Airworthiness Directives; Short Brothers Model SD3 Airplanes, 72406-72409 [05-23600]

Download as PDF 72406 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 232 / Monday, December 5, 2005 / Proposed Rules aircraft records for law enforcement personnel address Congress’ concern with the practice of allowing temporary operating authority prior to issuance of a certificate of aircraft registration. Section 44713(d) Maintenance Inspection and (A) The Lack of a Special Identification Feature To Allow the Forms To Be Distinguished Easily From Other Major Repair and Alteration Forms The FAA issued an Action Notice (FAA Notice A8600.1) requiring each FAA Flight Standards District Office to review any Major Repair and Alteration Form (form no. 337) received and to send any form 337 involving a fuel tank system alteration or modification to a special section in the Registry by first class mail within 24 hours of receipt. This section has its own post office box number. This procedure highlights forms related to major repairs or alterations to fuel tanks and fuel systems from all other form 337s sent to the FAA. (B) The Excessive Period of Time Required To Receive the Forms at the Airmen and Aircraft Registry of the Administration As discussed above, FAA Notice A8600.1 requires each FAA Flight Standards District Office to review any Major Repair and Alteration Form (form no. 337) received and to send any form that involved a fuel tank system alteration or modification to a special section in the Registry by first class mail within 24 hours of receipt. (C) The Backlog of Forms Waiting for Processing at the Registry The Registry has eliminated the backlog for processing forms for major repairs or alterations to fuel tanks and fuel systems. All completed forms have been associated with the appropriate aircraft record. (D) The Lack of Ready Access by Law Enforcement Officials to Information Contained on the Forms The Registry enters these forms in the FAA aircraft database immediately upon receipt. The information is accessible to law enforcement through that database. In addition, once the form is associated with the appropriate aircraft record, the actual Major Repair and Alteration Form (form no. 337) is available electronically within minutes through the FAA’s Law Enforcement Assistance Program. Conclusion Based on the actions described above that we have taken to address the deficiencies and abuses identified in the VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:27 Dec 02, 2005 Jkt 208001 FAA Drug Enforcement Assistance Act, the FAA has determined that, with certain exceptions, we have satisfied the statutory requirements. The exceptions will be addressed by the NPRM we plan to publish in the Federal Register in the near future. Therefore, the FAA withdraws Notice No. 90–9, published at 55 FR 9270 on March 12, 1990. Withdrawal of the NPRM does not preclude the FAA from issuing another notice on the subject matter in the future or committing the agency to any future course of action. Issued in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2005. John M. Allen, Deputy Director, Flight Standards Service. [FR Doc. E5–6791 Filed 12–2–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2005–23173; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–190–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Short Brothers Model SD3 Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Short Brothers Model SD3 airplanes. This proposed AD would require installing additional fuel tank bonding jumpers, performing an in-place resistance check of the float switches, inspecting certain internal components of the fuel tanks, and performing related corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also require revisions to the airworthiness limitations section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, and to the airplane flight manual procedures for operation during icing conditions and fuel system failures. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to prevent ignition sources inside the fuel tanks, which could lead to fire or explosion. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 4, 2006. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Contact Short Brothers, Airworthiness & Engineering Quality, P.O. Box 241, Airport Road, Belfast BT3 9DZ, Northern Ireland, for service information identified in this proposed AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 227–2125; fax (425) 227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed in the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number ‘‘FAA–2005–23173; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–190–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of that Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78), or you may visit http:// dms.dot.gov. E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1 72407 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 232 / Monday, December 5, 2005 / Proposed Rules Examining the Docket You may examine the 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 DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the Docket Management System receives them. Discussion The FAA has examined the underlying safety issues involved in recent fuel tank explosions on several large transport airplanes, including the adequacy of existing regulations, the service history of airplanes subject to those regulations, and existing maintenance practices for fuel tank systems. As a result of those findings, we issued a regulation titled ‘‘Transport Airplane Fuel Tank System Design Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and Inspection Requirements’’ (67 FR 23086, May 7, 2001). In addition to new airworthiness standards for transport airplanes and new maintenance requirements, this rule included Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (‘‘SFAR 88,’’ Amendment 21–78, and subsequent Amendments 21–82 and 21–83). Among other actions, SFAR 88 requires certain type design (i.e., type certificate (TC) and supplemental type certificate (STC)) holders to substantiate that their fuel tank systems can prevent ignition sources in the fuel tanks. This requirement applies to type design holders for large turbine-powered transport airplanes and for subsequent modifications to those airplanes. It requires them to perform design reviews and to develop design changes and maintenance procedures if their designs do not meet the new fuel tank safety standards. As explained in the preamble to the rule, we intended to adopt airworthiness directives to mandate any changes found necessary to address unsafe conditions identified as a result of these reviews. In evaluating these design reviews, we have established four criteria intended to define the unsafe conditions associated with fuel tank systems that require corrective actions. The percentage of operating time during which fuel tanks are exposed to flammable conditions is one of these criteria. The