Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes, 69573-69578 [2015-28197]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 217 / Tuesday, November 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations (g) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6500, Tail Rotor Drive. (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES galling, spalling, chipping, corrosion, heat discoloration, and distortion by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 3.B.(1) through 3.B.(2), of Sikorsky 269 Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) B–299.1 for Model 269A, 269A–1, 269B, 269C, and TH–55A helicopters; 269C–1 ASB C1B–036.1 for Model 269C–1 helicopters; or 269D ASB DB– 041.1 for Model 269D helicopters, each Revision 1 and dated February 24, 2012. If there is a crack, a break, excessive wear, galling, spalling, chipping, corrosion, heat discoloration, or distortion on any T/R driveshaft splined fitting, before further flight, replace the affected splined fitting and the T/R driveshaft. (ii) If installed, inspect each T/R driveshaft grease fitting for looseness, presence of a check ball inside each fitting, and for proper operation and seating of each check ball. If any grease fitting is loose, missing a check ball, fails to properly operate, or if a check ball fails to seat, before further flight, replace the grease fitting. (iii) Lubricate each driveshaft fitting by following the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B.(6), of Sikorsky 269 ASB B– 299.1 for Model 269A, 269A–1, 269B, 269C, and TH–55A helicopters; 269C–1 ASB C1B– 036.1 for Model 269C–1 helicopters; or 269D ASB DB–041.1 for Model 269D helicopters, each Revision 1 and dated February 24, 2012. (2) Within 100 hours TIS after the inspections required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD, and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 100 hours TIS: (i) Remove the driveshaft from the gearbox and clean any grease from each end fitting. (ii) Inspect the driveshaft for straightness, a twist, and a scratch. If the driveshaft has any bends, twists, or scratches, before further flight, replace the driveshaft. (iii) Inspect the internal splines of each forward and aft fitting and each internal stop for wear. If there is any wear, before further flight, replace the fitting. (iv) Inspect the drive splines of each splined drive fitting for wear. If there is any wear, before further flight, replace the splined drive fitting. (v) Loosen the aft frame clamp and apply a torque of 750 to 1,000 inch-pounds to each main transmission aft pinion nut. 14 CFR Part 39 (1) The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Stephen Kowalski, Aviation Safety Engineer, New York Aircraft Certification Office, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1600 Stewart Ave., Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone (516) 228–7327; email stephen.kowalski@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, we suggest that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:26 Nov 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 (h) 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) Sikorsky 269 Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) B–299.1, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2012. (ii) Sikorsky 269C–1 ASB C1B–036.1, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2012. (iii) Sikorsky 269D ASB DB–041.1, Revision 1, dated February 24, 2012. (3) For Sikorsky service information identified in this AD, contact Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Customer Service Engineering, 124 Quarry Road, Trumbull, CT 06611; telephone 1–800–Winged–S or 203– 416–4299; email sikorskywcs@sikorsky.com. (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222–5110. (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 Fort Worth, Texas, on October 30, 2015. James A. Grigg, Acting Assistant Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2015–28313 Filed 11–9–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration [Docket No. FAA–2014–0574; Directorate Identifier 2013–NM–258–AD; Amendment 39–18315; AD 2015–22–10] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of skin disbonding SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 69573 on a composite side shell panel of a rudder. This AD requires an inspection to determine if any rudder composite side shell panel has been repaired, a thermography inspection of each rudder that has received this repair, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct skin disbonding on the rudder, which could affect the structural integrity of the rudder, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane. DATES: This AD becomes effective December 15, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 15, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0574 or in person at the Docket 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. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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. You may view this referenced 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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2014–0574. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–1405; fax 425–227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A318 series airplanes, Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320–211, –212, –214, –231, –232, and –233 airplanes, and Model A321 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2014 (79 FR 49724). The NPRM was prompted by a report of skin disbonding on a composite side shell E:\FR\FM\10NOR1.SGM 10NOR1 69574 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 217 / Tuesday, November 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations panel of a rudder. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection to determine if any rudder composite side shell panel has been repaired, a thermography inspection of each rudder that has received this repair, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct skin disbonding on the rudder, which could affect the structural integrity of the rudder, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013–0302, dated December 19, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states: rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES A case of skin disbonding was reported on a composite side shell panel of a rudder installed on an A310 aeroplane. Investigation results revealed that this disbonding had started from a skin panel area, previously repaired in-service, in accordance with Structural Repair Manual (SRM) instructions. The initial damage was identified as a disbonding between the core and the skin of the repaired area. This damage was not visually detectable and likely propagated during normal operation due to the variation of pressure during ground-air-ground cycles. Composite rudder side shell panels are also installed on A320 family aeroplanes, which may have been repaired in-service using a similar method. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the rudder, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane. To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320– 55–1041 to provide instructions to inspect and correct any affected composite rudder side shell panels. For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires [an inspection to determine if any rudder composite side shell panel has been repaired], a one-time [pulse] thermography inspection of each rudder that have received a composite rudder side shell panel repair, and, depending on the findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective and follow-up actions [related investigative actions and repetitive inspections]. The related investigative actions include elasticity laminate checker (ELCH) inspections, ultrasonic testing (UT) inspections, pulse thermography inspections, and tap test or woodpecker inspections. The repetitive inspections include ELCH inspections, UT inspections, pulse thermography inspections, and detailed inspections (certain repetitive inspections are required if hole restoration is done; VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:26 Nov 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 certain other repetitive inspections are options for certain corrective actions). The corrective actions include core venting through the inner skin, replacements, restorations, and repairs. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-05740007. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) and the FAA’s response to each comment. Request To Extend Compliance Time for Rudder Inspections Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) requested that we change the compliance time in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) from 24 months to at least 42 months. DAL stated that the 24-month compliance time for accomplishing rudder inspections will be overly burdensome to operators of large fleets. DAL explained that it has 128 affected units, and if two full-time technicians were assigned for the inspection and rework, it would take over 7 years to accomplish the inspections. DAL added that a 42-month compliance time would allow proper planning, inspection, and rework of affected rudders and suggested that intervisual inspections could be used to support this compliance time extension. We disagree with the commenter’s request. The compliance time is based on a risk assessment. Some safety issues are more time-sensitive than others. We have considered the compliance time established by the EASA (the State of Design authority), and the overall risk to the fleet, including the severity of the identified unsafe condition and the likelihood of the occurrence of the unsafe condition, to determine the compliance time. However, under the provisions of paragraph (p)(1) of this AD, operators may apply for an extension of the compliance time by providing rationale explaining why a compliance time extension provides an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Requests To Revise Service Information and Use Alternative Sanding Procedure United Airlines (UAL) and Airbus requested that we revise the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to reference Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 required actions. Airbus also requested we allow credit for work accomplished prior to the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55– 1041, dated November 26, 2012. Airbus also requested we to revise paragraph (h) of the proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to allow local sanding as an alternative to pulse thermography inspections for determining type, location, and size of repair, as described in Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. Airbus also requested we allow credit for work accomplished prior to the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, dated November 26, 2012. We partially agree with the commenters’ requests. We agree to reference Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the required actions. We have changed paragraphs (h), (i)(2), (j), (j)(1), (j)(2), (k), (l)(1), (l)(2), and (n) of this AD accordingly. We also agree to provide credit for work accomplished prior to the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, dated November 26, 2012. We have added new paragraph (o) to this AD to provide this credit, and redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly. However, we disagree with Airbus’s request to revise paragraph (h) of this AD to allow local sanding as an alternative to pulse thermography inspections for determining type, location, and size of repair. Based on Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, local sanding is an alternative to pulse thermography inspections only in certain specific cases, and it is possible that pulse thermography inspections would be required after the local sanding. However, operators may apply for approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the provisions specified in paragraph (p)(1) of this AD, and must identify clearly the conditions for using local sanding in lieu of pulse thermography inspections. Request To Remove Structural Repair Manual (SRM) Repair Prohibition UAL requested we remove paragraph (n) of the proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014), which prohibits repair in accordance with certain SRM procedures. UAL stated it is unnecessary to prohibit repair per these procedures since the procedures have been deactivated by Airbus. E:\FR\FM\10NOR1.SGM 10NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 217 / Tuesday, November 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations We disagree with the commenter’s request. Deactivation of SRM procedures by the manufacturer cannot ensure prevention of all operators from using the SRM procedures if they have not kept their manual current. We have not changed this AD in this regard. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Request To Revise Cost Estimate UAL and DAL requested that we revise the estimated cost. The commenters stated that the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) understates the required costs and does not provided on-condition cost estimates. UAL and DAL provided some examples of costs incurred for previous repairs. We disagree with the commenters’ request. We indicated in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) that we do not have information about the costs associated with the on-condition actions to mitigate the risk addressed in the NPRM. The on-condition costs can vary for each operator, depending upon inspection findings. Therefore, we have not provided on-condition cost estimates; instead, we provided our best estimate for the inspection costs based on the information received from the airframe manufacturer. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Requests To Remove Requirement for Reporting Undocumented Rudders UAL and DAL requested that we remove paragraph (i)(1) of the proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014), which proposed to require sending to Airbus the records for each rudder and serial number of each rudder for which maintenance records are incomplete or unavailable. Mr. Amaar Chaudhary requested we revise paragraph (i)(1) of the proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to require sending only the rudder serial number to Airbus. However, UAL stated that providing such rudder records is not reasonable because the records are embedded within various paper forms in separate archived collections spanning the airplane life of up to 19 years, and are not in a recoverable electronic format. UAL and DAL also explained that it is possible operators have not retained records for permanent rudder repairs earlier than the previous airplane overhaul per section 121.380 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.380). We agree with the commenters’ statements that paragraph (i)(1) of this AD should not require sending rudder repair records to Airbus. However, we disagree with the requests to not require submission of serial numbers of rudders without maintenance records to Airbus. Operators must report the rudders VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:26 Nov 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 without maintenance records by serial number to Airbus to obtain related rudder manufacturing rework data. We have revised paragraph (i)(1) of this AD to specify sending to Airbus the serial number of each rudder for which maintenance records are not available or are incomplete. Request To Remove Requirement To Inspect for Repair Status DAL requested that we revise paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to remove the requirement to inspect repair records, but instead to require directly complying with the pulse thermography inspection proposed by paragraph (i) of the proposed AD. We disagree with the commenter’s request. Paragraph (g) of this AD establishes the requirements for paragraph (h) and (i) of this AD. An operator is required to inspect airplane maintenance records to determine if it needs to comply with paragraph (h) or (i) of this AD. In addition, the required reporting specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD will help determine the extent of the undocumented repairs in the affected fleet. Based on the results of these reports, we might determine that further corrective action is warranted. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Request To Add Part Number Change, and Remove Part Installation Limitation DAL requested that we require a part number change for post-inspection rudders to aid in configuration and AD compliance control, and remove the parts installation limitation in paragraph (m) of the proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014). DAL stated that, to prevent an unnecessary airplane out of service condition in the event a rudder change is required, allowing preand post-inspection rudders to be installed throughout the full compliance time would provide the same level of safety. We disagree with the commenter’s requests. Configuration control can be achieved by multiple methods and is unique to each operator’s method of managing its fleet. Therefore, we have not been prescriptive regarding methods for configuration control. We also disagree to omit paragraph (m) of this AD (Parts Installation Limitation). The intent of the paragraph (m) of this AD is to ensure that, from the effective date of this AD, rudders with a known unsafe condition are not installed unless the corrective actions of paragraph (j) of this AD are completed. This clarification has been coordinated with the EASA. The PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 69575 compliance time is established based on overall risk to the fleet, including the severity of the failure and the likelihood of the failure’s occurrence, fleet utilization, and availability of service information and parts. Therefore, the parts installation limitation should not be related to the compliance time associated with mitigating the unsafe condition. We have revised paragraph (m) of this AD to prevent, as of the effective date of this AD, installing a rudder with a known unsafe condition by specifying that the inspection requirements of paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD must be done and the applicable corrective actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD must be done, except for rudders that meet the requirements of paragraph (k) of this AD. Request To Use Alternative Testing Equipment DAL, Thermal Wave Imaging, and Snell Group requested the use of alternate equipment for performing the pulse thermography inspection required in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014). DAL stated that, at a recent Airlines for America non-destructive test (NDT) forum, evidence was presented supporting use of alternate equipment for performing pulse thermography inspections. DAL, Thermal Wave Imaging, and Snell Group explained that Airbus prohibits the use of alternate equipment other than what is recommended in the ‘‘NTM task 55–40–50–290–801–A–01.’’ Thermal Wave Imaging stated that since Airbus is both the manufacturer of the airplane and the vendor of the inspection equipment, it appears that the non-allowance of equivalent equipment is a business decision intended to increase its revenue and lock out other companies from not only this inspection, but future thermography inspections that may be developed. Thermal Wave Imaging and Snell Group provided a comparison of the Airbus recommended Gecko System equipment with VoyageIR Pro equipment for performing the pulse thermography inspection. We disagree with the commenters’ request. The commenters did not provide any substantiation to support the use of alternate inspection equipment other than the equipment recommended by Airbus. We were informed by Airbus that they have recommended the use of specific equipment after evaluating its performance, which will facilitate mitigating the risks associated with the identified unsafe condition. However, we will consider requests for approval E:\FR\FM\10NOR1.SGM 10NOR1 69576 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 217 / Tuesday, November 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations of an AMOC for the use of alternate inspection equipment in accordance with the provision in paragraph (p)(1) of this AD if sufficient data is submitted to substantiate that the results from the alternate inspection equipment are conclusive to facilitate mitigating the risks associated with the identified unsafe condition. We have not changed this AD in this regard. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES Request To Approve Future Service Bulletin Revisions DAL requested that future revisions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041 be considered as approved under EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA) for accomplishing the required AD actions. We disagree with the commenter’s request. Approval authority under EASA DOA, as stated in paragraph (p)(2) of this AD, is only applicable to requirements in this AD to obtain corrective actions from the manufacturer and does not apply to approval of future service information. When referring to a specific service bulletin in an AD, using the phrase, ‘‘or later approved revisions,’’ violates Office of the Federal Register regulations for approving materials that are incorporated by reference. However, affected operators may request approval to use a later revision of the referenced service bulletin as an alternative method of compliance, under the provisions of paragraph (p)(1) of this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Explanation of ‘‘RC’’ Steps in Service Information As stated previously, we have revised this final rule to reference Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the required actions. This service bulletin revision contains certain actions that are specified as Required for Compliance (RC). The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner’s/operator’s understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures and tests identified as RC in any service VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:26 Nov 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition. As specified in a NOTE under the Accomplishment Instructions of the specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator’s maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC. Conclusion We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes: • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014). We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspection of the rudders for potential damage, and repair. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD affects 851 airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 42 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $3,038,070, or $3,570 per product. We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD. Paperwork Reduction Act A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120–0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES–200. 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 determined that this AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and E:\FR\FM\10NOR1.SGM 10NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 217 / Tuesday, November 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations 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 the 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. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0574; 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 street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. 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 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 FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ 2015–22–10 Airbus: Amendment 39–18315. Docket No. FAA–2014–0574; Directorate Identifier 2013–NM–258–AD. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES (a) Effective Date This AD becomes effective December 15, 2015. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:26 Nov 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 (1) Airbus Model A318–111, –112, –121, and –122 airplanes. (2) Airbus Model A319–111, –112, –113, –114, –115, –131, –132, and –133 airplanes. (3) Airbus Model A320–211, –212, –214, –231, –232, and –233 airplanes. (4) Airbus Model A321–111, –112, –131, –211, –212, –213, –231, and –232 airplanes. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report of skin disbonding on a composite side shell panel of a rudder. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct skin disbonding on the rudder, which could affect the structural integrity of the rudder, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Inspection To Determine Repair Status Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Inspect the airplane maintenance records to determine if the rudder composite side shell panel has been repaired since first installation of the rudder on an airplane. (h) Inspection of Certain Repaired Rudders If the finding of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD reveals that a rudder repair has been done as described in Figure A–GBBAA (Sheet 01 and 02) or Figure A– GBCAA (Sheet 02) of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do a pulse thermography inspection on the rudder, limited to the repaired area(s), to determine type, location, and size of the repair, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. (i) Inspection of Rudders With No Records or Incomplete Records For each rudder for which maintenance records are not available or are incomplete: Do the actions required by paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD. (1) Not later than 3 months before accomplishment of the pulse thermography inspection required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, send the serial number of each rudder to Airbus. (2) Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do a pulse thermography inspection on complete rudder side shells to identify and mark the repair location, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. (j) Related Investigative Actions, Repetitive Inspections, and Corrective Actions After accomplishing the inspections required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, as applicable: Depending on findings, do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD, in accordance with PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 69577 the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD. Findings are specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. (1) Do all applicable related investigative actions and corrective actions at the applicable times specified in tables 3, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 5 in paragraph 1.E.(2), ‘‘Accomplishment Timescale,’’ of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, except as required by paragraph (l)(1) of this AD. (2) Do all applicable repetitive inspections of the restored and repaired areas at the applicable intervals specified in tables 3, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 5 in paragraph 1.E.(2), ‘‘Accomplishment Timescale,’’ of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. (k) Airplanes Excluded From Certain Requirements Airplanes fitted with a rudder having a serial number which is not in the range TS– 1001 to TS–1639 inclusive, or TS–2001 to TS–5890 inclusive; or is not TS–5927; are not affected by the requirements of paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD, provided it is determined that no repairs have been done as described in the structural repair manual (SRM) procedures identified in Figure A– GBBAA (Sheet 01 and 02) or Figure A– GBCAA (Sheet 02) of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, on the composite side shell panel of that rudder since first installation on an airplane. (l) Exceptions to Service Information (1) Where Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, specifies a compliance time ‘‘after the original Service Bulletin issue date,’’ this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD. (2) If any damage or fluid ingress is found during any inspection required by this AD and Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, specifies to contact Airbus: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOAauthorized signature. (m) Parts Installation Limitation As of the effective date of this AD: Except for rudders that meet the requirements of paragraph (k) of this AD, do not install a rudder unless the rudder is inspected prior to installation as specified in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, and all applicable corrective actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD are done. (n) Repair Prohibition As of the effective date of this AD, do not accomplish a composite side shell panel repair on any rudder using an SRM E:\FR\FM\10NOR1.SGM 10NOR1 69578 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 217 / Tuesday, November 10, 2015 / Rules and Regulations procedure identified in Figure A–GBBAA (Sheet 01 and 02) or Figure A–GBCAA (Sheet 02) of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55– 1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with RULES (o) Credit for Previous Actions This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, dated November 26, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD. (p) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): 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 International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–1405; fax 425–227–1149. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. 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. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD. (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM– 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (3) ‘‘RC’’ Steps in Service Information: Except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator’s maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC. (4) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information displays a current VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:26 Nov 09, 2015 Jkt 238001 valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number for this information collection is 2120–0056. Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, completing and reviewing the collection of information. All responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance Officer, AES–200. (q) Related Information (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013–0302, dated December 19, 2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0574-0007. (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (r)(3) and (r)(4) of this AD. (r) 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 this AD specifies otherwise. (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320–55–1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. (ii) Reserved. (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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, 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 28, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2015–28197 Filed 11–9–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 97 [Docket No.: FAA–2015–0783; Amendment No. 97–1337] RIN 2120–AA65 Standard Instrument Approach Procedures, and Takeoff Minimums and Obstacle Departure Procedures; Miscellaneous Amendments Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is issuing a final rule that removes certain redundant or underutilized ground-based nondirectional radio beacon (NDB) and VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs). On April 13, 2015, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking to remove 736 procedures. After consideration of public comments and conducting an internal review, the FAA has decided to move forward with removing 334 procedures that did not receive public comment. The 198 procedures for which comments were received will be addressed in the future. The FAA also identified 191 procedures that were proposed for removal but that do not meet the criteria at this time. Those 191 procedures may be reevaluated at a later date; however, their removal is withdrawn from consideration in this rule. There are 13 procedures erroneously identified in the NPRM that were already in the process for removal and should not have been included in this proceeding. The FAA concluded that these procedures should continue in the separate proceeding and are not addressed in this final rule. DATES: This rule is effective December 10, 2015. The removal date of each SIAP, associated Takeoff Minimums, and ODP is as specified in the amendatory provisions. ADDRESSES: For information on where to obtain copies of rulemaking documents and other information related to this final rule, see ‘‘How To Obtain Additional Information’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning this action, contact Mark D. Adams, Aeronautical Navigation Products, AJV– 5, Aeronautical Information Services, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, 6500 S. MacArthur SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10NOR1.SGM 10NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 217 (Tuesday, November 10, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 69573-69578]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-28197]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2014-0574; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-258-AD; 
Amendment 39-18315; AD 2015-22-10]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was 
prompted by a report of skin disbonding on a composite side shell panel 
of a rudder. This AD requires an inspection to determine if any rudder 
composite side shell panel has been repaired, a thermography inspection 
of each rudder that has received this repair, and related investigative 
and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect 
and correct skin disbonding on the rudder, which could affect the 
structural integrity of the rudder, possibly resulting in reduced 
control of the airplane.

