Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes, 4901-4903 [2016-01580]

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 18 (Thursday, January 28, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4901-4903]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01580]



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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2016-0461; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-159-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD 
was prompted by a report that a main landing gear (MLG) door could not 
be closed due to rupture of the actuator fitting. Later reports 
indicated that the forward monoblock fitting of the MLG door actuator 
(referred to as the nerve area) could be damaged after rupture of the 
actuator fitting. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections 
of the MLG door actuator fitting and its components for cracking, and 
corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also require 
eventual replacement of all affected MLG door actuator fittings with 
new monoblock fittings, which would terminate the repetitive 
inspections. We are proposing this AD to prevent rupture of the door 
actuator fittings, which could result in detachment of an MLG door and 
subsequent exterior damage and consequent reduced structural integrity 
of the airplane.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 14, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this proposed 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.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-
0461; 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 proposed 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. 
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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: 

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address 
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2016-0461; 
Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-159-AD'' at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposed AD based on those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We 
will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we 
receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2014-0166, dated July 16, 2014 (referred to 
after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or 
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model 
A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    On one A320 aeroplane, it was reported that one of the main 
landing gear (MLG) doors could not be closed. Investigations 
revealed the rupture of the actuator fitting at the actuator 
attachment area on the door side. The MLG door is attached to the 
aeroplane by 2 hinge fittings.
    This condition, if not corrected, could, under certain 
circumstances, lead to detachment of a MLG door from the aeroplane, 
possibly resulting in damage to the aeroplane, and/or injury to 
persons on the ground.
    Prompted by these findings, [Direction G[eacute]n[eacute]rale de 
l'Aviation Civile] France issued * * * [an AD] * * *, to require a 
MLG door actuator fitting inspection for cracks and to check the 
grain direction on a batch of aeroplanes.
    Subsequently, DGAC France issued * * * [an AD], retaining the 
requirements of DGAC France AD * * *, which was superseded, to 
require an inspection of the lower part of the MLG door actuator 
fitting.
    After that [DGAC] AD was issued, additional investigations 
revealed that damage could also appear on the nerve area [of the 
forward monoblock fitting], in the upper part of the MLG door 
actuator fitting in the area of the hinge.
    Consequently, DGAC France issued F2003-434, dated December 10, 
2003 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/F-2003-454] (EASA approval 2003-
1436), retaining the requirements of [a] DGAC France AD * * *, which 
was superseded, to require additional repetitive inspections. That 
[DGAC] AD also included an optional terminating action, by replacing 
the MLG door actuator fittings in accordance with the instructions 
of Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A320-52-1073.
    Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, in the framework of the 
extended service goal campaign, it has been decided to make 
replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings a required 
modification.
    For the reasons described above, this AD retains the 
requirements of DGAC France AD F-2003-434, which is superseded, and 
requires replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings with new 
monoblock fittings, which constitutes terminating action for the 
repetitive inspections.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-
0461.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletins A320-52-1073, Revision 05, 
dated September 28, 2006; A320-52A1086, Revision 01, dated September 
10, 1999; and A320-52-1096, Revision 02, dated July 12, 2006. This 
service information describes procedures for inspections of

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the MLG door actuator fitting and its components for cracking, and 
corrective actions if necessary. This service information also 
describes procedures for replacement of all affected MLG door actuator 
fittings with new monoblock fittings. 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.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have 
been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service 
information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we 
evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition 
exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of these 
same type designs.

Difference Between Proposed AD and Service Information

    Unlike the procedures described in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-
1096, Revision 02, dated July 12, 2006, this proposed AD would not 
permit further flight if cracks are detected in the MLG door actuator 
fittings. We have determined that, because of the safety implications 
and consequences associated with that cracking, any cracked MLG door 
actuator fittings must be repaired or modified before further flight. 
This difference has been coordinated with the EASA.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 71 airplanes of U.S. 
registry.
    We also estimate that it would take about 38 work-hours per product 
to comply with the inspection requirements of this proposed AD. The 
average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we 
estimate the cost for the inspection specified in this proposed AD on 
U.S. operators to be $229,330, or $3,230 per product.
    We estimate that it would take about 98 work-hours per product to 
comply with the MLG actuator replacement requirements of this proposed 
AD. Required parts would cost about $6,258 per product. The average 
labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate 
the cost for the actuator replacement specified in this proposed AD on 
U.S. operators to be $1,035,748, or $14,588 per product.

