Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B Airplanes, 3361-3364 [E7-901]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 16 / Thursday, January 25, 2007 / Rules and Regulations by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2007–02–14 Boeing: Amendment 39–14901. Docket No. FAA–2006–24691; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–051–AD. Effective Date (a) This AD becomes effective March 1, 2007. Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 737– 600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes, certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737–28–1225, Revision 1, dated October 30, 2006. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent arcing or sparking in the fuel tank in the event of a lightning strike, which could result in an uncontrolled 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. Test, Inspection, and Corrective and Other Specified Actions (f) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, test the electrical resistance of the bond between the bulkhead fitting for the fuel feed line and the wing front spar on the left and right wings, do a general visual inspection of adjacent bonding jumpers to make sure they are installed correctly, and do all applicable corrective and other specified actions. Do all the actions in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737–28– 1225, Revision 1, dated October 30, 2006. All applicable corrective actions and other specified actions must be done before further flight after the electrical resistance test. Credit for Actions Accomplished Previously (g) Actions done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737–28–1225, dated January 12, 2006; are considered acceptable for compliance with the actions required by paragraph (f) of this AD. ycherry on PROD1PC64 with RULES Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (h)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 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 Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office. VerDate Aug<31>2005 12:37 Jan 24, 2007 Jkt 211001 Material Incorporated by Reference (i) You must use Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737–28–1225, Revision 1, dated October 30, 2006, 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 this document in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207, 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/code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 11, 2007. Kevin M. Mullin, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–898 Filed 1–24–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2006–25271; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–067–AD; Amendment 39–14903; AD 2007–02–16] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/ SF340A) and SAAB 340B Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD), which applies to certain Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A and SAAB 340B airplanes. That AD currently requires repetitive inspections for wear of the brushes and leads and for loose rivets of the direct current (DC) starter generator, and related investigative/ corrective actions if necessary. This new AD requires installing new, improved generator control units (GCUs). Installing the GCUs ends the repetitive inspection requirements of the existing AD. This AD results from reports of premature failures of the DC starter generator prior to scheduled overhaul. We are issuing this AD to prevent PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3361 failure of the starter generator, which could cause a low voltage situation in flight and result in increased pilot workload and reduced redundancy of the electrical powered systems. DATES: This AD becomes effective March 1, 2007. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of March 1, 2007. On April 1, 2005 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005), the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of Saab Service Bulletin 340–24–035, dated July 5, 2004, including Attachment 1 (Goodrich Service Information Letter 23080–03X–24–01), dated July 1, 2004. 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 Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aircraft Product Support, S–581.88, ¨ Linkoping, Sweden, for service information identified in this AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Borfitz, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–2677; 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 supersedes AD 2005–04–12, amendment 39–13984 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005). The existing AD applies to certain Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A and SAAB 340B airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2006 (71 FR 38311). That NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections for wear of the brushes and leads and for loose rivets of the direct current (DC) starter generator, and related investigative/ E:\FR\FM\25JAR1.SGM 25JAR1 3362 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 16 / Thursday, January 25, 2007 / Rules and Regulations corrective actions if necessary. That NPRM also proposed to require installing new, improved generator control units (GCUs), which would end the repetitive inspection requirements. ycherry on PROD1PC64 with RULES Comments We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments that have been received on the NPRM. Request To Change Incorporation of Certain Information The Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) states that, typically, airworthiness directives are based on service information originating with the type certificate holder or its suppliers. MARPA adds that manufacturer service documents are privately authored instruments generally having copyright protection against duplication and distribution. MARPA notes that when a service document is incorporated by reference into a public document, such as an airworthiness directive, it loses its private, protected status and becomes a public document. MARPA adds that if a service document is used as a mandatory element of compliance, it should not simply be referenced, but should be incorporated into the regulatory document; by definition, public laws must be public, which means they cannot rely upon private writings. MARPA is concerned that the failure to incorporate essential service information could result in a court decision invalidating the AD. MARPA adds that incorporated by reference service documents should be made available to the public by publication in the Docket Management System (DMS), keyed to the action that incorporates them. MARPA notes that the stated purpose of the incorporation by reference method is brevity, to keep from expanding the Federal Register needlessly by publishing documents already in the hands of the affected individuals; traditionally, ‘‘affected individuals’’ means aircraft owners and operators, who are generally provided service information by the manufacturer. MARPA adds that a new class of affected individuals has emerged, since the majority of aircraft maintenance is now performed by specialty shops instead of aircraft owners and operators. MARPA notes that this new class includes maintenance and repair organizations, component servicing and repair shops, parts purveyors and distributors, and organizations manufacturing or servicing alternatively certified parts VerDate Aug<31>2005 12:37 Jan 24, 2007 Jkt 211001 under section 21.303 (parts manufacturer approval) (PMA) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21). MARPA adds that the concept of brevity is now nearly archaic as documents exist more frequently in electronic format than on paper. Therefore, MARPA asks that the service documents deemed essential to the accomplishment of the NPRM be incorporated by reference into the regulatory instrument, and published in the DMS. We understand MARPA’s comment concerning incorporation by reference. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) requires that documents that are necessary to accomplish the requirements of the AD be incorporated by reference during the final rule phase of rulemaking. This final rule incorporates by reference the service information necessary for the accomplishment of the requirements mandated by this AD. Further, we point out that while documents that are incorporated by reference do become public information, they do not lose their copyright protection. For that reason, we advise the public to contact the manufacturer to obtain copies of the referenced service information. Additionally, we do not publish service documents in DMS. We are currently reviewing our practice of publishing proprietary service information. Once we have thoroughly examined all aspects of this issue, and have made a final determination, we will consider whether our current practice needs to be revised. However, we consider that to delay this AD action for that reason would be inappropriate, since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists and that the requirements in this AD must be accomplished to ensure continued safety. Therefore, we have not changed the AD in this regard. Request To Reference PMA Parts MARPA also states that type certificate holders in their service documents typically ignore the possible existence of PMA parts. MARPA states that this is particularly true with foreign manufacturers where the concept may not exist or be implemented in the country of origin. MARPA points out that the service document upon which an airworthiness directive is based frequently will require removing a certain part-numbered part and installing a different part-numbered part as a corrective action. According to MARPA, this runs afoul of part 21 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21), section 21.303, which permits the development, certification, and PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 installation of alternatively certified parts. MARPA further states that installing a certain part-numbered part to the exclusion of all other parts is not a favored general practice. MARPA states that such an action has the dual effect of preventing, in some cases, the installation of a perfectly good part; while at the same time prohibiting the development of new parts permitted under § 21.303. According to MARPA, such a prohibition runs the risk of taking the AD out of the realm of safety and into the world of economics, since prohibiting the development, sale, and use of a perfectly airworthy part has noting to do with safety. MARPA states that courts could easily construe such actions as being outside the statutory basis of the AD (safety) and, as such, unenforceable. MARPA adds that courts are reluctant to find portions of a rule unenforceable since they lack the knowledge and authority to re-write requirements, and are thus generally inclined to simply void the entire rule. In response to the commenter’s statement regarding running afoul of part 21 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21, under which the FAA issues PMAs, this statement appears to reflect a misunderstanding of the relationship between ADs and the certification procedural regulations of 14 CFR part 21. Those regulations, including § 21.303, are intended to ensure that aeronautical products comply with the applicable airworthiness standards. But ADs are issued when, notwithstanding those procedures, we become aware of unsafe conditions in these products or parts. Therefore, an AD takes precedence over design approvals when we identify an unsafe condition, and mandating installation of a certain part number in an AD is not at variance with § 21.303. The AD provides a means of compliance for operators to ensure that the identified unsafe condition is addressed appropriately. For an unsafe condition attributable to a part, the AD normally identifies the replacement parts necessary to obtain that compliance. As stated in § 39.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.7), ‘‘Anyone who operates a product that does not meet the requirements of an applicable airworthiness directive is in violation of this section.’’ Unless an operator obtains approval for an AMOC, replacing a part with one not specified by the AD would make the operator subject to an enforcement action and result in a civil penalty. No change to the AD is necessary in this regard. E:\FR\FM\25JAR1.SGM 25JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 16 / Thursday, January 25, 2007 / Rules and Regulations Request to Stop Using Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) MARPA also believes that the practice of requiring an AMOC to install a PMA part should be stopped. MARPA states that this is somehow tantamount to stating, illogically, that all PMA parts are inherently defective and require an additional layer of approval when the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) part is determined to be defective. MARPA suspects that the FAA personnel who labored diligently to certify the PMA part might disagree with such a narrow, OEM-slanted view. MARPA states that if the PMA part is defective, then it must be deemed so in the AD, and not simply implied by a catch-all AMOC requirement. MARPA states that this is why it has repeatedly requested that we adopt language to trap such defective parts, and suggests that the FAA’s Transport Airplane Directorate adopt the language used by the Small Airplane Directorate to accomplish this. We infer that MARPA would like the AD to permit installation of any equivalent PMA parts so that it is not necessary for an operator to request approval of an AMOC in order to install an ‘‘equivalent’’ PMA part. Whether an alternative part is ‘‘equivalent’’ in adequately resolving the unsafe condition can only be determined on a case-by-case basis based on a complete understanding of the unsafe condition. The Transport Airplane Directorate’s policy is that, in order for operators to replace a part with one that is not specified in the AD, they must request an AMOC. This is necessary so that we can make a specific determination that an alternative part is or is not susceptible to the same unsafe condition. Request for Compliance With FAA Order 8040.2/Agreement on Parts Replacement MARPA points out that this AD, as written, does not comply with proposed FAA Order 8040.2 (AD Process for Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI)), which states in the PMA section: ‘‘MCAI that require replacement or installation of certain parts could have replacement parts approved under part 21 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21), section 21.303, based on a finding of identicality. We have determined that any parts approved under this regulation and installed should be subject to the actions of our AD and included in the applicability of our AD.’’ MARPA points out that the Small Airplane Directorate has developed a blanket statement that resolves this issue. The statement includes words similar to that in the proposed Order 8040.2. The FAA recognizes the need for standardization on the issue of 3363 addressing PMA parts in ADs, and currently is in the process of reviewing it at the national level. The Transport Airplane Directorate considers that to delay this particular AD action would be inappropriate, since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists and that replacement of certain parts must be accomplished to ensure continued safety. Therefore, no change has been made to the final rule in this regard. The NPRM did not address PMA parts, as provided in draft FAA Order 8040.2, because the Order was only a draft that was out for comment at the time. After issuance of the NPRM, the Order was revised and issued as FAA Order 8040.5 with an effective date of September 29, 2006. FAA Order 8040.5 does not address PMA parts in ADs. Conclusion We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments that have been submitted, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed. Costs of Compliance This AD affects about 170 airplanes of U.S. registry. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD. ESTIMATED COSTS Action Work hours Average labor rate per hour Parts Cost per airplane 1 $80 $0 Installation (new action) ...................................... ycherry on PROD1PC64 with RULES Inspections (required by AD 2005–04–12) ......... 1 80 7,598 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 12:37 Jan 24, 2007 Jkt 211001 Fleet cost $80, per inspection cycle. $7,678 .......................... $13,600, per inspection cycle. $1,305,260. 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; PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (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. E:\FR\FM\25JAR1.SGM 25JAR1 3364 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 16 / Thursday, January 25, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 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 removing amendment 39–13984 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005) and by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): I 2007–02–16 Saab Aircraft AB: 39–14903. Docket No. FAA–2006–25271; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–067–AD. Effective Date (a) This AD becomes effective March 1, 2007. Affected ADs (b) This AD supersedes AD 2005–04–12. Applicability (c) This AD applies to Saab Model SAABFairchild SF340A (SAAB/SF340A) airplanes having serial numbers 004 through 159 inclusive, and Model SAAB 340B airplanes having serial numbers 160 through 367 inclusive; certificated in any category; on which Saab Modification 2533 has not been implemented. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from reports of premature failures of the direct current (DC) starter generator prior to scheduled overhaul. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the starter generator, which could cause a low voltage situation in flight and result in increased pilot workload and reduced redundancy of the electrical powered systems. 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. ycherry on PROD1PC64 with RULES Restatement of the Requirements of AD 2005–04–12 Inspections for Wear of the DC Starter Generator Brushes and Leads (f) For generators overhauled in accordance with Maintenance Review Board (MRB) Task 243104: Before 800 flight hours since last overhaul, or within 100 flight hours after April 1, 2005 (the effective date of AD 2005– 04–12), perform a general visual inspection for wear of the DC starter generator brushes and leads, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340–24–035, dated July 5, 2004. Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: ‘‘A visual VerDate Aug<31>2005 12:37 Jan 24, 2007 Jkt 211001 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) Note 2: Saab Service Bulletin 340–24–035, dated July 5, 2004, references Goodrich Service Information Letter 23080–03X–24– 01, dated July 1, 2004, as an additional source of service information. (1) If the tops of the brush sets are above the top of the brush box, repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 800 flight hours until paragraph (i) of this AD is done. (2) If the tops of the brush sets are below the top of the brush box, before further flight, measure the brushes and determine the amount of brush life remaining, in accordance with the service bulletin. (i) If the brush wear is within the limits specified in the service bulletin, repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 800 flight hours until paragraph (i) of this AD is done. (ii) If the brush wear is outside the limits specified in the service bulletin, before further flight, replace the starter generator with a new or serviceable starter generator, in accordance with the service bulletin. Related Information Inspections for Loose Rivets (g) For generators overhauled in accordance with MRB Task 243104: Before 800 flight hours since last overhaul, or within 100 flight hours after April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later, perform a general visual inspection of each leading wafer brush for loose rivets, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340–24–035, dated July 5, 2004. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 800 flight hours until paragraph (i) of this AD is done. If any rivet is loose, before further flight, replace the DC starter generator with a new or serviceable starter generator, in accordance with the service bulletin. MRB Task 243103 or 243101 (h) For generators overhauled or with brush replacement accomplished in accordance with MRB Task 243103 or 243101, no action is required by paragraphs (f) and (g) of this AD. New Requirements of This AD Installation (i) For all generators: Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, install new improved generator control units (GCUs) in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340–24– 026, Revision 03, dated December 20, 2004. Installing the GCUs terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraphs (f) and (g) of this AD. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (j)(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 Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office. (k) Swedish airworthiness directive 1–197, effective November 5, 2004, also addresses the subject of this AD. Material Incorporated by Reference (l) You must use Saab Service Bulletin 340–24–026, Revision 03, dated December 20, 2004; and Saab Service Bulletin 340–24– 035, dated July 5, 2004, including Attachment 1 (Goodrich Service Information Letter 23080–03X–24–01), dated July 1, 2004; as applicable; to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of Saab Service Bulletin 340–24–026, Revision 03, dated December 20, 2004, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) On April 1, 2005 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005), the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of Saab Service Bulletin 340–24–035, dated July 5, 2004, including Attachment 1 (Goodrich Service Information Letter 23080–03X–24– 01), dated July 1, 2004. (3) Contact Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aircraft Product Support, S–581.88, Linko$ping, Sweden, 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/code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 11, 2007. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–901 Filed 1–24–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P E:\FR\FM\25JAR1.SGM 25JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 16 (Thursday, January 25, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3361-3364]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-901]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2006-25271; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-067-AD; 
Amendment 39-14903; AD 2007-02-16]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/
SF340A) and SAAB 340B Airplanes