DATES: This AD becomes effective December 15, 2015.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 15, 
2015.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0574 or in person at the 
Docket 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.
    For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, 
Airworthiness Office--EIAS, 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 view this referenced 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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-
0574.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; 
fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus Model A318 
series airplanes, Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -
214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321 series airplanes. 
The NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2014 (79 FR 
49724). The NPRM was prompted by a report of skin disbonding on a 
composite side shell

[[Page 69574]]

panel of a rudder. The NPRM proposed to require an inspection to 
determine if any rudder composite side shell panel has been repaired, a 
thermography inspection of each rudder that has received this repair, 
and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are 
issuing this AD to detect and correct skin disbonding on the rudder, 
which could affect the structural integrity of the rudder, possibly 
resulting in reduced control of the airplane.
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2013-0302, dated December 19, 2013 (referred to 
after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or 
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model 
A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A case of skin disbonding was reported on a composite side shell 
panel of a rudder installed on an A310 aeroplane. Investigation 
results revealed that this disbonding had started from a skin panel 
area, previously repaired in-service, in accordance with Structural 
Repair Manual (SRM) instructions. The initial damage was identified 
as a disbonding between the core and the skin of the repaired area. 
This damage was not visually detectable and likely propagated during 
normal operation due to the variation of pressure during ground-air-
ground cycles.
    Composite rudder side shell panels are also installed on A320 
family aeroplanes, which may have been repaired in-service using a 
similar method.
    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the 
structural integrity of the rudder, possibly resulting in reduced 
control of the aeroplane.
    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued 
Service Bulletin (SB) A320-55-1041 to provide instructions to 
inspect and correct any affected composite rudder side shell panels.
    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires [an 
inspection to determine if any rudder composite side shell panel has 
been repaired], a one-time [pulse] thermography inspection of each 
rudder that have received a composite rudder side shell panel 
repair, and, depending on the findings, accomplishment of applicable 
corrective and follow-up actions [related investigative actions and 
repetitive inspections].

