Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes, 22904-22907 [2017-10032]

Download as PDF 22904 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 96 Friday, May 19, 2017 Federal Aviation Administration 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. 14 CFR Part 39 Examining the AD Docket This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION [Docket No. FAA–2017–0472; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–148–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A310–203, –221, –222, –304, –322, –324, and –325 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the wing bottom skin at the main landing gear (MLG) reinforcing plate is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require a modification of the wing bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 3, 2017. 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:29 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2017– 0472; 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. Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–2125; fax 425–227–1149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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–2017–0472; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–148–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. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Discussion Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Widespread damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site damage and multiple-element damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane. This condition is known as widespread fatigue damage. It is associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention. The FAA’s WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved. The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions. In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. E:\FR\FM\19MYP1.SGM 19MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Proposed Rules This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016–0170, dated August 19, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A310–203, –221, –222, –304, –322, –324, and –325 airplanes. The MCAI states: In response to the FAA Part 26 rule, wing structural items of the Airbus A310 design that are deemed potentially susceptible to Widespread Fatigue Damage (WFD) have been assessed. The bottom skin at the main landing gear (MLG) reinforcing plate has been highlighted as an area susceptible to Multi Site Damage (MSD). This condition, if not corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the wing. Airbus performed a detailed widespread fatigue damage tolerance analysis of the bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, and concluded that a modification is necessary to the fastener holes at the inboard edge of the reinforcing plate forward of the rear spar. The modification consists of inspection [related investigative actions of a check and a rotating probe inspection] and a first oversize of the critical holes on the first two rows of 22905 fasteners [and corrective actions, e.g., repair]. Airbus modification 13751 was introduced and Service Bulletin (SB) A310–57–2104 was issued to provide in-service modification instructions. The accomplishment of this modification at the specified time will recondition/renovate/extend the life of the fastener holes in the bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate and prevent the development of MSD up to the Extended Service Goal (ESG). For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires certain modifications to the wing bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, forward of the wing rear spar [including related investigative actions of a check and a rotating probe inspection and corrective actions, e.g., repair]. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD 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–2017– 0472. Explanation of Compliance Time Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 We reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A310–57–2104, dated December 15, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a modification of the left hand (LH) and right hand (RH) wing bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, including related investigative actions and applicable corrective actions. 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. 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 the same type design. The compliance time for the replacement specified in this proposed AD for addressing WFD was established to ensure that discrepant structure is replaced before WFD develops in airplanes. Standard inspection techniques cannot be relied on to detect WFD before it becomes a hazard to flight. We will not grant any extensions of the compliance time to complete any AD-mandated service bulletin related to WFD without extensive new data that would substantiate and clearly warrant such an extension. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD affects 8 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Modification .......................................................... sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Action 52 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,420 .. $12,000 $16,420 $131,360 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:29 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 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; PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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: E:\FR\FM\19MYP1.SGM 19MYP1 22906 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Proposed Rules (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings. PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ Airbus: Docket No. FAA–2017–0472; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–148–AD. (a) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by July 3, 2017. (b) Affected ADs None. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the wing bottom skin at the main landing gear (MLG) reinforcing plate is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to prevent multi-site damage in the bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Modification Within the compliance times defined in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, table 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, or table 3 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable to airplane type and utilization: Do a (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Model A310– 203, –221, –222, –304, –322, –324, and –325 airplanes, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers. modification of the left-hand (LH) and righthand (RH) wing bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, including all related investigative actions and applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A310–57–2104, dated December 15, 2015, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. All related investigative and applicable corrective actions must be done before further flight. For purposes of this AD, the term ‘‘short range’’ applies to airplanes with an average flight time (AFT) lower than 1.5 flight hours (FH) per flight cycle, and the term ‘‘long range’’ applies to airplanes with an average flight time equal to or higher than 1.5 FH per flight cycle. For determining the ‘‘short range’’ and ‘‘long range’’ airplanes, the AFT is the total accumulated flight hours, counted from take-off to touch-down, divided by the total accumulated flight cycles at the effective date of this AD. TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (g) OF THIS AD—MODEL A310–200 SERIES AIRPLANES Compliance Time (whichever occurs later, A or B) A ........................................... Before exceeding 28,800 flight cycles (FC) or 57,600 FH, whichever occurs first since first flight of the airplane. B ........................................... Within 960 FC, or 1,920 FH, or 12 months, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD. TABLE 2 TO PARAGRAPH (g) OF THIS AD—A310–300 ‘‘SHORT-RANGE’’ AIRPLANES Compliance Time (whichever occurs later, A or B) A ........................................... B ........................................... Before exceeding 27,700 FC or 77,700 FH, whichever occurs first since first flight of the airplane. Within 920 FC, or 2,580 FH, or 12 months, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD. TABLE 3 TO PARAGRAPH (g) OF THIS AD—A310–300 ‘‘SHORT-RANGE’’ AIRPLANES Compliance Time (whichever occurs later, A or B) A ........................................... B ........................................... Before exceeding 20,500 FC or 102,500 FH, whichever occurs first since first flight of the airplane. Within 680 FC, or 3,420 FH, or 12 months, whichever occurs first after the effective date of this AD. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS (h) Exception to Service Information Specifications Where Airbus Service Bulletin A310–57– 2104, dated December 15, 2015, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action, and specifies that action as ‘‘RC’’ (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD. (i) 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:29 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the International Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. 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. (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. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator’s maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC. (j) Related Information (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016–0170, dated August 19, 2016, for related information. E:\FR\FM\19MYP1.SGM 19MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Proposed Rules 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–2017–0472. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–2125; fax 425–227–1149. (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 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 May 10, 2017. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2017–10032 Filed 5–18–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2016–7264; Directorate Identifier 2015–NM–185–AD] We must receive comments on this SNPRM by July 3, 2017. 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 SNPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email airworthiness.A330-A340@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. RIN 2120–AA64 Examining the AD Docket Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 7264; 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 SNPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket 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: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–1138; fax 425–227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening of comment period. AGENCY: We are revising an earlier notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for certain Airbus Model A330–200, –200 Freighter, and –300 series airplanes; and Model A340–500 and –600 series airplanes. This action revises the NPRM by including new inspection locations for certain airplanes, and removing incorrect part numbers. We are proposing this airworthiness directive (AD) to address the unsafe condition on these products. Since these actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes. DATES: The comment period for the NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2016 (81 FR 40201), is reopened. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:29 May 18, 2017 Jkt 241001 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. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 22907 FAA–2016–7264; Directorate Identifier 2015–NM–185–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this SNPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this SNPRM 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 SNPRM. Discussion We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A330– 200, –200 Freighter, and –300 series airplanes; and Model A340–500 and –600 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2016 (81 FR 40201) (‘‘the NPRM’’). The NPRM was prompted by a quality control review on the final assembly line, which determined that the wrong aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts. The NPRM proposed to require a onetime eddy current conductivity measurement of certain cabin and cargo compartment structural parts to determine if an incorrect aluminum alloy was used, and replacement of any affected part with a serviceable part. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2017–0021, dated February 8, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330–200, –200 Freighter, and –300 series airplanes; and Model A340– 500 and –600 series airplanes. The MCAI states: Following an Airbus quality control review on the final assembly line, it was discovered that wrong aluminum alloy was used to manufacture several structural parts. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the aeroplane. To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus published [Service Bulletin] (SB) A330–53–3261, SB A330–53–3262, and SB A340–53–5072, as applicable to aeroplane type/model, to provide instructions to identify the affected parts. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2015–0206 to require a onetime special detailed inspection (SDI) [eddy current conductivity measurements] of certain cabin and/or cargo compartment parts for material identification and, depending on findings, replacement with serviceable parts. E:\FR\FM\19MYP1.SGM 19MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 96 (Friday, May 19, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 22904-22907]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-10032]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 96 / Friday, May 19, 2017 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 22904]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0472; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-148-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus Model A310-203, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 
airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design 
approval holder (DAH) indicating that the wing bottom skin at the main 
landing gear (MLG) reinforcing plate is subject to widespread fatigue 
damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require a modification of the wing 
bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate. We are proposing this AD to 
address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 3, 2017.

