Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 and A340-200 and -300 Series Airplanes, 59263-59266 [05-20064]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 12, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Note: The placard information in this AD is different from the information in the applicable service bulletins. This AD takes precedence over the service bulletins. You should update your placards to reflect the information presented in this AD. May I Request an Alternative Method of Compliance? (f) You may request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD by following the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Unless FAA authorizes otherwise, send your request to your principal inspector. The principal inspector may add comments and will send your request to the Manager, Standards Office, Small Airplane Directorate, FAA. For information on any already approved alternative methods of compliance, contact Gregory A. Davison, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329– 4130; facsimile: (816) 329–4090. Is There Other Information That Relates to This Subject? (g) German AD D–2003–231R3, dated November 9, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD. Does This AD Incorporate Any Material by Reference? (h) You must do the actions required by this AD following the instructions in GROB Service Bulletin No. MSB315–64/3, dated September 14, 2004; Grob Service Bulletin No. MSB315–65, dated September 15, 2003; Grob Service Bulletin No. OSB 315–66, dated October 16, 2003; and Work Instruction for OSB 315–66, dated October 16, 2003. (1) On August 12, 2004 (69 FR 34258, June 21, 2004), and in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51, the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of Grob Service Bulletin No. MSB315–65, dated September 15, 2003; Grob Service Bulletin No. OSB 315–66, dated October 16, 2003; and Work Instruction for OSB 315–66, dated October 16, 2003. (2) As of November 30, 2005, and in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51, the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of GROB Service Bulletin No. MSB315–64/3, dated September 14, 2004. (3) To get a copy of this service information, contact GROB Luft-und Raumfahrt, Lettenbachstrasse 9, D–86874 Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany; telephone: 011 49 8268 998139; facsimile: 011 49 8268 998200; e-mail: productsupport@grobaerospace.de. To review copies of this service information, go to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal_register/ code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html or call (202) 741–6030. To view the AD docket, go to the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590–001 or on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov. The docket number is FAA– VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Oct 11, 2005 Jkt 208001 2005–20441; Directorate Identifier 2003–CE– 35–AD. Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 28, 2005. David R. Showers, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–19929 Filed 10–11–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2005–20221; Directorate Identifier 2004–NM–173–AD; Amendment 39–14329; AD 2005–20–32] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330–200 and –300 and A340–200 and –300 Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A330–200 and –300 and A340–200 and –300 series airplanes. This AD requires inspecting to determine the part number and serial number of the left- and right-hand elevator assemblies, performing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary, and re-protecting the elevator assembly. This AD results from reports that areas on the top skin panel of the right-hand elevator have disbonded due to moisture penetration. We are issuing this AD to prevent disbonding of the elevator assembly, which could reduce the structural integrity of the elevator and result in reduced controllability of the airplane. DATES: This AD becomes effective November 16, 2005. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of November 16, 2005. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, room PL–401, Washington, DC. Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for service information identified in this AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 59263 International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 227–2797; fax (425) 227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Examining the Docket You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647–5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Discussion The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A330, A340– 200, and A340–300 series airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2005 (70 FR 5073). That NPRM proposed to require inspecting to determine the part number and serial number of the leftand right-hand elevator assemblies, performing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary, and reprotecting the elevator assembly. Comments We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments received. Request To Allow Records Check as a Method of Compliance One commenter believes that it is unnecessary to inspect its fleet to determine that none of the airplanes in its fleet are subject to the proposed AD. The commenter states that its airplanes were delivered new from Airbus in July 2003, after Airbus had changed its production processes to prevent moisture penetration of the elevator. The delivery records for these airplanes show the part number and serial number of the left- and right-hand elevator assemblies. The commenter notes that it has not replaced the elevator assemblies on any airplane in its