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive 
(AD), which applies to certain Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A and 
SAAB 340B airplanes. That AD currently requires repetitive inspections 
for wear of the brushes and leads and for loose rivets of the direct 
current (DC) starter generator, and related investigative/corrective 
actions if necessary. This new AD requires installing new, improved 
generator control units (GCUs). Installing the GCUs ends the repetitive 
inspection requirements of the existing AD. This AD results from 
reports of premature failures of the DC starter generator prior to 
scheduled overhaul. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the 
starter generator, which could cause a low voltage situation in flight 
and result in increased pilot workload and reduced redundancy of the 
electrical powered systems.

DATES: This AD becomes effective March 1, 2007.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of March 1, 
2007.
    On April 1, 2005 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005), the Director of 
the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of Saab 
Service Bulletin 340-24-035, dated July 5, 2004, including Attachment 1 
(Goodrich Service Information Letter 23080-03X-24-01), dated July 1, 
2004.

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 Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aircraft Product Support, S-581.88, 
Link[ouml]ping, Sweden, for service information identified in this AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Borfitz, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 
227-2677; 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 supersedes AD 2005-04-12, amendment 
39-13984 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005). The existing AD applies to 
certain Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A and SAAB 340B airplanes. That 
NPRM was published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2006 (71 FR 
38311). That NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive 
inspections for wear of the brushes and leads and for loose rivets of 
the direct current (DC) starter generator, and related investigative/

[[Page 3362]]

corrective actions if necessary. That NPRM also proposed to require 
installing new, improved generator control units (GCUs), which would 
end the repetitive inspection requirements.

