Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330 and A340 Airplanes, 16741-16744 [E7-6231]

Download as PDF ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 65 / Thursday, April 5, 2007 / Proposed Rules indications that normally require discrimination from primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) flaws. (ii) The specimen set must have a minimum of ten (10) flaws that provide an acoustic response similar to that of PWSCC indications. All flaw depths in the specimen set must be greater than 10 percent of the nominal pipe wall thickness. A minimum number of 30 percent of the total flaws must be connected to the outside diameter and 30 percent of the total flaws must be connected to the inside diameter. Further, at least 30 percent of the total flaws must measure from a depth of 10 to 30 percent of the wall thickness and at least 30 percent of the total flaws must measure from a depth of 31 to 50 percent of the wall thickness and be connected to the inside or outside diameter, as applicable. At least 30 percent, but no more than 60 percent, of the flaws must be oriented axially. (iii) The procedures must identify the equipment and essential variable settings used to qualify the procedures. An essential variable is defined as any variable that affects the results of the examination. The procedure must be requalified when an essential variable is changed to fall outside the demonstration range. A procedure must be qualified using the equivalent of at least three test sets that are used to demonstrate personnel performance. Procedure qualification must require at least one successful personnel performance demonstration. (iv) The test acceptance criteria for a personnel performance demonstration must meet the detection test acceptance criteria for personnel performance demonstration in Table VIII–S10–1 of Section XI, Appendix VIII, Supplement 10. Examination procedures, equipment, and personnel must be considered qualified for depth sizing only if the root mean square (RMS) error of the flaw depth measurements, as compared to the true flaw depths, does not exceed 1/32-inch (0.8 mm). Examination procedures, equipment, and personnel must be considered qualified for length sizing if the RMS error of the flaw length measurements, as compared to the true flaw lengths, does not exceed 1/ 16-inch (1.6 mm). (5) If flaws attributed to PWSCC have been identified, whether acceptable or not for continued service under Paragraphs -3130 or -3140 of ASME Code Case N–729–1, the reinspection interval must be each refueling outage instead of the reinspection intervals required by Table 1, Note (8) of ASME Code Case N–729–1. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:32 Apr 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 (6) Appendix I of ASME Code Case N–729–1 must not be implemented without prior NRC approval. (E) Reactor Coolant Pressure Boundary Visual Inspections. (1) All licensees of pressurized water reactors shall augment their inservice inspection program by implementing ASME Code Case N–722 subject to the conditions specified in paragraphs (g)(6)(ii)(E)(2) through (4) of this section. The inspection requirements of ASME Code Case N–722 only apply to components fabricated with Alloy 600/82/182 materials not mitigated by weld overlay or stress improvement. (2) If a visual examination determines that leakage is occurring from a specific item listed in Table 1 of ASME Code Case N–722 that is not exempted by the ASME Code, Section XI, IWB– 1220(b)(1), additional actions must be performed to characterize the location, orientation, and length of crack(s) in Alloy 600 nozzle wrought material and location, orientation, and length of crack(s) in Alloy 82/182 butt welds. Alternatively, licensees may replace the Alloy 600/82/182 materials in all the components under the item number of the leaking component. (3) If the actions in paragraph (g)(6)(ii)(E)(2) of this section determine that a flaw is circumferentially oriented and potentially a result of primary water stress corrosion cracking, licensees shall perform non-visual NDE inspections of components that fall under that ASME Code Case N–722 item number. The number of components inspected must equal or exceed the number of components found to be leaking under that item number. If circumferential cracking is identified in the sample, non-visual NDE must be performed in the remaining components under that item number. (4) If ultrasonic examinations of butt welds are used to meet the NDE requirements in paragraphs (g)(6)(ii)(E)(2) or (g)(6)(ii)(E)(3) of this section, they must be performed using the appropriate supplement of Section XI, Appendix VIII of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. * * * * * Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of March, 2007. For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Luis A. Reyes, Executive Director. [FR Doc. E7–6379 Filed 4–4–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 16741 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2007–27768; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–174–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330 and A340 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 Airbus Model A330 and A340 airplanes. This proposed AD would require revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors caused by latent failures, alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 7, 2007. 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 Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France, for service information identified in this proposed AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington E:\FR\FM\05APP1.SGM 05APP1 16742 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 65 / Thursday, April 5, 2007 / Proposed Rules 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–2797; 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–2007–27768; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–174–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. ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS 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 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:32 Apr 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 Requirements’’ (66 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 a 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 proposed 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. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on all Airbus Model A330 and A340 airplanes. The EASA advises that Airbus has issued new fuel airworthiness limitations (FALs) to address failure conditions for which an unacceptable probability of ignition risk could exist if specific tasks or practices or both are not performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements. The new FALs are intended to satisfy the JAA’s Interim Policy of Fuel Tank Safety and SFAR 88 requirements. Relevant Service Information Airbus has issued A330 ALS— Airworthiness Limitations Section and A340 ALS—Airworthiness Limitations Section, both dated March 23, 2006. The Airbus A330 ALS and A340 ALS are repositories for stand-alone documents that are approved independently from each other, and both comprise the following documents: • ALS Part 1—Safe Life Airworthiness Limitation Items • ALS Part 2—Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items • ALS Part 3—Certification Maintenance Requirements • ALS Part 4—(Reserved) • ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations Airbus A330 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated April 11, 2006, refers to Airbus A330 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1932/05, Issue 2, dated October 26, 2006 (approved by the EASA on November 17, 2006). Airbus A340 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated April 11, 2006, refers to Airbus A340 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1933/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005 (approved by the EASA on April 28, 2006). Section 1, ‘‘Maintenance/Inspection Tasks,’’ of Document 95A.1932/05 and Document 95A.1933/05 describes a certain repetitive FAL inspection. A FAL inspection is a periodic inspection of certain features for latent failures that could contribute to an ignition source. Section 2, ‘‘Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations,’’ of Document 95A.1932/05 and Document 95A.1933/05 identifies critical design configuration control limitations (CDCCLs). A CDCCL is a limitation requirement to preserve a critical ignition source prevention feature of the fuel tank system design that is necessary to prevent the occurrence of an unsafe condition. The purpose of a CDCCL is to provide instruction to retain the critical ignition source prevention E:\FR\FM\05APP1.SGM 05APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 65 / Thursday, April 5, 2007 / Proposed Rules feature during configuration change that may be caused by alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions. A CDCCL is not a periodic inspection. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The EASA mandated the service information and issued airworthiness directive 2006–0205, dated July 11, 2006 (for Model A340 airplanes); and airworthiness directive 2007–0023, dated January 25, 2007 (for Model A330 airplanes); to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the European Union. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD These airplane models are manufactured in France and are type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. As described in FAA Order 8100.14A, ‘‘Interim Procedures for Working with the European Community on Airworthiness Certification and Continued Airworthiness,’’ dated August 12, 2005, the EASA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. We have examined the EASA’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 revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems. ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS Costs of Compliance This proposed AD would affect about 27 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take about 2 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $4,320, or $160 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:32 Apr 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 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. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA–2007–27768; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–174–AD. Comments Due Date (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by May 7, 2007. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 16743 Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A330–201, A330–202, A330–203, A330–223, A330–243, A330–301, A330–302, A330–303, A330–321, A330–322, A330–323, A330–341, A330–342, and A330–343 airplanes; and Model A340–211, A340–212, A340–213, A340–311, A340–312, A340–313, A340–541, A340–642, and A340–643 airplanes; certificated in any category. Note 1: This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include a new inspection and critical design configuration control limitations (CDCCLs). Compliance with the operator maintenance documents 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 and CDCCLs, the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspection and CDCCLs 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 and CDCCLs that will preserve the critical ignition source prevention feature of the affected fuel system. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors caused by latent failures, alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. Compliance (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done. Revise Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) for Model A330 Airplanes (f) For Model A330–201, A330–202, A330– 203, A330–223, A330–243, A330–301, A330– 302, A330–303, A330–321, A330–322, A330– 323, A330–341, A330–342, and A330–343 airplanes: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD. (1) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A330 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A330 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1932/05, Issue 2, dated October 26, 2006 (approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on November 17, 2006), Section 1, ‘‘Maintenance/Inspection Tasks.’’ For the task identified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1932/05, the initial compliance time starts from the later of the times specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD, and the repetitive inspection must be accomplished thereafter at the interval E:\FR\FM\05APP1.SGM 05APP1 16744 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 65 / Thursday, April 5, 2007 / Proposed Rules specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1932/05. (i) The effective date of this AD. (ii) The date of issuance of the original French standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original French export certificate of airworthiness. (2) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A330 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A330 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1932/05, Issue 2, dated October 26, 2006 (approved by the EASA on November 17, 2006), Section 2, ‘‘Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations.’’ Revise ALS for Model A340 Airplanes (g) For Model A340–211, A340–212, A340– 213, A340–311, A340–312, A340–313, A340– 541, A340–642, and A340–643 airplanes: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD. (1) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A340 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A340 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1933/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005 (approved by the EASA on April 28, 2006), Section 1, ‘‘Maintenance/Inspection Tasks.’’ For the task identified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1933/05, the initial compliance time starts from the effective date of this AD, and the repetitive inspection must be accomplished thereafter at the interval specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1933/05. (2) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate Airbus A340 ALS Part 5—Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A340 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1933/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005 (approved by the EASA on April 28, 2006), Section 2, ‘‘Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations.’’ ycherry on PROD1PC64 with PROPOSALS No Alternative Inspections, Inspection Intervals, or CDCCLs (h) Except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD: After accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (f) or (g) of this AD, as applicable, no alternative inspections, inspection intervals, or CDCCLs may be used. 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) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:32 Apr 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. Related Information (j) EASA airworthiness directive 2006– 0205, dated July 11, 2006; and EASA airworthiness directive 2007–0023, dated January 25, 2007; also address the subject of this AD. Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 27, 2007. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–6231 Filed 4–4–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2007–27777; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–265–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC–8–53, DC–8–55, DC–8F–54, and DC–8F–55 Airplanes; and Model DC–8–60, DC–8–60F, DC–8– 70, and DC–8–70F Series 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 certain McDonnell Douglas airplanes, identified above. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection to determine the configuration of the airplane (tee or angle doubler installed on the left and right side of the flat aft pressure bulkhead from Longeron 9 to Longeron 13). This proposed AD would also require repetitive inspections for cracking of the tee or angle doubler, and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD results from a report indicating that numerous operators have found cracks on the tee. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct stress corrosion cracking of the tee or angle doubler installed on the flat aft pressure bulkhead. Cracking in this area could continue to progress and damage the adjacent structure, which could result in loss of structural integrity of the airplane. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 21, 2007. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD. PO 00000 Frm 00015 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 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1–L5A (D800–0024), for the service information identified in this proposed AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon Mowery, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712–4137; telephone (562) 627–5322; fax (562) 627–5210. 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–2007–27777; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–265–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 DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR E:\FR\FM\05APP1.SGM 05APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 65 (Thursday, April 5, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16741-16744]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-6231]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2007-27768; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-174-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330 and A340 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 Airbus Model A330 and A340 airplanes. This proposed AD would 
require revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the 
Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations 
for fuel tank systems. This proposed AD results from fuel system 
reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to 
prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in 
combination with flammable fuel vapors caused by latent failures, 
alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions, could result in fuel tank 
explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 7, 2007.

