Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Scientific Company Seat Restraint System Rotary Buckle Assemblies, 60100-60103 [2020-20624]

Download as PDF 60100 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Proposed Rules (e) Reason This AD was prompted by the need to revise the Airworthiness Limitation section of the existing aircraft maintenance manual. The FAA is issuing this AD to revise the Airworthiness Limitations section of the existing aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) to introduce new mandatory repetitive inspections for the flap pivot arm assemblies and for the wing angle brackets on middle rib 23, and to implement a change to the Oxygen cylinder and pressure reducer task item. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced structural integrity and system reliability of the airplane. +41 (0)41 619 67 74; fax: +41 (0)41 619 67 73; email: Techsupport@pilatus-aircraft.com; internet: https://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/en. You may view this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329–4148. Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ‘‘Mail’’ address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Issued on September 18, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. Examining the AD Docket (f) Compliance Unless already done, before further flight: Incorporate the revised Airworthiness Limitation section as specified in Section 05– 10–10, ‘‘Lifed and Overhauled Components,’’ of Chapter 05, Time Limitations, of the Pilatus PC–7 Maintenance Manual, dated June 30, 2020, into your FAA-accepted maintenance program (maintenance manual). BILLING CODE 4910–13–P (g) No Alternative Actions or Intervals After the existing maintenance or inspection program has been revised as required by paragraph (f) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (h) of this AD. (h) Other FAA AD Provisions Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329–4059; fax: (816) 329–4090; email: doug.rudolph@ faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. (i) Related Information (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) AD HB– 2020–007, dated July 23, 2020, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–0849. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Doug Rudolph, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329–4059; fax: (816) 329– 4090; email: doug.rudolph@faa.gov. (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Customer Technical Support (MCC), P.O. Box 992, CH–6371 Stans, Switzerland; telephone: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 [FR Doc. 2020–21031 Filed 9–23–20; 8:45 am] DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2013–0752; Product Identifier 2009–SW–44–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Scientific Company Seat Restraint System Rotary Buckle Assemblies Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening of comment period. AGENCY: The FAA is reopening the comment period for an earlier proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for certain Pacific Scientific Aviation Services seat restraint rotary buckle assemblies (buckles). The NPRM proposed to require inspecting each buckle and buckle handle vane, and depending on the inspection results, removing the buckle from service and installing an airworthy buckle. The NPRM also proposed to prohibit the installation of the affected buckles. The NPRM was prompted by several reports of cracked buckle handles. This action reopens the comment period because a significant amount of time has elapsed since the NPRM was published. Additionally, this action clarifies the applicability and updates nomenclature, contact information, and the design approval holder’s (DAH) name. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM by November 9, 2020. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2013– 0752; 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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For Pacific Scientific Company service information identified in this proposed rule, contact Meggitt Services, 1785 Voyager Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063, telephone 877–666–0712 or at CustomerResponse@meggitt.com. You may view the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222– 5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will file in the docket all comments received, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning E:\FR\FM\24SEP1.SGM 24SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Proposed Rules this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light of the comments received. Confidential Business Information Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this SNPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this SNPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this SNPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Discussion On September 5, 2013, at 78 FR 54594, the FAA published in the Federal Register an NPRM which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to buckles, part number (P/N) 1111430 or 1111475, all dash numbers, installed on but not limited to Cessna Aircraft Company, de Havilland, Inc. (Type Certificate (TC) currently held by Viking Air Limited), and Learjet Inc. model airplanes and Eurocopter France model helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require, within 30 days, inspecting each buckle for a crack and replacing any cracked buckle with an airworthy buckle. Also, within 6 months, the NPRM proposed to require inspecting the thickness of the buckle handle vane and replacing any buckle with a handle vane thickness of 0.125 inch or greater. Lastly, the NPRM proposed to prohibit installing an affected buckle on any VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 airplane or helicopter. The proposed requirements were intended to detect a cracked rotary buckle handle, which could prevent a strap from releasing as intended when the buckle is rotated. The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2007–0256, dated September 19, 2007, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for certain Pacific Scientific Company Seat Restraint System Plastic Rotary Buckle Handles. According to EASA, Pacific Scientific Company reports several instances of cracked handles on certain buckles with a date of manufacture from November 2004 through May 2007. Testing on buckles with a cracked handle indicates that in some circumstances, a load placed on the restraint system prevents a strap from releasing as intended when the buckle is rotated. EASA states that these circumstances are possible when a passenger weighs more than 50 kg (approximately 110 lbs.) and an aircraft is upside down. Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued Since the FAA issued the NPRM, a significant amount of time has elapsed requiring the FAA to reopen the comment period to allow the public a chance to comment on the proposed actions. These actions are intended to prevent a buckle from not releasing the restraint system strap in an emergency. The FAA is also correcting the name of Pacific Scientific Aviation Services to Pacific Scientific Company in this SNPRM. Comments After the NPRM was published, the FAA received comments from one commenter. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to each comment. Request The commenter stated that buckle P/ Ns 1111430–11 and 1111460–13 are fitted for certain Bombardier Inc., Model CL–600–2B19 aircraft and requested that the FAA include these aircraft in the Applicability because it would be helpful when performing records research and audits. The FAA partially agrees. Buckle P/N 1111430–11 is captured by the Applicability; however, buckle P/N 1111460–13 is not known to be affected by this unsafe condition and therefore is not included in the Applicability. Further, while the list of airplanes and helicopters in the Applicability that could have an affected buckle installed is not allinclusive, the FAA has added Bombardier Inc., as a possible airplane PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 60101 on which an affected buckle could be installed. The commenter also stated that Appendix 1 of Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin SB 25–1111432, dated May 22, 2007 (SB 25–1111432) lists P/Ns of affected buckles and restraint systems, and that affected part-numbered buckles may be in inventory with restraint system subassemblies (straps and belts) and on spare seat assemblies. The commenter requested the FAA require checking these inventories to determine if they need to be inspected. The FAA partially agrees. The FAA agrees that affected part-numbered buckles must be inspected and that they may be found as a component of a different partnumbered restraint system assembly. Accordingly, the FAA has added a note to the Applicability paragraph to clarify that an affected part-numbered buckle may be included as a component of a different part-numbered restraint system assembly and added a reference to Appendix 1 of SB 25–1111432, which lists the P/Ns of potentially affected restraint systems. To address spare parts, the proposed AD contains an installation prohibition so that affected parts in inventory will not become installed on any aircraft. The commenter noted that the NPRM proposed to require replacing affected buckles and requested that the FAA allow replacing a restraint system or subassembly with a restraint system or subassembly containing an airworthy buckle as an acceptable method of compliance. The FAA agrees with the comment, but does not agree that a change to this AD action is necessary. Replacing a restraint system or subassembly that contains an airworthy buckle inherently meets the requirement to replace an affected buckle with an airworthy buckle. The commenter stated that it will be difficult to maintain a record of compliance since this is an appliance AD for a non-serialized component and spare buckles are affected. Although neither the service information nor the NPRM suggest marking or serializing buckles, the commenter requested the FAA require doing so as a method to ensure solid compliance recordkeeping. The FAA disagrees. The Applicability includes the part-numbered buckles affected by the unsafe condition and the FAA appreciates the importance of compliance recordkeeping. However, serializing buckles for the purpose of compliance with this AD would create unnecessary costs and internal controls by maintainers and operators are expected to be used to ensure AD compliance. E:\FR\FM\24SEP1.SGM 24SEP1 60102 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Proposed Rules The commenter stated that SB 25– 1111432, which is referenced in the Related Service Information section of the NPRM, provides a link to an out of date revision of the component maintenance manual (CMM) and that the revised CMM includes an Illustrated Parts Catalog list. The commenter did not request a change to the proposed AD. The FAA acknowledges that the link in paragraph 4 of SB 25–1111432 is out of date, but that portion of SB 25– 1111432 is not required to accomplish this AD. Lastly, the commenter stated that considering SB 25–1111432 was issued several years ago, there appears to be a lack of urgency. The commenter requested that the FAA increase the compliance time for performing the inspection for cracks from 30 days to 6 months and the compliance time for performing the buckle handle vane measurement from 6 months to 1 year. The FAA agrees and has made these changes accordingly in this SNPRM. FAA’s Determination This product has been approved by EASA and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this SNPRM after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products. Because of the amount of time that has elapsed since the NPRM was issued, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment. This SNPRM incorporates the changes described previously as well as the following: • Minor editorial changes, • update of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD, • clarification of the Applicability paragraph by stating buckle P/Ns 1111430 ‘‘and’’ 1111475 instead of buckle P/Ns 1111430 ‘‘or’’ 1111475, • update of Cessna Aircraft Company’s name to Textron Aviation, Inc., and Eurocopter France’s name to Airbus Helicopters, and • update of the contact information name from Pacific Scientific Aviation Services to Meggitt Services, as well as the contact information. Additionally, since the FAA issued the NPRM, the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service has changed its organization structure. The new structure replaces product directorates with functional divisions. The FAA has revised some of the office titles and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 nomenclature throughout this SNPRM to reflect the new organizational changes. Additional information about the new structure can be found in the Notice published on July 25, 2017 (82 FR 34564). Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 The FAA reviewed SB 25–1111432. This service information specifies inspecting each buckle P/Ns 1111430– XX and 1111475–XX with a date of manufacture between November 2004 and May 2007, to identify whether the handle is one susceptible to cracking by checking the P/N on the reverse side of the buckle assembly or by measuring the thickness of the handle vane. If the buckle is identified as a ‘‘suspect’’ buckle, the service information provides procedures for removing the buckle and replacing it with an acceptable buckle. Information in the service information also advises that buckles with a cracked handle should be removed from service immediately. 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. Proposed Requirements of This SNPRM This proposed AD would require, within 6 months, inspecting each buckle for a crack, and within 12 months, inspecting the thickness of the buckle handle vane. If there is a crack or the handle vane thickness is 0.125 inch or greater, this proposed AD would require removing the buckle from service and replacing it with an airworthy buckle. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing an affected buckle on any airplane or helicopter. Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD The EASA AD applies to certain Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) model helicopters only. Since the affected buckles may be installed in other aircraft resulting in the same unsafe condition, this proposed AD would also apply to those aircraft. This proposed AD would not require returning the unairworthy buckle assembly to the manufacturer, and this proposed AD would not apply to ‘‘spare’’ parts that are not installed on an aircraft. Also, this proposed AD would apply to buckle P/Ns 1111430 and 1111475, all dash numbers, and would not be dependent on the restraint P/Ns. The EASA AD requires inspecting the buckles within 30 days, whereas this proposed AD would require inspecting the buckle handle for a crack within 6 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 months and the buckle handle vane thickness within 12 months instead. This proposed AD would not require an inspection for cracks ‘‘before any flight’’ for the 6 months until the affected buckles are replaced. The EASA AD identifies suspect parts by date of manufacture, and this proposed AD would not. Finally, the EASA AD allows for marking a seat as ‘‘un-operative’’ and this proposed AD would not. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 1,435 restraint systems installed on aircraft of U.S. Registry. The FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per workhour. Inspecting a buckle would cost a minimal amount and take a nominal amount of time. Replacing a buckle would take about 0.5 work-hour and parts would cost about $636 for an estimated cost of $679 per buckle and $974,365 for the U.S. fleet. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is 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 This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, E:\FR\FM\24SEP1.SGM 24SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 186 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 / Proposed Rules (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) 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. (e) Required Actions DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES (1) Within 6 months, inspect the buckle handle for a crack. If the buckle handle is cracked, before further flight, remove the buckle as depicted in Figure 5 and by following the Procedures, paragraph 9, of SB 25–1111432, and replace it with an airworthy buckle, except you are not required to return the removed buckle to Pacific Scientific. (2) Within 12 months, measure the thickness of the buckle handle vane as depicted in Figure 3 of SB 25–1111432. If the handle vane thickness is 0.125 inch or greater, before further flight, remove the buckle from service and replace it with an airworthy buckle. (3) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install a buckle or a restraint system with a buckle, P/N 1111430 or 1111475, all dash numbers, with a handle vane thickness of 0.125 inch or greater on any airplane or helicopter. 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) 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: ■ 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): ■ Pacific Scientific Company: Docket No. FAA–2013–0752; Product Identifier 2009–SW–44–AD. (a) Applicability This AD applies to Pacific Scientific Company rotary buckle assembly (buckle), part numbers (P/Ns) 1111430 and 1111475, all dash numbers. These buckles may be installed on but not limited to Bombardier Inc., Learjet Inc., Textron Aviation, Inc. (Type Certificate (TC) previously held by Cessna Aircraft Company), and Viking Air Limited (TC previously held by de Havilland, Inc.) model airplanes and Airbus Helicopters (TC previously held by Eurocopter France) model helicopters, certificated in any category. Note 1 to paragraph (a): The rotary buckle may be included as a component of a different part-numbered restraint system assembly. Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin SB 25–1111432, dated May 22, 2007 (SB 25– 1111432), Appendix 1, includes a list of these restraint system P/Ns. (b) Unsafe Condition This AD defines the unsafe condition as a cracked rotary buckle handle, which could prevent a strap from releasing as intended when the buckle is rotated. (c) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM November 9, 2020. (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222– 5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, the FAA suggests that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office or certificate holding district office, before operating any aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC. (g) Additional Information The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD No. 2007–0256, dated September 19, 2007. You may view the EASA AD on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA–2013–0752. (h) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2500, Cabin Equipment/Furnishings. Issued on September 14, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–20624 Filed 9–23–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P (d) Compliance You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Sep 23, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 60103 Sfmt 4702 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0850; Project Identifier AD–2020–00288–E] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain GEnx–1B64, 1B64/P1, –1B64/P2, –1B67, –1B67/P1, –1B67/P2, –1B70, –1B70/75/P1, –1B70/75/P2, –1B70/P1, –1B70/P2, –1B70C/P1, –1B70C/P2, –1B74/75/P1, –1B74/75/P2, –1B76/P2, –1B76A/P2, –2B67, –2B67/P, and –2B67B model turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by a finding during an inspection by the manufacturer that two stages 6–10 compressor rotor spools in the highpressure compressor (HPC) assembly were damaged at similar locations. Additionally, the manufacturer reported that certain stages 6–10 compressor rotor spool webs did not undergo a required fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) during production. This proposed AD would require inspection of the stages 6–10 compressor rotor spool and, depending on the result of the inspection, replacement of the stages 6–10 compressor rotor spool with a part eligible for installation. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 9, 2020. SUMMARY: 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 service information identified in this NPRM, contact General Electric Company, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\24SEP1.SGM 24SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 186 (Thursday, September 24, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 60100-60103]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-20624]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0752; Product Identifier 2009-SW-44-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Scientific Company Seat 
Restraint System Rotary Buckle Assemblies

