Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes, 67256-67261 [2012-26963]

Download as PDF 67256 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 218 / Friday, November 9, 2012 / Rules and Regulations (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–47, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (ii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–48, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (iii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–49, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (iv) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–50, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416–375–4000; fax 416–375–4539; email thd.qseries@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. (l) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–47, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (ii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–48, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (iii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–49, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (iv) Bombardier Service Bulletin 84–24–50, Revision A, dated September 14, 2011. (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., Q-Series Technical Help Desk, 123 Garratt Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M3K 1Y5, Canada; telephone 416–375–4000; fax 416–375–4539; email thd.qseries@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. (4) You may review copies of the service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 24, 2012. Kalene C. Yanamura, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–26774 Filed 11–8–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2011–0518; Directorate Identifier 2010–NM–150–AD; Amendment 39–17231; AD 2012–21–15] RIN 2120–AA64 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A300 B4–600, B4–600R, and F4–600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4–605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called A300–600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by events of excessive rudder pedal inputs and consequent high loads on the vertical stabilizer on several airplanes. This AD requires either incorporating a design change to the rudder control system and/or other systems, or installing a stop rudder inputs warning (SRIW) modification. We are issuing this AD to prevent loads on the vertical stabilizer that exceed ultimate design loads, which could cause failure of the vertical stabilizer and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. DATES: This AD is effective December 14, 2012. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of December 14, 2012. ADDRESSES: For the service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS—EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227– 1221. SUMMARY: wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory 13:51 Nov 08, 2012 Jkt 229001 PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–2125; fax 425–227–1149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes Examining the AD Docket VerDate Mar<15>2010 evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Sfmt 4700 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. That NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 19, 2011 (76 FR 28914). That NPRM proposed to require incorporating a design change to the rudder control system and/or other systems to address the unsafe condition. Relevant Service Information Since we issued the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011), Airbus has issued the following service information: • Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300–22–6055, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012 • Airbus Service Bulletin A300–22– 6054, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012 • Airbus Service Bulletin A300–22– 6056, dated April 25, 2012 • Airbus Service Bulletin A300–31– 6140, dated May 4, 2012 • Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A310–22–2064, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012 • Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22– 2063, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012 • Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22– 2065, dated April 25, 2012 • Airbus Service Bulletin A310–31– 2144, dated May 4, 2012 These service bulletins describe procedures related to the SRIW modification. The procedures include installing a SRIW device, activating the SRIW device, upgrading the flight control computer to introduce the SRIW logic, and upgrading the flight warning computer. We have revised paragraph (g) in this final rule to allow accomplishment of this modification as an optional method of compliance with the requirements of the AD. E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 218 / Friday, November 9, 2012 / Rules and Regulations Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the proposal (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) and the FAA’s response to each comment. Support for the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), support the intent of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with Requests To Withdraw NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011): Unjustifiable Burden on Operators UPS and FedEx requested that we withdraw the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). UPS stated that, in light of its existing operational and monitoring processes, the cost of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) would be a severe and unnecessary burden relative to its benefit. UPS stated that its flightcrews operate the airplanes in a manner that would not warrant the need for the proposed systems. UPS described its A300 flight training program, flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) program, and manual changes that were prompted by the incidents, and added that its training and awareness programs have been enhanced to specifically address the inherent high-speed sensitivity or response of the A300 rudder control system. UPS concluded that its flight training program emphasizes proper use of the rudder for which the rudder has been certified, and its robust FOQA program coupled with a review of maximum lateral loading from actual flights demonstrates that UPS flightcrews do not induce heavy side loading with improper rudder use. In addition, UPS stated that the FAA has already taken numerous actions to address this safety issue. FedEx stated that its current flightcrew training practices have ensured elimination of excessive rudder pedal inputs on FedEx’s Model A300– 600 and A310 series airplanes. FedEx further detailed that it has monitored and recorded events of lateral G exceedences at FedEx as a result of FAA AD 2002–06–09, Amendment 39–12686 (67 FR 13259, March 22, 2002; corrected at 67 FR 51459, August 8, 2002), and all such events have been a result of something other than pilot rudder pedal input. Although the FAA agrees with the importance of enhanced training and operational awareness of Model A300 VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Nov 08, 2012 Jkt 229001 and A310 rudder pedal sensitivity, we disagree to withdraw the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the rudder pedal’s sensitivity contributed to the American Airlines flight 587 accident, and, during a recent upset on an airplane with a similar system, the pilot made excessive pedal input, thinking he was actually correcting an airplane malfunction. Even with significant emphasis on training and rudder pedal sensitivity awareness, however, there have been additional full rudder pedal reversal occurrences on airplanes with similar rudder control systems. We have concluded that training alone is inadequate, and we have determined that a modification such as the pedal travel limiter unit (PTLU) or other design modification is necessary to address the unsafe condition. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Based on the best information available on possible flightcrew training and possible design modifications, we have identified the need to incorporate a design change that will further address this unsafe condition. In addition, the FAA has tasked a joint authorityindustry group to recommend criteria that might be used to evaluate other models. Upon acceptance of appropriate criteria, the FAA will begin to assess other in-service airplanes. Currently, the group is scheduled to complete its work in late 2013. See the FAA’s response to the comments under ‘‘Request to Expand Applicability’’ in this final rule. Request To Emphasize Training In addition to supporting design enhancements to prevent inadvertent rudder over control, ALPA stated there should continue to be emphasis on the appropriate use of rudder in training programs. The FAA agrees with the commenter that training programs are beneficial. Since the American Airlines Flight 587 accident, the FAA has emphasized training with letters to all affected operators notifying them of concerns regarding the need for industry-wide pilot knowledge and training on proper use of rudder pedals, in addition to the potential consequences of some maneuvers that might exceed the structural limits of the vertical tail. The FAA also tasked a working group to help develop specific training programs for rudder usage on all transport category airplanes. The