Airworthiness Directives; Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Airplanes, 82307-82310 [2020-27894]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 244 / Friday, December 18, 2020 / Rules and Regulations as Appendix to SB EC135–67A–017 Revision 4) to Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB EC135–67A–017, Revision 4, dated April 3, 2017, and the tail rotor control rod as required by paragraph (j) of this AD. 15357 (73 FR 6008, February 1, 2008), and ■ b. Adding the following new AD: 2020–26–03 Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH: Amendment 39– 21358; Docket No. FAA–2020–0572; Product Identifier 2017–SW–056–AD. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective January 22, 2021. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2007–26–51, Amendment 39–15357 (73 FR 6008, February 1, 2008) (AD 2007–26–51). (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P1, EC135T1, EC135P2, EC135T2, EC135P2+, EC135T2+, EC135P3, and EC135T3 helicopters, certificated in any category, all serial numbers. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6700, Rotorcraft Flight Control. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by an accident involving the failure of a tail rotor control rod. The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of a tail rotor control rod and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. (f) 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. (g) Definitions (1) Group 1: Helicopters that, on the effective date of this AD, have a tail rotor control rod installed having part number (P/ N) L672M2005207. (2) Group 2: Helicopters that, on the effective date of this AD, do not have a tail rotor control rod installed having P/N L672M2005207. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES (h) Ball Pivot Inspection Within 50 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD: Inspect the ball pivot, P/N 92–201–00 and P/N 92–207–00, for damage and freedom of movement, in accordance with step 3.C.(3) or step 3.D.(3), as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of the Appendix (watermarked as Appendix to SB EC135–67A–017 Revision 4) to Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB EC135–67A–017, Revision 4, dated April 3, 2017. For purposes of this inspection, damage to the ball pivot may be indicated by cracks, missing hardware, loose bearings, or play. (i) Corrective Action If, during the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, there is any damage on any ball pivot or the ball pivot cannot be moved: Before further flight, replace the ball pivot in accordance with step 3.C.(3) or step 3.D.(3), as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of the Appendix (watermarked VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:56 Dec 17, 2020 Jkt 253001 (j) Tail Rotor Control Rod Replacement Group 1: Unless already done as required by paragraph (i) of this AD, within 50 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD, replace the tail rotor control rod having P/N L672M2005207 with a tail rotor control rod having P/N L672M2006101. Note 1 to paragraph (j): Guidance for replacing the tail rotor control rod can be found in Eurocopter Service Bulletin EC135– 67–018, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2008. (k) Parts Installation Prohibition (1) Group 1: After modification of a helicopter as required by paragraphs (i) or (j) of this AD, no person may install on any helicopter a tail rotor control rod having P/ N L672M2005207. (2) Group 2: As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any helicopter a tail rotor control rod having P/N L672M2005207. (l) Credit for Previous Actions This paragraph provides credit for the inspection and ball pivot replacements required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Eurocopter Alert Service Bulletin EC135–67A–017, Revision 03, dated July 26, 2010. (m) Special Flight Permit Special flight permits, as described in 14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199, are not allowed. (n) No Reporting Requirement Although the Appendix (watermarked as Appendix to SB EC135–67A–017 Revision 4) to Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB EC135–67A–017, Revision 4, dated April 3, 2017, specifies to contact the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (o) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Strategic Policy Rotorcraft, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: David Hatfield, Aviation Safety Engineer, Aircraft Systems Section, Technical Innovation Policy Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222– 5116; email 9-ASW-FTW-AMOC-Requests@ 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. (p) Related Information (1) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD No. 2010–0227R1, dated April 7, PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 82307 2017. This EASA AD may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–0572. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone 972–641–0000 or 800–232–0323; fax 972–641–3775; or at https:// www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/ technical-support.html. You may view a copy of the service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. (q) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB EC135–67A–017, Revision 4, dated April 3, 2017. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone 972–641–0000 or 800–232–0323; fax 972–641–3775; or at https:// www.airbus.com/helicopters/services/ technical-support.html. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 817–222–5110. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email fedreg.legal@nara.gov, or go to: https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued on December 8, 2020. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–27808 Filed 12–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0574; Product Identifier 2019–CE–015–AD; Amendment 39–21340; AD 2020–24–10] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\18DER1.SGM 18DER1 82308 ACTION: Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 244 / Friday, December 18, 2020 / Rules and Regulations Final rule. The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Aerostar Aircraft Corporation (Aerostar) Model PA–60–601P (Aerostar 601P), PA–60–602P (Aerostar 602P), and PA– 60–700P (Aerostar 700P) airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes. This AD requires repetitively inspecting the elevator and aileron balance tubes for corrosion and rust and replacing the tube. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective January 22, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 22, 2021. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Aerostar Aircraft Corporation, 2265 West Aerostar Way, Hayden Lake, ID 83835; telephone: (208) 762–0338; fax: (208) 762–8349; internet: https:// aerostaraircraft.com. You may review this referenced 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. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–0574. SUMMARY: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES 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–2020– 0574; 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 final rule, any comments received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Herron, Aerospace Engineer, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone: (206) 231–3544; email: david.herron@ faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:27 Dec 17, 2020 Jkt 253001 apply to all Aerostar Model PA–60– 601P (Aerostar 601P), PA–60–602P (Aerostar 602P), and PA–60–700P (Aerostar 700P) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 26, 2020 (85 FR 38338). The NPRM was prompted by reports of corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes, which may be hidden by rubber boots. In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require repetitively inspecting the elevator and aileron balance tubes for corrosion (pitting and flaking) and rust (discoloration) and replacing the tube. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the aileron and elevator balance tubes, jamming of the aileron and/or elevator balance tubes, and loss of control of the airplane. Comments The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The FAA received comments from three commenters. The commenters were Yankee Aviation Services, Inc. and two individuals. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to each comment. Request To Withdraw NPRM An individual commenter requested that the NPRM be withdrawn. The commenter stated there is insufficient data supporting the unsafe condition and questioned the motive for the proposed AD, as Aerostar would benefit financially from the sale of parts needed to comply with the proposed requirements. The commenter observed that Aerostar’s service information did not provide details concerning the number, source, or content of the reported events of corrosion and the degree to which the unsafe condition is present in the fleet of Aerostar airplanes. The commenter further stated that the service information and the traditional diligence of the Aerostar owner community are sufficient to address the unsafe condition. The FAA disagrees. The FAA issues an AD after finding that an unsafe condition exists or is likely to develop in aircraft of a particular type design. For this AD, the FAA reviewed the reports received from Aerostar and the effects that failure of these tubes could have on an airplane. Aerostar initially discovered corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes while conducting maintenance on an airplane. This discovery prompted Aerostar to inspect the other four airplanes in its facility, which resulted in the PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 identification of three additional incidents of corrosion on elevator and aileron balance tubes. The FAA’s analysis of this data determined an unsafe condition exists and warrants corrective action through an AD. To the extent Aerostar has issued service information on this issue, while an operator may incorporate into its maintenance program the inspections in the manufacturer’s service bulletin, not all operators are required to do so. In order for these inspections to become mandatory, and to correct the unsafe condition identified in the NPRM, the FAA must issue an AD. The FAA did not change this AD based on this comment. Request To Remove Requirement To Replace All Tubes All three commenters requested that the FAA remove the proposed requirement to replace the elevator and aileron balance tubes even if no corrosion and rust is found during the inspection. Two commenters noted that requiring the replacement of parts found to be airworthy does not promote safety and instead subjects owners to unnecessary expenses. Yankee Aviation Services, Inc., stated the new tubes are the same as those being replaced and do not have corrosion proofing. The FAA disagrees. The FAA determined that the root cause of the rust and corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes is likely a deficient corrosion protection specification in the initial design and manufacture of these tubes. The commenter is not correct that the new tubes are the same as those being replaced. The existing balance tubes are part number (P/N) 26003–003, Revision L or earlier, while the new replacement balance tubes are P/N 26003–003, Revision M or later, as specified in the service information. The Revision M and later balance tubes have been manufactured with corrosion protection (Zinc Chromate primer) that was not applied on the earlier versions of the tubes. The FAA did not change this AD based on these comments. Request To Allow Part Repair Instead of Replacement Yankee Aviation Services, Inc., requested the FAA revise the proposed AD to allow the repair of tubes with rust instead of replacement. The commenter stated that a tube with light rust and a wall thickness of 0.049 inch could be repaired by being wire brushed and painted with an epoxy paint. The FAA disagrees. Repairing the tubes without replacement would not address the root cause of the rust and E:\FR\FM\18DER1.SGM 18DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 244 / Friday, December 18, 2020 / Rules and Regulations corrosion, which the FAA determined is likely a deficient corrosion protection specification in the initial design and manufacture of these tubes. The Revision M or later balance tubes have been manufactured with corrosion protection (Zinc Chromate primer) that was not applied on the earlier versions of the tubes. The commenter’s request would allow the tubes to remain installed on the airplane without this additional corrosion protection. The FAA did not change this AD based on this comment. Conclusion The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51 The FAA reviewed Aerostar Service Bulletin SB600–138, dated August 30, 2018. The service bulletin contains procedures for repetitively inspecting the elevator and aileron balance tubes for corrosion (pitting and flaking) and rust (discoloration) and replacing the tubes at a specified time and repetitively if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the 82309 interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. Differences Between This AD and the Service Information This AD does not require completing the reply card and returning it to Aerostar as specified in Step 13 of Part II of the service information. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 404 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD: ESTIMATED COSTS Cost on U.S. operators Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Inspect elevator and aileron balance tubes. Replace elevator and aileron balance tubes. 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 per inspection cycle. 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 .. Not Applicable ...... $85 per inspection cycle.. $1,867 ................... The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary replacements that are required based on the results of $1,187 ................... the repetitive inspections, assuming separate replacement intervals. The FAA has no way of determining the $34,340 per inspection cycle. $754,268. number of airplanes that might need these replacements: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES ON-CONDITION COSTS Action Labor cost Replace elevator balance tube ..................................... Replace aileron balance tube ....................................... 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 ........................... 