Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes, 3316-3319 [2016-00373]

Download as PDF 3316 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 13 / Thursday, January 21, 2016 / Rules and Regulations telephone +44(0)2890–462469; fax +44(0)2890 468444; email michael.mulholland@aero.bombardier.com; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. (5) 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. (6) 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 January 4, 2016. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–00378 Filed 1–20–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2015–1422; Directorate Identifier 2014–NM–125–AD; Amendment 39–18370; AD 2016–01–11] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98–18–26, for certain Airbus Model A320 series airplanes. AD 98–18–26 required repetitive inspections to detect fatigue cracking of the front spar vertical stringers on the wings; and repair, if necessary. This new AD requires repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of the radius of the front spar vertical stringers and the horizontal floor beam on frame 36, a rototest inspection for cracking of the fastener holes of the front spar vertical stringers on frame 36, and repair if necessary. This AD was prompted by reports that indicate new repetitive inspections having new thresholds and intervals are needed and that additional work is needed to accomplish the inspections on airplanes on which a previous modification has been accomplished. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the front spar vertical stringers on the wings, which could result in the jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Jan 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 reduced structural integrity of the airframe. DATES: This AD becomes effective February 25, 2016. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of February 25, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-1422; 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 Number FAA–2015–1422. 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 to supersede AD 98–18–26, Amendment 39–10742 (63 FR 47423, September 8, 1998). AD 98–18–26 applied to certain Airbus Model A320 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 5, 2015 (80 FR 32063). The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014–0069, dated March 19, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Airbus Model A320–211, –212, and –231 airplanes. The MCAI states: During center fuselage certification full scale fatigue test, cracks were found on the front vertical stringer at frame 36. Analysis of PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 these findings indicated that a number of inservice aeroplanes could be similarly affected. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to crack propagation and consequent deterioration of the structural integrity of the aeroplane. To address this potential unsafe condition, [Directorate General for Civil Aviation] DGAC France AD 97–311–105 [which corresponds to FAA AD 98–18–26, Amendment 39–10742 (63 FR 47423, September 8, 1998)] was issued to require repetitive [HFEC] inspections [for cracking] in accordance with the instruction of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320–57–1016. At the same time, the modification provided by Airbus SB A320–57–1017 was considered to be terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by DGAC France AD 97–311–105. Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, and following new analysis, modification per Airbus SB A320–57–1017 is no longer considered to be terminating action for the repetitive inspections as required by DGAC France AD 97–311–105. Aeroplanes with [manufacturer serial number] MSN 0080 up to 0155 inclusive have been delivered with the addition of a 5 [millimeter] mm thick light alloy shim under the heads of 2 fasteners at the top end of the front spar vertical stringers (Airbus modification 21290P1546, which is the production line equivalent to in-service modification through Airbus SB A320–57– 1017). From MSN 0156 and higher, all aeroplanes are delivered with vertical stiffeners of the forward wing spar upper end with stiffener cap thickness increased from 4 to 6 mm (Airbus modification 21290P1547). Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued SB A320–57–1178 to introduce new repetitive inspections with new thresholds and intervals. For the reasons described above, DGAC France AD 97–311–105 is superseded and this [EASA] AD requires the repetitive inspections at new thresholds and intervals. After EASA issued [proposed airworthiness directive] PAD 14–021, it was discovered that additional work [HFEC inspections for cracking of the radius of spar vertical stringers and horizontal beam in the center fuselage of frame 36, and a rototest inspection for cracking of the fastener holes of the spar vertical stringers radius on Frame 36 and repair if necessary], to be included in Revision 01 of Airbus SB A320–57–1178, is required to accomplish the inspections. This Final [EASA] AD has been amended accordingly. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-14220002. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015) and the FAA’s response to the comments. E:\FR\FM\21JAR1.SGM 21JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 13 / Thursday, January 21, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Requests for Clarification of Certain Requirements Delta Airlines (DAL) asked that we move the repetitive inspection intervals from paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015), and create a new paragraph (i) with the repetitive inspection intervals. DAL stated that having the inspection method and the repetitive inspection intervals in one paragraph, as well as a separate paragraph for the initial inspection is cumbersome. We do not agree with the requested changes. We re-examined the structure of the regulatory text of this AD, and have determined that the specified language as proposed is clear and aligns with the MCAI. Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard. DAL also asked that we add sub-steps to requirements in the proposed AD (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015), to clarify the inspection requirements specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014. We do not agree. Our goal in referring to the Accomplishment Instructions of the service information is to ensure that operators follow the details in the inspection steps shown therein. DAL has the option of creating task cards if it makes accomplishing the sub-steps easier, provided the cards meet the intent of the AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Additionally, DAL asked that Appendix 01 of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, be removed from the service bulletin identification in the NPRM (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015), because Appendix 01 has Gantt Chart information that should not be highlighted as a regulatory requirement for compliance. We do not agree. The information in Appendix 01 of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, may be helpful to operators that want to determine the number of work hours necessary to accomplish specific actions. Moreover, Appendix 01 does not contain a requirement for compliance. We have not changed this AD in this regard. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Conclusion We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, with minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes: • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Jan 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015). We have 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 A320–57–1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, including Appendix 01, dated May 28, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the radius of the front spar vertical stringers and the horizontal floor beam on frame 36 for cracking. 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. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD affects 17 airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 24 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 $34,680, or $2,040 per product. In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will take about 49 work-hours and require parts costing $1,210, for a cost of $5,375 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this action. 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. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3317 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 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/#!docket Detail;D=FAA-2015-1422; 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98–18–26, Amendment 39–10742 (63 FR 47423, September 8, 1998), and adding the following new AD: ■ 2016–01–11 Airbus: Amendment 39–18370. Docket No. FAA–2015–1422; Directorate Identifier 2014–NM–125–AD. E:\FR\FM\21JAR1.SGM 21JAR1 3318 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 13 / Thursday, January 21, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (a) Effective Date This AD becomes effective February 25, 2016. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 98–18–26, Amendment 39–10742 (63 FR 47423, September 8, 1998). (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Model A320– 211, –212, and –231 airplanes, certificated in any category, manufacturer serial numbers (MSN) 0001 through 0155 inclusive. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by cracks found on the front vertical stringer at frame 36. This AD was also prompted by reports that indicate new repetitive inspections having new thresholds and intervals are needed and that additional work is needed to accomplish the inspections on airplanes on which a previous modification has been accomplished. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the front spar vertical stringers on the wings, which could result in the reduced structural integrity of the airframe. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES (g) Inspections Within the applicable compliance times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD, do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the radius of the front spar vertical stringers and the horizontal floor beam on frame 36, and do a rototest inspection for cracking of the fastener holes of the front spar vertical stringers on frame 36, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, including Appendix 01, dated May 28, 2014. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the compliance times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD. (1) For Configuration 1 airplanes identified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD: At intervals not to exceed 8,800 flight cycles or 17,700 flight hours, whichever occurs first. (2) For Configuration 2, 3, and 4 airplanes identified in paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(4) of this AD: At intervals not to exceed 24,900 flight cycles or 49,800 flight hours, whichever occurs first. (h) Compliance Times for Initial Inspections Required by Paragraph (g) of This AD Do the initial inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD within the applicable compliance times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD. (1) For Configuration 1 airplanes, having MSNs 0001 through MSN 0079 inclusive, on which the modification specified by Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1017, Revision 01, dated VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Jan 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 March 17, 1997, has not been accomplished: Inspect at the later of the times specified by paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iii) of this AD. (i) Inspect at the later of the times specified by paragraphs (h)(1)(i)(A) and (h)(1)(i)(B) of this AD. (A) Prior to the accumulation of 24,000 flight cycles or 48,000 flight hours, whichever occurs first since airplane first flight. (B) Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD. (ii) Inspect within 8,800 flight cycles or 17,700 flight hours, whichever occurs first, since the last inspection specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1016 was accomplished. (iii) Inspect within 850 flight cycles or 1,700 flight hours, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD, without exceeding 14,000 flight cycles after the last inspection specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1016 was accomplished. (2) For Configuration 2 airplanes, having MSNs 0001 through 0079 inclusive, on which the actions specified by Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1016, have not been done prior to accomplishing the actions specified by Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 57–1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1017, Revision 01, dated March 17, 1997: Inspect at the later of the times specified by paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD. (i) Within 8,800 flight cycles or 17,700 flight hours, whichever occurs first, since the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57– 1017, Revision 01, dated December 6, 1995, was accomplished. (ii) Within 850 flight cycles or 1,700 flight hours, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD. (3) For Configuration 3 airplanes, having MSNs 0001 through 0079 inclusive, on which the actions specified by Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1016, have been done prior to accomplishing the actions specified by Airbus Service Bulletin A320– 57–1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1017, Revision 01, dated March 17, 1997: Inspect at the later of the times specified by paragraphs (h)(3)(i) and (h)(3)(ii) of this AD. (i) Within 24,900 flight cycles or 49,800 flight hours, whichever occurs first, since the modification specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57– 1017, Revision 01, dated March 17, 1997, was accomplished. (ii) Within 850 flight cycles or 1,700 flight hours, whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD. (4) For Configuration 4 airplanes, having MSNs 0080 through 0155 inclusive: Inspect at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(4)(i) or (h)(4)(ii) of this AD. (i) Prior to the accumulation of 54,300 flight cycles or 108,600 flight hours, whichever occurs first since airplane first flight. (ii) Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (i) Repair If any crack is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: 