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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus 
SAS, Airworthiness Office--EAW, 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-2017-
0472; 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-2125; 
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-2017-0472; 
Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-148-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

    Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural 
design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage 
is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as 
a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. 
Widespread damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent 
frames or stringers. Multiple-site damage and multiple-element damage 
cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with 
normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will 
grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the 
airplane. This condition is known as widespread fatigue damage. It is 
associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with 
similar structural details and stress levels. As an airplane ages, WFD 
will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated 
long enough without any intervention.
    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became 
effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to 
prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life 
of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these 
airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and 
future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs 
establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that 
support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the 
WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV 
is approved.
    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require 
identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show 
that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane 
reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of 
future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance 
actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness 
directives through separate rulemaking actions.
    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to 
propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for 
their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur.

[[Page 22905]]

This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides 
flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information 
development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with 
certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2016-0170, dated August 19, 2016 (referred to 
after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or 
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model 
A310-203, -221, -222, -304, -322, -324, and -325 airplanes. The MCAI 
states:

    In response to the FAA Part 26 rule, wing structural items of 
the Airbus A310 design that are deemed potentially susceptible to 
Widespread Fatigue Damage (WFD) have been assessed. The bottom skin 
at the main landing gear (MLG) reinforcing plate has been 
highlighted as an area susceptible to Multi Site Damage (MSD).
    This condition, if not corrected, could reduce the structural 
integrity of the wing.
    Airbus performed a detailed widespread fatigue damage tolerance 
analysis of the bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, and 
concluded that a modification is necessary to the fastener holes at 
the inboard edge of the reinforcing plate forward of the rear spar. 
The modification consists of inspection [related investigative 
actions of a check and a rotating probe inspection] and a first 
oversize of the critical holes on the first two rows of fasteners 
[and corrective actions, e.g., repair]. Airbus modification 13751 
was introduced and Service Bulletin (SB) A310-57-2104 was issued to 
provide in-service modification instructions. The accomplishment of 
this modification at the specified time will recondition/renovate/
extend the life of the fastener holes in the bottom skin at the MLG 
reinforcing plate and prevent the development of MSD up to the 
Extended Service Goal (ESG).
    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires certain 
modifications to the wing bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, 
forward of the wing rear spar [including related investigative 
actions of a check and a rotating probe inspection and corrective 
actions, e.g., repair].

