Skip to Content

Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

Comments on this document are being accepted at Regulations.gov. Submit a formal comment

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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 all Airbus SAS Model A300 series airplanes; Airbus SAS Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called Model A300-600 series airplanes); and Airbus SAS Model A310 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) actuator ball nut trunnion lower attachment was missing parts. This AD requires a one-time detailed inspection of the THS actuator right-hand spherical bearing and retaining parts (bolt, tab washer, and end cap) for correct installation of the retaining parts and correct bolt position, and applicable corrective actions, 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 November 5, 2019.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 5, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

For the material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, 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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0482.

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-2019-0482; 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:

Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

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 all Airbus SAS Model A300 series airplanes; Model A300-600 series airplanes; and Airbus SAS Model A310 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 25, 2019 (84 FR 29821). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that the THS actuator ball nut trunnion lower attachment was missing parts. The NPRM proposed to require a one-time detailed inspection of the THS actuator right-hand spherical bearing and retaining parts (bolt, tab washer, and end cap) for correct installation of the retaining parts and correct bolt position, and applicable corrective actions.

The FAA is issuing this AD to address missing THS actuator right-hand spherical bearings and retaining parts from the THS actuator ball nut trunnion lower attachment, which could lead to THS actuator failure, possibly resulting in loss of control of the airplane.

The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0078, dated March 29, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0078”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A300 series airplanes; Airbus SAS Model A300-600 series airplanes; and Airbus SAS Model A310 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

During maintenance on an A300-600 aeroplane, affected parts were found missing from THS actuator ball nut trunnion lower attachment. The THS actuator lower attachment has a fail-safe design through a primary and secondary load path, which ensures the load path continuity between the horizontal tail plane and the actuator. The primary load path is engaged thanks in particular to these affected parts.

Investigation results highlighted that human error is the most likely scenario to have caused the affected parts to have been missing. In flight, absence of affected parts would cause THS actuator secondary load path engagement, which is designed to withstand the full loads only for a limited period of time.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to THS actuator failure, possibly resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued the applicable SB [Airbus Service Bulletin A300-27-0206; Airbus Service Bulletin A300-27-6073; and Airbus Service Bulletin A310-27-2108] to provide inspection instructions.

For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires a one-time detailed inspection (DET) of the affected parts [for correct installation of the retaining parts and correct bolt position] to establish fleet-wide status and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

Comments

The FAA has given the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The FAA has considered the comment received. FedEx stated that it has no objection to the NPRM.

Conclusion

The FAA has 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 CFRPart 51

EASA AD 2019-0078 describes procedures for a one-time detailed inspection of the THS actuator right-hand spherical bearing and retaining parts for correct installation of the Start Printed Page 51956retaining parts and correct bolt position, and applicable corrective actions. Corrective actions include torqueing and securing the bolt with new lockwire, or installing a new dowel, end cap, washer, and bolt, and securing with new lockwire. 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 128 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
2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170$0$170$21,760

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition repairs 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 repairs:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions

Labor costParts costCost per product
2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170(*)* $170
* The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide parts cost estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this AD.

The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide cost estimates for the other on-condition action specified in this AD.

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

2019-19-07 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19743; Docket No. FAA-2019-0482; Product Identifier 2019-NM-066-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective November 5, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all the Airbus SAS airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (6) of this AD, certificated in any category.

(1) Model A300 B2-1A, B2-1C, B2K-3C, B2-203, B4-2C, B4-103, and B4-203 airplanes.

(2) Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

(3) Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

(4) Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

(5) Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

(6) Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the trimmable horizontal stabilizer (THS) actuator ball nut trunnion lower attachment was missing the THS actuator right-hand spherical bearings and Start Printed Page 51957retaining parts (bolt, tab washer, and end cap). The FAA is issuing this AD to address missing THS actuator right-hand spherical bearings and retaining parts from the THS actuator ball nut trunnion lower attachment, which could lead to THS actuator failure, possibly resulting in loss of control of the airplane.

(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 Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0078, dated March 29, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0078”). All provisions specified in EASA AD 2019-0078 apply in this AD.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0078

(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where EASA AD 2019-0078 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2019-0078 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 2019-0078 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 Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

(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 2019-0078, dated March 29, 2019.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For information about EASA AD 2019-0078, 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.

(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-2019-0482.

(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 19, 2019.

Suzanne Masterson,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-21237 Filed 9-30-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P