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 proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed 
regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866;
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);
    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and
    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Proposed Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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):

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2016-0461; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-
159-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by March 14, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

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

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that a main landing gear (MLG) 
door could not be closed due to rupture of the actuator fitting. 
Later reports indicated that the forward monoblock fitting of the 
MLG door actuator (referred to as the nerve area) could be damaged 
after rupture of the actuator fitting. We are issuing this AD to 
prevent rupture of the door actuator fittings, which could result in 
detachment of an MLG door and subsequent exterior damage and 
consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections of MLG Door Actuator Fittings

    For airplanes equipped with MLG door actuator fittings having 
part number (P/N) D52880224 000/001 that were installed before the 
first flight of the airplane on MLG doors identified in paragraphs 
(g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable: Within 500 flight hours 
since the most recent high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection 
done as specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, Revision 
01, dated September 10, 1999, or within 30 days after the effective 
date of this AD, whichever occurs later, perform an HFEC inspection 
for cracking of the MLG door fittings, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, 
Revision 01, dated September 10, 1999. Repeat the inspection 
thereafter at intervals not to exceed 500 flight hours, except as 
provided by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD.
    (1) Left-hand MLG doors with S/Ns 1206 through 1237 inclusive, 
1239 through 1247 inclusive, and 1249 through 1251 inclusive.

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    (2) Right-hand MLG doors with S/Ns 1208 through 1239 inclusive, 
1241 through 1249 inclusive, and 1251.

(h) Repetitive Inspections of MLG Hinge and Nerve Areas

    For airplanes equipped with MLG door actuator fittings having P/
N D52880224 000/001 or D52880235 000/001: Within 400 flight cycles 
after the effective date of this AD, or before the accumulation of 
9,000 total flight cycles since first flight of the airplane, 
whichever occurs later, perform an HFEC inspection of both hinge and 
nerve areas of the MLG doors for cracking, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1096, 
Revision 02, dated July 12, 2006. Repeat the inspection thereafter 
at intervals not to exceed 800 flight cycles.

(i) Inspections/Corrective Actions

    (1) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by 
paragraph (g) or (h) of this AD: Before further flight, replace the 
affected MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 28, 2006. 
Accomplishing this replacement terminates the repetitive inspections 
required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.
    (2) If, during any HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g) of 
this AD, no cracking is found: At the time specified in paragraph 
(g) of this AD, perform a low frequency eddy current (LFEC) 
inspection to determine the grain direction of the raw material of 
each MLG actuator fitting, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52A1086, Revision 01, 
dated September 10, 1999.
    (i) If the grain direction of the raw material is correct, the 
repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD may be 
terminated.
    (ii) If the grain direction of the raw material is incorrect, 
repeat the HFEC inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD at 
the time specified in paragraph (g) of this AD. Replacement of the 
MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings as specified 
in paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, terminates the repetitive 
inspections required by paragraphs (g) and (i) of this AD.

(j) MLG Door Actuator Fitting Replacement

    For airplanes equipped with any MLG door actuator fitting having 
P/N D52880102000 and P/N D52880102001, or P/N D52880220000 and P/N 
D52880220001, or P/N D52880224000 and P/N D52880224001, or P/N 
D52880235000 and P/N D52880235001: At the later of the times 
specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD, replace the 
MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock fittings, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 28, 2006. 
Accomplishing this replacement terminates the repetitive inspections 
required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.
    (1) Before the accumulation of 48,000 total flight cycles or 
96,000 total flight hours, whichever occurs later since the first 
flight of the airplane; or
    (2) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(k) Optional Terminating Action

    Replacement of the MLG door actuator fittings with new monoblock 
fittings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of 
Airbus Service Bulletin A320-52-1073, Revision 05, dated September 
28, 2006, terminates the repetitive inspections required by 
paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

(l) Airplanes Excluded From AD Requirements

    For airplanes on which Airbus Modification 24903, 25372, or 
36979 has been embodied in production, no action is required by this 
AD, provided that no MLG door actuator fitting having any part 
number identified in paragraph (j) of this AD has been reinstalled 
on the airplane since first flight.

(m) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a MLG 
door actuator fitting having any part number identified in paragraph 
(j) of this AD on any airplane.

(n) 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.
    (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 
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.

(o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information 
(MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2014-
0166, dated July 16, 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-2016-0461.
    (2) 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 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.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 20, 2016.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-01580 Filed 1-27-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P