    The related investigative actions include elasticity laminate 
checker (ELCH) inspections, ultrasonic testing (UT) inspections, pulse 
thermography inspections, and tap test or woodpecker inspections. The 
repetitive inspections include ELCH inspections, UT inspections, pulse 
thermography inspections, and detailed inspections (certain repetitive 
inspections are required if hole restoration is done; certain other 
repetitive inspections are options for certain corrective actions). The 
corrective actions include core venting through the inner skin, 
replacements, restorations, and repairs.
    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0574-0007.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 
FR 49724, August 22, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Extend Compliance Time for Rudder Inspections

    Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) requested that we change the compliance 
time in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) from 24 months to at 
least 42 months. DAL stated that the 24-month compliance time for 
accomplishing rudder inspections will be overly burdensome to operators 
of large fleets. DAL explained that it has 128 affected units, and if 
two full-time technicians were assigned for the inspection and rework, 
it would take over 7 years to accomplish the inspections. DAL added 
that a 42-month compliance time would allow proper planning, 
inspection, and rework of affected rudders and suggested that 
intervisual inspections could be used to support this compliance time 
extension.
    We disagree with the commenter's request. The compliance time is 
based on a risk assessment. Some safety issues are more time-sensitive 
than others. We have considered the compliance time established by the 
EASA (the State of Design authority), and the overall risk to the 
fleet, including the severity of the identified unsafe condition and 
the likelihood of the occurrence of the unsafe condition, to determine 
the compliance time. However, under the provisions of paragraph (p)(1) 
of this AD, operators may apply for an extension of the compliance time 
by providing rationale explaining why a compliance time extension 
provides an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in 
this regard.