fleet. Further, the Illustrated Parts Catalog shows that the elevator assemblies that would be affected by the proposed AD cannot legally be installed on the airplanes in its fleet. The commenter asserts that its airplanes are in compliance with the intent of the proposed AD, and that it will be able to ensure continuing compliance by inspecting all incoming spare elevator E:\FR\FM\12OCR1.SGM 12OCR1 59264 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 12, 2005 / Rules and Regulations assemblies and any elevators on airplanes purchased from other operators to ensure that the elevator assemblies are not subject to the proposed AD. The commenter states that these measures will provide a level of safety equivalent to the level that would be provided by the proposed AD. The airplane manufacturer also comments that airplane records should contain the part number and serial number of each elevator assembly, even in the event that the elevator assembly has been replaced. The airplane manufacturer states that a records check would be better than an inspection for determining the part number and serial number of the elevator assemblies, especially considering that very few airplanes with the subject part number/ serial number combinations could be registered in the U.S. We infer that the first commenter’s request is the same as the second commenter’s—remove the requirement to inspect the elevator assemblies to determine the part number and serial number, or allow a records check as a method of compliance with this AD. We concur with the commenters’ request to allow a records check as a method of compliance with this AD. We have revised paragraph (g) of this AD to state that a review of maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of an inspection, provided that the part number and serial number of the elevator assemblies can be conclusively determined from that review. Request To Revise Compliance Times One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, requests that we revise paragraph (g)(1) of the proposed AD to remove the reference to ‘‘the date of issuance of the original Airworthiness Certificate or the date of issuance of the original Export Certificate of Airworthiness.’’ (This term was used in lieu of the term ‘‘the first flight of the ´ ´ airplane,’’ which the Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) uses to establish the compliance times specified in French airworthiness directive F– 2004–118 R1, dated October 13, 2004.) The commenter states that it does not see any advantage in the FAA’s terminology. The commenter states that the reference for the service life of the airplane is the first flight—the point at which flight hours and flight cycles begin to count. The commenter states that the first flight of an airplane cannot be ‘‘interpreted differently by different operators’’ (as the FAA states under ‘‘Differences Among the Proposed AD, the French Airworthiness Directive, and the Service Information’’ in the proposed AD). The commenter states VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Oct 11, 2005 Jkt 208001 that the date of the first flight is recorded in the airplane’s logbook. We agree with the commenter’s request. We find that, for the airplane models affected by this AD, operators should be able to readily determine the date of the first flight of the airplane. We have revised paragraph (g)(1) of this AD accordingly. The same commenter also takes issue with the grace period of 18 months after the effective date of the AD, which is specified in paragraph (g)(2) of the proposed AD. The commenter states that this date will be long after the January 31, 2006, compliance date specified in French airworthiness directive F–2004–118 R1. We do not concur. We would use a calendar date to express a compliance time only when engineering analysis establishes a direct relationship between the date and either the compliance threshold or the grace period. In this case, this relationship does not exist, and we find that a grace period of 18 months after the effective date of this AD represents an appropriate interval of time for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety. Also, we note that the compliance time of January 31, 2006, specified in French airworthiness directive F–2004–118 R1 is approximately 18 months after the effective date of the original issue of French airworthiness directive F–2004– 118, July 31, 2004. Thus, the 18-month grace period is consistent with the grace period allowed by the DGAC in French airworthiness directive F–2004–118 R1. We have not changed the AD in this regard. Request To Refer to Service Bulletins for Repair Instructions One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, notes that paragraph (f)(1) of the proposed AD would require repairs to be done in accordance with a method approved by the FAA, the ´ ´ Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) (which is the airworthiness authority for France), or the DGAC’s delegated agent, where the service bulletins specify to contact Airbus. The commenter states that any repair solution provided by Airbus would be DGAC approved through Airbus’s privileges as a Delegation Option Authorization (DOA) organization. For this reason, the commenter states that the instructions specified in the service bulletins should be followed. We infer that the commenter is asking that we remove paragraph (f)(1) from this AD. We do not agree. We cannot specify in an AD that operators may contact the manufacturer for repair instructions when the nature of that PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 repair is unknown. Doing so would be delegating our rulemaking authority to the manufacturer. We acknowledge that Airbus is able to approve