other three criteria address the failure types under evaluation: single failures, single failures in combination with another latent condition(s), and in-service failure experience. For all four criteria, the evaluations included consideration of previous actions taken that may mitigate the need for further action. The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) has issued a regulation that is similar to SFAR 88. (The JAA is an associated body of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation regulatory authorities of a number of European States who have agreed to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory standards and procedures.) Under this regulation, the JAA stated that all members of the ECAC that hold type certificates for transport category airplanes are required to conduct a design review against explosion risks. We have determined that the actions identified in this AD are necessary to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on all Short Brothers Model SD3 airplanes. The CAA advises that ignition sources may develop inside fuel tanks due to insufficient grounding. This condition, if not corrected, could result in ignition sources occurring inside the fuel tanks, which could lead to fire or explosion. Relevant Service Information Short Brothers has issued Service Bulletins SD3 SHERPA–28–2, SD360 SHERPA–28–3, SD330–28–37, and SD360–28–23; all dated June 2004. The service bulletins describe procedures for installing additional bonding jumpers between the vent pipes of both fuel tanks and the airplane structure; for performing an in-place resistance check of the fuel tank float switches; for inspecting the condition of certain sensor cables and cable supports inside the fuel tanks; for inspecting the integrity of the existing bonding of certain vent pipes inside the forward fuel tank; and for performing applicable corrective actions. Corrective actions include replacing defective float switches with new, reconditioned, or serviceable float switches, and repairing damaged sensor cables, cable supports, and existing vent pipe bonding. Short Brothers has issued Advance Amendment Bulletin 1/2004, dated July 13, 2004, applicable to Shorts airplane flight manuals having Doc. Nos. SB.4.3, SB.4.6, SB.4.8, SB.5.2, SB.6.2, SBH.3.2, SBH.3.3, SBH.3.6, SBH.3.7, SBH.3.8, and SBH.3.9. The advance amendment bulletin describes revisions needed to meet the requirements of FAA SFAR 88 and/or CAA Airworthiness Notice AN55; the revisions affect sections of the flight manuals applicable to operation during icing conditions and fuel system failures. Short Brothers has issued temporary revisions (TR) to the airworthiness limitations section of the aircraft maintenance manuals (AMM) of the affected airplanes, as shown in the following table. The TRs address airworthiness limitations to certain components of the fuel tank system installations. AMM TEMPORARY REVISIONS Airplane model Temporary revision Dated SD3–30 ........................................................... SD3–60 ........................................................... SD3–60 SHERPA ........................................... SD3–SHERPA ................................................ TR330–AMM–14 ............................................ TR360–AMM–33 ............................................ TRSD360S–AMM–14 ..................................... TRSD3S–AMM–15 ......................................... June 21, 2004 ....... July 27, 2004 ........ July 29, 2004 ........ July 28, 2004 ........ Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The CAA mandated the service information and issued British airworthiness directive G–2004–0021, dated August 25, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the United Kingdom. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:27 Dec 02, 2005 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 To AMM SD3–30 AMM. SD3–60 AMM. SD3–60 SHERPA AMM. SD3–SHERPA AMM. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD This airplane model is manufactured in the United Kingdom and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1 72408 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 232 / Monday, December 5, 2005 / Proposed Rules 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the FCAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the CAA’s findings, evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that we need to issue an AD for airplanes of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States. Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under ‘‘Difference Between the Proposed AD and Service Information.’’ Difference Between Proposed AD and Service Information The service bulletins specify to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions using a method that we or the CAA (or its delegated agent) approve. In light of the type of repair that would be required to address the unsafe condition, and consistent with existing bilateral airworthiness agreements, we have determined that, for this proposed AD, a repair we or the CAA approve would be acceptable for compliance with this proposed AD. Clarification of Inspection Terminology In this proposed AD, the ‘‘visual inspection’’ specified in the Shorts service bulletins is referred to as a ‘‘general visual inspection.’’ We have included the definition for a general visual inspection in a note in the proposed AD. Costs of Compliance This proposed AD would affect about 54 airplanes of U.S. registry. The average labor rate is estimated to be $65 per work hour. The proposed revisions to the AFM and AMM would take about 1 work hour per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed revisions for U.S. operators is $3,510, or $65 per airplane. The proposed resistance check, inspections, and jumper installations, would take about 40 work hours per airplane. Required parts would cost about $10 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of these proposed actions for U.S. operators is $140,940, or $2,610 per airplane. VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:27 Dec 02, 2005 Jkt 208001 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 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 that the proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the 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 proposed 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, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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): Short Brothers PLC: FAA–2005–23173; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–190–AD. Comments Due Date (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by January 4, 2006. Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to all Shorts Model SD3–60 SHERPA, SD3–SHERPA, SD3–30, and SD3–60 airplanes, certificated in any category. Note 1: This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new inspections. Compliance with these inspections is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (i) of this AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure. The FAA has provided guidance for this determination in Advisory Circular (AC) 25–1529. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent ignition sources inside the fuel tanks, which could lead to fire or explosion. 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. Revision of Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) (f) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the Limitations and Normal Procedures sections of the AFMs as specified in Table 1 of this AD to include the information in Shorts Advance Amendment Bulletin 1/2004, ‘‘Introduction of Changes to Meet the Requirements of FAA SFAR 88 and/ or UK CAA Airworthiness Notice AN55,’’ dated July 13, 2004, as specified in the advance amendment bulletin. This advance amendment bulletin addresses operation during icing conditions and fuel system failures. Operate the airplane according to the limitations and procedures in the advance amendment bulletin. Note 2: The requirements of paragraph (f) of this AD may be done by inserting a copy of the advance amendment bulletin into the AFM. When this advance amendment E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1 72409 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 232 / Monday, December 5, 2005 / Proposed Rules bulletin has been included in general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be inserted into the AFM and the advance amendment bulletin may be removed, provided the relevant information in the general revision is identical to that in the advance amendment bulletin. TABLE 1.—AFM REVISIONS TABLE 1.—AFM REVISIONS— Continued AFM documents to be revised Airplane model SD3–60 SHERPA. SD3–SHERPA ... SB.5.2. SB.6.2. Airplane model AFM documents to be revised Revision of Airworthiness Limitation (AWL) Section SD3–30 .............. SBH.3.2, SBH.3.3, SBH.3.6, SBH.3.7, SBH.3.8, and SBH.3.9. SB.4.3, SB.4.6, and SB.4.8. (g) Within 180 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the AWL section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by incorporating airplane maintenance manual sections 5–20–01 and 5–20–02 as introduced SD3–60 .............. by the Shorts temporary revisions (TR) specified in Table 1 of this AD into the AWL section of the AMMs for the airplane models specified in Table 1. Thereafter, except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD, no alternative structural inspection intervals may be approved for the longitudinal skin joints in the fuselage pressure shell. Note 3: The requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD may be done by inserting a copy of the applicable TR into the applicable AMM. When the TR has been included in general revisions of the AMM, the general revisions may be inserted in the AMM and the TR may be removed, provided the relevant information in the general revision is identical to that in the TR. TABLE 2.—AMM TEMPORARY REVISIONS Airplane model Temporary revision Dated SD3–30 .......................................................... SD3–60 .......................................................... SD3–60 SHERPA .......................................... SD3–SHERPA ............................................... TR330–AMM–14 ............................................ TR360–AMM–33 ............................................ TRSD360S–AMM–14 .................................... TRSD3S–AMM–15 ........................................ June 21, 2004 ........ July 27, 2004 ......... July 29, 2004 ......... July 28, 2004 ......... Resistance Check, Inspection, and Jumper Installation (h) Within 180 days after the effective date of this AD: Perform the insulation resistance check, general visual inspections, and bonding jumper wire installations; in accordance with Shorts Service Bulletin SD330–28–37, SD360–28–23, SD360 SHERPA–28–3, or SD3 SHERPA–28–2; all dated June 2004; as applicable. If any defects or damage are discovered during any inspection or check required by this AD, before further flight, repair the defects or damage using a method approved by either the Manager, International Branch, ANM– 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) (or its delegated agent). Note 4: 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.’’ Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (i)(1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 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 § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:27 Dec 02, 2005 Jkt 208001 Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office. Related Information (j) British airworthiness directive G–2004– 0021, dated August 25, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD. Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 25, 2005. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–23600 Filed 12–2–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2005–23159; Directorate Identifier 2005–SW–10–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Eurocopter France Model SA–365N, SA–365N1, AS–365N2, and SA–366G1 Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document proposes superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that currently applies to Eurocopter France (ECF) Model SA 365N, N1, and AS 365N2 helicopters. That AD currently requires inspecting the main gearbox (MGB) suspension diagonal cross-member (diagonal cross- PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 To AMM SD3–30 AMM. SD3–60 AMM. SD3–60 SHERPA AMM. SD3–SHERPA AMM. member) for cracks and replacing it with an airworthy part if any crack is found. This action proposes to require more frequent inspections of the diagonal cross-member and adding the Model SA–366G1 helicopters to the applicability. This proposal is prompted by several reports of cracks in the diagonal cross-member. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent failure of the diagonal cross-member, pivoting of the MGB, severe vibrations, and a subsequent forced landing. DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 3, 2006. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD: • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically; • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically; • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590; • Fax: 202–493–2251; or • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may get the service information identified in this proposed AD from American Eurocopter Corporation, 2701 Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 232 (Monday, December 5, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72406-72409]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-23600]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2005-23173; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-190-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Short Brothers Model SD3 Airplanes