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). (j) 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: As of the effective date of this AD, 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. (k) Related Information Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014–0069, dated March 19, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA– 2015–1422. (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 this AD specifies otherwise. (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on February 25, 2016. (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320–57–1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, including Appendix 01, dated May 28, 2014. (ii) Reserved. (4) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice E:\FR\FM\21JAR1.SGM 21JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 13 / Thursday, January 21, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 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. (5) 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. (6) 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 December 31, 2015. Philip Forde, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–00373 Filed 1–20–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION www.mdhelicopters.com. You may review a copy of the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2015– 1998; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations Office, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. [Docket No. FAA–2015–1998; Directorate Identifier 2014–SW–035–AD; Amendment 39–18379; AD 2016–01–19] Galib Abumeri, Aerospace Engineer, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 3960 Paramount Blvd., Lakewood, California 90712, telephone 562–627– 5324; email Galib.Abumeri@faa.gov. RIN 2120–AA64 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Airworthiness Directives; MD Helicopters Inc. Discussion 14 CFR Part 39 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) Model 500N and 600N helicopters with certain rotating cone assemblies installed. This AD requires establishing a life limit of 10,000 hours time-in-service (TIS) on these rotating cone assemblies. This AD was prompted by the determination that MDHI created rotating cone assemblies with new dash numbers but incorrectly failed to identify them as life-limited parts. The actions are intended to prevent operation of rotating cone assemblies past their life limits, failure of the rotating cone assemblies, loss of directional control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. DATES: This AD is effective February 25, 2016. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact MD Helicopters, Inc., Attn: Customer Support Division, 4555 E. McDowell Rd., Mail Stop M615, Mesa, AZ 85215– 9734; telephone 1–800–388–3378; fax 480–346–6813; or at http:// jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Jan 20, 2016 Jkt 238001 On June 9, 2015, at 80 FR 32508, the Federal Register published our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to MDHI Model 500N helicopters with a rotating cone assembly part number (P/ N) 500N3740–81 installed, and Model 600N helicopters with a rotating cone assembly P/N 500N3740–71 installed. The NPRM proposed to require establishing a life limit of 10,000 hours TIS on these rotating cone assemblies. Although these parts have a life limit of 10,000 hours TIS, they were incorrectly omitted from the Airworthiness Limitation Section of the Rotorcraft Maintenance Manual. Some of the affected parts were sold as spares, while others were installed on new helicopters in production. The proposed requirements were intended to prevent operation of rotating cone assemblies past their life limits, failure of the rotating cone assemblies, loss of directional control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. Since the NPRM was issued, the FAA Southwest Regional Office has relocated. This AD includes the current physical address of the FAA Southwest Regional Office. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD, but we received no comments on the NPRM (80 FR 32508, June 9, 2015). FAA’s Determination Examining the AD Docket FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Federal Aviation Administration 3319 We have reviewed the relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these same type designs and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed. Related Service Information MDHI issued Service Bulletin SB500N–046 and SB600N–054 (SB) as a single bulletin on July 9, 2012. The SB calls for a one-time inspection within 100 flight hours to determine the rotating cone assembly’s part number on MDHI Model 500N and 600N helicopters. The SB then states the need to correct the component record for certain rotating cone assemblies. The SB also specifies determining the rotating cone assembly’s total service time since new and recording this on the component record. MDHI reports that failure to comply with the SB may result in an aircraft exceeding the life limit of the rotating cone assembly and that this could lead to component failure and loss of directional control of the helicopter. Differences Between This AD and the Service Information The SB calls for inspecting the rotating cone assembly to determine its P/N. We make no requirement about how to determine the P/N. The compliance time for the SB is within 100 flight hours, while this AD requires compliance within 1 year or by the next annual inspection, whichever comes later. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this AD affects 8 helicopters of U.S. Registry and that labor costs average $85 a work hour. We estimate that creating a component history card and revising the appropriate records takes 1 work-hour. No parts are needed for a total cost of $85 per helicopter and $680 for the U.S. fleet. 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 E:\FR\FM\21JAR1.SGM 21JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 13 (Thursday, January 21, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3316-3319]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-00373]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2015-1422; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-125-AD; 
Amendment 39-18370; AD 2016-01-11]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 98-18-26, for 
certain Airbus Model A320 series airplanes. AD 98-18-26 required 
repetitive inspections to detect fatigue cracking of the front spar 
vertical stringers on the wings; and repair, if necessary. This new AD 
requires repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for 
cracking of the radius of the front spar vertical stringers and the 
horizontal floor beam on frame 36, a rototest inspection for cracking 
of the fastener holes of the front spar vertical stringers on frame 36, 
and repair if necessary. This AD was prompted by reports that indicate 
new repetitive inspections having new thresholds and intervals are 
needed and that additional work is needed to accomplish the inspections 
on airplanes on which a previous modification has been accomplished. We 
are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the front 
spar vertical stringers on the wings, which could result in the reduced 
structural integrity of the airframe.