repairs, as allowed by Airbus’s delegation authorization from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). We find that requiring repair ‘‘according to a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or ´ ´ the Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (or its delegated agent),’’ as specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, meets the intent of the commenter’s request (i.e., it allows repair in accordance with a method approved by Airbus), without compromising the terms of our rulemaking authority. We have not changed the AD in this regard. Request To Require Reporting One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, notes that paragraph (f)(2) of the proposed AD states that reporting information to the manufacturer is not required. The commenter requests that we revise the proposed AD to require inspection results be sent to Airbus. The commenter states that receiving the inspection results will allow it to gain as much information from the field as possible to allow continuous improvement. We do not concur with the commenter’s request. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must approve information collection requirements under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The PRA requires government agencies to consider the extent of the paperwork burden that will accompany any new rule. The PRA is intended to reduce these burdens by requiring agencies not only to analyze the information collection and reporting costs they are imposing on the private sector, but to use those analyses to minimize the cost. We require operators to submit information relevant to AD actions only when our analyses indicate that such information is needed to ensure safety or to document compliance. We cannot require operators to submit information to improve processes. We have not changed the AD in this regard. Explanation of Change to Applicability We have revised the applicability of this AD to identify model designations as published in the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected models. E:\FR\FM\12OCR1.SGM 12OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 12, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Clarification of Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) Paragraph We have revised this action to clarify the appropriate procedure for notifying the principal inspector before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies. Conclusion We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We have determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD. Costs of Compliance This AD affects about 20 airplanes of U.S. registry. The inspection to determine the part number and serial number of installed elevator assemblies takes about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of this AD for U.S. operators is $1,300, or $65 per airplane. 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. We are 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 We have 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; (2) Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 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. We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: I PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): I 2005–20–32 Airbus: Amendment 39–14329. Docket No. FAA–2005–20221; Directorate Identifier 2004–NM–173–AD. Effective Date (a) This AD becomes effective November 16, 2005. Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A330–201, –202, –203, –223, –243, –301, –321, –322, –323, –341, –342, and –343 airplanes; and Model A340–211, –212, –213, –311, –312, and –313 airplanes; certificated in any category. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD was prompted by reports that areas on the top skin panel of the right-hand elevator have disbonded due to moisture penetration. We are issuing this AD to prevent disbonding of the elevator assembly, which could reduce the structural integrity of the elevator and result in reduced controllability of the airplane. Compliance (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done. Service Bulletin References (f) The term ‘‘service bulletin,’’ as used in this AD, means the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330– 55–3032 (for Model A330–201, –202, –203, –223, –243, –301, –321, –322, –323, –341, –342, and –343 airplanes) or Airbus Service Bulletin A340–55–4029 (for Model A340– 211, –212, –213, –311, –312, and –313 airplanes), both dated December 22, 2003, as applicable. (1) Where the service bulletins recommend contacting Airbus for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair the condition according to a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the ´ ´ Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (or its delegated agent). (2) Although the service bulletins specify submitting certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. Determining Part Number, Serial Number (g) At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Perform an inspection to determine the part number and serial number of the left- and right-hand elevator assemblies. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number and serial number of each elevator assembly can be conclusively determined from that review. If neither elevator assembly has a part number and serial number combination identified in Table 1 of this AD, no further action is required by this paragraph. If either elevator assembly has a part number and serial number combination identified in Table 1 of this AD, do paragraph (h) of this AD. (1) Within 10 years after the date of the first flight of the airplane, or before the accumulation of 12,000 total flight cycles, whichever is first. (2) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD. TABLE 1.