FAA has also added language in section 25.1583(a)(3) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.1583(a)(3)) to warn against control reversals. Training will continue to be emphasized in the future; PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 67257 however, the intent of this AD is to require a design change be made to the airplane to correct the unsafe condition. We have not changed this final rule regarding this issue. Request for Alternative Solution Airbus suggested that, in lieu of the PTLU design modification discussed in the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011), we revise the NPRM to add another way to comply—by installing a warning light on the glareshield directly in front of each pilot and an associated ‘‘stop rudder inputs’’ aural warning, in addition to revising the airplane flight manual and reinforced flightcrew training. Airbus noted that flightcrew failure to use proper techniques was a contributing factor to the excessive rudder pedal inputs. According to Airbus, its warning system will deter pilots from continuing the application of rapid alternating and large rudder pedal inputs, and is a more suitable solution than the PTLU modification proposed by the FAA. We acknowledge Airbus’s suggested solution, which was unavailable for consideration at the time we issued the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). Following the receipt of the Airbus comments, the FAA has evaluated the Airbus alternative and found the ‘‘stop rudder inputs’’ warning (SRIW) modification combined with suitable flightcrew training programs provides an acceptable mitigation for the unsafe condition. As stated previously, we agree to change this final rule to allow the SRIW modification as an optional method of compliance with the requirements of the AD. In addition, since we issued the NPRM, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD 2012– 0088, dated June 25, 2012, to require installation of the SRIW modification on Model A300–600 and A310 series airplanes to address this unsafe condition. Requests for Alternative Compliance Method Francis Gentile requested that we revise the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) to include, as one way to comply with the NPRM, the option to tape a yaw string onto the front windows to give the pilot maximum feedback against excessive yaw and pilot-induced oscillation. We disagree with this request. The unsafe condition presents itself with dynamic yaw excursions linked to rudder pedal reversals. Yaw indicators already present on the flight deck have E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 67258 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 218 / Friday, November 9, 2012 / Rules and Regulations wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with not proven effective in previous rudder pedal reversal events. Mr. Gentile also suggested adhering a pointed cone on each rudder pedal to give the pilot the progressive feedback sensation of force applied to the pedal and possibly cause pain in the ball of the foot or a twisting ankle to deter the pilot from making inputs or at least alert the pilot to stop making such an input. The commenter pointed out that this solution might be less expensive than the proposed modification. The commenter noted that the cone might also interfere with other pedal functions such as braking. We do not agree with this comment. The commenter has provided an unproven design suggestion. There is no evidence that such devices would be effective at preventing the unsafe condition. The rudder pedals are used normally for taxiing and flying the airplane. Adding cone devices to the pedals may interfere with normal pedal usage. There are certain safety-critical conditions where it is necessary for the pilot to apply rapid hard pedal inputs. Anything that interferes with the pilot’s ability to make necessary inputs could reduce safety. Such devices might also defeat the purpose of the pedal adjustment feature that allows shorter or taller pilots to use the pedal, and affect appropriate steering and braking. Under the provisions of paragraph (h) of this AD, however, we will consider requests for approval of different compliance methods if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the change would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed the AD regarding these issues. Request To Expand Applicability Airbus questioned the basis for the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011)— that rudder pedal sensitivity is limited to Model A300–600 and A310 series airplanes. Airbus added that rapid alternating and large pilot rudder inputs while enroute are inappropriate and have the potential to be unsafe for a wider fleet of large transport airplanes. Airbus identified several resources supporting this position. We infer that Airbus wants us to expand the applicability of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011), or otherwise consider similar rulemaking to extend to other airplane models and airplanes produced by other manufacturers. While the FAA has not determined that an unsafe condition exists on other airplanes, we are considering a number of factors on other airplanes, including pedal reversals, pedal sensitivity, and airplane dynamics and fin loads. NTSB Safety VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Nov 08, 2012 Jkt 229001 Recommendation A–04–56 recommends developing a revised standard to ensure safe handling qualities in the yaw axis throughout the flight envelope, including limits for rudder pedal sensitivity. Currently an FAA aviation rulemaking advisory committee (ARAC) has been assigned to evaluate this safety recommendation. Pending the ARAC recommendation, the FAA will determine whether other airplanes have a similar unsafe condition that needs to be addressed by rulemaking or airworthiness actions. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Remove Model A310–200 Airplanes From Applicability Airbus requested that we revise the applicability of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) to remove Model A310– 200 airplanes because their remaining service life is short. We disagree with the request. Service life projections vary among operators and are difficult to accurately determine. Airbus did not provide any specific service life projections. In addition, the utilization rate of these airplanes is low, which can preserve and extend their life. We therefore do not consider this request to have adequate justification. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Revise Compliance Time: Account for PTLU Development Time FedEx requested that we extend the proposed compliance time to account for development time for the PTLU. We disagree with the request. We have determined that the unsafe condition warrants corrective action within the specified time frame. If developing the PTLU and incorporating the mandated changes require additional time, the FAA may consider revising the AD to extend the compliance time, or provide such relief through approval of an AMOC to extend the compliance time of the AD according to the provisions of paragraph (h) of this AD. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Revise Compliance Time: Allow for New Maintenance Procedures FedEx requested that we revise the compliance time in the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) to allow time to incorporate new maintenance procedures to accommodate the proposed modification. Based on past experience, FedEx considered the proposed 48-month compliance time unrealistic to account for changes in maintenance programs. FedEx also PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 requested that we extend the proposed compliance time to 72 months to allow time to revise the master minimum equipment list (MMEL) to support dispatch reliability of the newly installed system. UPS stated that at least 6 years would be needed to install the PTLU on its fleet. We disagree with the FedEx proposal. In determining the appropriate compliance time for this AD, we considered many factors, including those related to maintenance program adjustments. Further, once the PTLU is developed and ready for incorporation on the fleet, operators may request MMEL relief via an AMOC request to the AD. We determined that the compliance time, as proposed, will maintain the necessary level of safety and allow adequate time for operators to modify their maintenance program. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Extend Compliance Time: Account for Design Service Goals Airbus requested that we revise the proposed compliance time to consider the Airbus design service goals (DSGs) for the affected airplanes. Airbus provided a proposed grace period for any airplane close to its DSG value near the end of the compliance time, until the airplane’s certificate of airworthiness is withdrawn. We disagree with the request. This AD includes all airplanes that have the defined unsafe condition regardless if the airplane is currently in operation, or has been removed from service. As Airbus has described the operators may choose to further invest in the airplanes and operate them in what Airbus calls the extended service goals (ESG). This AD does not prevent an airplane from being operated beyond the DSG so a grace period for any airplane close to its DSG does not maintain an adequate level of safety. Under the provisions of paragraph (h) of this final rule, however, we will consider requests to approve an extension of the compliance time if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the extension would also provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Concern for Length of Time To Develop and Mandate Fix Two commenters expressed concern about the length of time it has taken to develop and mandate a fix for the unsafe condition. The NTSB, although encouraged by the various actions being considered to address the unsafe condition, was concerned about the lack of a definitive E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 218 / Friday, November 9, 2012 / Rules and Regulations fix for the rudder system. Since the exact details of the PTLU fix have not yet been available, the NTSB could not determine the benefit of this system. The NTSB was also concerned about the amount of time spent to make the design change available to operators. Geoffrey Barrance also questioned this timeframe, and asked whether we have new information about the need to mandate a modification of the rudder system. The FAA understands the NTSB concern about the lack of definitive PTLU design information provided with the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011), and the concern about the amount of time that has transpired to make a design change available to operators. As stated in the NPRM, there were no service instructions available at that time to address the unsafe condition. However, the FAA determined that taking additional time to develop service information before beginning the corrective action notification process was not in the public’s interest. Since the date of the NPRM publication, Airbus has developed a design change that is a more cost-effective solution than the originally planned PTLU, which has also received design approval by the EASA and the FAA. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with Request To Clarify Modification Approval Timeframe Geoffrey Barrance acknowledged the FAA’s possible reluctance to limit the corrective action to a single technical approach, but questioned why it would take 3 years to mandate installation of the PTLU. We have established a compliance time of 4 years to implement the required design change, including an estimated 3-year timeframe for developing and approving a modification that ensures that parts and installation instructions are available. The FAA is confident that a modification will be available in a timely manner and that the compliance time, as proposed, will leave adequate time for operators to implement the changes required by this AD. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Clarify Background in NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) Based on its request for an alternative solution to the unsafe condition, Airbus requested changes to the Discussion section of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). Where the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) referred to events of ‘‘excessive rudder pedal inputs’’ that resulted in high vertical stabilizer loads, VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Nov 08, 2012 Jkt 229001 Airbus suggested that we recharacterize the events as ‘‘excessive rapid alternating and large pilot rudder pedal inputs.’’ Airbus described the reported conditions that support this finding. Where the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) describes the PTLU as one option under consideration for the modification to the rudder control system, Airbus suggested that we also state that the PTLU has no effect on crew awareness that rapid alternating and larger rudder inputs addressed in section 25.1583 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.1583) are always inappropriate. Airbus stated that if a flightcrew were to perform such inputs, the loads created would be lower for an airplane fitted with a PTLU than one without a PTLU. But the flightcrew would still have the potential to add to the loads in the same direction induced on the vertical stabilizer by an increasing sideslip. Airbus concluded that high loads to the vertical stabilizer will occur anyway if the pilot continues to use the inappropriate piloting technique, but a given level of high loads and the associated hazard will be reached a few seconds later for an airplane fitted with a PTLU. We agree that the requested changes might clarify the background information of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). The Discussion section, however, is not restated in a final rule, so we have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Include Additional Background Information Francis Gentile requested that we add a journal article to the AD docket. This article indicated the need for design improvements to relieve the limited adaptive capability of pilots. We acknowledge the commenter’s request, but the article was not part of the AD development process and would serve no purpose in the AD docket. In light of potential proprietary issues and the appropriateness of posting this type of article in the AD docket, we have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Provide Information on Evaluation of Rudder Pedal Sensitivity ALPA requested an evaluation of rudder pedal sensitivity and means to prevent inadvertent over control. The FAA has already tasked the ARAC to consider general rulemaking in 14 CFR part 25 to address pedal sensitivity as well as several other considerations to ensure that pilotcommanded pedal reversals are safe or precluded, or that the system design reduces the likelihood of pedal PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 67259 reversals. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request for Information The NTSB requested information on Airbus’s development of a flight deck warning light that does not incorporate any mechanical changes to the rudder system. The NTSB is concerned that a warning light alone will not rectify the unsafe condition. The SRIW warning modification consists of a prominent warning light and a loud verbal warning directing the pilot to cease inputs to the rudder. After reviewing the design, analyses, and simulator demonstrations, the FAA has concluded that these alerts, taken together, are compelling, timely, and will prevent the flightcrew from continuing the inappropriate rudder inputs prior to exceeding the ultimate design loads that could result in failure of the vertical stabilizer. The FAA has determined that the SRIW modification, combined with suitable flightcrew training programs, provides an acceptable mitigation for the unsafe condition. As explained previously, we have changed the final rule to include the SRIW modification as one approved method for complying with this AD. Request To Revise Cost Estimate Airbus noted that the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) included estimated costs only for the PTLU installation. Airbus requested that we revise the NPRM to include the estimated costs to install an alert warning system. UPS asserted that the NPRM underestimated the costs of the proposed modification, which would involve upgrading computers and installing warning light consoles, switching relays, and associated interconnect wiring. We agree to revise the cost estimate. Cost information for the alert warning system was not available when we issued the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). As one of the modifications accepted by the FAA, it should be included. We have revised the Costs of Compliance section accordingly in this final rule. Request To Change Air Transport Association (ATA) Code Airbus requested that we revise paragraph (d) of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) to add ATA Code 31, Instruments, to reflect Airbus’s proposal to install a crew warning as one way to comply with the NPRM. We agree with the request and rationale. We have changed paragraph (d) in this final rule accordingly. E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 67260 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 218 / Friday, November 9, 2012 / Rules and Regulations Questions About Safety Recommendations (SRs) Mr. Barrance asked whether the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) addressed NTSB SRs A–04–56 and A– 04–57, and whether failure to refer to SR A–04–58 was an omission. An FAA ARAC is considering general rulemaking to address rudder pedal sensitivity, including factors beyond those specified in this AD. This AD is in response to SRs A–04–058, A–04– 044, and A–04–063. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Conclusion We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of the AD. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD will affect 215 airplanes of U.S. registry. The unsafe condition may be addressed by installing a PTLU or alert warning system, although these may not be the only acceptable methods. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD, based on preliminary information provided by the manufacturer. ESTIMATED COSTS Installation Work hours PTLU ................................................................................................................ Alert warning system for products with a flight warning computer standard developed from year 2000 and onwards ..................................................... Alert warning system for remaining airplanes ................................................. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with 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 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), (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Nov 08, 2012 Jkt 229001 $190,000 $198,500 32 32 85 85 70,000 105,000 72,720 107,720 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: 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. [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ 2012–21–15 Airbus: Amendment 39–17231; Docket No. FAA–2011–0518; Directorate Identifier 2010–NM–150–AD. (a) Effective Date This AD is effective December 14, 2012. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Airbus Model A300 B4–601, B4–603, B4–620, and B4–622 airplanes; Model A300 B4–605R and B4– 622R airplanes; Model A300 F4–605R and F4–622R airplanes; Model A300 C4–605R Variant F airplanes; and Model A310–203, Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Cost per product $85 List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 PO 00000 Parts 100 (4) 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. § 39.13 Average labor rate per hour –204, –221, –222, –304, –322, –324, and –325 airplanes; certificated in any category. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls; and 31, Instruments. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by events of excessive alternating rudder pedal inputs and consequent loads on the vertical stabilizer that exceed ultimate design loads. Such events could lead to failure of the vertical stabilizer and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. (f) Compliance You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done. (g) Modification Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in either paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD to address the unsafe condition identified in paragraph (e) of this AD. (1) Incorporate a design change to the rudder control system and/or other systems, in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM– 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA. (2) Install a stop rudder inputs warning (SRIW) modification by doing the applicable actions specified in paragraph (g)(2)(i) or (g)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable. (i) For Model A300–600 series airplanes: Do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(A) and (g)(2)(i)(B) of this AD. (A) Install a SRIW device, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300–22–6054, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. Before or concurrently with the SRIW installation, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(A)(1) and (g)(2)(i)(A)(2) of this AD. E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 218 / Friday, November 9, 2012 / Rules and Regulations (1) Upgrade the flight control computer (FCC) to introduce the SRIW logic, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300– 22–6056, dated April 25, 2012. (2) Upgrade the flight warning computer (FWC) to introduce the SRIW aural capability, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300–31–6140, dated May 4, 2012. (B) Activate the SRIW device, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300–22–6055, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012. (ii) For Model A310 series airplanes: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(ii)(A) and (g)(2)(ii)(B) of this AD. (A) Install a SRIW device, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22–2063, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. Before or concurrently with the SRIW installation, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(ii)(A)(1) and (g)(2)(ii)(A)(2) of this AD. (1) Upgrade the FCC to introduce the SRIW logic, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22–2065, dated April 25, 2012. (2) Upgrade the FWC to introduce the SRIW aural capability, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310–31–2144, dated May 4, 2012. (B) Activate the SRIW device, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A310–22–2064, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the Manager, ANM– 116, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (i) Related Information (1) For related information, refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2012–0088, dated June 25, 2012, and the service bulletins identified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(viii) of this AD, for related information. (i) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300–22–6055, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012. (ii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A310–22–2064, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012. VerDate Mar<15>2010 13:51 Nov 08, 2012 Jkt 229001 (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300–22– 6054, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A300–22– 6056, dated April 25, 2012. (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A300–31–6140, dated May 4, 2012. (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22– 2063, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. (vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22– 2065, dated April 25, 2012. (viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310–31– 2144, dated May 4, 2012. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057– 3356; telephone 425–227–2125; fax 425–227– 1149. (j) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300–22–6055, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012. (ii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A310–22–2064, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012. (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300–22– 6054, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A300–22– 6056, dated April 25, 2012. (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A300–31–6140, dated May 4, 2012. (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22– 2063, including Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. (vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310–22– 2065, dated April 25, 2012. (viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310–31– 2144, dated May 4, 2012. (3) For the service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS–EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airwortheas@airbus.com; Internet http:// www.airbus.com. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 67261 Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 12, 2012. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–26963 Filed 11–8–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0502; Directorate Identifier 2010–SW–097–AD; Amendment 39–17242; AD 2012–22–06] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Aeronautical Accessories, Inc., High Landing Gear Forward Crosstube Assembly Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Aeronautical Accessories, Inc. (AAI) high landing gear forward crosstube assemblies (crosstubes) installed on Agusta S.p.A. (Agusta) Model AB412 and AB412EP; and Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell) Model 205A, 205A– 1, 205B, 212, 412, 412CF, and 412EP helicopters during production or based on a supplemental type certificate (STC). This AD requires counting and recording the total number of landings for the crosstubes, and inspecting the crosstubes and replacing them if a crack or other damage exists. This AD was prompted by two reports from the field of failed crosstubes. The actions are intended to prevent failure of a crosstube, collapse of the landing gear, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. DATES: This AD is effective December 14, 2012. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain documents listed in this AD as of December 14, 2012. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact Aeronautical Accessories, Inc., P.O. Box 3689, Bristol, TN 37625–3689, telephone (423) 538–5151 or (800) 251– 7094, fax (423) 538–8469, or at http:// www.aero-access.com. You may review a copy of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth Texas 76137. Examining the AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09NOR1.SGM 09NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 218 (Friday, November 9, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67256-67261]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26963]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2011-0518; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-150-AD; 
Amendment 39-17231; AD 2012-21-15]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and 
Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called A300-600 
series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. This AD was 
prompted by events of excessive rudder pedal inputs and consequent high 
loads on the vertical stabilizer on several airplanes. This AD requires 
either incorporating a design change to the rudder control system and/
or other systems, or installing a stop rudder inputs warning (SRIW) 
modification. We are issuing this AD to prevent loads on the vertical 
stabilizer that exceed ultimate design loads, which could cause failure 
of the vertical stabilizer and consequent reduced controllability of 
the airplane.

