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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; 328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate Previously Held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH) Airplanes

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Start Preamble

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 328 Support Services GmbH Model 328-300 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations are necessary. This proposed AD would require revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be incorporated by reference. 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 March 30, 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 the material identified in this proposed AD that will be incorporated by reference (IBR), contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +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 https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0090.

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-2020-0090; 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:

Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3228; email: todd.thompson@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-2020-0090; Product Identifier 2019-NM-196-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites 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 based on those comments.

The FAA will post all comments, 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 the agency receives about this NPRM.

Discussion

The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2019-0271, dated October 30, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0271”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all 328 Support Services GmbH Model 328-300 airplanes.

This proposed AD was prompted by a determination that new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations are necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the potential failure of parts, which could lead to reduced control of the airplane; and to address the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Relationship Between This Proposed AD and Certain Other ADs

This NPRM would not supersede AD 2009-01-06 R1, Amendment 39-16082 (74 FR 57411, November 6, 2009) (“AD 2009-01-06 R1”) and AD 2012-01-08, Amendment 39-16290 (77 FR 3583, January 25, 2012) (“AD 2012-01-08”). Rather, the FAA has determined that a stand-alone AD would be more appropriate to address the changes in the MCAI. AD 2009-01-06 R1 requires modifying the electrical wiring of the fuel pumps by installing insulation at the flow control and shut-off valves, and other components of the environmental control system; and revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new inspections of the fuel tank system. AD 2012-01-08 requires revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations. This NPRM would require revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would then terminate all requirements of AD 2009-01-06 R1, and all requirements of AD 2012-01-08 for Model 328-300 airplanes only.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA AD 2019-0271 describes airworthiness limitations for certification maintenance requirements that include, among other items, safe life limits and fuel tank system limitations.

This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course Start Printed Page 7898of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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 FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA 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 accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2019-0271 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 initially 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. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2019-0271 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2019-0271 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed 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 2019-0271 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2019-0271 will be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0090 after the FAA final rule is published.

Airworthiness Limitation ADs Using the New Process

The FAA's new process, which uses MCAI ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with corresponding FAA ADs, has been limited to certain MCAI ADs (primarily those with service bulletins as the primary source of information for accomplishing the actions required by the FAA AD). However, the FAA is now expanding the process to include MCAI ADs that specify the incorporation of airworthiness limitation documents.

Although the format of the airworthiness limitation ADs using the new process is different than the FAA's existing format for airworthiness limitation ADs, the FAA requirements are the same: Operators must revise the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate the information specified in the new airworthiness limitation document.

The previous format of the airworthiness limitation ADs included a paragraph that specified that no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), or intervals may be used unless the actions and intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in the AMOCs paragraph under “Other FAA Provisions.” This new format includes a “Provisions for Alternative Actions, Intervals, and Critical Design Configuration Control Limitation (CDCCLs)” paragraph that does not specifically refer to AMOCs, but operators may still request an AMOC to use an alternative action, or interval.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 21 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

The FAA has determined that revising the maintenance or inspection program takes an average of 90 work-hours per operator, although the FAA recognizes that this number may vary from operator to operator. In the past, the FAA has estimated that this action takes 1 work-hour per airplane. Since operators incorporate maintenance or inspection program changes for their affected fleet(s), the FAA has determined that a per-operator estimate is more accurate than a per-airplane estimate. Therefore, the FAA estimates the total cost per operator to be $7,650 (90 work-hours × $85 per work-hour).

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.

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:

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
Start Printed Page 7899
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part

328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate previously held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH): Docket No. FAA-2020-0090; Product Identifier 2019-NM-196-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by March 30, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD affects the following ADs:

(1) AD 2009-01-06 R1, Amendment 39-16082 (74 FR 57411, November 6, 2009) (“AD 2009-01-06 R1”).

(2) AD 2012-01-08, Amendment 39-16920 (77 FR 3583, January 25, 2012) (“AD 2012-01-08”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all 328 Support Services GmbH (Type Certificate previously held by AvCraft Aerospace GmbH; Fairchild Dornier GmbH; Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH) Model 328-300 airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a determination that new or more restrictive airworthiness limitations are necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the potential failure of parts, which could lead to reduced control of the airplane; and to address the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss 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 2019-0271, dated October 30, 2019 (“EASA AD 2019-0271”).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2019-0271

(1) The requirements specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of EASA AD 2019-0271 do not apply to this AD.

(2) Where paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2019-0271 specifies a compliance time of “Within 12 months” after its effective date to “revise the approved AMP,” this AD requires “revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable” to incorporate the “limitations, tasks and associated thresholds and intervals” specified in paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2019-0271 within 90 days after the effective date of this AD.

(3) The initial compliance time for doing the tasks specified in paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2019-0271 is at the applicable “associated thresholds” specified in paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2019-0271, or within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(4) The provisions specified in paragraphs (4) and (5) of EASA AD 2019-0271 do not apply to this AD.

(5) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2019-0271 does not apply to this AD.

(i) Provisions for Alternative Actions, Intervals, and Critical Design Configuration Control Limitation (CDCCLs)

After the existing maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, and CDCCLs are allowed except as specified in the provisions of the “Ref. Publications” section of EASA AD 2019-0271.

(j) Terminating Action for Other ADs

(1) Accomplishing the maintenance or inspection program revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2009-01-06 R1.

(2) Accomplishing the maintenance or inspection program revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD terminates all requirements of AD 2012-01-08 for Model 328-300 airplanes only.

(k) 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 (l)(2) 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 328 Support Services GmbH's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(l) Related Information

(1) For information about EASA AD 2019-0271, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; phone: +49 221 89990 1000; 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. 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 https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0090.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3228; email: todd.thompson@faa.gov.

Start Signature

Issued on February 3, 2020.

Gaetano A. Sciortino,

Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-02740 Filed 2-11-20; 8:45 am]

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