—AFFECTED ELEVATOR PART NUMBERS AND SERIAL NUMBERS Part Left-hand elevator assembly .. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Oct 11, 2005 Affected part numbers F55280000000, F55280000004 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Affected serial numbers CG1002 through CG1091 inclusive, CG1093, CG1094, CG2001. Frm 00057 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 59265 E:\FR\FM\12OCR1.SGM 12OCR1 59266 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 12, 2005 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1.—AFFECTED ELEVATOR PART NUMBERS AND SERIAL NUMBERS—Continued Part Right-hand elevator assembly Affected part numbers F55280000001, F55280000005 Inspections (h) If the left- or right-hand elevator assembly has a part number and serial number combination identified in Table 1 of this AD: Before further flight after accomplishing paragraph (g) of this AD, do the actions in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD, as applicable. (1) Perform an endoscopic inspection to detect damage (such as a scratch, disbonding, or a tear), and a tap test and a thermographic inspection to detect signs of moisture penetration, to the upper and lower elevator panels on both sides of the airplane, in accordance with the service bulletin. (2) If any damage is found, before further flight, do all applicable corrective actions (including but not limited to repeating the thermographic inspection to determine the size of the damaged area, and performing a tap test around the areas where moisture is indicated), in accordance with the service bulletin. (3) Re-protect the elevator assembly (including performing a general visual inspection to determine if the drainage holes are clean, a general visual inspection to determine the condition of the sealant covering the static discharges contour, and applicable corrective actions), in accordance with the service bulletin. Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: ‘‘A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.’’ Parts Installation (i) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any airplane, an elevator assembly having a part number and serial number combination identified in Table 1 of this AD unless the actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD are accomplished. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (j)(1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. (2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with 14 CFR 39.19 on any VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:47 Oct 11, 2005 Affected serial numbers Jkt 208001 CG1002 through CG1094 inclusive, CG2001. airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office. Related Information (k) French airworthiness directive F–2004– 118 R1, dated October 13, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD. Material Incorporated by Reference (l) You must use Airbus Service Bulletin A330–55–3032, excluding Appendix 01, dated December 22, 2003; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340–55–4029, excluding Appendix 01, dated December 22, 2003; as applicable; to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of these documents in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL–401, Nassif Building, Washington, DC; on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741–6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federalregister/cfr/ibr-locations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 29, 2005. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–20064 Filed 10–11–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. 2003–NM–238–AD; Amendment 39–14330; AD 2005–20–33] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 727, 727C, 727–100, and 727– 100C Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 applicable to certain Boeing Model 727, 727C, 727–100, and 727–100C series airplanes. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the frame inner chord, outer chord, and web of the forward and aft edge frames of the lower lobe forward cargo door (FCD) cutout, and corrective action if necessary. The actions specified by this AD are intended to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the forward and aft edge frames of the lower lobe FCD cutout, which could result in the loss of the FCD and rapid decompression of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition. Effective November 16, 2005. The incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 16, 2005. DATES: The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207. This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel F. Kutz, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 917–6456; fax (425) 917–6590. A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Boeing Model 727, 727C, 727–100, and 727– 100C series airplanes was published as a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on August 22, 2005 (70 FR 48904). That action proposed to require repetitive inspections of the frame inner chord, outer chord, and web of the forward and aft edge frames of the lower lobe forward cargo door cutout, and corrective action if necessary. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\12OCR1.SGM 12OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 196 (Wednesday, October 12, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 59263-59266]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-20064]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2005-20221; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-173-AD; 
Amendment 39-14329; AD 2005-20-32]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 and 
A340-200 and -300 Series Airplanes