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 Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, 
France, for service information identified in this proposed AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Backman, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington

[[Page 16742]]

98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-2797; 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-2007-
27768; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-174-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.

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 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'' 
(66 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 a 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 proposed 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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Community, notified us that 
an unsafe condition may exist on all Airbus Model A330 and A340 
airplanes. The EASA advises that Airbus has issued new fuel 
airworthiness limitations (FALs) to address failure conditions for 
which an unacceptable probability of ignition risk could exist if 
specific tasks or practices or both are not performed in accordance 
with the manufacturer's requirements. The new FALs are intended to 
satisfy the JAA's Interim Policy of Fuel Tank Safety and SFAR 88 
requirements.

Relevant Service Information

    Airbus has issued A330 ALS--Airworthiness Limitations Section and 
A340 ALS--Airworthiness Limitations Section, both dated March 23, 2006. 
The Airbus A330 ALS and A340 ALS are repositories for stand-alone 
documents that are approved independently from each other, and both 
comprise the following documents:
     ALS Part 1--Safe Life Airworthiness Limitation Items
     ALS Part 2--Damage-Tolerant Airworthiness Limitation Items
     ALS Part 3--Certification Maintenance Requirements
     ALS Part 4--(Reserved)
     ALS Part 5--Fuel Airworthiness Limitations
    Airbus A330 ALS Part 5--Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, dated April 
11, 2006, refers to Airbus A330 Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document 95A.1932/05, Issue 2, dated October 26, 2006 (approved by the 
EASA on November 17, 2006). Airbus A340 ALS Part 5--Fuel Airworthiness 
Limitations, dated April 11, 2006, refers to Airbus A340 Fuel 
Airworthiness Limitations, Document 95A.1933/05, Issue 1, dated 
December 19, 2005 (approved by the EASA on April 28, 2006). Section 1, 
``Maintenance/Inspection Tasks,'' of Document 95A.1932/05 and Document 
95A.1933/05 describes a certain repetitive FAL inspection. A FAL 
inspection is a periodic inspection of certain features for latent 
failures that could contribute to an ignition source. Section 2, 
``Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations,'' of Document 
95A.1932/05 and Document 95A.1933/05 identifies critical design 
configuration control limitations (CDCCLs). A CDCCL is a limitation 
requirement to preserve a critical ignition source prevention feature 
of the fuel tank system design that is necessary to prevent the 
occurrence of an unsafe condition. The purpose of a CDCCL is to provide 
instruction to retain the critical ignition source prevention

[[Page 16743]]

feature during configuration change that may be caused by alterations, 
repairs, or maintenance actions. A CDCCL is not a periodic inspection.
    Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is 
intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. The EASA mandated 
the service information and issued airworthiness directive 2006-0205, 
dated July 11, 2006 (for Model A340 airplanes); and airworthiness 
directive 2007-0023, dated January 25, 2007 (for Model A330 airplanes); 
to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the 
European Union.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

    These airplane models are manufactured in France and are type 
certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 
section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and 
the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. As described in FAA 
Order 8100.14A, ``Interim Procedures for Working with the European 
Community on Airworthiness Certification and Continued Airworthiness,'' 
dated August 12, 2005, the EASA has kept the FAA informed of the 
situation described above. We have examined the EASA'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 revising 
the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness to incorporate new limitations for fuel tank systems.