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM); reopening 
of comment period.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is reopening the comment period for an earlier 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for certain Pacific Scientific Aviation 
Services seat restraint rotary buckle assemblies (buckles). The NPRM 
proposed to require inspecting each buckle and buckle handle vane, and 
depending on the inspection results, removing the buckle from service 
and installing an airworthy buckle. The NPRM also proposed to prohibit 
the installation of the affected buckles. The NPRM was prompted by 
several reports of cracked buckle handles. This action reopens the 
comment period because a significant amount of time has elapsed since 
the NPRM was published. Additionally, this action clarifies the 
applicability and updates nomenclature, contact information, and the 
design approval holder's (DAH) name.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM by November 9, 2020.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ``Mail'' address between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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-2013-
0752; 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 AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union 
Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, any comments received, and other 
information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. 
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.
    For Pacific Scientific Company service information identified in 
this proposed rule, contact Meggitt Services, 1785 Voyager Ave., Simi 
Valley, CA 93063, telephone 877-666-0712 or at 
[email protected]. You may view the referenced service 
information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest 
Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation and 
Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 
telephone 817-222-5110; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting 
written comments, data, or views. The most helpful comments reference a 
specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any 
recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket 
does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one 
copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, 
commenters should submit only one time.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will file in the docket all comments received, as well 
as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA 
personnel concerning