DATES: This AD is effective December 14, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of December 14, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: For the service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus SAS--EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 
31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 
93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may review copies of the referenced service 
information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind 
Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of 
this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The address for the 
Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-
2125; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. 
That NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 19, 2011 (76 FR 
28914). That NPRM proposed to require incorporating a design change to 
the rudder control system and/or other systems to address the unsafe 
condition.

Relevant Service Information

    Since we issued the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011), Airbus has 
issued the following service information:
     Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-22-6055, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012
     Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6054, including Appendix 
01, dated June 20, 2012
     Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6056, dated April 25, 2012
     Airbus Service Bulletin A300-31-6140, dated May 4, 2012
     Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A310-22-2064, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012
     Airbus Service Bulletin A310-22-2063, including Appendix 
01, dated June 20, 2012
     Airbus Service Bulletin A310-22-2065, dated April 25, 2012
     Airbus Service Bulletin A310-31-2144, dated May 4, 2012
    These service bulletins describe procedures related to the SRIW 
modification. The procedures include installing a SRIW device, 
activating the SRIW device, upgrading the flight control computer to 
introduce the SRIW logic, and upgrading the flight warning computer. We 
have revised paragraph (g) in this final rule to allow accomplishment 
of this modification as an optional method of compliance with the 
requirements of the AD.

[[Page 67257]]

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. The following presents the comments received on the proposal 
(76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011)

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Air Line Pilots 
Association, International (ALPA), support the intent of the NPRM (76 
FR 28914, May 19, 2011).

Requests To Withdraw NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011): Unjustifiable 
Burden on Operators

    UPS and FedEx requested that we withdraw the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 
19, 2011).
    UPS stated that, in light of its existing operational and 
monitoring processes, the cost of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) 
would be a severe and unnecessary burden relative to its benefit. UPS 
stated that its flightcrews operate the airplanes in a manner that 
would not warrant the need for the proposed systems. UPS described its 
A300 flight training program, flight operations quality assurance 
(FOQA) program, and manual changes that were prompted by the incidents, 
and added that its training and awareness programs have been enhanced 
to specifically address the inherent high-speed sensitivity or response 
of the A300 rudder control system. UPS concluded that its flight 
training program emphasizes proper use of the rudder for which the 
rudder has been certified, and its robust FOQA program coupled with a 
review of maximum lateral loading from actual flights demonstrates that 
UPS flightcrews do not induce heavy side loading with improper rudder 
use. In addition, UPS stated that the FAA has already taken numerous 
actions to address this safety issue.
    FedEx stated that its current flightcrew training practices have 
ensured elimination of excessive rudder pedal inputs on FedEx's Model 
A300-600 and A310 series airplanes. FedEx further detailed that it has 
monitored and recorded events of lateral G exceedences at FedEx as a 
result of FAA AD 2002-06-09, Amendment 39-12686 (67 FR 13259, March 22, 
2002; corrected at 67 FR 51459, August 8, 2002), and all such events 
have been a result of something other than pilot rudder pedal input.
    Although the FAA agrees with the importance of enhanced training 
and operational awareness of Model A300 and A310 rudder pedal 
sensitivity, we disagree to withdraw the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 
2011). The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the 
rudder pedal's sensitivity contributed to the American Airlines flight 
587 accident, and, during a recent upset on an airplane with a similar 
system, the pilot made excessive pedal input, thinking he was actually 
correcting an airplane malfunction. Even with significant emphasis on 
training and rudder pedal sensitivity awareness, however, there have 
been additional full rudder pedal reversal occurrences on airplanes 
with similar rudder control systems. We have concluded that training 
alone is inadequate, and we have determined that a modification such as 
the pedal travel limiter unit (PTLU) or other design modification is 
necessary to address the unsafe condition. We have not changed the 
final rule regarding this issue. Based on the best information 
available on possible flightcrew training and possible design 
modifications, we have identified the need to incorporate a design 
change that will further address this unsafe condition. In addition, 
the FAA has tasked a joint authority-industry group to recommend 
criteria that might be used to evaluate other models. Upon acceptance 
of appropriate criteria, the FAA will begin to assess other in-service 
airplanes. Currently, the group is scheduled to complete its work in 
late 2013. See the FAA's response to the comments under ``Request to 
Expand Applicability'' in this final rule.

Request To Emphasize Training

    In addition to supporting design enhancements to prevent 
inadvertent rudder over control, ALPA stated there should continue to 
be emphasis on the appropriate use of rudder in training programs.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter that training programs are 
beneficial. Since the American Airlines Flight 587 accident, the FAA 
has emphasized training with letters to all affected operators 
notifying them of concerns regarding the need for industry-wide pilot 
knowledge and training on proper use of rudder pedals, in addition to 
the potential consequences of some maneuvers that might exceed the 
structural limits of the vertical tail. The FAA also tasked a working 
group to help develop specific training programs for rudder usage on 
all transport category airplanes. The FAA has also added language in 
section 25.1583(a)(3) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 
25.1583(a)(3)) to warn against control reversals. Training will 
continue to be emphasized in the future; however, the intent of this AD 
is to require a design change be made to the airplane to correct the 
unsafe condition. We have not changed this final rule regarding this 
issue.