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 ........................... Authority for This Rulemaking Regulatory Findings 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. 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, (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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:27 Dec 17, 2020 Jkt 253001 List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Parts cost Cost per product $594 594 $1,274 1,274 The Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 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: ■ 2020–24–10 Aerostar Aircraft Corporation: Amendment 39–21340; Docket No. FAA–2020–0574; Product Identifier 2019–CE–015–AD. (a) Effective Date This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective January 22, 2021. (b) Affected ADs None. E:\FR\FM\18DER1.SGM 18DER1 82310 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 244 / Friday, December 18, 2020 / Rules and Regulations (c) Applicability This AD applies to Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Model PA–60–601P (Aerostar 601P), PA–60–602P (Aerostar 602P), and PA– 60–700P (Aerostar 700P) airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27; Flight Controls. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the aileron and elevator balance tubes, jamming of the aileron and/or elevator balance tubes, and loss of control of the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Repetitive Inspections Within 10 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD, inspect the elevator and aileron balance tubes for corrosion (pitting and flaking) and rust (discoloration) by following steps 1. through 3. of Part I (Inspection) of the Instructions in Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Service Bulletin SB600– 138, dated August 30, 2018 (Aerostar SB600– 138). For each tube replaced as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, using a borescope, repeat the inspection within 10 years after replacing the tube and thereafter as follows: (1) At intervals not to exceed 10 years as long as no rust is found. (2) At intervals not to exceed 2 years if only rust is found (without any signs of corrosion). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES (h) Replacements At the following compliance times, replace each elevator and aileron balance tube by following Part II (Replacement) of the Instructions in Aerostar SB600–138, except you are not required to report information to the manufacturer: (1) Before further flight if corrosion or rust is found (inside or outside the tubes) during the initial inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD. (2) At the next 100-hour inspection or at the next annual inspection, whichever occurs first, if no corrosion and no rust is found (inside or outside the tubes) during the initial inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD. (3) Before further flight if corrosion is found (inside or outside the tubes) during any repetitive inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD. (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Seattle ACO 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:27 Dec 17, 2020 Jkt 253001 information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANMSeattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov. (2) 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. (j) Related Information For more information about this AD, contact David Herron, Aerospace Engineer, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, 2200 S 216th St, Des Moines, WA 98198; phone: (206) 231– 3544; email: david.herron@faa.gov. (k) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Service Bulletin SB600–138, dated August 30, 2018. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Aerostar Aircraft Corporation, 2265 West Aerostar Way, Hayden Lake, ID 83835; telephone: (208) 762–0338; fax: (208) 762–8349; internet: https://aerostaraircraft.com. (4) 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. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, email: fedreg.legal@nara.gov, or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ ibr-locations.html. Issued on December 15, 2020. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2020–27894 Filed 12–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 95 [Docket No. 31345; Amdt. No. 556] IFR Altitudes; Miscellaneous Amendments Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This amendment adopts miscellaneous amendments to the required IFR (instrument flight rules) altitudes and changeover points for certain Federal airways, jet routes, or direct routes for which a minimum or maximum en route authorized IFR altitude is prescribed. This regulatory action is needed because of changes occurring in the National Airspace System. These changes are designed to provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace under instrument conditions in the affected areas. DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, December 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas J. Nichols, Flight Procedures and Airspace Group, Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, Flight Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration. Mailing Address: FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, Flight Procedures and Airspace Group, 6500 South MacArthur Blvd., Registry Bldg. 29, Room 104, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Telephone: (405) 954–4164. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This amendment to part 95 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 95) amends, suspends, or revokes IFR altitudes governing the operation of all aircraft in flight over a specified route or any portion of that route, as well as the changeover points (COPs) for Federal airways, jet routes, or direct routes as prescribed in part 95. SUMMARY: The Rule The specified IFR altitudes, when used in conjunction with the prescribed changeover points for those routes, ensure navigation aid coverage that is adequate for safe flight operations and free of frequency interference. The reasons and circumstances that create the need for this amendment involve matters of flight safety and operational efficiency in the National Airspace System, are related to published aeronautical charts that are essential to the user, and provide for the safe and efficient use of the navigable airspace. In addition, those various reasons or circumstances require making this amendment effective before the next scheduled charting and publication date of the flight information to assure its timely availability to the user. The effective date of this amendment reflects those considerations. In view of the close and immediate relationship between these regulatory changes and safety in air commerce, I find that notice and public procedure before adopting this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and that E:\FR\FM\18DER1.SGM 18DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 244 (Friday, December 18, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 82307-82310]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27894]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0574; Product Identifier 2019-CE-015-AD; Amendment 
39-21340; AD 2020-24-10]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

