Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes, 22075-22078 [2019-09743]

Download as PDF 22075 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 95 Thursday, May 16, 2019 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 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2019–0318; Product Identifier 2019–NM–015–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS 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 SAS Model A330–200 Freighter, A330–200, and A330–300 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an analysis conducted on Airbus SAS Model A330–200 Freighter, A330–200, and A330–300 series airplanes that identified structural areas that are susceptible to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require reinforcement modifications of various structural parts of the fuselage, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions if necessary, as specified in an European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be incorporated by reference. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 1, 2019. 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 https://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 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 May 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For the material identified in this proposed AD that will be incorporated by reference (IBR), contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 89990 1000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2019– 0318; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800–647–5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3229. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA– 2019–0318; Product Identifier 2019– NM–015–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this NPRM. 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 WFD. 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 design approval holders (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. E:\FR\FM\16MYP1.SGM 16MYP1 22076 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 95 / Thursday, May 16, 2019 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 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. 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 EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018–0276R1, dated January 11, 2019; corrected January 15, 2019 (‘‘EASA AD 2018–0276R1’’) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A330–200 Freighter, A330–200, and A330–300 series airplanes. The MCAI states: An analysis conducted on [Airbus SAS] A330 aeroplanes identified structural areas which are susceptible to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This condition, if not corrected, could lead to crack initiation and undetected propagation, reducing the structural integrity of the aeroplane, possibly resulting in rapid depressurisation and consequent injury to occupants. To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus developed a number of modifications (Mod) and published associated Service Bulletins (SB) for embodiment in service, to provide instructions to reinforce the various structural parts of the fuselage. Consequently, EASA issued AD 2016–0207 to require accomplishment of these modifications and reinforcements. Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Airbus developed new Mods for A330–223F and A330–243F aeroplanes and issued associated SBs accordingly. In addition, for certain required modifications, upper thresholds in flight hours (FH) have been defined and the Applicability of some required actions was redefined to certain aeroplane configurations. For the reasons described above, EASA issued AD 2018–0276, retaining the requirements of EASA AD 2016–0207, which was superseded, requiring new actions [modifications] for A330–200F aeroplanes, introducing references to the related Airbus SBs, and amending some compliance times (see Table 3—Applicability of this AD). Since that [EASA] AD was issued, prompted by operator comments, it was determined that there was need to clarify the compliance time for aeroplanes that, for Action 9, were modified by using a previous revision of Airbus SB A330–53–3238. Consequently, this [EASA] AD is revised, introducing paragraph (6) to clarify this specific scenario. In addition, Note 2 of this [EASA] AD is corrected to clarify that the instructions of each SB are applicable for certain configurations, not limited to those MSN VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 May 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 [manufacturer serial number] listed in the Effectivity of the SB. This revised [EASA] AD is republished to correct an error in one of the compliance times for Action 14. We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus SAS Model A330– 200 Freighter, A330–200, and A330–300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 19, 2017 (82 FR 43715). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that certain fuselage structures are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to require reinforcement modifications of various structural parts of the fuselage, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Since we issued the NPRM, Airbus SAS developed new modifications for Model A330–200 Freighter series airplanes and issued associated service information. In addition, for certain required modifications, upper thresholds in flight hours have been defined and the applicability of certain required actions was redefined to certain airplane configurations. In light of these changes, we have withdrawn the NPRM published on September 19, 2017 and have issued this NPRM for public comment. Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2018–0276R1 describes procedures for reinforcement modifications of various structural parts of the fuselage, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This material 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, and it is publicly available through the EASA website. 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 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. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Proposed Requirements of This NPRM This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2018–0276R1 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.’’ Explanation of Required Compliance Information In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. As a result, EASA AD 2018– 0276R1 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with the provisions specified in EASA AD 2018–0276R1, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2018–0276R1 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2018–0276R1 will be available on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2019– 0318 after the FAA final rule is published. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI The MCAI provides lower-limit thresholds for accomplishment of certain actions. This proposed AD would additionally require obtaining instructions for further actions for airplanes already modified before the specified lower threshold is reached. The compliance times for the modifications specified in this proposed AD for addressing WFD were 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 104 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: E:\FR\FM\16MYP1.SGM 16MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 95 / Thursday, May 16, 2019 / Proposed Rules 22077 ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Up to 413 work-hours × $85 per hour = $35,105 ............... Up to $125,190 .................... Up to $160,295 .................... We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed 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. This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes and associated appliances to the Director of the System Oversight Division. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 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; VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 May 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 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 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 SAS: Docket No. FAA–2019–0318; Product Identifier 2019–NM–015–AD. (a) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by July 1, 2019. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers. (1) Airbus SAS Model A330–223F and –243F airplanes. (2) Airbus SAS Model A330–201, –202, –203, –223, and –243 airplanes. (3) Airbus SAS Model A330–301, –302, –303, –321, –322, –323, –341, –342, and –343 airplanes. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by an analysis conducted on Airbus SAS Model A330–200 Freighter, –200, and –300 series airplanes that identified structural areas that are susceptible to widespread fatigue damage PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Cost on U.S. operators Up to $16,670,680. (WFD). We are issuing this AD to address this condition, which, if not corrected, could lead to crack initiation and undetected propagation, reducing the structural integrity of the airplane, possibly resulting in rapid depressurization and consequent injury to occupants. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Requirements Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2018–0276R1, dated January 11, 2019; corrected January 15, 2019 (‘‘EASA AD 2018–0276R1’’). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2018–0276R1 (1) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2018–0276R1 does not apply to this AD. (2) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2018– 0276R1 specifies to modify the airplane in accordance with each applicable service bulletin as specified in Appendix 1 of EASA AD 2018–0276R1, this AD also requires the accomplishment of all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight in accordance with each applicable service bulletin as specified in Appendix 1 of EASA AD 2018–0276R1. (3) For airplanes already modified before the threshold specified in Table 2 of Appendix 1 of EASA AD 2018–0276R1 is reached, within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, obtain instructions for additional maintenance tasks (e.g., modifications/inspections) from and approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA); and accomplish those tasks within the compliance time specified therein. (i) No Reporting Requirement Although certain service information referenced in EASA AD 2018–0276R1 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (j) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, 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 E:\FR\FM\16MYP1.SGM 16MYP1 22078 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 95 / Thursday, May 16, 2019 / Proposed Rules directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOCREQUESTS@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 instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOAauthorized signature. (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information referenced in EASA AD 2018–0276R1 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraphs (h)(3) and (j)(2) of this AD, RC 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. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS (k) Related Information (1) For information about EASA AD 2018– 0276R1, contact EASA, Konrad-AdenauerUfer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 89990 6017; email ADs@ easa.europa.eu; Internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this EASA AD at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. EASA AD 2018–0276R1 may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2019–0318. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3229. Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on April 25, 2019. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2019–09743 Filed 5–15–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:42 May 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2019–0310; Airspace Docket No. 19–ACE–7] RIN 2120–AA66 Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Forest City, IA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This action proposes to amend the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Forest City Municipal Airport, Forest City, IA. The FAA is proposing this action as the result of an airspace review caused by the decommissioning of the Forest City non-directional beacon (NDB), which provided navigation information for the instrument procedures at this airport. Airspace redesign is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport. DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 1, 2019. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366–9826, or (800) 647–5527. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA–2019– 0310; Airspace Docket No. 19–ACE–7, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at https://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/ publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11C at NARA, call (202) 741–6030, or go to https:// SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ ibr-locations.html. FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Claypool, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Central Service Center, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5711. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. 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. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend the Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Forest City Municipal Airport, Forest City, IA, to support IFR operations at this airport. Comments Invited Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ‘‘Comments to Docket No. FAA–2019–0310; Airspace Docket No. 19–ACE–7.’’ The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter. All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action E:\FR\FM\16MYP1.SGM 16MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 95 (Thursday, May 16, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 22075-22078]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-09743]