Request for Alternative Solution

    Airbus suggested that, in lieu of the PTLU design modification 
discussed in the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011), we revise the NPRM 
to add another way to comply--by installing a warning light on the 
glareshield directly in front of each pilot and an associated ``stop 
rudder inputs'' aural warning, in addition to revising the airplane 
flight manual and reinforced flightcrew training. Airbus noted that 
flightcrew failure to use proper techniques was a contributing factor 
to the excessive rudder pedal inputs.
    According to Airbus, its warning system will deter pilots from 
continuing the application of rapid alternating and large rudder pedal 
inputs, and is a more suitable solution than the PTLU modification 
proposed by the FAA.
    We acknowledge Airbus's suggested solution, which was unavailable 
for consideration at the time we issued the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 
2011). Following the receipt of the Airbus comments, the FAA has 
evaluated the Airbus alternative and found the ``stop rudder inputs'' 
warning (SRIW) modification combined with suitable flightcrew training 
programs provides an acceptable mitigation for the unsafe condition. As 
stated previously, we agree to change this final rule to allow the SRIW 
modification as an optional method of compliance with the requirements 
of the AD. In addition, since we issued the NPRM, the European Aviation 
Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member 
States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD 2012-0088, dated 
June 25, 2012, to require installation of the SRIW modification on 
Model A300-600 and A310 series airplanes to address this unsafe 
condition.

Requests for Alternative Compliance Method

    Francis Gentile requested that we revise the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 
19, 2011) to include, as one way to comply with the NPRM, the option to 
tape a yaw string onto the front windows to give the pilot maximum 
feedback against excessive yaw and pilot-induced oscillation.
    We disagree with this request. The unsafe condition presents itself 
with dynamic yaw excursions linked to rudder pedal reversals. Yaw 
indicators already present on the flight deck have

[[Page 67258]]

not proven effective in previous rudder pedal reversal events.
    Mr. Gentile also suggested adhering a pointed cone on each rudder 
pedal to give the pilot the progressive feedback sensation of force 
applied to the pedal and possibly cause pain in the ball of the foot or 
a twisting ankle to deter the pilot from making inputs or at least 
alert the pilot to stop making such an input. The commenter pointed out 
that this solution might be less expensive than the proposed 
modification. The commenter noted that the cone might also interfere 
with other pedal functions such as braking.
    We do not agree with this comment. The commenter has provided an 
unproven design suggestion. There is no evidence that such devices 
would be effective at preventing the unsafe condition. The rudder 
pedals are used normally for taxiing and flying the airplane. Adding 
cone devices to the pedals may interfere with normal pedal usage. There 
are certain safety-critical conditions where it is necessary for the 
pilot to apply rapid hard pedal inputs. Anything that interferes with 
the pilot's ability to make necessary inputs could reduce safety. Such 
devices might also defeat the purpose of the pedal adjustment feature 
that allows shorter or taller pilots to use the pedal, and affect 
appropriate steering and braking. Under the provisions of paragraph (h) 
of this AD, however, we will consider requests for approval of 
different compliance methods if sufficient data are submitted to 
substantiate that the change would provide an acceptable level of 
safety.
    We have not changed the AD regarding these issues.

Request To Expand Applicability

    Airbus questioned the basis for the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 
2011)--that rudder pedal sensitivity is limited to Model A300-600 and 
A310 series airplanes. Airbus added that rapid alternating and large 
pilot rudder inputs while enroute are inappropriate and have the 
potential to be unsafe for a wider fleet of large transport airplanes. 
Airbus identified several resources supporting this position.
    We infer that Airbus wants us to expand the applicability of the 
NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011), or otherwise consider similar 
rulemaking to extend to other airplane models and airplanes produced by 
other manufacturers. While the FAA has not determined that an unsafe 
condition exists on other airplanes, we are considering a number of 
factors on other airplanes, including pedal reversals, pedal 
sensitivity, and airplane dynamics and fin loads. NTSB Safety 
Recommendation A-04-56 recommends developing a revised standard to 
ensure safe handling qualities in the yaw axis throughout the flight 
envelope, including limits for rudder pedal sensitivity. Currently an 
FAA aviation rulemaking advisory committee (ARAC) has been assigned to 
evaluate this safety recommendation. Pending the ARAC recommendation, 
the FAA will determine whether other airplanes have a similar unsafe 
condition that needs to be addressed by rulemaking or airworthiness 
actions. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Request To Remove Model A310-200 Airplanes From Applicability

    Airbus requested that we revise the applicability of the NPRM (76 
FR 28914, May 19, 2011) to remove Model A310-200 airplanes because 
their remaining service life is short.
    We disagree with the request. Service life projections vary among 
operators and are difficult to accurately determine. Airbus did not 
provide any specific service life projections. In addition, the 
utilization rate of these airplanes is low, which can preserve and 
extend their life. We therefore do not consider this request to have 
adequate justification. We have not changed the final rule regarding 
this issue.

Request To Revise Compliance Time: Account for PTLU Development Time

    FedEx requested that we extend the proposed compliance time to 
account for development time for the PTLU.
    We disagree with the request. We have determined that the unsafe 
condition warrants corrective action within the specified time frame. 
If developing the PTLU and incorporating the mandated changes require 
additional time, the FAA may consider revising the AD to extend the 
compliance time, or provide such relief through approval of an AMOC to 
extend the compliance time of the AD according to the provisions of 
paragraph (h) of this AD. We have not changed the final rule regarding 
this issue.

Request To Revise Compliance Time: Allow for New Maintenance Procedures

    FedEx requested that we revise the compliance time in the NPRM (76 
FR 28914, May 19, 2011) to allow time to incorporate new maintenance 
procedures to accommodate the proposed modification. Based on past 
experience, FedEx considered the proposed 48-month compliance time 
unrealistic to account for changes in maintenance programs. FedEx also 
requested that we extend the proposed compliance time to 72 months to 
allow time to revise the master minimum equipment list (MMEL) to 
support dispatch reliability of the newly installed system. UPS stated 
that at least 6 years would be needed to install the PTLU on its fleet.
    We disagree with the FedEx proposal. In determining the appropriate 
compliance time for this AD, we considered many factors, including 
those related to maintenance program adjustments. Further, once the 
PTLU is developed and ready for incorporation on the fleet, operators 
may request MMEL relief via an AMOC request to the AD. We determined 
that the compliance time, as proposed, will maintain the necessary 
level of safety and allow adequate time for operators to modify their 
maintenance program. We have not changed the final rule regarding this 
issue.

