Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks within the ring gears of a slat geared rotary actuator (SGRA) resulting from a change in the raw material manufacturing process. This AD requires replacement of affected parts with serviceable parts, as specified in a European 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 is effective November 14, 2019.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 14, 2019.
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-2019-0194.
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-2019-0194; 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.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.
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The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0020, dated January 31, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0020”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes.
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 A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2019 (84 FR 14038). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracks within the ring gears of an SGRA resulting from a change in the raw material manufacturing process. The NPRM proposed to require replacement of affected parts with serviceable parts.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking of SGRA ring gears. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could, in combination with an independent failure on the second SGRA of the same slat surface, lead to detachment of the slat surface, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane and injury to persons on the ground. See the MCAI for additional background information.
The FAA 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; Stephanie Lok; and an anonymous commenter indicated their support for the NPRM.
Request To Clarify Requirements for Group 1 Airplanes
Delta Air Lines (Delta) requested that a statement be added to paragraph (g) of this AD to clarify that the installation of affected parts was prohibited for Group 1 airplanes before 15,000 flight hours. Delta asserted that the AD could be interpreted as allowing the installation of affected parts on those airplanes during that time period.
The FAA does not agree that an additional statement to paragraph (g) of this AD is necessary. The FAA has confirmed with EASA that since the safety assessment was performed on the life of the airplane and not the life of the affected part, a restriction to limit the affected parts prior to 15,000 flight hours is not necessary. Therefore, the commenter's interpretation that installation of affected parts could be allowed prior to 15,000 flight hours is correct. This AD has not been changed in this regard.
Request To Modify Serial Number Table
Delta requested that the serial numbers of final assembly line units be removed from Table 1 of certain Liebherr service information instead of noting that they are to be excluded.
The FAA does not agree with the commenter's request. Although the proposal may provide a more straightforward presentation of the serial numbers, obtaining new service information with revised serial number tables from the manufacturer would delay publication of this AD. This delay would be inappropriate since the FAA has determined that an unsafe condition exists and that the required actions must be accomplished to ensure continued safety. The FAA also has determined that the serial number table in the Liebherr service information provides the information necessary to comply with this AD. Therefore, this AD has not been changed in this regard.Start Printed Page 54491
Request To Clarify Location of Identification Mark
Delta requested that certain Airbus service information be updated to clarify the location of a certain marking on the identification plate. Delta noted that the Liebherr service information refers to the specified marking, but does not show the marking's location, while the Airbus service information does not refer to the marking at all.
The FAA disagrees with obtaining revised service information because it would delay publication of this AD, which would be inappropriate for the reasons stated previously. However, the FAA agrees to clarify the location of the specified marking on the identification plate. The FAA has confirmed with EASA that the marking will be on both “A” faces of the identification plate, as depicted in Figure 1 of the Liebherr service information. This AD has not been changed in this regard.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments 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 2019-0020 describes procedures for replacing the affected SGRAs. 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 12 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|
|25 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,125||(*) $||* $2,125||* $25,500|
|* The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide cost estimates for the parts specified in this AD.|
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 the 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 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.
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.
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- 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
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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
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2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): End Amendment Part
2019-19-14 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19750; Docket No. FAA-2019-0194; Product Identifier 2019-NM-009-AD.
(a) Effective Date
This AD is effective November 14, 2019.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes, certificated in any category.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.
This AD was prompted by reports of cracks within the ring gears of a slat geared rotary actuator (SGRA), resulting from a change in the raw material manufacturing process. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking of SGRA ring gears. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could, in combination with an independent failure on the second SGRA of the same slat surface, lead to detachment of the slat surface, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane and injury to persons on the ground.Start Printed Page 54492
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 Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0020, dated January 31, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0020”).
(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0020
(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where EASA AD 2019-0020 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2019-0020 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 2019-0020 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 Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218.
(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 Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2019-0020, dated January 31, 2019.
(3) For EASA AD 2019-0020, 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. EASA AD 2019-0020 may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0194.
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.
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Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on September 23, 2019.
Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-22131 Filed 10-9-19; 8:45 am]
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