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Rule

Airworthiness Directives; ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional 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 certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and ATR72-212A airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of temporary loss of all display units and the integrated electronic standby instrument (IESI). This AD requires revising the existing aircraft flight manual (AFM) and applicable corresponding operational procedures to update a systems limitation, limiting dispatch with certain equipment inoperative, performing an operational test of a certain contactor and an electrical test of a certain battery toggle switch, and corrective actions if necessary, 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 May 14, 2021.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of May 14, 2021.

The FAA must receive comments on this AD by June 28, 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-Start Printed Page 2637430, 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 material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 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-2021-0365.

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-2021-0365; 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3220; email shahram.daneshmandi@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E, dated May 3, 2021 (EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for certain ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and ATR72-212A airplanes.

This AD was prompted by reports of temporary loss of all display units and the IESI. The investigation is ongoing and the root cause is not yet known, but the initial investigation revealed that the battery toggle switch functional item number (FIN) 7PA and the contactor FIN 1PA were two potential contributors to the reported cases. The FAA is issuing this AD to address temporary loss of all display units and the IESI, which could result in loss of control of the airplane. See the MCAI for additional background information.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E describes procedures for revising the existing AFM to update a systems limitation for the transformer rectifier unit (TRU), limiting dispatch with certain equipment inoperative (which can be done by amending the operator's minimum equipment list (MEL)), performing an operational test of the contactor FIN 1PA for discrepancies (i.e., a lack of power supply to DU 4 or a static inverter 1 INV FAULT not being displayed on 29VU), performing an electrical test of the battery toggle switch FIN 7PA, and corrective actions. Corrective actions include replacement of the contactor FIN 1PA and restoring wiring. EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E also describes procedures for reporting test results to ATR-GIE Avions de Transport Régional.

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 the FAA's 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 accomplishing the actions specified in EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD.

EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E requires operators to “inform all flight crews” of revisions to the AFM, and thereafter to “operate the aeroplane accordingly.” However, this AD would not specifically require those actions as those actions are already required by FAA regulations. FAA regulations require operators furnish to pilots any changes to the AFM (for example, 14 CFR 121.137), and to ensure the pilots are familiar with the AFM (for example, 14 CFR 91.505). As with any other flightcrew training requirement, training on the updated AFM content is tracked by the operators and recorded in each pilot's training record, which is available for the FAA to review. FAA regulations also require pilots to follow the procedures in the existing AFM including all updates. 14 CFR 91.9 requires that any person operating a civil aircraft must comply with the operating limitations specified in the AFM. Therefore, including a requirement in this AD to operate the airplane according to the revised AFM would be redundant and unnecessary. Further, compliance with such a requirement in an AD would be impracticable to demonstrate or track on an ongoing basis; therefore, a requirement to operate the airplane in such a manner would be unenforceable.

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 Emergency AD 2021-0120-E is incorporated by reference in this final rule. This AD, therefore, requires compliance with EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E 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 Emergency AD 2021-0120-E that is required for compliance with EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E is available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0365.Start Printed Page 26375

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 temporary loss of all display units and the IESI could result in loss of control of the airplane. In addition, the compliance time for the required action is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and for publication of the final rule. 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

The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2021-0365; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00527-T” at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, 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 this final rule 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 final rule.

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 AD 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 AD, 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 AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3220; email shahram.daneshmandi@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.

Interim Action

The FAA considers this AD interim action. If final action is later identified, the FAA 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 15 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
3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255$0$255$3,825
* Table does not include estimated costs for reporting or incorporating operational limitations.

Operators that have certain equipment affected by this AD are required to incorporate certain operational limitations. One way of doing so is revising the operator's existing FAA-approved MEL to include those operational limitations. If an operator chooses to revise their existing FAA-approved MEL, the FAA has determined that this revision takes an average of 90 work-hours per operator, although the FAA recognizes that this number may vary from operator to operator. Since operators incorporate MEL changes for their affected fleet(s), the FAA has determined that a per-operator estimate is more accurate than a per-airplane estimate. Therefore, the FAA estimates the total cost per operator to be $7,650 (90 work-hours × $85 per work-hour).

The FAA estimates that it takes about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the reporting requirement in this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the cost of reporting the test results on U.S. operators to be $1,275, or $85 per product.

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$1,700$1,870

Paperwork Reduction Act

A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid Start Printed Page 26376OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

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:

End Amendment Part

2021-10-20 ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional: Amendment 39-21553; Docket No. FAA-2021-0365; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00527-T.

(a) Effective Date

This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective May 14, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional Model ATR42-500 and ATR72-212A airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Emergency AD 2021-0120-E, dated May 3, 2021 (EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E).

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 24, Electrical power.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of temporary loss of all display units and the integrated electronic standby instrument (IESI). The FAA is issuing this AD to address temporary loss of all display units and the IESI, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

(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, EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E.

(h) Exceptions to EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E

(1) Where EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD.

(2) Paragraph (1) of EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E specifies amending “the applicable AFM [aircraft flight manual],” but this AD requires amending “the applicable existing AFM and applicable corresponding operational procedures.”

(3) Where paragraphs (1) and (2) of EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E specify to “inform all flight crews, and, thereafter, operate the aeroplane accordingly,” this AD does not require those actions as those actions are already required by existing FAA operating regulations.

(4) Where paragraph (5) of EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E specifies actions if “discrepancies are detected,” for this AD a “discrepancy” is defined as a lack of power supply to DU 4 or a static inverter 1 INV FAULT not being displayed on 29VU.

(5) The “Remarks” section of EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E does not apply to this AD.

(6) Paragraph(s) (6) and (7) of EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E specify to report test results to ATR within a certain compliance time. For this AD, report test results at the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(6)(i) or (ii) of this AD.

(i) If the test was done on or after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 10 days after the test.

(ii) If the test was done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 10 days after the effective date of this AD.

(i) 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 (j) 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 ATR—GIE Avions de Transport Régional's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Paperwork Reduction Act Burden Statement: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing Start Printed Page 26377instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory as required by this AD. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Aviation Administration, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177-1524.

(j) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3220; email shahram.daneshmandi@faa.gov.

(k) 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) Emergency AD 2021-0120-E, dated May 3, 2021.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For EASA Emergency AD 2021-0120-E, contact 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-2021-0365.

(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 May 5, 2021.

Lance T. Gant,

Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-10257 Filed 5-11-21; 4:15 pm]

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