Costs of Compliance

    This proposed AD would affect about 27 airplanes of U.S. registry. 
The proposed actions would take about 2 work hours per airplane, at an 
average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the 
estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $4,320, or $160 
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):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2007-27768; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-
174-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by May 7, 
2007.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to all Airbus Model A330-201, A330-202, 
A330-203, A330-223, A330-243, A330-301, A330-302, A330-303, A330-
321, A330-322, A330-323, A330-341, A330-342, and A330-343 airplanes; 
and Model A340-211, A340-212, A340-213, A340-311, A340-312, A340-
313, A340-541, A340-642, and A340-643 airplanes; certificated in any 
category.

    Note 1: This AD requires revisions to certain operator 
maintenance documents to include a new inspection and critical 
design configuration control limitations (CDCCLs). Compliance with 
the operator maintenance documents 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 and CDCCLs, the 
operator may not be able to accomplish the inspection and CDCCLs 
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 and CDCCLs that will preserve the critical ignition 
source prevention feature of the affected fuel system.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the 
manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of 
ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with 
flammable fuel vapors caused by latent failures, alterations, 
repairs, or maintenance actions, could result in fuel tank 
explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

Compliance

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

Revise Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) for Model A330 Airplanes

    (f) For Model A330-201, A330-202, A330-203, A330-223, A330-243, 
A330-301, A330-302, A330-303, A330-321, A330-322, A330-323, A330-
341, A330-342, and A330-343 airplanes: Do the actions specified in 
paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD.
    (1) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, revise 
the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to 
incorporate Airbus A330 ALS Part 5--Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, 
dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A330 Fuel Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document 95A.1932/05, Issue 2, dated October 26, 2006 
(approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on November 
17, 2006), Section 1, ``Maintenance/Inspection Tasks.'' For the task 
identified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1932/05, the initial 
compliance time starts from the later of the times specified in 
paragraphs (f)(1)(i) and (f)(1)(ii) of this AD, and the repetitive 
inspection must be accomplished thereafter at the interval

[[Page 16744]]

specified in Section 1 of Document 95A.1932/05.
    (i) The effective date of this AD.
    (ii) The date of issuance of the original French standard 
airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original 
French export certificate of airworthiness.
    (2) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, revise 
the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to 
incorporate Airbus A330 ALS Part 5--Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, 
dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A330 Fuel Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document 95A.1932/05, Issue 2, dated October 26, 2006 
(approved by the EASA on November 17, 2006), Section 2, ``Critical 
Design Configuration Control Limitations.''

Revise ALS for Model A340 Airplanes

    (g) For Model A340-211, A340-212, A340-213, A340-311, A340-312, 
A340-313, A340-541, A340-642, and A340-643 airplanes: Do the actions 
specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.
    (1) Within 3 months after the effective date of this AD, revise 
the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to 
incorporate Airbus A340 ALS Part 5--Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, 
dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A340 Fuel Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document 95A.1933/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005 
(approved by the EASA on April 28, 2006), Section 1, ``Maintenance/
Inspection Tasks.'' For the task identified in Section 1 of Document 
95A.1933/05, the initial compliance time starts from the effective 
date of this AD, and the repetitive inspection must be accomplished 
thereafter at the interval specified in Section 1 of Document 
95A.1933/05.
    (2) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, revise 
the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to 
incorporate Airbus A340 ALS Part 5--Fuel Airworthiness Limitations, 
dated April 11, 2006, as defined in Airbus A340 Fuel Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document 95A.1933/05, Issue 1, dated December 19, 2005 
(approved by the EASA on April 28, 2006), Section 2, ``Critical 
Design Configuration Control Limitations.''

No Alternative Inspections, Inspection Intervals, or CDCCLs

    (h) Except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD: After 
accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (f) or (g) of this 
AD, as applicable, no alternative inspections, inspection intervals, 
or CDCCLs may be used.

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) To request a different method of compliance or a different 
compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. 
Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC 
applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA 
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local 
FSDO.

Related Information

    (j) EASA airworthiness directive 2006-0205, dated July 11, 2006; 
and EASA airworthiness directive 2007-0023, dated January 25, 2007; 
also address the subject of this AD.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 27, 2007.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-6231 Filed 4-4-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P