Comments

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

Request To Change Incorporation of Certain Information

    The Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) states 
that, typically, airworthiness directives are based on service 
information originating with the type certificate holder or its 
suppliers. MARPA adds that manufacturer service documents are privately 
authored instruments generally having copyright protection against 
duplication and distribution. MARPA notes that when a service document 
is incorporated by reference into a public document, such as an 
airworthiness directive, it loses its private, protected status and 
becomes a public document. MARPA adds that if a service document is 
used as a mandatory element of compliance, it should not simply be 
referenced, but should be incorporated into the regulatory document; by 
definition, public laws must be public, which means they cannot rely 
upon private writings. MARPA is concerned that the failure to 
incorporate essential service information could result in a court 
decision invalidating the AD.
    MARPA adds that incorporated by reference service documents should 
be made available to the public by publication in the Docket Management 
System (DMS), keyed to the action that incorporates them. MARPA notes 
that the stated purpose of the incorporation by reference method is 
brevity, to keep from expanding the Federal Register needlessly by 
publishing documents already in the hands of the affected individuals; 
traditionally, ``affected individuals'' means aircraft owners and 
operators, who are generally provided service information by the 
manufacturer. MARPA adds that a new class of affected individuals has 
emerged, since the majority of aircraft maintenance is now performed by 
specialty shops instead of aircraft owners and operators. MARPA notes 
that this new class includes maintenance and repair organizations, 
component servicing and repair shops, parts purveyors and distributors, 
and organizations manufacturing or servicing alternatively certified 
parts under section 21.303 (parts manufacturer approval) (PMA) of the 
Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21). MARPA adds that the 
concept of brevity is now nearly archaic as documents exist more 
frequently in electronic format than on paper. Therefore, MARPA asks 
that the service documents deemed essential to the accomplishment of 
the NPRM be incorporated by reference into the regulatory instrument, 
and published in the DMS.
    We understand MARPA's comment concerning incorporation by 
reference. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) requires that 
documents that are necessary to accomplish the requirements of the AD 
be incorporated by reference during the final rule phase of rulemaking. 
This final rule incorporates by reference the service information 
necessary for the accomplishment of the requirements mandated by this 
AD. Further, we point out that while documents that are incorporated by 
reference do become public information, they do not lose their 
copyright protection. For that reason, we advise the public to contact 
the manufacturer to obtain copies of the referenced service 
information.
    Additionally, we do not publish service documents in DMS. We are 
currently reviewing our practice of publishing proprietary service 
information. Once we have thoroughly examined all aspects of this 
issue, and have made a final determination, we will consider whether 
our current practice needs to be revised. However, we consider that to 
delay this AD action for that reason would be inappropriate, since we 
have determined that an unsafe condition exists and that the 
requirements in this AD must be accomplished to ensure continued 
safety. Therefore, we have not changed the AD in this regard.

Request To Reference PMA Parts

    MARPA also states that type certificate holders in their service 
documents typically ignore the possible existence of PMA parts. MARPA 
states that this is particularly true with foreign manufacturers where 
the concept may not exist or be implemented in the country of origin. 
MARPA points out that the service document upon which an airworthiness 
directive is based frequently will require removing a certain part-
numbered part and installing a different part-numbered part as a 
corrective action. According to MARPA, this runs afoul of part 21 of 
the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21), section 21.303, 
which permits the development, certification, and installation of 
alternatively certified parts.
    MARPA further states that installing a certain part-numbered part 
to the exclusion of all other parts is not a favored general practice. 
MARPA states that such an action has the dual effect of preventing, in 
some cases, the installation of a perfectly good part; while at the 
same time prohibiting the development of new parts permitted under 
Sec.  21.303. According to MARPA, such a prohibition runs the risk of 
taking the AD out of the realm of safety and into the world of 
economics, since prohibiting the development, sale, and use of a 
perfectly airworthy part has noting to do with safety. MARPA states 
that courts could easily construe such actions as being outside the 
statutory basis of the AD (safety) and, as such, unenforceable. MARPA 
adds that courts are reluctant to find portions of a rule unenforceable 
since they lack the knowledge and authority to re-write requirements, 
and are thus generally inclined to simply void the entire rule.
    In response to the commenter's statement regarding running afoul of 
part 21 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21, under 
which the FAA issues PMAs, this statement appears to reflect a 
misunderstanding of the relationship between ADs and the certification 
procedural regulations of 14 CFR part 21. Those regulations, including 
Sec.  21.303, are intended to ensure that aeronautical products comply 
with the applicable airworthiness standards. But ADs are issued when, 
notwithstanding those procedures, we become aware of unsafe conditions 
in these products or parts. Therefore, an AD takes precedence over 
design approvals when we identify an unsafe condition, and mandating 
installation of a certain part number in an AD is not at variance with 
Sec.  21.303.
    The AD provides a means of compliance for operators to ensure that 
the identified unsafe condition is addressed appropriately. For an 
unsafe condition attributable to a part, the AD normally identifies the 
replacement parts necessary to obtain that compliance. As stated in 
Sec.  39.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.7), ``Anyone 
who operates a product that does not meet the requirements of an 
applicable airworthiness directive is in violation of this section.'' 
Unless an operator obtains approval for an AMOC, replacing a part with 
one not specified by the AD would make the operator subject to an 
enforcement action and result in a civil penalty. No change to the AD 
is necessary in this regard.

