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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-12/47E airplanes. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as seizing of a main landing gear (MLG) spring pack assembly. 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 September 21, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments 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 service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Technical Support (MCC), P.O. Box 992, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: +41 (0)41 619 67 74; fax: +41 (0)41 619 67 73; email: Techsupport@pilatus-aircraft.com; internet: https://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/​en. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 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-2020-0746; 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 proposed AD, 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:

Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: doug.rudolph@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 proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2020-0746; Product Identifier 2019-CE-012-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

Except for Confidential Business Information as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https://regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact it receives about this proposed AD.

Confidential Business Information

CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as “PROPIN.” The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.Start Printed Page 47713

Discussion

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued AD No. 2019-0032, dated February 15, 2019 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-12/47E airplanes. The MCAI states:

An occurrence was reported of an unlocked main landing gear (MLG) during landing of a PC-12/47E, equipped with electro-mechanical landing gear. Subsequent investigation identified that the aeroplane was equipped with an affected part [spring pack assemblies having part number (P/N) 532.34.12.101], which had completely seized. Serviceable parts [spring pack assemblies having P/N 532.34.12.120] have a special surface treatment on the inner and outer tube, which would have prevented the seizure.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to failure of an MLG spring pack assembly, possibly resulting in inability to safely extend the MLG and consequent loss of control of the aeroplane after landing.

To address this potential unsafe condition, Pilatus issued the [service bulletin] SB to provide inspection and modification instructions.

For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of affected parts with serviceable parts, and prohibits (re)installation of affected parts.

Forty-two airplanes were built that may have this version of the spring pack assembly installed. An improved spring pack assembly with a hard chrome plated inner tube was introduced in 2014. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0746.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. has issued PC-12 Service Bulletin No. 32-027, dated January 7, 2019. The service information contains procedures for inspecting the MLG spring pack assembly to determine the part number, removing and discarding any affected spring pack assemblies, and installing the improved design spring pack assemblies. This service information 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 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 this State of Design Authority, it had notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because it evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 29 products of U.S. registry. The FAA also estimates that it would take about 3 work-hours per product to comply with the replacement requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $5,000 per product.

Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $152,395, or $5,255 per product.

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.

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
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.: Docket No. FAA-2020-0746; Product Identifier 2019-CE-012-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by September 21, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This airworthiness directive (AD) applies to Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-12/47E airplanes, serial numbers 1300 and 1451 thru 1944 (except serial number 1720), certificated in any category, with a main landing gear (MLG) spring pack assembly part number (P/N) 532.34.12.101 installed.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 32: Landing Gear.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as seizing of an MLG spring pack assembly. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the MLG spring pack assembly, which could result in the inability to extend the MLG with consequent loss of control of the airplane after landing.Start Printed Page 47714

(f) Actions and Compliance

(1) Within 2 months after the effective date of this AD, remove from service MLG spring pack assembly P/N 532.34.12.101 and install MLG spring pack assembly P/N 532.34.12.120 by following the Accomplishment Instructions-Part A-Aircraft, section 3.B., in Pilatus PC-12 Service Bulletin No. 32-027, dated January 7, 2019.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install an MLG spring pack assembly P/N 532.34.12.101 on any airplane.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4059; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: doug.rudolph@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI), or lacking a PI, your local Flight Standards District Office.

(h) Related Information

Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency AD No. 2019-0032, dated February 15, 2019, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0746. For service information related to this AD, contact Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Technical Support (MCC), P.O. Box 992, CH-6371 Stans, Switzerland; phone: +41 (0)41 619 67 74; fax: +41 (0)41 619 67 73; email: Techsupport@pilatus-aircraft.com; internet: https://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/​en. You may review this referenced service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 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 July 30, 2020.

Lance T. Gant,

Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-17044 Filed 8-5-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P