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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.) Airplanes

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 20459

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited Model DHC-8-102, -103, and -106 airplanes; Model DHC-8-201 and -202 airplanes; Model DHC-8-301, -311, and -315 airplanes; and Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that mounting nuts attaching the rudder actuator bracket to the vertical stabilizer have been found cracked or missing due to hydrogen embrittlement. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection of the rudder actuator bracket mounting nuts, and corrective actions if necessary. 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 June 4, 2021.

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 De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email thd@dehavilland.com; internet https://dehavilland.com. You may view this service information 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.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0312; 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7329; fax 516-794-5531; email 9-avs-nyaco-cos@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 ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2021-0312; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01376-T” at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposal because of those 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, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM.

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 Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7329; fax 516-794-5531; email 9-avs-nyaco-cos@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued TCCA AD CF-2020-34, dated October 6, 2020 (TCCA AD CF-2020-34) (also referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for certain De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited Model DHC-8-102, -103, and -106 airplanes; Model DHC-8-201 and -202 airplanes; Model DHC-8-301, -311, -314, and -315 airplanes; and Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes. Model DHC-8-314 airplanes are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; this proposed AD therefore does not include those airplanes in the applicability. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for Start Printed Page 20460and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0312.

This proposed AD was prompted by reports that mounting nuts attaching the rudder actuator bracket to the vertical stabilizer have been found cracked or missing due to hydrogen embrittlement. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the possible loss of the rudder actuator bracket, which could result in a dormant disconnection between the rudder actuator and the vertical stabilizer. This condition, if not addressed, could result in a loss of directional control of the aircraft. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

De Havilland has issued Service Bulletin 8-27-123, Revision A, dated September 8, 2020; and Service Bulletin 84-27-74, Revision B, dated September 8, 2020. This service information specifies procedures for doing a detailed visual inspection of the nuts attaching the rudder actuator brackets to the rear spar. If the nuts are corroded, cracked, or otherwise damaged, or if they are missing, they are replaced. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models. 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

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 AD Requirements in This NPRM

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information already described.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would affect 69 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
3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255$0$255$17,595

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary replacement that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Nut replacement2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170Minimal$170

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) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(3) Would 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

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (Type Certificate Previously Held by Bombardier, Inc.): Docket No. FAA-Start Printed Page 204612021-0312; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01376-T.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by June 4, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (type certificate previously held by Bombardier, Inc.) airplanes, certificated in any category, and identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this AD.

(1) Model DHC-8-102, -103, and -106 airplanes, as identified in De Havilland Service Bulletin 8-27-123, Revision A, dated September 8, 2020.

(2) Model DHC-8-201 and -202 airplanes, as identified in De Havilland Service Bulletin 8-27-123, Revision A, dated September 8, 2020.

(3) Model DHC-8-301, -311, and -315 airplanes, as identified in De Havilland Service Bulletin 8-27-123, Revision A, dated September 8, 2020.

(4) Model DHC-8-400, -401, and -402 airplanes, as identified in De Havilland Service Bulletin 84-27-74, Revision B, dated September 8, 2020.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports that mounting nuts attaching the rudder actuator bracket to the vertical stabilizer have been found cracked or missing due to hydrogen embrittlement. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the possible loss of the rudder actuator bracket, which could result in a dormant disconnection between the rudder actuator and the vertical stabilizer. This condition, if not addressed, could result in a loss of directional control of the aircraft.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Required Actions

Within 8,000 flight hours or 4 years, whichever is earlier, after the effective date of this AD: Do a detailed visual inspection of the rudder actuator bracket mounting nuts for missing nuts or corrosion, cracking, or other damage, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of De Havilland Service Bulletin 8-27-123, Revision A, dated September 8, 2020; or De Havilland Service Bulletin 84-27-74, Revision B, dated September 8, 2020; as applicable. If any missing nuts or corrosion, cracking, or other damage is found, replace the nuts before further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of De Havilland Service Bulletin 8-27-123, Revision A, dated September 8, 2020; or De Havilland Service Bulletin 84-27-74, Revision B, dated September 8, 2020; as applicable.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using De Havilland Service Bulletin 8-27-123, dated December 20, 2019; De Havilland Service Bulletin 84-27-74, dated December 20, 2019; or De Havilland Service Bulletin 84-27-74, Revision A, dated January 20, 2020; as applicable.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

Although De Havilland Service Bulletin 8-27-123, Revision A, dated September 8, 2020; and De Havilland Service Bulletin 84-27-74, Revision B, dated September 8, 2020, specify 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, New York ACO 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 manager of the certification office, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-5531. 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, New York ACO Branch, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited's TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

(k) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) TCCA AD CF-2020-34, dated October 6, 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-2021-0312.

(2) For more information about this AD, contact Aziz Ahmed, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Section, FAA, New York ACO Branch, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7329; fax 516-794-5531; email 9-avs-nyaco-cos@faa.gov.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416-375-4000; fax 416-375-4539; email thd@dehavilland.com; internet https://dehavilland.com. You may view this service information 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.

Start Signature

Issued on April 13, 2021.

Gaetano A. Sciortino,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-07985 Filed 4-19-21; 8:45 am]

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