========================================================================
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. 84, No. 95 / Thursday, May 16, 2019 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 22075]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2019-0318; Product Identifier 2019-NM-015-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS 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 SAS Model A330-200 Freighter, A330-200, and A330-300 series 
airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an analysis conducted on 
Airbus SAS Model A330-200 Freighter, A330-200, and A330-300 series 
airplanes that identified structural areas that are susceptible to 
widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require 
reinforcement modifications of various structural parts of the 
fuselage, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions 
if necessary, as specified in an European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 
AD, which will be incorporated by reference. We are proposing this AD 
to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 1, 2019.

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 https://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 the material identified in this proposed AD that will be 
incorporated by reference (IBR), contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 
50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 89990 1000; email 
[email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR 
material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view 
this IBR material at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 
216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available in the AD 
docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0318; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other 
information. The street address for Docket Operations (telephone 800-
647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket 
shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 
216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2019-0318; 
Product Identifier 2019-NM-015-AD'' at the beginning of your comments. 
We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, 
environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all 
comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM based on 
those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We 
will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we 
receive about this NPRM.

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 WFD. 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 design 
approval holders (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.

[[Page 22076]]

    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. 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 EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018-0276R1, dated January 11, 2019; 
corrected January 15, 2019 (``EASA AD 2018-0276R1'') (also referred to 
as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ``the 
MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A330-
200 Freighter, A330-200, and A330-300 series airplanes. The MCAI 
states:

    An analysis conducted on [Airbus SAS] A330 aeroplanes identified 
structural areas which are susceptible to widespread fatigue damage 
(WFD).
    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to crack initiation 
and undetected propagation, reducing the structural integrity of the 
aeroplane, possibly resulting in rapid depressurisation and 
consequent injury to occupants.
    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus developed a 
number of modifications (Mod) and published associated Service 
Bulletins (SB) for embodiment in service, to provide instructions to 
reinforce the various structural parts of the fuselage. 
Consequently, EASA issued AD 2016-0207 to require accomplishment of 
these modifications and reinforcements. Since that [EASA] AD was 
issued, Airbus developed new Mods for A330-223F and A330-243F 
aeroplanes and issued associated SBs accordingly. In addition, for 
certain required modifications, upper thresholds in flight hours 
(FH) have been defined and the Applicability of some required 
actions was redefined to certain aeroplane configurations.
    For the reasons described above, EASA issued AD 2018-0276, 
retaining the requirements of EASA AD 2016-0207, which was 
superseded, requiring new actions [modifications] for A330-200F 
aeroplanes, introducing references to the related Airbus SBs, and 
amending some compliance times (see Table 3--Applicability of this 
AD). Since that [EASA] AD was issued, prompted by operator comments, 
it was determined that there was need to clarify the compliance time 
for aeroplanes that, for Action 9, were modified by using a previous 
revision of Airbus SB A330-53-3238. Consequently, this [EASA] AD is 
revised, introducing paragraph (6) to clarify this specific 
scenario. In addition, Note 2 of this [EASA] AD is corrected to 
clarify that the instructions of each SB are applicable for certain 
configurations, not limited to those MSN [manufacturer serial 
number] listed in the Effectivity of the SB.
    This revised [EASA] AD is republished to correct an error in one 
of the compliance times for Action 14.

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus SAS Model A330-
200 Freighter, A330-200, and A330-300 series airplanes. The NPRM 
published in the Federal Register on September 19, 2017 (82 FR 43715). 
The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that 
certain fuselage structures are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to 
require reinforcement modifications of various structural parts of the 
fuselage, and related investigative and corrective actions if 
necessary. Since we issued the NPRM, Airbus SAS developed new 
modifications for Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes and issued 
associated service information. In addition, for certain required 
modifications, upper thresholds in flight hours have been defined and 
the applicability of certain required actions was redefined to certain 
airplane configurations. In light of these changes, we have withdrawn 
the NPRM published on September 19, 2017 and have issued this NPRM for 
public comment.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2018-0276R1 describes procedures for reinforcement 
modifications of various structural parts of the fuselage, and 
applicable related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. 
This material 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, and it is publicly available 
through the EASA website.

