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Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus SAS Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that an airplane failed to extend its nose landing gear (NLG) using the free fall method, due to loss of the green hydraulic system. This AD requires repetitive tests of affected free fall actuators (FFA), and replacement of any affected FFA with a serviceable FFA, 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 is effective January 5, 2021.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 5, 2021.

ADDRESSES:

For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; 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-2019-0484.

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-2019-0484; 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 final rule, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email vladimir.ulyanov@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 2020-0076, dated March 30, 2020 (“EASA AD 2020-0076”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes; Model A340-541 and -542 airplanes; and Model A340-642 and -643 airplanes. Airbus SAS Model A340-542 and A340-643 airplanes are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include those airplanes in the applicability.

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus SAS Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2020 (85 FR 39110). The NPRM was prompted by a report that an airplane failed to extend its NLG using the free fall method, due to loss of the green hydraulic system. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive tests of affected FFAs, and replacement of any affected FFA with a serviceable FFA, as specified in an EASA AD.

The FAA is issuing this AD to address detached magnets on both electrical motors of the FFAs, which could prevent landing gear extension by the free fall method, possibly resulting in loss of control of the airplane after landing. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Comments

The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM

The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and American Airlines expressed support for the proposed AD.

Request To Supersede AD 98-03-03

American Airlines recommended that the proposed AD supersede AD 98-03-03, Amendment 39-10295 (63 FR 4374, January 29, 1998) (AD 98-03-03). The commenter asserted that Appendix 4 of Airbus All Operators Transmission (AOT) 32L012-18, Revision 01, dated May 16, 2019; Revision 02, dated July 3, 2019; and Revision 03, dated January 21, 2020; includes FFA serial numbers that were the subject of AD 98-03-03. The commenter also pointed out that the specific serial numbers impacted by AD 98-03-03 are shown in Lucas Aerospace Alert Service Bulletin AR024-A32-001, dated July 28, 1995, which was referenced as an additional source of service information in AD 98-03-03.

The FAA does not agree to supersede AD 98-03-03, which affects, in part, Model A330 series airplanes, as listed in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-32-3042, Revision 1, dated September 19, 1995. That service bulletin lists Model A330-301, -321, -322, and -342 series airplanes with specific manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs). None of those airplanes are registered in the U.S. This AD affects all Model A330-200 and A330-300 series airplanes, including all MSNs. In addition, AD 98-03-03 affects FFAs with part numbers (P/Ns) AR02403, AR02404, and AR02405, while this AD affects FFAs with P/N AR02404 only. AD 98-03-03 also addresses a different unsafe condition than is addressed in this AD. For these reasons, the FAA has determined that it is inappropriate for this AD to supersede AD 98-03-03. The FAA has not changed this AD with regard to this request.Start Printed Page 76952

Conclusion

The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA AD 2020-0076 describes procedures for repetitive tests of affected FFAs and replacement of any affected FFA that fails a test with a serviceable FFA. EASA AD 2020-0076 also describes procedures for replacement of all affected FFAs, which terminates the repetitive tests. 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.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 113 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
4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340* $0$340$38,420
* The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide parts cost estimates for the replacements specified in this AD.

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions

Labor costParts costCost per product
2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170* $0$170
* The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide parts cost estimates for the on-condition replacements specified in this AD.

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

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,

(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

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

2020-24-11 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-21341; Docket No. FAA-2019-0484; Product Identifier 2020-NM-051-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective January 5, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all Airbus SAS airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (7) of this AD, certificated in any category.

(1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.

(2) Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.

(3) Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

(4) Model A340-211, -212, -213 airplanes.

(5) Model A340-311, -312, and -313 airplanes.

(6) Model A340-541 airplanes.

(7) Model A340-642 airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.Start Printed Page 76953

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report that an airplane failed to extend its nose landing gear (NLG) using the free fall method, due to loss of the green hydraulic system. The FAA is issuing this AD to address detached magnets on both electrical motors of the free fall actuators (FFAs), which could prevent landing gear extension by the free fall method, possibly resulting in loss of control of the airplane after landing.

(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 2020-0076, dated March 30, 2020 (“EASA AD 2020-0076”).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0076

(1) Where EASA AD 2020-0076 refers to its effective date or “the effective date of EASA AD 2019-0063” or “the effective date of EASA AD 2019-0164,” this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

(2) The “Remarks” section of EASA AD 2020-0076 does not apply to this AD.

(3) Where paragraph (3) of EASA AD 2020-0076 specifies credit for certain tasks “provided the continuity test specified in A330 AMM [Aircraft Maintenance Manual] task 32-33-00-710-809, or A340 AMM task 32-33-00-710-806, as applicable, is accomplished concurrently,” this AD provides credit “provided the continuity test is accomplished concurrently in accordance with the instructions of an FAA-approved maintenance or inspection program.”

(i) No Reporting Requirement

Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0076 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

(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 responsible Flight Standards 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-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the responsible Flight Standards 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 2020-0076 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraphs (h)(3) and (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 Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email vladimir.ulyanov@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 2020-0076, dated March 30, 2020.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For EASA AD 2020-0076, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; 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-2019-0484.

(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 November 18, 2020.

Lance T. Gant,

Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-26435 Filed 11-30-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P