[[Page 60101]]

this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will 
consider all comments received on or before the closing date for 
comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period 
has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or 
delay. The FAA may change this proposal in light of the comments 
received.

Confidential Business Information

    Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial 
information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by 
its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), 
CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to 
this SNPRM contain commercial or financial information that is 
customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and 
that is relevant or responsive to this SNPRM, it is important that you 
clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page 
of your submission containing CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat 
such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will 
not be placed in the public docket of this SNPRM. Submissions 
containing CBI should be sent to Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, International Validation Branch, General Aviation and 
Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 
telephone 817-222-5110; email [email protected]. Any commentary 
that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will 
be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Discussion

    On September 5, 2013, at 78 FR 54594, the FAA published in the 
Federal Register an NPRM which proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by 
adding an AD that would apply to buckles, part number (P/N) 1111430 or 
1111475, all dash numbers, installed on but not limited to Cessna 
Aircraft Company, de Havilland, Inc. (Type Certificate (TC) currently 
held by Viking Air Limited), and Learjet Inc. model airplanes and 
Eurocopter France model helicopters. The NPRM proposed to require, 
within 30 days, inspecting each buckle for a crack and replacing any 
cracked buckle with an airworthy buckle. Also, within 6 months, the 
NPRM proposed to require inspecting the thickness of the buckle handle 
vane and replacing any buckle with a handle vane thickness of 0.125 
inch or greater. Lastly, the NPRM proposed to prohibit installing an 
affected buckle on any airplane or helicopter. The proposed 
requirements were intended to detect a cracked rotary buckle handle, 
which could prevent a strap from releasing as intended when the buckle 
is rotated.
    The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD No. 2007-0256, dated September 19, 
2007, issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member 
States of the European Union, to correct an unsafe condition for 
certain Pacific Scientific Company Seat Restraint System Plastic Rotary 
Buckle Handles. According to EASA, Pacific Scientific Company reports 
several instances of cracked handles on certain buckles with a date of 
manufacture from November 2004 through May 2007. Testing on buckles 
with a cracked handle indicates that in some circumstances, a load 
placed on the restraint system prevents a strap from releasing as 
intended when the buckle is rotated. EASA states that these 
circumstances are possible when a passenger weighs more than 50 kg 
(approximately 110 lbs.) and an aircraft is upside down.

Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued the NPRM, a significant amount of time has 
elapsed requiring the FAA to reopen the comment period to allow the 
public a chance to comment on the proposed actions. These actions are 
intended to prevent a buckle from not releasing the restraint system 
strap in an emergency.
    The FAA is also correcting the name of Pacific Scientific Aviation 
Services to Pacific Scientific Company in this SNPRM.

Comments

    After the NPRM was published, the FAA received comments from one 
commenter. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and 
the FAA's response to each comment.

Request

    The commenter stated that buckle P/Ns 1111430-11 and 1111460-13 are 
fitted for certain Bombardier Inc., Model CL-600-2B19 aircraft and 
requested that the FAA include these aircraft in the Applicability 
because it would be helpful when performing records research and 
audits. The FAA partially agrees. Buckle P/N 1111430-11 is captured by 
the Applicability; however, buckle P/N 1111460-13 is not known to be 
affected by this unsafe condition and therefore is not included in the 
Applicability. Further, while the list of airplanes and helicopters in 
the Applicability that could have an affected buckle installed is not 
all-inclusive, the FAA has added Bombardier Inc., as a possible 
airplane on which an affected buckle could be installed.
    The commenter also stated that Appendix 1 of Pacific Scientific 
Service Bulletin SB 25-1111432, dated May 22, 2007 (SB 25-1111432) 
lists P/Ns of affected buckles and restraint systems, and that affected 
part-numbered buckles may be in inventory with restraint system 
subassemblies (straps and belts) and on spare seat assemblies. The 
commenter requested the FAA require checking these inventories to 
determine if they need to be inspected. The FAA partially agrees. The 
FAA agrees that affected part-numbered buckles must be inspected and 
that they may be found as a component of a different part-numbered 
restraint system assembly. Accordingly, the FAA has added a note to the 
Applicability paragraph to clarify that an affected part-numbered 
buckle may be included as a component of a different part-numbered 
restraint system assembly and added a reference to Appendix 1 of SB 25-
1111432, which lists the P/Ns of potentially affected restraint 
systems. To address spare parts, the proposed AD contains an 
installation prohibition so that affected parts in inventory will not 
become installed on any aircraft.
    The commenter noted that the NPRM proposed to require replacing 
affected buckles and requested that the FAA allow replacing a restraint 
system or subassembly with a restraint system or subassembly containing 
an airworthy buckle as an acceptable method of compliance. The FAA 
agrees with the comment, but does not agree that a change to this AD 
action is necessary. Replacing a restraint system or subassembly that 
contains an airworthy buckle inherently meets the requirement to 
replace an affected buckle with an airworthy buckle.
    The commenter stated that it will be difficult to maintain a record 
of compliance since this is an appliance AD for a non-serialized 
component and spare buckles are affected. Although neither the service 
information nor the NPRM suggest marking or serializing buckles, the 
commenter requested the FAA require doing so as a method to ensure 
solid compliance recordkeeping. The FAA disagrees. The Applicability 
includes the part-numbered buckles affected by the unsafe condition and 
the FAA appreciates the importance of compliance recordkeeping. 
However, serializing buckles for the purpose of compliance with this AD 
would create unnecessary costs and internal controls by maintainers and 
operators are expected to be used to ensure AD compliance.