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for all Short Brothers Model SD3 airplanes. This proposed AD would 
require installing additional fuel tank bonding jumpers, performing an 
in-place resistance check of the float switches, inspecting certain 
internal components of the fuel tanks, and performing related 
corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also require 
revisions to the airworthiness limitations section of the Instructions 
for Continued Airworthiness, and to the airplane flight manual 
procedures for operation during icing conditions and fuel system 
failures. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted 
by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to prevent ignition 
sources inside the fuel tanks, which could lead to fire or explosion.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 4, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on 
this proposed AD.
     DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow 
the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
     Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Contact Short Brothers, Airworthiness & Engineering Quality, P.O. 
Box 241, Airport Road, Belfast BT3 9DZ, Northern Ireland, for service 
information identified in this proposed AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 
227-2125; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or 
arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address 
listed in the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number ``FAA-2005-
23173; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-190-AD'' at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the 
proposed AD in light of those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://
dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will 
also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA 
personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of 
that Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our 
dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or 
signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, 
etc.). You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you 
may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

[[Page 72407]]

Examining the Docket

    You may examine the 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 DOT 
street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after the Docket Management System 
receives them.

Discussion

    The FAA has examined the underlying safety issues involved in 
recent fuel tank explosions on several large transport airplanes, 
including the adequacy of existing regulations, the service history of 
airplanes subject to those regulations, and existing maintenance 
practices for fuel tank systems. As a result of those findings, we 
issued a regulation titled ``Transport Airplane Fuel Tank System Design 
Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and Inspection 
Requirements'' (67 FR 23086, May 7, 2001). In addition to new 
airworthiness standards for transport airplanes and new maintenance 
requirements, this rule included Special Federal Aviation Regulation 
No. 88 (``SFAR 88,'' Amendment 21-78, and subsequent Amendments 21-82 
and 21-83).
    Among other actions, SFAR 88 requires certain type design (i.e., 
type certificate (TC) and supplemental type certificate (STC)) holders 
to substantiate that their fuel tank systems can prevent ignition 
sources in the fuel tanks. This requirement applies to type design 
holders for large turbine-powered transport airplanes and for 
subsequent modifications to those airplanes. It requires them to 
perform design reviews and to develop design changes and maintenance 
procedures if their designs do not meet the new fuel tank safety 
standards. As explained in the preamble to the rule, we intended to 
adopt airworthiness directives to mandate any changes found necessary 
to address unsafe conditions identified as a result of these reviews.
    In evaluating these design reviews, we have established four 
criteria intended to define the unsafe conditions associated with fuel 
tank systems that require corrective actions. The percentage of 
operating time during which fuel tanks are exposed to flammable 
conditions is one of these criteria. The other three criteria address 
the failure types under evaluation: single failures, single failures in 
combination with another latent condition(s), and in-service failure 
experience. For all four criteria, the evaluations included 
consideration of previous actions taken that may mitigate the need for 
further action.
    The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) has issued a regulation that 
is similar to SFAR 88. (The JAA is an associated body of the European 
Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) representing the civil aviation 
regulatory authorities of a number of European States who have agreed 
to co-operate in developing and implementing common safety regulatory 
standards and procedures.) Under this regulation, the JAA stated that 
all members of the ECAC that hold type certificates for transport 
category airplanes are required to conduct a design review against 
explosion risks.
    We have determined that the actions identified in this AD are 
necessary to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel 
tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result 
in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.
    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness 
authority for the United Kingdom, notified us that an unsafe condition 
may exist on all Short Brothers Model SD3 airplanes. The CAA advises 
that ignition sources may develop inside fuel tanks due to insufficient 
grounding. This condition, if not corrected, could result in ignition 
sources occurring inside the fuel tanks, which could lead to fire or 
explosion.