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 Model A330-200 and -300 and A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. 
This AD requires inspecting to determine the part number and serial 
number of the left- and right-hand elevator assemblies, performing 
related investigative and corrective actions if necessary, and re-
protecting the elevator assembly. This AD results from reports that 
areas on the top skin panel of the right-hand elevator have disbonded 
due to moisture penetration. We are issuing this AD to prevent 
disbonding of the elevator assembly, which could reduce the structural 
integrity of the elevator and result in reduced controllability of the 
airplane.

DATES: This AD becomes effective November 16, 2005.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of November 16, 
2005.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://
dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, 
room PL-401, Washington, DC.
    Contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, 
France, for service information identified in this AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 
227-2797; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Examining the Docket

    You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the 
Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management 
Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office 
(telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif 
Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section.

Discussion

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A330, 
A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes. That NPRM was published in the 
Federal Register on February 1, 2005 (70 FR 5073). That NPRM proposed 
to require inspecting to determine the part number and serial number of 
the left- and right-hand elevator assemblies, performing related 
investigative and corrective actions if necessary, and re-protecting 
the elevator assembly.

Comments

    We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the 
development of this AD. We have considered the comments received.

Request To Allow Records Check as a Method of Compliance

    One commenter believes that it is unnecessary to inspect its fleet 
to determine that none of the airplanes in its fleet are subject to the 
proposed AD. The commenter states that its airplanes were delivered new 
from Airbus in July 2003, after Airbus had changed its production 
processes to prevent moisture penetration of the elevator. The delivery 
records for these airplanes show the part number and serial number of 
the left- and right-hand elevator assemblies. The commenter notes that 
it has not replaced the elevator assemblies on any airplane in its 
fleet. Further, the Illustrated Parts Catalog shows that the elevator 
assemblies that would be affected by the proposed AD cannot legally be 
installed on the airplanes in its fleet. The commenter asserts that its 
airplanes are in compliance with the intent of the proposed AD, and 
that it will be able to ensure continuing compliance by inspecting all 
incoming spare elevator

[[Page 59264]]

assemblies and any elevators on airplanes purchased from other 
operators to ensure that the elevator assemblies are not subject to the 
proposed AD. The commenter states that these measures will provide a 
level of safety equivalent to the level that would be provided by the 
proposed AD.
    The airplane manufacturer also comments that airplane records 
should contain the part number and serial number of each elevator 
assembly, even in the event that the elevator assembly has been 
replaced. The airplane manufacturer states that a records check would 
be better than an inspection for determining the part number and serial 
number of the elevator assemblies, especially considering that very few 
airplanes with the subject part number/serial number combinations could 
be registered in the U.S.
    We infer that the first commenter's request is the same as the 
second commenter's--remove the requirement to inspect the elevator 
assemblies to determine the part number and serial number, or allow a 
records check as a method of compliance with this AD.
    We concur with the commenters' request to allow a records check as 
a method of compliance with this AD. We have revised paragraph (g) of 
this AD to state that a review of maintenance records is acceptable in 
lieu of an inspection, provided that the part number and serial number 
of the elevator assemblies can be conclusively determined from that 
review.

Request To Revise Compliance Times

    One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, requests that we revise 
paragraph (g)(1) of the proposed AD to remove the reference to ``the 
date of issuance of the original Airworthiness Certificate or the date 
of issuance of the original Export Certificate of Airworthiness.'' 
(This term was used in lieu of the term ``the first flight of the 
airplane,'' which the Direction G[eacute]n[eacute]rale de l'Aviation 
Civile (DGAC) uses to establish the compliance times specified in 
French airworthiness directive F-2004-118 R1, dated October 13, 2004.) 
The commenter states that it does not see any advantage in the FAA's 
terminology. The commenter states that the reference for the service 
life of the airplane is the first flight--the point at which flight 
hours and flight cycles begin to count. The commenter states that the 
first flight of an airplane cannot be ``interpreted differently by 
different operators'' (as the FAA states under ``Differences Among the 
Proposed AD, the French Airworthiness Directive, and the Service 
Information'' in the proposed AD). The commenter states that the date 
of the first flight is recorded in the airplane's logbook.
    We agree with the commenter's request. We find that, for the 
airplane models affected by this AD, operators should be able to 
readily determine the date of the first flight of the airplane. We have 
revised paragraph (g)(1) of this AD accordingly.
    The same commenter also takes issue with the grace period of 18 
months after the effective date of the AD, which is specified in 
paragraph (g)(2) of the proposed AD. The commenter states that this 
date will be long after the January 31, 2006, compliance date specified 
in French airworthiness directive F-2004-118 R1.
    We do not concur. We would use a calendar date to express a 
compliance time only when engineering analysis establishes a direct 
relationship between the date and either the compliance threshold or 
the grace period. In this case, this relationship does not exist, and 
we find that a grace period of 18 months after the effective date of 
this AD represents an appropriate interval of time for affected 
airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety. Also, we 
note that the compliance time of January 31, 2006, specified in French 
airworthiness directive F-2004-118 R1 is approximately 18 months after 
the effective date of the original issue of French airworthiness 
directive F-2004-118, July 31, 2004. Thus, the 18-month grace period is 
consistent with the grace period allowed by the DGAC in French 
airworthiness directive F-2004-118 R1. We have not changed the AD in 
this regard.