[[Page 60102]]

    The commenter stated that SB 25-1111432, which is referenced in the 
Related Service Information section of the NPRM, provides a link to an 
out of date revision of the component maintenance manual (CMM) and that 
the revised CMM includes an Illustrated Parts Catalog list. The 
commenter did not request a change to the proposed AD. The FAA 
acknowledges that the link in paragraph 4 of SB 25-1111432 is out of 
date, but that portion of SB 25-1111432 is not required to accomplish 
this AD.
    Lastly, the commenter stated that considering SB 25-1111432 was 
issued several years ago, there appears to be a lack of urgency. The 
commenter requested that the FAA increase the compliance time for 
performing the inspection for cracks from 30 days to 6 months and the 
compliance time for performing the buckle handle vane measurement from 
6 months to 1 year. The FAA agrees and has made these changes 
accordingly in this SNPRM.

FAA's Determination

    This product has been approved by EASA and is approved for 
operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral 
agreement with the European Union, EASA has notified the FAA of the 
unsafe condition described in its AD. The FAA is proposing this SNPRM 
after evaluating all known relevant information and determining that an 
unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other 
products. Because of the amount of time that has elapsed since the NPRM 
was issued, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to reopen the 
comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to 
comment. This SNPRM incorporates the changes described previously as 
well as the following:
     Minor editorial changes,
     update of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed 
AD,
     clarification of the Applicability paragraph by stating 
buckle P/Ns 1111430 ``and'' 1111475 instead of buckle P/Ns 1111430 
``or'' 1111475,
     update of Cessna Aircraft Company's name to Textron 
Aviation, Inc., and Eurocopter France's name to Airbus Helicopters, and
     update of the contact information name from Pacific 
Scientific Aviation Services to Meggitt Services, as well as the 
contact information.
    Additionally, since the FAA issued the NPRM, the FAA's Aircraft 
Certification Service has changed its organization structure. The new 
structure replaces product directorates with functional divisions. The 
FAA has revised some of the office titles and nomenclature throughout 
this SNPRM to reflect the new organizational changes. Additional 
information about the new structure can be found in the Notice 
published on July 25, 2017 (82 FR 34564).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed SB 25-1111432. This service information specifies 
inspecting each buckle P/Ns 1111430-XX and 1111475-XX with a date of 
manufacture between November 2004 and May 2007, to identify whether the 
handle is one susceptible to cracking by checking the P/N on the 
reverse side of the buckle assembly or by measuring the thickness of 
the handle vane. If the buckle is identified as a ``suspect'' buckle, 
the service information provides procedures for removing the buckle and 
replacing it with an acceptable buckle. Information in the service 
information also advises that buckles with a cracked handle should be 
removed from service immediately.
    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.

