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Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -151N, and -153N airplanes; Model A320-251N, -252N, -253N, -271N, -272N, and -273N airplanes; and Model A321-251N, -251NX, -252N, -252NX, -253N, Start Printed Page 41178-253NX, -271N, -271NX, -272N, and -272NX airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of a non-stabilized approach followed by an automatic go-around, which led to an airplane pitch-up attitude and resulted in an auto-pilot disconnection. This AD requires revising the airplane flight manual (AFM) and applicable corresponding operational procedures to limit the use of speed brakes in certain airplane configurations and informing all flight crews, thereafter, to operate the airplane with limitations accordingly, 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 becomes effective July 24, 2020.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 24, 2020.

The FAA must receive comments on this AD by August 24, 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For 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, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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-2020-0589.

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-2020-0589; 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 AD, 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:

Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223; email sanjay.ralhan@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0118, dated May 22, 2020 (“EASA AD 2020-0118”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -151N, and -153N airplanes; Model A320-251N, -252N, -253N, -271N, -272N, and -273N airplanes; and Model A321-251N, -251NX, -252N, -252NX, -253N,-253NX, -271N, -271NX, -272N, and -272NX airplanes.

This AD was prompted by a report of a non-stabilized approach followed by an automatic go-around, which led to an airplane pitch-up attitude and resulted in an auto-pilot disconnection. The FAA is issuing this AD to address certain airplane configurations, which could result in auto-pilot disconnection and high angle-of-attack, and consequent increased workload for the flightcrew during a critical phase of flight and possible loss of control of the airplane. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA AD 2020-0118 describes procedures for revising the AFM to limit the use of speed brakes in certain landing conditions.

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.

FAA's Determination

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our 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 issuing this AD because the FAA evaluated all pertinent information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Requirements of This AD

This AD requires revising the existing AFM and applicable corresponding operational procedures to limit the use of speed brakes in certain airplane configurations and informing all flight crews, thereafter, to operate the airplane with limitations accordingly, as specified in EASA 2020-0118 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 2020-0118 is incorporated by reference in this final rule. This AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA AD 2020-0118 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this 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 2020-0118 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0118 is available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0589.Start Printed Page 41179

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because after a go-around initiation under certain configurations, pitch up attitude may increase followed by auto-pilot disconnection and high angle-of-attack, which could lead to consequent increased workload for the flightcrew during a critical phase of flight and a possible loss of control of the airplane. Therefore, the FAA finds good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reasons stated above, the FAA finds that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and the FAA did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2020-0589; Product Identifier 2020-NM-093-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD based on those comments.

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

Interim Action

The FAA considers this AD interim action. When final action is later identified, the agency might consider further rulemaking then.

Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

The requirements of the RFA do not apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment, RFA analysis is not required.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 380 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
1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85None$85$32,300

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 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, and

(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.

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

2020-12-11 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-19920; Docket No. FAA-2020-0589; Product Identifier 2020-NM-093-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective July 24, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) inclusive, certificated in any category.

(1) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -151N, and -153N airplanes.

(2) Model A320-251N, -252N, -253N, -271N, -272N, and -273N airplanes.

(3) Model A321-251N, -251NX, -252N, -252NX, -253N, -253NX, -271N, -271NX, -272N, and -272NX airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 22, Auto Flight.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of a non-stabilized approach followed by an automatic go-around, which lead to an airplane pitch-up attitude and resulted in an auto-pilot disconnection. The FAA is issuing this AD to address certain airplane configurations, which could result in auto-pilot disconnection and high angle-of-attack, and consequent increased workload for the flightcrew during a critical phase of flight and possible loss of control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.Start Printed Page 41180

(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 2020-0118, dated May 22, 2020 (“EASA AD 2020-0118”).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0118

(1) Where EASA AD 2020-0118 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2020-0118 does not apply to this AD.

(3) Paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2020-0118 specifies amending “the applicable AFM [airplane flight manual],” but this AD requires amending “the applicable AFM and applicable corresponding operational procedures.”

(i) Special Flight Permit

Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are not allowed.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k) 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, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 2020-0118 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraph (j)(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.

(k) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223; email sanjay.ralhan@faa.gov.

(l) 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 2020-0118, dated May 22, 2020.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For information about EASA AD 2020-0118, 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, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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-2020-0589.

(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: https://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued on June 11, 2020.

Gaetano A. Sciortino,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-14778 Filed 7-8-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P