Request To Refer to Service Bulletins for Repair Instructions

    One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, notes that paragraph 
(f)(1) of the proposed AD would require repairs to be done in 
accordance with a method approved by the FAA, the Direction Generale de 
l'Aviation Civile (DGAC) (which is the airworthiness authority for 
France), or the DGAC's delegated agent, where the service bulletins 
specify to contact Airbus. The commenter states that any repair 
solution provided by Airbus would be DGAC approved through Airbus's 
privileges as a Delegation Option Authorization (DOA) organization. For 
this reason, the commenter states that the instructions specified in 
the service bulletins should be followed.
    We infer that the commenter is asking that we remove paragraph 
(f)(1) from this AD. We do not agree. We cannot specify in an AD that 
operators may contact the manufacturer for repair instructions when the 
nature of that repair is unknown. Doing so would be delegating our 
rulemaking authority to the manufacturer. We acknowledge that Airbus is 
able to approve repairs, as allowed by Airbus's delegation 
authorization from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). We find 
that requiring repair ``according to a method approved by the Manager, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or 
the Direction G[eacute]n[eacute]rale de l'Aviation Civile (or its 
delegated agent),'' as specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, meets 
the intent of the commenter's request (i.e., it allows repair in 
accordance with a method approved by Airbus), without compromising the 
terms of our rulemaking authority. We have not changed the AD in this 
regard.

Request To Require Reporting

    One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, notes that paragraph 
(f)(2) of the proposed AD states that reporting information to the 
manufacturer is not required. The commenter requests that we revise the 
proposed AD to require inspection results be sent to Airbus. The 
commenter states that receiving the inspection results will allow it to 
gain as much information from the field as possible to allow continuous 
improvement.
    We do not concur with the commenter's request. The Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) must approve information collection 
requirements under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 
of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The PRA requires government agencies 
to consider the extent of the paperwork burden that will accompany any 
new rule. The PRA is intended to reduce these burdens by requiring 
agencies not only to analyze the information collection and reporting 
costs they are imposing on the private sector, but to use those 
analyses to minimize the cost. We require operators to submit 
information relevant to AD actions only when our analyses indicate that 
such information is needed to ensure safety or to document compliance. 
We cannot require operators to submit information to improve processes. 
We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Explanation of Change to Applicability

    We have revised the applicability of this AD to identify model 
designations as published in the most recent type certificate data 
sheet for the affected models.

[[Page 59265]]

Clarification of Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) Paragraph

    We have revised this action to clarify the appropriate procedure 
for notifying the principal inspector before using any approved AMOC on 
any airplane to which the AMOC applies.

Conclusion

    We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the 
comments received, and determined that air safety and the public 
interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. 
We have determined that these changes will neither increase the 
economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

    This AD affects about 20 airplanes of U.S. registry. The inspection 
to determine the part number and serial number of installed elevator 
assemblies takes about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor 
rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost 
of this AD for U.S. operators is $1,300, or $65 per airplane.

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.
    We are 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

    We have 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;
    (2) Is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 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.
    We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES 
section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

0
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, 
the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends Sec.  39.13 by 
adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

2005-20-32 Airbus: Amendment 39-14329. Docket No. FAA-2005-20221; 
Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-173-AD.

Effective Date

    (a) This AD becomes effective November 16, 2005.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -
223, -243, -301, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; 
and Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes; 
certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD was prompted by reports that areas on the top skin 
panel of the right-hand elevator have disbonded due to moisture 
penetration. We are issuing this AD to prevent disbonding of the 
elevator assembly, which could reduce the structural integrity of 
the elevator and result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

Compliance

    (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this 
AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the 
actions have already been done.