Request To Extend Compliance Time: Account for Design Service Goals

    Airbus requested that we revise the proposed compliance time to 
consider the Airbus design service goals (DSGs) for the affected 
airplanes. Airbus provided a proposed grace period for any airplane 
close to its DSG value near the end of the compliance time, until the 
airplane's certificate of airworthiness is withdrawn.
    We disagree with the request. This AD includes all airplanes that 
have the defined unsafe condition regardless if the airplane is 
currently in operation, or has been removed from service. As Airbus has 
described the operators may choose to further invest in the airplanes 
and operate them in what Airbus calls the extended service goals (ESG). 
This AD does not prevent an airplane from being operated beyond the DSG 
so a grace period for any airplane close to its DSG does not maintain 
an adequate level of safety. Under the provisions of paragraph (h) of 
this final rule, however, we will consider requests to approve an 
extension of the compliance time if sufficient data are submitted to 
substantiate that the extension would also provide an acceptable level 
of safety. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Concern for Length of Time To Develop and Mandate Fix

    Two commenters expressed concern about the length of time it has 
taken to develop and mandate a fix for the unsafe condition.
    The NTSB, although encouraged by the various actions being 
considered to address the unsafe condition, was concerned about the 
lack of a definitive

[[Page 67259]]

fix for the rudder system. Since the exact details of the PTLU fix have 
not yet been available, the NTSB could not determine the benefit of 
this system. The NTSB was also concerned about the amount of time spent 
to make the design change available to operators.
    Geoffrey Barrance also questioned this timeframe, and asked whether 
we have new information about the need to mandate a modification of the 
rudder system.
    The FAA understands the NTSB concern about the lack of definitive 
PTLU design information provided with the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 
2011), and the concern about the amount of time that has transpired to 
make a design change available to operators. As stated in the NPRM, 
there were no service instructions available at that time to address 
the unsafe condition. However, the FAA determined that taking 
additional time to develop service information before beginning the 
corrective action notification process was not in the public's 
interest. Since the date of the NPRM publication, Airbus has developed 
a design change that is a more cost-effective solution than the 
originally planned PTLU, which has also received design approval by the 
EASA and the FAA.

Request To Clarify Modification Approval Timeframe

    Geoffrey Barrance acknowledged the FAA's possible reluctance to 
limit the corrective action to a single technical approach, but 
questioned why it would take 3 years to mandate installation of the 
PTLU.
    We have established a compliance time of 4 years to implement the 
required design change, including an estimated 3-year timeframe for 
developing and approving a modification that ensures that parts and 
installation instructions are available. The FAA is confident that a 
modification will be available in a timely manner and that the 
compliance time, as proposed, will leave adequate time for operators to 
implement the changes required by this AD. We have not changed the 
final rule regarding this issue.

Request To Clarify Background in NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011)

    Based on its request for an alternative solution to the unsafe 
condition, Airbus requested changes to the Discussion section of the 
NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011).
    Where the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) referred to events of 
``excessive rudder pedal inputs'' that resulted in high vertical 
stabilizer loads, Airbus suggested that we recharacterize the events as 
``excessive rapid alternating and large pilot rudder pedal inputs.'' 
Airbus described the reported conditions that support this finding.
    Where the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) describes the PTLU as 
one option under consideration for the modification to the rudder 
control system, Airbus suggested that we also state that the PTLU has 
no effect on crew awareness that rapid alternating and larger rudder 
inputs addressed in section 25.1583 of the Federal Aviation Regulations 
(14 CFR 25.1583) are always inappropriate. Airbus stated that if a 
flightcrew were to perform such inputs, the loads created would be 
lower for an airplane fitted with a PTLU than one without a PTLU. But 
the flightcrew would still have the potential to add to the loads in 
the same direction induced on the vertical stabilizer by an increasing 
sideslip. Airbus concluded that high loads to the vertical stabilizer 
will occur anyway if the pilot continues to use the inappropriate 
piloting technique, but a given level of high loads and the associated 
hazard will be reached a few seconds later for an airplane fitted with 
a PTLU.
    We agree that the requested changes might clarify the background 
information of the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011). The Discussion 
section, however, is not restated in a final rule, so we have not 
changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Request To Include Additional Background Information

    Francis Gentile requested that we add a journal article to the AD 
docket. This article indicated the need for design improvements to 
relieve the limited adaptive capability of pilots.
    We acknowledge the commenter's request, but the article was not 
part of the AD development process and would serve no purpose in the AD 
docket. In light of potential proprietary issues and the 
appropriateness of posting this type of article in the AD docket, we 
have not changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Request To Provide Information on Evaluation of Rudder Pedal 
Sensitivity

    ALPA requested an evaluation of rudder pedal sensitivity and means 
to prevent inadvertent over control.
    The FAA has already tasked the ARAC to consider general rulemaking 
in 14 CFR part 25 to address pedal sensitivity as well as several other 
considerations to ensure that pilot-commanded pedal reversals are safe 
or precluded, or that the system design reduces the likelihood of pedal 
reversals. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Request for Information

    The NTSB requested information on Airbus's development of a flight 
deck warning light that does not incorporate any mechanical changes to 
the rudder system. The NTSB is concerned that a warning light alone 
will not rectify the unsafe condition.
    The SRIW warning modification consists of a prominent warning light 
and a loud verbal warning directing the pilot to cease inputs to the 
rudder. After reviewing the design, analyses, and simulator 
demonstrations, the FAA has concluded that these alerts, taken 
together, are compelling, timely, and will prevent the flightcrew from 
continuing the inappropriate rudder inputs prior to exceeding the 
ultimate design loads that could result in failure of the vertical 
stabilizer. The FAA has determined that the SRIW modification, combined 
with suitable flightcrew training programs, provides an acceptable 
mitigation for the unsafe condition.
    As explained previously, we have changed the final rule to include 
the SRIW modification as one approved method for complying with this 
AD.