Requests To Revise Service Information and Use Alternative Sanding 
Procedure

    United Airlines (UAL) and Airbus requested that we revise the NPRM 
(79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to reference Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, as the appropriate 
source of service information for accomplishing the required actions. 
Airbus also requested we allow credit for work accomplished prior to 
the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-
1041, dated November 26, 2012.
    Airbus also requested we to revise paragraph (h) of the proposed AD 
(79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to allow local sanding as an alternative 
to pulse thermography inspections for determining type, location, and 
size of repair, as described in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, 
Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014. Airbus also requested we allow 
credit for work accomplished prior to the effective date of this AD 
using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, dated November 26, 2012.
    We partially agree with the commenters' requests. We agree to 
reference Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated 
February 24, 2014, as the appropriate source of service information for 
accomplishing the required actions. We have changed paragraphs (h), 
(i)(2), (j), (j)(1), (j)(2), (k), (l)(1), (l)(2), and (n) of this AD 
accordingly. We also agree to provide credit for work accomplished 
prior to the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-55-1041, dated November 26, 2012. We have added new paragraph (o) 
to this AD to provide this credit, and redesignated subsequent 
paragraphs accordingly.
    However, we disagree with Airbus's request to revise paragraph (h) 
of this AD to allow local sanding as an alternative to pulse 
thermography inspections for determining type, location, and size of 
repair. Based on Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, 
dated February 24, 2014, local sanding is an alternative to pulse 
thermography inspections only in certain specific cases, and it is 
possible that pulse thermography inspections would be required after 
the local sanding. However, operators may apply for approval of an 
alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the 
provisions specified in paragraph (p)(1) of this AD, and must identify 
clearly the conditions for using local sanding in lieu of pulse 
thermography inspections.

Request To Remove Structural Repair Manual (SRM) Repair Prohibition

    UAL requested we remove paragraph (n) of the proposed AD (79 FR 
49724, August 22, 2014), which prohibits repair in accordance with 
certain SRM procedures. UAL stated it is unnecessary to prohibit repair 
per these procedures since the procedures have been deactivated by 
Airbus.

[[Page 69575]]

    We disagree with the commenter's request. Deactivation of SRM 
procedures by the manufacturer cannot ensure prevention of all 
operators from using the SRM procedures if they have not kept their 
manual current. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Revise Cost Estimate

    UAL and DAL requested that we revise the estimated cost. The 
commenters stated that the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) 
understates the required costs and does not provided on-condition cost 
estimates. UAL and DAL provided some examples of costs incurred for 
previous repairs.
    We disagree with the commenters' request. We indicated in the NPRM 
(79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) that we do not have information about 
the costs associated with the on-condition actions to mitigate the risk 
addressed in the NPRM. The on-condition costs can vary for each 
operator, depending upon inspection findings. Therefore, we have not 
provided on-condition cost estimates; instead, we provided our best 
estimate for the inspection costs based on the information received 
from the airframe manufacturer. We have not changed this AD in this 
regard.

Requests To Remove Requirement for Reporting Undocumented Rudders

    UAL and DAL requested that we remove paragraph (i)(1) of the 
proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014), which proposed to require 
sending to Airbus the records for each rudder and serial number of each 
rudder for which maintenance records are incomplete or unavailable.
    Mr. Amaar Chaudhary requested we revise paragraph (i)(1) of the 
proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to require sending only the 
rudder serial number to Airbus. However, UAL stated that providing such 
rudder records is not reasonable because the records are embedded 
within various paper forms in separate archived collections spanning 
the airplane life of up to 19 years, and are not in a recoverable 
electronic format. UAL and DAL also explained that it is possible 
operators have not retained records for permanent rudder repairs 
earlier than the previous airplane overhaul per section 121.380 of the 
Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.380).
    We agree with the commenters' statements that paragraph (i)(1) of 
this AD should not require sending rudder repair records to Airbus. 
However, we disagree with the requests to not require submission of 
serial numbers of rudders without maintenance records to Airbus. 
Operators must report the rudders without maintenance records by serial 
number to Airbus to obtain related rudder manufacturing rework data. We 
have revised paragraph (i)(1) of this AD to specify sending to Airbus 
the serial number of each rudder for which maintenance records are not 
available or are incomplete.

Request To Remove Requirement To Inspect for Repair Status

    DAL requested that we revise paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (79 
FR 49724, August 22, 2014) to remove the requirement to inspect repair 
records, but instead to require directly complying with the pulse 
thermography inspection proposed by paragraph (i) of the proposed AD.
    We disagree with the commenter's request. Paragraph (g) of this AD 
establishes the requirements for paragraph (h) and (i) of this AD. An 
operator is required to inspect airplane maintenance records to 
determine if it needs to comply with paragraph (h) or (i) of this AD. 
In addition, the required reporting specified in paragraph (i)(1) of 
this AD will help determine the extent of the undocumented repairs in 
the affected fleet. Based on the results of these reports, we might 
determine that further corrective action is warranted. We have not 
changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Add Part Number Change, and Remove Part Installation 
Limitation

    DAL requested that we require a part number change for post-
inspection rudders to aid in configuration and AD compliance control, 
and remove the parts installation limitation in paragraph (m) of the 
proposed AD (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014). DAL stated that, to prevent 
an unnecessary airplane out of service condition in the event a rudder 
change is required, allowing pre- and post-inspection rudders to be 
installed throughout the full compliance time would provide the same 
level of safety.
    We disagree with the commenter's requests. Configuration control 
can be achieved by multiple methods and is unique to each operator's 
method of managing its fleet. Therefore, we have not been prescriptive 
regarding methods for configuration control. We also disagree to omit 
paragraph (m) of this AD (Parts Installation Limitation). The intent of 
the paragraph (m) of this AD is to ensure that, from the effective date 
of this AD, rudders with a known unsafe condition are not installed 
unless the corrective actions of paragraph (j) of this AD are 
completed. This clarification has been coordinated with the EASA. The 
compliance time is established based on overall risk to the fleet, 
including the severity of the failure and the likelihood of the 
failure's occurrence, fleet utilization, and availability of service 
information and parts. Therefore, the parts installation limitation 
should not be related to the compliance time associated with mitigating 
the unsafe condition. We have revised paragraph (m) of this AD to 
prevent, as of the effective date of this AD, installing a rudder with 
a known unsafe condition by specifying that the inspection requirements 
of paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD must be done and the applicable 
corrective actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD must be done, 
except for rudders that meet the requirements of paragraph (k) of this 
AD.