[[Page 3363]]

Request to Stop Using Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC)

    MARPA also believes that the practice of requiring an AMOC to 
install a PMA part should be stopped. MARPA states that this is somehow 
tantamount to stating, illogically, that all PMA parts are inherently 
defective and require an additional layer of approval when the original 
equipment manufacturer (OEM) part is determined to be defective. MARPA 
suspects that the FAA personnel who labored diligently to certify the 
PMA part might disagree with such a narrow, OEM-slanted view. MARPA 
states that if the PMA part is defective, then it must be deemed so in 
the AD, and not simply implied by a catch-all AMOC requirement. MARPA 
states that this is why it has repeatedly requested that we adopt 
language to trap such defective parts, and suggests that the FAA's 
Transport Airplane Directorate adopt the language used by the Small 
Airplane Directorate to accomplish this.
    We infer that MARPA would like the AD to permit installation of any 
equivalent PMA parts so that it is not necessary for an operator to 
request approval of an AMOC in order to install an ``equivalent'' PMA 
part. Whether an alternative part is ``equivalent'' in adequately 
resolving the unsafe condition can only be determined on a case-by-case 
basis based on a complete understanding of the unsafe condition. The 
Transport Airplane Directorate's policy is that, in order for operators 
to replace a part with one that is not specified in the AD, they must 
request an AMOC. This is necessary so that we can make a specific 
determination that an alternative part is or is not susceptible to the 
same unsafe condition.

Request for Compliance With FAA Order 8040.2/Agreement on Parts 
Replacement

    MARPA points out that this AD, as written, does not comply with 
proposed FAA Order 8040.2 (AD Process for Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information (MCAI)), which states in the PMA section: 
``MCAI that require replacement or installation of certain parts could 
have replacement parts approved under part 21 of the Federal Aviation 
Regulations (14 CFR part 21), section 21.303, based on a finding of 
identicality. We have determined that any parts approved under this 
regulation and installed should be subject to the actions of our AD and 
included in the applicability of our AD.'' MARPA points out that the 
Small Airplane Directorate has developed a blanket statement that 
resolves this issue. The statement includes words similar to that in 
the proposed Order 8040.2.
    The FAA recognizes the need for standardization on the issue of 
addressing PMA parts in ADs, and currently is in the process of 
reviewing it at the national level. The Transport Airplane Directorate 
considers that to delay this particular AD action would be 
inappropriate, since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists 
and that replacement of certain parts must be accomplished to ensure 
continued safety. Therefore, no change has been made to the final rule 
in this regard.
    The NPRM did not address PMA parts, as provided in draft FAA Order 
8040.2, because the Order was only a draft that was out for comment at 
the time. After issuance of the NPRM, the Order was revised and issued 
as FAA Order 8040.5 with an effective date of September 29, 2006. FAA 
Order 8040.5 does not address PMA parts in ADs.

Conclusion

    We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the 
comments that have been submitted, and determined that air safety and 
the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

    This AD affects about 170 airplanes of U.S. registry. The following 
table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with 
this AD.

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Average
             Action                Work hours   labor rate     Parts      Cost per airplane       Fleet cost
                                                 per hour
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspections (required by AD 2005-           1          $80           $0  $80, per inspection  $13,600, per
 04-12).                                                                  cycle.               inspection cycle.
Installation (new action).......            1           80        7,598  $7,678.............  $1,305,260.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

[[Page 3364]]

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 
removing amendment 39-13984 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005) and by 
adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

2007-02-16 Saab Aircraft AB:

 Amendment 39-14903. Docket No. FAA-2006-25271; Directorate 
Identifier 2006-NM-067-AD.Effective Date

    (a) This AD becomes effective March 1, 2007.