Relevant Service Information

    Short Brothers has issued Service Bulletins SD3 SHERPA-28-2, SD360 
SHERPA-28-3, SD330-28-37, and SD360-28-23; all dated June 2004. The 
service bulletins describe procedures for installing additional bonding 
jumpers between the vent pipes of both fuel tanks and the airplane 
structure; for performing an in-place resistance check of the fuel tank 
float switches; for inspecting the condition of certain sensor cables 
and cable supports inside the fuel tanks; for inspecting the integrity 
of the existing bonding of certain vent pipes inside the forward fuel 
tank; and for performing applicable corrective actions. Corrective 
actions include replacing defective float switches with new, 
reconditioned, or serviceable float switches, and repairing damaged 
sensor cables, cable supports, and existing vent pipe bonding.
    Short Brothers has issued Advance Amendment Bulletin 1/2004, dated 
July 13, 2004, applicable to Shorts airplane flight manuals having Doc. 
Nos. SB.4.3, SB.4.6, SB.4.8, SB.5.2, SB.6.2, SBH.3.2, SBH.3.3, SBH.3.6, 
SBH.3.7, SBH.3.8, and SBH.3.9. The advance amendment bulletin describes 
revisions needed to meet the requirements of FAA SFAR 88 and/or CAA 
Airworthiness Notice AN55; the revisions affect sections of the flight 
manuals applicable to operation during icing conditions and fuel system 
failures.
    Short Brothers has issued temporary revisions (TR) to the 
airworthiness limitations section of the aircraft maintenance manuals 
(AMM) of the affected airplanes, as shown in the following table. The 
TRs address airworthiness limitations to certain components of the fuel 
tank system installations.

                                             AMM Temporary Revisions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Temporary
        Airplane model               revision                Dated                          To AMM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SD3-30........................  TR330-AMM-14.....  June 21, 2004............  SD3-30 AMM.
SD3-60........................  TR360-AMM-33.....  July 27, 2004............  SD3-60 AMM.
SD3-60 SHERPA.................  TRSD360S-AMM-14..  July 29, 2004............  SD3-60 SHERPA AMM.
SD3-SHERPA....................  TRSD3S-AMM-15....  July 28, 2004............  SD3-SHERPA AMM.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is 
intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The CAA mandated 
the service information and issued British airworthiness directive G-
2004-0021, dated August 25, 2004, to ensure the continued airworthiness 
of these airplanes in the United Kingdom.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

    This airplane model is manufactured in the United Kingdom and are 
type certificated for operation in the United States under the 
provisions of section

[[Page 72408]]

21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the 
applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this 
bilateral airworthiness agreement, the FCAA has kept the FAA informed 
of the situation described above. We have examined the CAA's findings, 
evaluated all pertinent information, and determined that we need to 
issue an AD for airplanes of this type design that are certificated for 
operation in the United States.
    Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require 
accomplishing the actions specified in the service information 
described previously, except as discussed under ``Difference Between 
the Proposed AD and Service Information.''

Difference Between Proposed AD and Service Information

    The service bulletins specify to contact the manufacturer for 
instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD 
would require repairing those conditions using a method that we or the 
CAA (or its delegated agent) approve. In light of the type of repair 
that would be required to address the unsafe condition, and consistent 
with existing bilateral airworthiness agreements, we have determined 
that, for this proposed AD, a repair we or the CAA approve would be 
acceptable for compliance with this proposed AD.

Clarification of Inspection Terminology

    In this proposed AD, the ``visual inspection'' specified in the 
Shorts service bulletins is referred to as a ``general visual 
inspection.'' We have included the definition for a general visual 
inspection in a note in the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

    This proposed AD would affect about 54 airplanes of U.S. registry. 
The average labor rate is estimated to be $65 per work hour.
    The proposed revisions to the AFM and AMM would take about 1 work 
hour per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the 
proposed revisions for U.S. operators is $3,510, or $65 per airplane.
    The proposed resistance check, inspections, and jumper 
installations, would take about 40 work hours per airplane. Required 
parts would cost about $10 per airplane. Based on these figures, the 
estimated cost of these proposed actions for U.S. operators is 
$140,940, or $2,610 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 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 that the proposed 
regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the 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 proposed 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, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