DATES: This AD becomes effective February 25, 2016.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of February 25, 
2016.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-1422; 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 Number FAA-
2015-1422.

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 to supersede AD 98-18-26, Amendment 39-10742 (63 FR 47423, 
September 8, 1998). AD 98-18-26 applied to certain Airbus Model A320 
series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 5, 
2015 (80 FR 32063).
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2014-0069, dated March 19, 2014 (referred to 
after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or 
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Airbus Model 
A320-211, -212, and -231 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During center fuselage certification full scale fatigue test, 
cracks were found on the front vertical stringer at frame 36. 
Analysis of these findings indicated that a number of in-service 
aeroplanes could be similarly affected.
    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to 
crack propagation and consequent deterioration of the structural 
integrity of the aeroplane.
    To address this potential unsafe condition, [Directorate General 
for Civil Aviation] DGAC France AD 97-311-105 [which corresponds to 
FAA AD 98-18-26, Amendment 39-10742 (63 FR 47423, September 8, 
1998)] was issued to require repetitive [HFEC] inspections [for 
cracking] in accordance with the instruction of Airbus Service 
Bulletin (SB) A320-57-1016. At the same time, the modification 
provided by Airbus SB A320-57-1017 was considered to be terminating 
action for the repetitive inspections required by DGAC France AD 97-
311-105.
    Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, and following new analysis, 
modification per Airbus SB A320-57-1017 is no longer considered to 
be terminating action for the repetitive inspections as required by 
DGAC France AD 97-311-105.
    Aeroplanes with [manufacturer serial number] MSN 0080 up to 0155 
inclusive have been delivered with the addition of a 5 [millimeter] 
mm thick light alloy shim under the heads of 2 fasteners at the top 
end of the front spar vertical stringers (Airbus modification 
21290P1546, which is the production line equivalent to in-service 
modification through Airbus SB A320-57-1017). From MSN 0156 and 
higher, all aeroplanes are delivered with vertical stiffeners of the 
forward wing spar upper end with stiffener cap thickness increased 
from 4 to 6 mm (Airbus modification 21290P1547).
    Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued SB A320-57-1178 to 
introduce new repetitive inspections with new thresholds and 
intervals.
    For the reasons described above, DGAC France AD 97-311-105 is 
superseded and this [EASA] AD requires the repetitive inspections at 
new thresholds and intervals.
    After EASA issued [proposed airworthiness directive] PAD 14-021, 
it was discovered that additional work [HFEC inspections for 
cracking of the radius of spar vertical stringers and horizontal 
beam in the center fuselage of frame 36, and a rototest inspection 
for cracking of the fastener holes of the spar vertical stringers 
radius on Frame 36 and repair if necessary], to be included in 
Revision 01 of Airbus SB A320-57-1178, is required to accomplish the 
inspections. This Final [EASA] AD has been amended accordingly.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-1422-0002.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (80 
FR 32063, June 5, 2015) and the FAA's response to the comments.

