners. This condition, if not corrected, could lead to detachment of OHSC or POHSC, possibly resulting in injury to airplane occupants and/or impeding egress during an emergency evacuation.

The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0069, dated March 28, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0069”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A318-112, -121, and -122; A319-111, -112, -115, -131, -132, and -133; A320-214, -216, -232, -233, -251N, and -271N; and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, -271N, and -272N airplanes. The MCAI states:

During routine inspections, several screws were found missing or loose on the interconnecting brackets of certain overhead stowage compartments (OHSC) and pivoting OHSC (POHSC). Investigations and a sampling program have shown that loosening of fasteners can be generated by a relative movement of the OHSC/POHSC and vibrations inside the aeroplane, by elastic deformation of the aeroplane body and by take-off and landing manoeuvres.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to detachment of an OHSC/POHSC, possibly resulting in injury to aeroplane occupants.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued the original issue of the applicable SB [service bulletin], providing modification instructions to improve the robustness of the OHSC and POHSC. Prompted by new findings, the applicable SBs have been later issued, including additional work and associated instructions.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the OHSC and POHSC attachments.

Comments

The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The FAA has considered the comment received. Patrick Imperatrice indicated support for the NPRM.

Conclusion

The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has 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.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA AD 2019-0069 describes procedures for modification of the OHSC and POHSC attachments. EASA AD 2019-0069 also describes an inspection for discrepancies (additional work) and corrective actions. The inspection includes checks of the dimensions of the threaded pins against tolerances and checks for damage. Corrective actions include replacing threaded pins and nuts and repairing damage. 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.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 1,464 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Labor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Up to 42 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $3,570$3,950Up to $7,520Up to $11,009,280

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of any required or optional 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
Up to 19 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $1,615[*]Up to $1,615 *
* The FAA has received no definitive data for the on-condition parts costs.

According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this 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.Start Printed Page 50718

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 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) 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

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

2019-18-06 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19733; Docket No. FAA-2019-0486; Product Identifier 2019-NM-061-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective October 31, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus SAS Model A318-112, -121, and -122; A319-111, -112, -115, -131, -132, and -133; A320-214, -216, -232, -233, -251N, and -271N; and A321-211, -212, -213, -231, -232, -251N, -253N, -271N, and -272N airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0069, dated March 28, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0069”).

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/furnishings.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of missing or loosened fasteners on connecting brackets of overhead stowage compartments (OHSC) and pivoting OHSC (POHSC). The FAA is issuing this AD to address loosening of the OHSC or POHSC fasteners. This condition, if not corrected, could lead to detachment of OHSC or POHSC, possibly resulting in injury to airplane occupants and/or impeding egress during an emergency evacuation.

(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, EASA AD 2019-0069.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0069

(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where EASA AD 2019-0069 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

(2) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2019-0069 applies to all airplanes except for airplanes identified by paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2019-0069.

(3) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2019-0069 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 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 2019-0069 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraph (i)(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.

(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 2019-0069, dated March 28, 2019.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For information about EASA AD 2019-0069, contact the EASA, at Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; Start Printed Page 50719telephone +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 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. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0486.

(5) You may view this material that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email fedreg.legal@nara.gov, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on September 6, 2019.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-20898 Filed 9-25-19; 8:45 am]

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