    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]

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

Short Brothers PLC: FAA-2005-23173; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-
190-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by January 
4, 2006.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to all Shorts Model SD3-60 SHERPA, SD3-
SHERPA, SD3-30, and SD3-60 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    Note 1: This AD requires revisions to certain operator 
maintenance documents to include new inspections. Compliance with 
these inspections is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes 
that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the 
areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able 
to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this 
situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must 
request approval for an alternative method of compliance according 
to paragraph (i) of this AD. The request should include a 
description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure 
the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure. The FAA 
has provided guidance for this determination in Advisory Circular 
(AC) 25-1529.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the 
manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent ignition sources 
inside the fuel tanks, which could lead to fire or explosion.

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.

Revision of Airplane Flight Manual (AFM)

    (f) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise 
the Limitations and Normal Procedures sections of the AFMs as 
specified in Table 1 of this AD to include the information in Shorts 
Advance Amendment Bulletin 1/2004, ``Introduction of Changes to Meet 
the Requirements of FAA SFAR 88 and/or UK CAA Airworthiness Notice 
AN55,'' dated July 13, 2004, as specified in the advance amendment 
bulletin. This advance amendment bulletin addresses operation during 
icing conditions and fuel system failures. Operate the airplane 
according to the limitations and procedures in the advance amendment 
bulletin.

    Note 2: The requirements of paragraph (f) of this AD may be done 
by inserting a copy of the advance amendment bulletin into the AFM. 
When this advance amendment

[[Page 72409]]

bulletin has been included in general revisions of the AFM, the 
general revisions may be inserted into the AFM and the advance 
amendment bulletin may be removed, provided the relevant information 
in the general revision is identical to that in the advance 
amendment bulletin.


                         Table 1.--AFM Revisions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Airplane model                AFM documents to be  revised
------------------------------------------------------------------------
SD3-30....................................  SBH.3.2, SBH.3.3, SBH.3.6,
                                             SBH.3.7, SBH.3.8, and
                                             SBH.3.9.
SD3-60....................................  SB.4.3, SB.4.6, and SB.4.8.
SD3-60 SHERPA.............................  SB.5.2.
SD3-SHERPA................................  SB.6.2.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Revision of Airworthiness Limitation (AWL) Section

    (g) Within 180 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise 
the AWL section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness by 
incorporating airplane maintenance manual sections 5-20-01 and 5-20-
02 as introduced by the Shorts temporary revisions (TR) specified in 
Table 1 of this AD into the AWL section of the AMMs for the airplane 
models specified in Table 1. Thereafter, except as provided by 
paragraph (i) of this AD, no alternative structural inspection 
intervals may be approved for the longitudinal skin joints in the 
fuselage pressure shell.

    Note 3: The requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD may be done 
by inserting a copy of the applicable TR into the applicable AMM. 
When the TR has been included in general revisions of the AMM, the 
general revisions may be inserted in the AMM and the TR may be 
removed, provided the relevant information in the general revision 
is identical to that in the TR.


                                        Table 2.--AMM Temporary Revisions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Temporary
        Airplane model               revision                Dated                          To AMM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SD3-30........................  TR330-AMM-14.....  June 21, 2004............  SD3-30 AMM.
SD3-60........................  TR360-AMM-33.....  July 27, 2004............  SD3-60 AMM.
SD3-60 SHERPA.................  TRSD360S-AMM-14..  July 29, 2004............  SD3-60 SHERPA AMM.
SD3-SHERPA....................  TRSD3S-AMM-15....  July 28, 2004............  SD3-SHERPA AMM.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Resistance Check, Inspection, and Jumper Installation

    (h) Within 180 days after the effective date of this AD: Perform 
the insulation resistance check, general visual inspections, and 
bonding jumper wire installations; in accordance with Shorts Service 
Bulletin SD330-28-37, SD360-28-23, SD360 SHERPA-28-3, or SD3 SHERPA-
28-2; all dated June 2004; as applicable. If any defects or damage 
are discovered during any inspection or check required by this AD, 
before further flight, repair the defects or damage using a method 
approved by either the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, 
Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the Civil Aviation Authority 
(CAA) (or its delegated agent).

    Note 4: 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.''

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (i)(1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, 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 Sec.  
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

    (j) British airworthiness directive G-2004-0021, dated August 
25, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 25, 2005.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 05-23600 Filed 12-2-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P