Request To Use Alternative Testing Equipment

    DAL, Thermal Wave Imaging, and Snell Group requested the use of 
alternate equipment for performing the pulse thermography inspection 
required in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014). DAL stated that, 
at a recent Airlines for America non-destructive test (NDT) forum, 
evidence was presented supporting use of alternate equipment for 
performing pulse thermography inspections. DAL, Thermal Wave Imaging, 
and Snell Group explained that Airbus prohibits the use of alternate 
equipment other than what is recommended in the ``NTM task 55-40-50-
290-801-A-01.''
    Thermal Wave Imaging stated that since Airbus is both the 
manufacturer of the airplane and the vendor of the inspection 
equipment, it appears that the non-allowance of equivalent equipment is 
a business decision intended to increase its revenue and lock out other 
companies from not only this inspection, but future thermography 
inspections that may be developed. Thermal Wave Imaging and Snell Group 
provided a comparison of the Airbus recommended Gecko System equipment 
with VoyageIR Pro equipment for performing the pulse thermography 
inspection.
    We disagree with the commenters' request. The commenters did not 
provide any substantiation to support the use of alternate inspection 
equipment other than the equipment recommended by Airbus. We were 
informed by Airbus that they have recommended the use of specific 
equipment after evaluating its performance, which will facilitate 
mitigating the risks associated with the identified unsafe condition. 
However, we will consider requests for approval

[[Page 69576]]

of an AMOC for the use of alternate inspection equipment in accordance 
with the provision in paragraph (p)(1) of this AD if sufficient data is 
submitted to substantiate that the results from the alternate 
inspection equipment are conclusive to facilitate mitigating the risks 
associated with the identified unsafe condition. We have not changed 
this AD in this regard.

Request To Approve Future Service Bulletin Revisions

    DAL requested that future revisions of Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-55-1041 be considered as approved under EASA Design Organization 
Approval (DOA) for accomplishing the required AD actions.
    We disagree with the commenter's request. Approval authority under 
EASA DOA, as stated in paragraph (p)(2) of this AD, is only applicable 
to requirements in this AD to obtain corrective actions from the 
manufacturer and does not apply to approval of future service 
information. When referring to a specific service bulletin in an AD, 
using the phrase, ``or later approved revisions,'' violates Office of 
the Federal Register regulations for approving materials that are 
incorporated by reference. However, affected operators may request 
approval to use a later revision of the referenced service bulletin as 
an alternative method of compliance, under the provisions of paragraph 
(p)(1) of this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Explanation of ``RC'' Steps in Service Information

    As stated previously, we have revised this final rule to reference 
Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 
2014, as the appropriate source of service information for 
accomplishing the required actions. This service bulletin revision 
contains certain actions that are specified as Required for Compliance 
(RC).
    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the 
Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee 
(ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for 
annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are 
required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures 
and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to 
improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements 
and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures 
and tests identified as RC in any service information have a direct 
effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an 
identified unsafe condition.
    As specified in a NOTE under the Accomplishment Instructions of the 
specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified 
as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the AD. 
However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are 
recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC 
may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the 
operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval 
of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures 
and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back 
in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures 
or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial 
changes. We have determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014) for correcting the unsafe 
condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 49724, August 22, 2014).
    We also determined that these changes will not increase the 
economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated 
February 24, 2014. The service information describes procedures for 
inspection of the rudders for potential damage, and repair. This 
service information is reasonably available because the interested 
parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by 
the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 851 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    We also estimate that it would take about 42 work-hours per product 
to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor 
rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost 
of this AD on U.S. operators to be $3,038,070, or $3,570 per product.
    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide 
cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    A federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not 
required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to penalty for 
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of 
information displays a current valid OMB control number. The control 
number for the collection of information required by this AD is 2120-
0056. The paperwork cost associated with this AD has been detailed in 
the Costs of Compliance section of this document and includes time for 
reviewing instructions, as well as completing and reviewing the 
collection of information. Therefore, all reporting associated with 
this AD is mandatory. Comments concerning the accuracy of this burden 
and suggestions for reducing the burden should be directed to the FAA 
at 800 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591, ATTN: Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, AES-200.

