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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Airplanes

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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 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation (Gulfstream) Model G-IV airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of un-commanded nose wheel steering turns. This proposed AD would require replacing the nose wheel steering servo valve manifold, incorporating revised operating procedures into the airplane flight manual (AFM), doing a records inspection for any incidents of un-commanded nose wheel steering turns, and reporting the results to the FAA. 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 February 10, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

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 https://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 service information identified in this NPRM, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, Georgia 31402-2206; telephone: (800) 810-4853; fax 912-965-3520; email: pubs@gulfstream.com; internet: https://www.gulfstream.com/​customer-support. You may view this service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-1060; 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:

Alex Armas, Aerospace Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5538; fax: (404) 474-5605; email: alex.armas@faa.gov.

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-2019-1060; Product Identifier 2018-CE-020-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invite 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 because of those comments.

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

Discussion

The FAA received reports of numerous incidents of un-commanded nose wheel steering turns on Gulfstream Model G-IV airplanes. An investigation revealed the supplier compromised the seals during assembly of the electro-hydraulic servo valves, which allows moisture to enter the valve. During cold soak conditions, the moisture forms ice crystals in the servo valve armature air gaps, which may cause the valve armature to displace to a non-neutral position. This condition, if not addressed, could result in an un-commanded nose wheel position once power is applied to the nose wheel servo and subsequent lateral runway departure.

To address this condition, the supplier improved their production quality control process to reduce the risk of compromised seals in the nose wheel steering servo valve. Gulfstream also revised the normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures in the AFMs related to nose wheel steering un-commanded turns.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 244, dated March 12, 2018; Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin 244, dated March 12, 2018; and Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin 244, dated March 12, 2018. For the applicable airplane configuration, each customer bulletin describes procedures for replacing the nose wheel steering servo valve manifold assembly.

The FAA also reviewed Gulfstream IV Airplane Flight Manual, Gulfstream Aerospace Document Number GAC-AC-GIV-OPS-0001, Revision 52, dated October 30, 2017; Gulfstream G300 Airplane Flight Manual, Gulfstream Aerospace Document Number GAC-AC-G300-OPS-0001, Revision 20, dated October 30, 2017; and Gulfstream G400 Airplane Flight Manual, Gulfstream Aerospace Document Number GAC-AC-G400-OPS-0001, Revision 20, dated October 30, 2017. For the applicable airplane configuration, each AFM document provides revisions to the AFM with instructions for flight crew to follow if un-commanded nose wheel steering turns occur.

This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal Start Printed Page 71334course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination

The FAA is proposing this AD because it evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require revising the AFM and replacing the nose wheel steering servo valve manifold. This proposed AD would also require a records inspection for any incidents of un-commanded nose wheel steering turns and reporting the results to the FAA.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

The Gulfstream customer bulletins require reporting compliance with the bulletins to Gulfstream. This proposed AD does not contain that requirement; however, this proposed AD would require reporting any known occurrences of un-commanded nose wheel steering turns to the FAA.

The Gulfstream customer bulletins include a compliance time of 48 months beginning on March 12, 2018. The compliance time for this proposed AD is 36 months after the effective date of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 425 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Incorporate AFM revisions1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85Not applicable$85$36,125
Replace nose wheel steering servo valve7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595$63,62464,21927,293,075
Records review and reporting of the review results2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170Not applicable17072,250

According to the manufacturer, some 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 costs in this cost estimate.

Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 2 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory as required by this AD; the nature and extent of confidentiality to be provided, if any. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

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 small airplanes, gliders, balloons, airships, domestic business jet transport airplanes, and associated appliances to the Director of the Policy and Innovation 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:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]
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2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

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Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation: Docket No. FAA-2019-1060; Product Identifier 2018-CE-020-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by February 10, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model G-IV airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of un-commanded nose wheel steering turns. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent moisture from entering the nose steering wheel servo valve, which could freeze and cause an un-commanded nose wheel steering position during touchdown. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in a lateral runway departure.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Airplane Flight Manual Revisions

Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise your airplane flight manual (AFM) by incorporating the revision applicable to your airplane configuration as listed in paragraphs (g)(1) through (3) of this AD:

(1) Gulfstream IV Airplane Flight Manual, Gulfstream Aerospace Document Number GAC-AC-GIV-OPS-0001, Revision 52, dated October 30, 2017;

(2) Gulfstream G300 Airplane Flight Manual, Gulfstream Aerospace Document Number GAC-AC-G300-OPS-0001, Revision 20, dated October 30, 2017; or

(3) Gulfstream G400 Airplane Flight Manual, Gulfstream Aerospace Document Number FAC-AC-G400-OPS-0001, Revision 20, dated October 30, 2017.

(h) Replace the Nose Wheel Steering Servo Valve Manifold

Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the nose wheel steering servo valve manifold with nose wheel steering servo valve manifold part number 5100-11 or 5105-5 in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the customer bulletin that applies to your airplane configuration as listed in paragraphs (h)(1) through (3) of this AD, except you are not required to comply with step H:

(1) Gulfstream IV Customer Bulletin Number 244, dated March 12, 2018;

(2) Gulfstream G300 Customer Bulletin 244, dated March 12, 2018; or

(3) Gulfstream G400 Customer Bulletin 244, dated March 12, 2018.

(i) Records Inspection and Report of Results

(1) Between 12 months and 24 months after the replacement of the nose wheel steering valve manifold assembly required in paragraph (h) of this AD, inspect all aircraft records for entries of an un-commanded nose wheel steering turn.

(2) Within 10 days after the records inspection required in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, report the results of the inspection, regardless of whether the inspection found any entries, to the FAA by either email: 9-ASO-ATLCOS-Reporting@faa.gov; or by mail: Attn: Continued Operational Safety, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337. The report must include as much of the information listed in paragraphs (i)(2)(i) through (vii) of this AD as is known about the event:

(i) Date of records inspection;

(ii) Date and time of all un-commanded occurrences (if any);

(iii) Airplane serial number;

(iv) Weather and runway conditions at the time of each occurrence;

(v) Copy of the pilot's report of the occurrence (if available);

(vi) Maintenance entry of the root cause of the un-commanded deflection (if available); and

(vii) Any other information pertinent to the occurrence.

(j) Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 2 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory as required by this AD; the nature and extent of confidentiality to be provided, if any. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

(k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Atlanta ACO 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 manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(1) of this AD.

(2) 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Alex Armas, Aerospace Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; phone: (404) 474-5538; fax: (404) 474-5605; email: alex.armas@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, Georgia 31402-2206; telephone: (800) 810-4853; fax 912-965-3520; email: pubs@gulfstream.com; internet: https://www.gulfstream.com/​customer-support. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

Start Signature

Issued on December 18, 2019.

Patrick R. Mullen,

Aircraft Certification Service Manager, Small Airplane Standards Branch, AIR-690.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-27716 Filed 12-26-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P