Request To Revise Cost Estimate

    Airbus noted that the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) included 
estimated costs only for the PTLU installation. Airbus requested that 
we revise the NPRM to include the estimated costs to install an alert 
warning system. UPS asserted that the NPRM underestimated the costs of 
the proposed modification, which would involve upgrading computers and 
installing warning light consoles, switching relays, and associated 
interconnect wiring.
    We agree to revise the cost estimate. Cost information for the 
alert warning system was not available when we issued the NPRM (76 FR 
28914, May 19, 2011). As one of the modifications accepted by the FAA, 
it should be included. We have revised the Costs of Compliance section 
accordingly in this final rule.

Request To Change Air Transport Association (ATA) Code

    Airbus requested that we revise paragraph (d) of the NPRM (76 FR 
28914, May 19, 2011) to add ATA Code 31, Instruments, to reflect 
Airbus's proposal to install a crew warning as one way to comply with 
the NPRM.
    We agree with the request and rationale. We have changed paragraph 
(d) in this final rule accordingly.

[[Page 67260]]

Questions About Safety Recommendations (SRs)

    Mr. Barrance asked whether the NPRM (76 FR 28914, May 19, 2011) 
addressed NTSB SRs A-04-56 and A-04-57, and whether failure to refer to 
SR A-04-58 was an omission.
    An FAA ARAC is considering general rulemaking to address rudder 
pedal sensitivity, including factors beyond those specified in this AD. 
This AD is in response to SRs A-04-058, A-04-044, and A-04-063. We have 
not changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
the AD with the changes described previously. We also determined that 
these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or 
increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 215 airplanes of U.S. 
registry.
    The unsafe condition may be addressed by installing a PTLU or alert 
warning system, although these may not be the only acceptable methods. 
The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to 
comply with this AD, based on preliminary information provided by the 
manufacturer.

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Average labor                     Cost per
                  Installation                      Work hours     rate per hour       Parts          product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PTLU............................................             100             $85        $190,000        $198,500
Alert warning system for products with a flight               32              85          70,000          72,720
 warning computer standard developed from year
 2000 and onwards...............................
Alert warning system for remaining airplanes....              32              85         105,000         107,720
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    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),
    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (4) 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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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 FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2012-21-15 Airbus: Amendment 39-17231; Docket No. FAA-2011-0518; 
Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-150-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective December 14, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, 
and B4-622 airplanes; Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes; 
Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes; Model A300 C4-605R Variant 
F airplanes; and Model A310-203, -204, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, 
and -325 airplanes; certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight 
controls; and 31, Instruments.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by events of excessive alternating rudder 
pedal inputs and consequent loads on the vertical stabilizer that 
exceed ultimate design loads. Such events could lead to failure of 
the vertical stabilizer and consequent reduced controllability of 
the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Modification

    Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, do the 
actions specified in either paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD to 
address the unsafe condition identified in paragraph (e) of this AD.
    (1) Incorporate a design change to the rudder control system 
and/or other systems, in accordance with a method approved by the 
Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane 
Directorate, FAA.
    (2) Install a stop rudder inputs warning (SRIW) modification by 
doing the applicable actions specified in paragraph (g)(2)(i) or 
(g)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.
    (i) For Model A300-600 series airplanes: Do the applicable 
actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i)(A) and (g)(2)(i)(B) of 
this AD.
    (A) Install a SRIW device, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6054, including 
Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. Before or concurrently with the 
SRIW installation, do the actions specified in paragraphs 
(g)(2)(i)(A)(1) and (g)(2)(i)(A)(2) of this AD.

[[Page 67261]]

    (1) Upgrade the flight control computer (FCC) to introduce the 
SRIW logic, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of 
Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6056, dated April 25, 2012.
    (2) Upgrade the flight warning computer (FWC) to introduce the 
SRIW aural capability, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-31-6140, dated May 4, 
2012.
    (B) Activate the SRIW device, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin 
A300-22-6055, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 
2012.
    (ii) For Model A310 series airplanes: Do the actions specified 
in paragraphs (g)(2)(ii)(A) and (g)(2)(ii)(B) of this AD.
    (A) Install a SRIW device, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310-22-2063, including 
Appendix 01, dated June 20, 2012. Before or concurrently with the 
SRIW installation, do the actions specified in paragraphs 
(g)(2)(ii)(A)(1) and (g)(2)(ii)(A)(2) of this AD.
    (1) Upgrade the FCC to introduce the SRIW logic, in accordance 
with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin 
A310-22-2065, dated April 25, 2012.
    (2) Upgrade the FWC to introduce the SRIW aural capability, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A310-31-2144, dated May 4, 2012.
    (B) Activate the SRIW device, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin 
A310-22-2064, Revision 01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 
2012.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for 
this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In 
accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal 
inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. 
If sending information directly to the Manager, ANM-116, send it to 
the attention of the person identified in the Related Information 
section of this AD.
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.

(i) Related Information

    (1) For related information, refer to MCAI European Aviation 
Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2012-0088, dated June 25, 
2012, and the service bulletins identified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) 
through (i)(1)(viii) of this AD, for related information.
    (i) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-22-6055, Revision 01, 
including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012.
    (ii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A310-22-2064, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012.
    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6054, including Appendix 
01, dated June 20, 2012.
    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6056, dated April 25, 2012.
    (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-31-6140, dated May 4, 2012.
    (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-22-2063, including Appendix 
01, dated June 20, 2012.
    (vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-22-2065, dated April 25, 
2012.
    (viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-31-2144, dated May 4, 2012.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, 
Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 
98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A300-22-6055, Revision 01, 
including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012.
    (ii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A310-22-2064, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated May 31, 2012.
    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6054, including Appendix 
01, dated June 20, 2012.
    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-22-6056, dated April 25, 2012.
    (v) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-31-6140, dated May 4, 2012.
    (vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-22-2063, including Appendix 
01, dated June 20, 2012.
    (vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-22-2065, dated April 25, 
2012.
    (viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A310-31-2144, dated May 4, 2012.
    (3) For the service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus SAS-EAW (Airworthiness Office), 1 Rond Point Maurice 
Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; 
fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; 
Internet http://www.airbus.com.
    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
425-227-1221.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 12, 2012.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-26963 Filed 11-8-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P