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 determined that this AD will not have federalism implications 
under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct 
effect on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and

[[Page 69577]]

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 the 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.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0574; 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 street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-
5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

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):

2015-22-10 Airbus: Amendment 39-18315. Docket No. FAA-2014-0574; 
Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-258-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective December 15, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes specified in paragraphs 
(c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all 
manufacturer serial numbers.
    (1) Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.
    (2) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, 
and -133 airplanes.
    (3) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 
airplanes.
    (4) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, 
and -232 airplanes.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of skin disbonding on a 
composite side shell panel of a rudder. We are issuing this AD to 
detect and correct skin disbonding on the rudder, which could affect 
the structural integrity of the rudder, possibly resulting in 
reduced control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, 
unless already done.

(g) Inspection To Determine Repair Status

    Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Inspect 
the airplane maintenance records to determine if the rudder 
composite side shell panel has been repaired since first 
installation of the rudder on an airplane.

(h) Inspection of Certain Repaired Rudders

    If the finding of the inspection required by paragraph (g) of 
this AD reveals that a rudder repair has been done as described in 
Figure A-GBBAA (Sheet 01 and 02) or Figure A-GBCAA (Sheet 02) of 
Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated February 
24, 2014: Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do a 
pulse thermography inspection on the rudder, limited to the repaired 
area(s), to determine type, location, and size of the repair, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014.

(i) Inspection of Rudders With No Records or Incomplete Records

    For each rudder for which maintenance records are not available 
or are incomplete: Do the actions required by paragraphs (i)(1) and 
(i)(2) of this AD.
    (1) Not later than 3 months before accomplishment of the pulse 
thermography inspection required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, 
send the serial number of each rudder to Airbus.
    (2) Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do a 
pulse thermography inspection on complete rudder side shells to 
identify and mark the repair location, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, 
Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014.

(j) Related Investigative Actions, Repetitive Inspections, and 
Corrective Actions

    After accomplishing the inspections required by paragraphs (h) 
and (i) of this AD, as applicable: Depending on findings, do the 
applicable actions specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this 
AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, 
except as required by paragraph (l)(2) of this AD. Findings are 
specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, 
dated February 24, 2014.
    (1) Do all applicable related investigative actions and 
corrective actions at the applicable times specified in tables 3, 
4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 5 in paragraph 1.E.(2), ``Accomplishment 
Timescale,'' of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, 
dated February 24, 2014, except as required by paragraph (l)(1) of 
this AD.
    (2) Do all applicable repetitive inspections of the restored and 
repaired areas at the applicable intervals specified in tables 3, 
4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 5 in paragraph 1.E.(2), ``Accomplishment 
Timescale,'' of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, 
dated February 24, 2014.

(k) Airplanes Excluded From Certain Requirements

    Airplanes fitted with a rudder having a serial number which is 
not in the range TS-1001 to TS-1639 inclusive, or TS-2001 to TS-5890 
inclusive; or is not TS-5927; are not affected by the requirements 
of paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD, provided it is 
determined that no repairs have been done as described in the 
structural repair manual (SRM) procedures identified in Figure A-
GBBAA (Sheet 01 and 02) or Figure A-GBCAA (Sheet 02) of Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, 
on the composite side shell panel of that rudder since first 
installation on an airplane.

(l) Exceptions to Service Information

    (1) Where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, 
dated February 24, 2014, specifies a compliance time ``after the 
original Service Bulletin issue date,'' this AD requires compliance 
within the specified compliance time after the effective date of 
this AD.
    (2) If any damage or fluid ingress is found during any 
inspection required by this AD and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-
1041, Revision 01, dated February 24, 2014, specifies to contact 
Airbus: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the 
Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane 
Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or 
Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the 
DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(m) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD: Except for rudders that 
meet the requirements of paragraph (k) of this AD, do not install a 
rudder unless the rudder is inspected prior to installation as 
specified in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, and all applicable 
corrective actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD are done.

(n) Repair Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, do not accomplish a 
composite side shell panel repair on any rudder using an SRM

[[Page 69578]]

procedure identified in Figure A-GBBAA (Sheet 01 and 02) or Figure 
A-GBCAA (Sheet 02) of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 
01, dated February 24, 2014.

(o) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by 
paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD, if those actions were 
performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-55-1041, dated November 26, 2012, which is not 
incorporated by reference in this AD.

(p) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): 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 International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay 
Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-
3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be 
emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. 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. The 
AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.
    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD 
to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be 
accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International 
Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; 
or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must 
include the DOA-authorized signature.
    (3) ``RC'' Steps in Service Information: Except as required by 
paragraph (l)(2) of this AD: If any service information contains 
procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and 
tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests 
that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and 
tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using 
accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or 
inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided 
the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the 
airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any 
substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC 
require approval of an AMOC.
    (4) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or 
sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a 
person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a 
collection of information subject to the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information 
displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number 
for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for 
this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 
minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, 
completing and reviewing the collection of information. All 
responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments 
concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing 
the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. 
SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance 
Officer, AES-200.

(q) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information 
(MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0302, dated December 19, 
2013, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD 
docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0574-0007.
    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not 
incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in 
paragraphs (r)(3) and (r)(4) of this AD.

(r) 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 this AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-55-1041, Revision 01, dated 
February 24, 2014.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus, Airworthiness Office--EIAS, 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, 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/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 28, 2015.
Jeffrey E. Duven,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-28197 Filed 11-9-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P