Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes, 4878-4881 [2016-00949]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 18 (Thursday, January 28, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4878-4881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-00949]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2015-1427; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-203-AD; 
Amendment 39-18380; AD 2016-02-01]
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) 96-18-06 for 
certain Airbus Model A320-211 and -231 airplanes. AD 96-18-06 required 
visual inspections to detect cracks of the pressurized floor fittings 
at frame 36, and renewal of the zone protective finish or replacement 
of fittings with new fittings if necessary. Since we issued AD 96-18-
06, an extended service goal analysis by the manufacturer revealed that 
the compliance times and repetitive inspection intervals should be 
reduced to meet the design service goal. This AD retains the 
requirements of AD 96-18-06, with reduced compliance times and 
repetitive inspection intervals. This AD also adds Model A320-212 
airplanes to the applicability. We are issuing this AD to detect and 
correct fatigue cracking in the pressurized floor fittings at frame 36, 
which could result in failure of a floor fitting and subsequent 
depressurization of the fuselage.

DATES: This AD becomes effective March 3, 2016.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of March 3, 
2016.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of 
October 10, 1996.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-1427; or in

[[Page 4879]]

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 final rule, 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-2015-
1427.

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 96-18-06, Amendment 39-9730 (61 FR 46703, 
September 5, 1996). AD 96-18-06 applied to certain Airbus Model A320-
111, -211, and -231 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal 
Register on June 5, 2015 (80 FR 32055) (``the NPRM'').
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agency for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2013-0226, dated September 23, 2013 (referred 
to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or 
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Model A320-
211, -212, and -231 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During center fuselage certification full scale fatigue test, 
damage was found on the pressurized floor fittings at Frame 36, 
below the lower surface panel.
    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the 
structural integrity of the aeroplane.
    To prevent such damage, Airbus developed modification 21282, 
which was introduced in production from [manufacturer serial number] 
MSN 0105, to reinforce the pressurized floor fitting lower surface 
by changing material. For affected in-service aeroplanes, Airbus 
issued Service Bulletin (SB) A320-57-1028, introducing repetitive 
inspections, and SB A320-57-1029, which provides modification 
instructions.
    DGAC [Direction G[eacute]n[eacute]rale de l'Aviation Civile] 
France issued [an] AD * * * [for Model A320-111, -211, and -231 
airplanes] to require these repetitive inspections and, depending on 
findings, corrective action(s), while the modification was specified 
in that AD as optional terminating action for these inspections.
    Following new analysis in the frame of ESG (Extended Service 
Goal) exercise, the inspection thresholds and intervals have been 
revised to meet the original DSG (Design Service Goal).
    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the 
requirements of [a] DGAC France AD * * *, which is superseded, but 
requires these actions within reduced compliance times. [This EASA 
AD also adds Model A320-212 airplanes to its applicability.]

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-1427-0002.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of 
the cost to the public.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and 
the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for the 
change described previously and minor editorial changes. We have 
determined that these changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, dated 
April 19, 1996; and Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. The service 
information describes procedures for an inspection to detect cracks of 
the pressurized floor fittings at frame 36, renewal of the zone 
protective finish, and replacement of fittings with new fittings.
    Airbus has also issued Service Bulletin A320-57-1029, Revision 02, 
dated June 16, 1999. The service information describes procedures for 
modification of the pressurized floor fittings at frame 36.
    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 13 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    The actions required by AD 96-18-06, Amendment 39-9730 (61 FR 
46703, September 5, 1996), and retained in this AD take about 3 work-
hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. 
Required parts cost about $0 per product. Based on these figures, the 
estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 96-18-06 is $255 
per product.
    We also estimate that it will take about 11 work-hours per product 
to comply with the new basic requirements of this AD. The average labor 
rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $0 per 
product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on 
U.S. operators to be $12,155, or $935 per product.
    We have received no definitive data that will enable us to provide 
cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this AD.

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:

[[Page 4880]]

    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-2015-1427; 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) 
96-18-06, Amendment 39-9730 (61 FR 46703, September 5, 1996), and 
adding the following new AD:

2016-02-01 Airbus: Amendment 39-18380. Docket No. FAA-2015-1427; 
Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-203-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective March 3, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 96-18-06, Amendment 39-9730 (61 FR 46703, 
September 5, 1996).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A320-211, -212, and -231 
airplanes, certificated in any category, manufacturer serial numbers 
0002 through 0104 inclusive.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an extended service goal analysis by the 
manufacturer, which revealed that the compliance times and 
repetitive inspection intervals should be reduced to meet the design 
service goal. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue 
cracking in the pressurized floor fittings at frame 36, which could 
result in failure of a floor fitting and subsequent depressurization 
of the fuselage.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Retained Inspection, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (a) of AD 
96-18-06, Amendment 39-9730 (61 FR 46703, September 5, 1996), with 
revised service information for Airbus Model A320-211 and -231 
airplanes. Prior to the accumulation of 16,000 total landings, or 
within 6 months after October 10, 1996 (the effective date of AD 96-
18-06), whichever occurs later, perform a visual inspection to 
detect cracks of the 6 fittings of the pressurized floor at frame 36 
under the lower surface panel, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, 
dated April 19, 1996; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, 
Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. As of the effective date of this 
AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, 
dated June 3, 2013, for accomplishing the actions required by this 
paragraph. Accomplishment of the initial inspection required by 
paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the actions required by this 
paragraph.
    (1) If no cracking is found, prior to further flight, renew the 
zone protective finish, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, 
dated April 19, 1996; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, 
Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. As of the effective date of this 
AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, 
dated June 3, 2013, for accomplishing the actions required by this 
paragraph. Repeat the visual inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 12,000 landings.
    (2) If only 1 of the 6 fittings is found to be cracked and that 
crack is less than or equal to 0.59 inch (15 mm) in length, prior to 
further flight, replace the cracked fitting with a new fitting, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, dated April 19, 1996; or Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. 
Thereafter, prior to the accumulation of 500 landings following 
accomplishment of this replacement, replace the remaining 5 fittings 
with new fittings, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, 
dated April 19, 1996; or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, 
Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. As of the effective date of this 
AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, 
dated June 3, 2013, for accomplishing the actions required by this 
paragraph.
    (3) If only 1 of the 6 fittings is found to be cracked, and that 
crack is greater than 0.59 inch (15 mm) in length, prior to further 
flight, replace all six fittings with new fittings, in accordance 
with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-57-1028, Revision 1, dated April 19, 1996; or Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. As of the 
effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-
1028, Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013, for accomplishing the actions 
required by this paragraph.
    (4) If 2 or more fittings are found to be cracked, prior to 
further flight, replace all 6 fittings with new fittings, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, dated April 19, 1996; or Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. As 
of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-57-1028, Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013, for accomplishing the 
actions required by this paragraph.

(h) Retained Optional Terminating Action, With Revised Service 
Information

    This paragraph restates the provisions of paragraph (b) of AD 
96-18-06, Amendment 39-9730 (61 FR 46703, September 5, 1996), with 
revised service information for Airbus Model A320-211 and -231 
airplanes. Replacement of all 6 fittings with new fittings, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, dated April 19, 1996; or Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013; 
constitutes terminating action for the inspection requirements of 
paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) New Inspection

    (1) At the latest of the times in paragraph (i)(1)(i), 
(i)(1)(ii), or (i)(1)(iii) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection of 
the pressurized floor fittings at frame 36, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, 
Revision 02, dated June 3, 2013. Repeat the inspection thereafter, 
at intervals not to exceed 9,300 flight cycles or 18,600 flight 
hours, whichever occurs first. Accomplishment of the initial 
inspection required by this paragraph terminates the actions 
required by paragraph (g) of this AD.
    (i) Prior to the accumulation of 20,900 total flight cycles or 
41,800 total flight hours, whichever occurs first.
    (ii) Prior to the accumulation of 9,300 flight cycles or 18,600 
flight cycles since the most recent inspection required by paragraph 
(g) or (i) of this AD, whichever occurs first.
    (iii) At the earlier of the times specified in paragraph 
(i)(1)(iii)(A) and (i)(1)(iii)(B) of this AD.
    (A) Prior to the accumulation of 1,250 flight cycles or 2,500 
flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs 
first.

[[Page 4881]]

    (B) Prior to the accumulation of 12,000 flight cycles since the 
most recent inspection required by paragraph (g) or (i) of this AD.
    (2) If any crack is found during any inspection required by 
paragraph (i)(1) 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) New Optional Terminating Action

    Modification (replacement of aluminum fittings with titanium 
fittings) of the pressurized floor fittings at frame 36, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-57-1029, Revision 02, dated June 16, 1999, is 
terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by 
paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD.

(k) 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.
    (i) 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.
    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for AD 96-18-06, Amendment 39-
9730 (61 FR 46703, September 5, 1996), are approved as AMOCs for the 
corresponding provisions of 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.

(l) Related Information

    Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) 
EASA Airworthiness Directive 2013-0226, dated September 23, 2013, 
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-2015-1427.

(m) 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 
March 3, 2016.
    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 02, dated 
June 3, 2013.
    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1029, Revision 02, dated 
June 16, 1999.
    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on 
October 10, 1996 (61 FR 46703, September 5, 1996).
    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1028, Revision 1, dated 
April 19, 1996, which contains the following list of effective 
pages: Pages 1 through 3, Revision 1, dated April 19, 1996; Pages 4 
through 15, dated August 12, 1991.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (5) 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.
    (6) 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.
    (7) 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 January 9, 2016.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-00949 Filed 1-27-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P