Proposed Requirements of This SNPRM

    This proposed AD would require, within 6 months, inspecting each 
buckle for a crack, and within 12 months, inspecting the thickness of 
the buckle handle vane. If there is a crack or the handle vane 
thickness is 0.125 inch or greater, this proposed AD would require 
removing the buckle from service and replacing it with an airworthy 
buckle. This proposed AD would also prohibit installing an affected 
buckle on any airplane or helicopter.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to certain Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) 
model helicopters only. Since the affected buckles may be installed in 
other aircraft resulting in the same unsafe condition, this proposed AD 
would also apply to those aircraft. This proposed AD would not require 
returning the unairworthy buckle assembly to the manufacturer, and this 
proposed AD would not apply to ``spare'' parts that are not installed 
on an aircraft. Also, this proposed AD would apply to buckle P/Ns 
1111430 and 1111475, all dash numbers, and would not be dependent on 
the restraint P/Ns. The EASA AD requires inspecting the buckles within 
30 days, whereas this proposed AD would require inspecting the buckle 
handle for a crack within 6 months and the buckle handle vane thickness 
within 12 months instead. This proposed AD would not require an 
inspection for cracks ``before any flight'' for the 6 months until the 
affected buckles are replaced. The EASA AD identifies suspect parts by 
date of manufacture, and this proposed AD would not. Finally, the EASA 
AD allows for marking a seat as ``un-operative'' and this proposed AD 
would not.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 1,435 
restraint systems installed on aircraft of U.S. Registry. The FAA 
estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to 
comply with this proposed AD. Labor costs are estimated at $85 per 
work-hour.
    Inspecting a buckle would cost a minimal amount and take a nominal 
amount of time. Replacing a buckle would take about 0.5 work-hour and 
parts would cost about $636 for an estimated cost of $679 per buckle 
and $974,365 for the U.S. fleet.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    The FAA is 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

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the States, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various 
levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,

[[Page 60103]]

    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) 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):

Pacific Scientific Company: Docket No. FAA-2013-0752; Product 
Identifier 2009-SW-44-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Pacific Scientific Company rotary buckle 
assembly (buckle), part numbers (P/Ns) 1111430 and 1111475, all dash 
numbers. These buckles may be installed on but not limited to 
Bombardier Inc., Learjet Inc., Textron Aviation, Inc. (Type 
Certificate (TC) previously held by Cessna Aircraft Company), and 
Viking Air Limited (TC previously held by de Havilland, Inc.) model 
airplanes and Airbus Helicopters (TC previously held by Eurocopter 
France) model helicopters, certificated in any category.

    Note 1 to paragraph (a): The rotary buckle may be included as a 
component of a different part-numbered restraint system assembly. 
Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin SB 25-1111432, dated May 22, 
2007 (SB 25-1111432), Appendix 1, includes a list of these restraint 
system P/Ns.

(b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a cracked rotary buckle 
handle, which could prevent a strap from releasing as intended when 
the buckle is rotated.

(c) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this SNPRM November 9, 2020.

(d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this 
AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been 
accomplished prior to that time.

(e) Required Actions

    (1) Within 6 months, inspect the buckle handle for a crack. If 
the buckle handle is cracked, before further flight, remove the 
buckle as depicted in Figure 5 and by following the Procedures, 
paragraph 9, of SB 25-1111432, and replace it with an airworthy 
buckle, except you are not required to return the removed buckle to 
Pacific Scientific.
    (2) Within 12 months, measure the thickness of the buckle handle 
vane as depicted in Figure 3 of SB 25-1111432. If the handle vane 
thickness is 0.125 inch or greater, before further flight, remove 
the buckle from service and replace it with an airworthy buckle.
    (3) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install a buckle 
or a restraint system with a buckle, P/N 1111430 or 1111475, all 
dash numbers, with a handle vane thickness of 0.125 inch or greater 
on any airplane or helicopter.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, International Validation Branch, FAA, may 
approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Kristi Bradley, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, International Validation Branch, General 
Aviation and Rotorcraft Unit, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, 
TX 76177; telephone 817-222-5110; email [email protected].
    (2) For operations conducted under a 14 CFR part 119 operating 
certificate or under 14 CFR part 91, subpart K, the FAA suggests 
that you notify your principal inspector, or lacking a principal 
inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office 
or certificate holding district office, before operating any 
aircraft complying with this AD through an AMOC.

(g) Additional Information

    The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety 
Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD No. 
2007-0256, dated September 19, 2007. You may view the EASA AD on the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2013-0752.

(h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2500, Cabin 
Equipment/Furnishings.

    Issued on September 14, 2020.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-20624 Filed 9-23-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P