Service Bulletin References

    (f) The term ``service bulletin,'' as used in this AD, means the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-55-3032 
(for Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -301, -321, -322, -323, 
-341, -342, and -343 airplanes) or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-55-
4029 (for Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 
airplanes), both dated December 22, 2003, as applicable.
    (1) Where the service bulletins recommend contacting Airbus for 
appropriate action: Before further flight, repair the condition 
according to a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, 
ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Direction 
G[eacute]n[eacute]rale de l'Aviation Civile (or its delegated 
agent).
    (2) Although the service bulletins specify submitting certain 
information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that 
requirement.

Determining Part Number, Serial Number

    (g) At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and 
(g)(2) of this AD: Perform an inspection to determine the part 
number and serial number of the left- and right-hand elevator 
assemblies. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable 
in lieu of this inspection if the part number and serial number of 
each elevator assembly can be conclusively determined from that 
review. If neither elevator assembly has a part number and serial 
number combination identified in Table 1 of this AD, no further 
action is required by this paragraph. If either elevator assembly 
has a part number and serial number combination identified in Table 
1 of this AD, do paragraph (h) of this AD.
    (1) Within 10 years after the date of the first flight of the 
airplane, or before the accumulation of 12,000 total flight cycles, 
whichever is first.
    (2) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD.

                           Table 1.--Affected Elevator Part Numbers and Serial Numbers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Affected part
                     Part                           numbers                   Affected serial numbers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Left-hand elevator assembly..................      F55280000000,  CG1002 through CG1091 inclusive, CG1093,
                                                    F55280000004   CG1094, CG2001.

[[Page 59266]]

 
Right-hand elevator assembly.................      F55280000001,  CG1002 through CG1094 inclusive, CG2001.
                                                    F55280000005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inspections

    (h) If the left- or right-hand elevator assembly has a part 
number and serial number combination identified in Table 1 of this 
AD: Before further flight after accomplishing paragraph (g) of this 
AD, do the actions in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this 
AD, as applicable.
    (1) Perform an endoscopic inspection to detect damage (such as a 
scratch, disbonding, or a tear), and a tap test and a thermographic 
inspection to detect signs of moisture penetration, to the upper and 
lower elevator panels on both sides of the airplane, in accordance 
with the service bulletin.
    (2) If any damage is found, before further flight, do all 
applicable corrective actions (including but not limited to 
repeating the thermographic inspection to determine the size of the 
damaged area, and performing a tap test around the areas where 
moisture is indicated), in accordance with the service bulletin.
    (3) Re-protect the elevator assembly (including performing a 
general visual inspection to determine if the drainage holes are 
clean, a general visual inspection to determine the condition of the 
sealant covering the static discharges contour, and applicable 
corrective actions), in accordance with the service bulletin.

    Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection 
is: ``A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, 
installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or 
irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching 
distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to 
ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This 
level of inspection is made under normally available lighting 
conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or 
droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or 
doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain 
proximity to the area being checked.''

Parts Installation

    (i) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, 
on any airplane, an elevator assembly having a part number and 
serial number combination identified in Table 1 of this AD unless 
the actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD are accomplished.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (j)(1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, has the 
authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance 
with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.
    (2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with 14 CFR 
39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the 
appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards 
Certificate Holding District Office.

Related Information

    (k) French airworthiness directive F-2004-118 R1, dated October 
13, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

    (l) You must use Airbus Service Bulletin A330-55-3032, excluding 
Appendix 01, dated December 22, 2003; or Airbus Service Bulletin 
A340-55-4029, excluding Appendix 01, dated December 22, 2003; as 
applicable; to perform the actions that are required by this AD, 
unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal 
Register approved the incorporation by reference of these documents 
in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact 
Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, 
for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the 
Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 
Seventh Street SW., room PL-401, Nassif Building, Washington, DC; on 
the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov; or at the National Archives and 
Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability 
of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://
www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 29, 2005.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 05-20064 Filed 10-11-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P