[[Page 3317]]

Requests for Clarification of Certain Requirements

    Delta Airlines (DAL) asked that we move the repetitive inspection 
intervals from paragraph (g) of the proposed AD (80 FR 32063, June 5, 
2015), and create a new paragraph (i) with the repetitive inspection 
intervals. DAL stated that having the inspection method and the 
repetitive inspection intervals in one paragraph, as well as a separate 
paragraph for the initial inspection is cumbersome.
    We do not agree with the requested changes. We re-examined the 
structure of the regulatory text of this AD, and have determined that 
the specified language as proposed is clear and aligns with the MCAI. 
Therefore, we have not changed this AD in this regard.
    DAL also asked that we add sub-steps to requirements in the 
proposed AD (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015), to clarify the inspection 
requirements specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1178, 
Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014.
    We do not agree. Our goal in referring to the Accomplishment 
Instructions of the service information is to ensure that operators 
follow the details in the inspection steps shown therein. DAL has the 
option of creating task cards if it makes accomplishing the sub-steps 
easier, provided the cards meet the intent of the AD. We have not 
changed this AD in this regard.
    Additionally, DAL asked that Appendix 01 of Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-57-1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, be removed from the 
service bulletin identification in the NPRM (80 FR 32063, June 5, 
2015), because Appendix 01 has Gantt Chart information that should not 
be highlighted as a regulatory requirement for compliance.
    We do not agree. The information in Appendix 01 of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1178, Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, may be helpful 
to operators that want to determine the number of work hours necessary 
to accomplish specific actions. Moreover, Appendix 01 does not contain 
a requirement for compliance. We have not changed this AD in this 
regard.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and 
the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, with minor 
editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; 
and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 32063, June 5, 2015).
    We have 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 A320-57-1178, Revision 01, dated 
May 28, 2014, including Appendix 01, dated May 28, 2014. The service 
information describes procedures for inspecting the radius of the front 
spar vertical stringers and the horizontal floor beam on frame 36 for 
cracking. 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.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 17 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    We also estimate that it will take about 24 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 $34,680, or $2,040 per product.
    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions will 
take about 49 work-hours and require parts costing $1,210, for a cost 
of $5,375 per product. We have no way of determining the number of 
aircraft that might need this action.

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 
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-2015-1422; 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
98-18-26, Amendment 39-10742 (63 FR 47423, September 8, 1998), and 
adding the following new AD:

2016-01-11 Airbus: Amendment 39-18370. Docket No. FAA-2015-1422; 
Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-125-AD.

[[Page 3318]]

(a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective February 25, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 98-18-26, Amendment 39-10742 (63 FR 47423, 
September 8, 1998).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A320-211, -212, and -231 
airplanes, certificated in any category, manufacturer serial numbers 
(MSN) 0001 through 0155 inclusive.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by cracks found on the front vertical 
stringer at frame 36. This AD was also prompted by reports that 
indicate new repetitive inspections having new thresholds and 
intervals are needed and that additional work is needed to 
accomplish the inspections on airplanes on which a previous 
modification has been accomplished. We are issuing this AD to detect 
and correct fatigue cracking of the front spar vertical stringers on 
the wings, which could result in the reduced structural integrity of 
the airframe.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspections

    Within the applicable compliance times specified in paragraphs 
(h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD, do a high frequency eddy current 
(HFEC) inspection for cracking of the radius of the front spar 
vertical stringers and the horizontal floor beam on frame 36, and do 
a rototest inspection for cracking of the fastener holes of the 
front spar vertical stringers on frame 36, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1178, 
Revision 01, dated May 28, 2014, including Appendix 01, dated May 
28, 2014. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the compliance times 
specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD.
    (1) For Configuration 1 airplanes identified in paragraph (h)(1) 
of this AD: At intervals not to exceed 8,800 flight cycles or 17,700 
flight hours, whichever occurs first.
    (2) For Configuration 2, 3, and 4 airplanes identified in 
paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(4) of this AD: At intervals not to 
exceed 24,900 flight cycles or 49,800 flight hours, whichever occurs 
first.

(h) Compliance Times for Initial Inspections Required by Paragraph (g) 
of This AD

    Do the initial inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD 
within the applicable compliance times specified in paragraphs 
(h)(1) through (h)(4) of this AD.
    (1) For Configuration 1 airplanes, having MSNs 0001 through MSN 
0079 inclusive, on which the modification specified by Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, Revision 01, dated March 17, 1997, 
has not been accomplished: Inspect at the later of the times 
specified by paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (h)(1)(iii) of this AD.
    (i) Inspect at the later of the times specified by paragraphs 
(h)(1)(i)(A) and (h)(1)(i)(B) of this AD.
    (A) Prior to the accumulation of 24,000 flight cycles or 48,000 
flight hours, whichever occurs first since airplane first flight.
    (B) Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD.
    (ii) Inspect within 8,800 flight cycles or 17,700 flight hours, 
whichever occurs first, since the last inspection specified in 
Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1016 was accomplished.
    (iii) Inspect within 850 flight cycles or 1,700 flight hours, 
whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD, without 
exceeding 14,000 flight cycles after the last inspection specified 
in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1016 was accomplished.
    (2) For Configuration 2 airplanes, having MSNs 0001 through 0079 
inclusive, on which the actions specified by Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-57-1016, have not been done prior to accomplishing the actions 
specified by Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, dated September 
3, 1991; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, Revision 01, dated 
March 17, 1997: Inspect at the later of the times specified by 
paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.
    (i) Within 8,800 flight cycles or 17,700 flight hours, whichever 
occurs first, since the modification specified in Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1017, Revision 01, dated December 6, 1995, was 
accomplished.
    (ii) Within 850 flight cycles or 1,700 flight hours, whichever 
occurs first, after the effective date of this AD.
    (3) For Configuration 3 airplanes, having MSNs 0001 through 0079 
inclusive, on which the actions specified by Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-57-1016, have been done prior to accomplishing the actions 
specified by Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, dated September 
3, 1991; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, Revision 01, dated 
March 17, 1997: Inspect at the later of the times specified by 
paragraphs (h)(3)(i) and (h)(3)(ii) of this AD.
    (i) Within 24,900 flight cycles or 49,800 flight hours, 
whichever occurs first, since the modification specified in Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, dated September 3, 1991; or Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-57-1017, Revision 01, dated March 17, 1997, 
was accomplished.
    (ii) Within 850 flight cycles or 1,700 flight hours, whichever 
occurs first, after the effective date of this AD.
    (4) For Configuration 4 airplanes, having MSNs 0080 through 0155 
inclusive: Inspect at the later of the times specified in paragraphs 
(h)(4)(i) or (h)(4)(ii) of this AD.
    (i) Prior to the accumulation of 54,300 flight cycles or 108,600 
flight hours, whichever occurs first since airplane first flight.
    (ii) Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD.

(i) Repair

    If any crack is detected during any inspection required by 
paragraph (g) of this AD: 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).

(j) 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: As of the effective date of 
this AD, 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.

(k) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) 
EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0069, dated March 19, 2014, for 
related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2015-1422.

(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 this AD specifies otherwise.
    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on 
February 25, 2016.
    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1178, Revision 01, dated May 
28, 2014, including Appendix 01, dated May 28, 2014.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (4) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus, Airworthiness Office--EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice

[[Page 3319]]

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.
    (5) 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.
    (6) 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 December 31, 2015.
Philip Forde,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-00373 Filed 1-20-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P