    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-2017-
0472.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A310-57-2104, dated December 
15, 2015. The service information describes procedures for a 
modification of the left hand (LH) and right hand (RH) wing bottom skin 
at the MLG reinforcing plate, including related investigative actions 
and applicable corrective actions. 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 the same 
type design.

Explanation of Compliance Time

    The compliance time for the replacement specified in this proposed 
AD for addressing WFD was established to ensure that discrepant 
structure is replaced before WFD develops in airplanes. Standard 
inspection techniques cannot be relied on to detect WFD before it 
becomes a hazard to flight. We will not grant any extensions of the 
compliance time to complete any AD-mandated service bulletin related to 
WFD without extensive new data that would substantiate and clearly 
warrant such an extension.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 8 airplanes of U.S. 
registry.
    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

                                                                     Estimated Costs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                            Cost per       Cost on U.S.
                 Action                                           Labor cost                              Parts cost        product         operators
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modification...........................  52 work-hours x $85 per hour = $4,420.......................         $12,000          $16,420         $131,360
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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:

[[Page 22906]]

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-2017-0472; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-
148-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 3, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A310-203, -221, -222, -304, -
322, -324, and -325 airplanes, certificated in any category, all 
manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval 
holder (DAH) indicating that the wing bottom skin at the main 
landing gear (MLG) reinforcing plate is subject to widespread 
fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to prevent multi-site 
damage in the bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, which could 
result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Modification

    Within the compliance times defined in table 1 to paragraph (g) 
of this AD, table 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD, or table 3 to 
paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable to airplane type and 
utilization: Do a modification of the left-hand (LH) and right-hand 
(RH) wing bottom skin at the MLG reinforcing plate, including all 
related investigative actions and applicable corrective actions, in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service 
Bulletin A310-57-2104, dated December 15, 2015, except as required 
by paragraph (h) of this AD. All related investigative and 
applicable corrective actions must be done before further flight. 
For purposes of this AD, the term ``short range'' applies to 
airplanes with an average flight time (AFT) lower than 1.5 flight 
hours (FH) per flight cycle, and the term ``long range'' applies to 
airplanes with an average flight time equal to or higher than 1.5 FH 
per flight cycle. For determining the ``short range'' and ``long 
range'' airplanes, the AFT is the total accumulated flight hours, 
counted from take-off to touch-down, divided by the total 
accumulated flight cycles at the effective date of this AD.

  Table 1 to Paragraph (g) of This AD--Model A310-200 Series Airplanes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Compliance Time (whichever occurs later, A or B)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A............................  Before exceeding 28,800 flight cycles
                                (FC) or 57,600 FH, whichever occurs
                                first since first flight of the
                                airplane.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
B............................  Within 960 FC, or 1,920 FH, or 12 months,
                                whichever occurs first after the
                                effective date of this AD.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 2 to paragraph (g) of this AD--A310-300 ``short-range'' Airplanes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Compliance Time (whichever occurs later, A or B)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A............................  Before exceeding 27,700 FC or 77,700 FH,
                                whichever occurs first since first
                                flight of the airplane.
B............................  Within 920 FC, or 2,580 FH, or 12 months,
                                whichever occurs first after the
                                effective date of this AD.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 3 to paragraph (g) of this AD--A310-300 ``short-range'' Airplanes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Compliance Time (whichever occurs later, A or B)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A............................  Before exceeding 20,500 FC or 102,500 FH,
                                whichever occurs first since first
                                flight of the airplane.
B............................  Within 680 FC, or 3,420 FH, or 12 months,
                                whichever occurs first after the
                                effective date of this AD.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(h) Exception to Service Information Specifications

    Where Airbus Service Bulletin A310-57-2104, dated December 15, 
2015, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action, and 
specifies that action as ``RC'' (Required for Compliance): Before 
further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the 
procedures specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD.

(i) 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 manager of the International Branch, send it to the 
attention of the person identified in paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. 
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.
    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by 
paragraph (h) of this AD, if any service information contains 
procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and 
tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests 
that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and 
tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using 
accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or 
inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided 
the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the 
airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any 
substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC 
require approval of an AMOC.

(j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information 
(MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0170, dated August 19, 
2016, for related information.

[[Page 22907]]

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-
2017-0472.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, 
Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-
3356; telephone 425-227-2125; fax 425-227-1149.
    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office--EAW, 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 May 10, 2017.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-10032 Filed 5-18-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P