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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. 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 Start Printed Page 60098Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-7 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 the need to revise the Airworthiness Limitations section (ALS) of the existing aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) to introduce new mandatory repetitive inspections for the flap pivot arm assemblies and for certain wing angle brackets, and to implement a change to the Oxygen cylinder and pressure reducer task item. 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 November 9, 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 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 view this 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-2020-0849; 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, 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 participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views about this proposal. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2020-0849; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01036-A” at the beginning of your comments.

Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) 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, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The FAA may change this NPRM because of those comments.

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 the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Discussion

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), which is the aviation authority for Switzerland, has issued FOCA AD HB-2020-007, dated July 23, 2020 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition with new mandatory instructions for continued airworthiness for all Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-7 airplanes. The MCAI states:

The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance instructions for Pilatus PC-7 aeroplanes, which are approved by FOCA, are currently defined and published in the Pilatus PC-7 AMM Chapter 5. These instructions have been identified as mandatory for continued airworthiness.

Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an unsafe condition [discrepancies of life-limited and overhauled components, which could result in reduced structural integrity and system reliability of the airplane].

Previously, FOCA issued AD HB-2019-004 (later corrected) to require implementation of the maintenance tasks and airworthiness limitations as specified in Pilatus PC-7 AMM Document Number 01715, or Document Number 02416, both at issue 44, as applicable. [These tasks included the added wing angle bracket at rib 23 repetitive inspections.]

Since that AD was issued, Pilatus amended the ALS, as defined in this AD, to introduce new mandatory repetitive inspection for the flap pivot arm assemblies and a change to the Oxygen cylinder and pressure reducer task (Chapter 35—Oxygen) to remove the reference to the part numbers.

For the reason described above, this [Swiss] AD retains the requirements of FOCA AD HB-2019-004 including its correction, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in the ALS.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0849.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. has issued Section 05-10-10, “Lifed and Overhauled Components,” of Chapter 05, Time Limitations, of the Pilatus PC-7 Maintenance Manual, dated June 30, 2020. This document provides updated Start Printed Page 60099limitations, inspections, and procedures for the airworthiness limitations in chapter 5 of the existing AMM. This service information describes new mandatory repetitive inspections for the flap pivot arm assemblies and for the wing angle brackets on middle rib 23, and a change to the Oxygen cylinder and pressure reducer task item to remove the reference to the part numbers.

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.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI

The FOCA AD is requiring incorporating all of the updated Chapter 05-00-00 for the Swiss State of Design type certificate because they deem the complete chapter 5 as the mandatory ALS of the PC-7 AMM. The FAA is only requiring Section 05-10-10, “Lifed and Overhauled Components,” of Chapter 05, Time Limitations, of the Pilatus PC-7 Maintenance Manual, dated June 30, 2020, because it is the only mandatory section of the ALS for the U.S. type certificate.

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 the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information 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 on other products of the same type design.

Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

This proposed AD would require revising the airworthiness limitation section of the existing maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness to incorporate new airworthiness limitations. An owner/operator (pilot) may incorporate the revisions to the AMM, and the owner/operator must enter compliance with the applicable paragraphs of the AD into the aircraft records in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) through (4) and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). A pilot may perform these actions because they can be performed equally well by a pilot or a mechanic. This is an exception to our standard maintenance regulations.

This proposed AD would require revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections). Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator may not be able to accomplish the actions described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (h) of this proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 18 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

Labor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
1 work-hours × $85 per hour = $85$0$85$1,530

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 (AD):

End Amendment Part

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.: Docket No. FAA-2020-0849; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01036-A.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by November 9, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-7 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.Start Printed Page 60100

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by the need to revise the Airworthiness Limitation section of the existing aircraft maintenance manual. The FAA is issuing this AD to revise the Airworthiness Limitations section of the existing aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) to introduce new mandatory repetitive inspections for the flap pivot arm assemblies and for the wing angle brackets on middle rib 23, and to implement a change to the Oxygen cylinder and pressure reducer task item. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced structural integrity and system reliability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

Unless already done, before further flight: Incorporate the revised Airworthiness Limitation section as specified in Section 05-10-10, “Lifed and Overhauled Components,” of Chapter 05, Time Limitations, of the Pilatus PC-7 Maintenance Manual, dated June 30, 2020, into your FAA-accepted maintenance program (maintenance manual).

(g) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

After the existing maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (f) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (h) of this AD.

(h) Other FAA AD Provisions

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 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 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(i) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) AD HB-2020-007, dated July 23, 2020, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0849.

(2) For more information about this AD, 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.

(3) For service information identified in this 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 view this 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 September 18, 2020.

Lance T. Gant,

Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-21031 Filed 9-23-20; 8:45 am]

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