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 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.

Proposed Requirements of This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2018-0276R1 described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this AD and except as discussed under ``Differences 
Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.''

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to 
use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for 
compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. As a result, 
EASA AD 2018-0276R1 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final 
rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with the 
provisions specified in EASA AD 2018-0276R1, except for any differences 
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. 
Service information specified in EASA AD 2018-0276R1 that is required 
for compliance with EASA AD 2018-0276R1 will be available on the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating 
Docket No. FAA-2019-0318 after the FAA final rule is published.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI

    The MCAI provides lower-limit thresholds for accomplishment of 
certain actions. This proposed AD would additionally require obtaining 
instructions for further actions for airplanes already modified before 
the specified lower threshold is reached.
    The compliance times for the modifications specified in this 
proposed AD for addressing WFD were 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 104 airplanes of U.S. 
registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed 
AD:

[[Page 22077]]



                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Labor cost                    Parts cost         Cost per product         Cost on U.S. operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up to 413 work-hours x $85 per      Up to $125,190.......  Up to $160,295......  Up to $16,670,680.
 hour = $35,105.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide 
cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed 
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.
    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated 
by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as 
authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, 
issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and 
Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the 
Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable 
to transport category airplanes and associated appliances to the 
Director of the System Oversight Division.

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 SAS: Docket No. FAA-2019-0318; Product Identifier 2019-NM-
015-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 1, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) 
through (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, all 
manufacturer serial numbers.
    (1) Airbus SAS Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.
    (2) Airbus SAS Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 
airplanes.
    (3) Airbus SAS Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -
341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an analysis conducted on Airbus SAS 
Model A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes that 
identified structural areas that are susceptible to widespread 
fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to address this 
condition, which, if not corrected, could lead to crack initiation 
and undetected propagation, reducing the structural integrity of the 
airplane, possibly resulting in rapid depressurization and 
consequent injury to occupants.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, EASA AD 2018-0276R1, dated January 11, 2019; 
corrected January 15, 2019 (``EASA AD 2018-0276R1'').

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2018-0276R1

    (1) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2018-0276R1 does not 
apply to this AD.
    (2) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD 2018-0276R1 specifies to 
modify the airplane in accordance with each applicable service 
bulletin as specified in Appendix 1 of EASA AD 2018-0276R1, this AD 
also requires the accomplishment of all applicable related 
investigative and corrective actions before further flight in 
accordance with each applicable service bulletin as specified in 
Appendix 1 of EASA AD 2018-0276R1.
    (3) For airplanes already modified before the threshold 
specified in Table 2 of Appendix 1 of EASA AD 2018-0276R1 is 
reached, within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, obtain 
instructions for additional maintenance tasks (e.g., modifications/
inspections) from and approved by the Manager, International 
Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation 
Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval 
(DOA); and accomplish those tasks within the compliance time 
specified therein.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although certain service information referenced in EASA AD 2018-
0276R1 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, 
this AD does not include that requirement.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, 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

[[Page 22078]]

directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of 
the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information 
may be emailed to: [email protected]. 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 instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be 
accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International 
Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS's 
EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the 
approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.
    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information 
referenced in EASA AD 2018-0276R1 that contains RC procedures and 
tests: Except as required by paragraphs (h)(3) and (j)(2) of this 
AD, RC 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.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For information about EASA AD 2018-0276R1, contact EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 
89990 6017; email [email protected]; Internet www.easa.europa.eu. 
You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this EASA AD at the FAA, Transport 
Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
206-231-3195. EASA AD 2018-0276R1 may be found in the AD docket on 
the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0318.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir 
Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport 
Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; 
telephone and fax 206-231-3229.

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on April 25, 2019.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-09743 Filed 5-15-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P