Affected ADs

    (b) This AD supersedes AD 2005-04-12.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to Saab Model SAAB-Fairchild SF340A (SAAB/
SF340A) airplanes having serial numbers 004 through 159 inclusive, 
and Model SAAB 340B airplanes having serial numbers 160 through 367 
inclusive; certificated in any category; on which Saab Modification 
2533 has not been implemented.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from reports of premature failures of the 
direct current (DC) starter generator prior to scheduled overhaul. 
We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the starter generator, 
which could cause a low voltage situation in flight and result in 
increased pilot workload and reduced redundancy of the electrical 
powered systems.

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.

Restatement of the Requirements of AD 2005-04-12

Inspections for Wear of the DC Starter Generator Brushes and Leads

    (f) For generators overhauled in accordance with Maintenance 
Review Board (MRB) Task 243104: Before 800 flight hours since last 
overhaul, or within 100 flight hours after April 1, 2005 (the 
effective date of AD 2005-04-12), perform a general visual 
inspection for wear of the DC starter generator brushes and leads, 
in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-24-035, dated July 5, 
2004.

    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.''


    Note 2: Saab Service Bulletin 340-24-035, dated July 5, 2004, 
references Goodrich Service Information Letter 23080-03X-24-01, 
dated July 1, 2004, as an additional source of service information.

    (1) If the tops of the brush sets are above the top of the brush 
box, repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 800 
flight hours until paragraph (i) of this AD is done.
    (2) If the tops of the brush sets are below the top of the brush 
box, before further flight, measure the brushes and determine the 
amount of brush life remaining, in accordance with the service 
bulletin.
    (i) If the brush wear is within the limits specified in the 
service bulletin, repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 800 flight hours until paragraph (i) of this AD is done.
    (ii) If the brush wear is outside the limits specified in the 
service bulletin, before further flight, replace the starter 
generator with a new or serviceable starter generator, in accordance 
with the service bulletin.

Inspections for Loose Rivets

    (g) For generators overhauled in accordance with MRB Task 
243104: Before 800 flight hours since last overhaul, or within 100 
flight hours after April 1, 2005, whichever occurs later, perform a 
general visual inspection of each leading wafer brush for loose 
rivets, in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-24-035, dated 
July 5, 2004. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to 
exceed 800 flight hours until paragraph (i) of this AD is done. If 
any rivet is loose, before further flight, replace the DC starter 
generator with a new or serviceable starter generator, in accordance 
with the service bulletin.

MRB Task 243103 or 243101

    (h) For generators overhauled or with brush replacement 
accomplished in accordance with MRB Task 243103 or 243101, no action 
is required by paragraphs (f) and (g) of this AD.

New Requirements of This AD

Installation

    (i) For all generators: Within 36 months after the effective 
date of this AD, install new improved generator control units (GCUs) 
in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service 
Bulletin 340-24-026, Revision 03, dated December 20, 2004. 
Installing the GCUs terminates the repetitive inspection 
requirements of paragraphs (f) and (g) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (j)(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

    (k) Swedish airworthiness directive 1-197, effective November 5, 
2004, also addresses the subject of this AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

    (l) You must use Saab Service Bulletin 340-24-026, Revision 03, 
dated December 20, 2004; and Saab Service Bulletin 340-24-035, dated 
July 5, 2004, including Attachment 1 (Goodrich Service Information 
Letter 23080-03X-24-01), dated July 1, 2004; as applicable; to 
perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD 
specifies otherwise.
    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of Saab Service Bulletin 340-24-026, 
Revision 03, dated December 20, 2004, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) On April 1, 2005 (70 FR 9215, February 25, 2005), the 
Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of Saab Service Bulletin 340-24-035, dated July 5, 2004, 
including Attachment 1 (Goodrich Service Information Letter 23080-
03X-24-01), dated July 1, 2004.
    (3) Contact Saab Aircraft AB, SAAB Aircraft Product Support, S-
581.88, Linko[uml]ping, Sweden, 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/code_of_federal_regulations/
ibr_locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 11, 2007.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. E7-901 Filed 1-24-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P