[[Page 82308]]


ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Aerostar Aircraft Corporation (Aerostar) Model PA-60-601P (Aerostar 
601P), PA-60-602P (Aerostar 602P), and PA-60-700P (Aerostar 700P) 
airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion on the elevator 
and aileron balance tubes. This AD requires repetitively inspecting the 
elevator and aileron balance tubes for corrosion and rust and replacing 
the tube. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on 
these products.

DATES: This AD is effective January 22, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 22, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 
contact Aerostar Aircraft Corporation, 2265 West Aerostar Way, Hayden 
Lake, ID 83835; telephone: (208) 762-0338; fax: (208) 762-8349; 
internet: https://aerostaraircraft.com. You may review this referenced 
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. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
0574.

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-2020-
0574; 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 final rule, any comments received, and other information. The 
address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Herron, Aerospace Engineer, 
Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone: 
(206) 231-3544; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Aerostar Model PA-
60-601P (Aerostar 601P), PA-60-602P (Aerostar 602P), and PA-60-700P 
(Aerostar 700P) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register 
on June 26, 2020 (85 FR 38338). The NPRM was prompted by reports of 
corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes, which may be 
hidden by rubber boots. In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require 
repetitively inspecting the elevator and aileron balance tubes for 
corrosion (pitting and flaking) and rust (discoloration) and replacing 
the tube.
    The FAA is issuing this AD to detect corrosion on the elevator and 
aileron balance tubes. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could 
result in failure of the aileron and elevator balance tubes, jamming of 
the aileron and/or elevator balance tubes, and loss of control of the 
airplane.

Comments

    The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in 
developing this final rule. The FAA received comments from three 
commenters. The commenters were Yankee Aviation Services, Inc. and two 
individuals. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM 
and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Withdraw NPRM

    An individual commenter requested that the NPRM be withdrawn. The 
commenter stated there is insufficient data supporting the unsafe 
condition and questioned the motive for the proposed AD, as Aerostar 
would benefit financially from the sale of parts needed to comply with 
the proposed requirements. The commenter observed that Aerostar's 
service information did not provide details concerning the number, 
source, or content of the reported events of corrosion and the degree 
to which the unsafe condition is present in the fleet of Aerostar 
airplanes. The commenter further stated that the service information 
and the traditional diligence of the Aerostar owner community are 
sufficient to address the unsafe condition.
    The FAA disagrees. The FAA issues an AD after finding that an 
unsafe condition exists or is likely to develop in aircraft of a 
particular type design. For this AD, the FAA reviewed the reports 
received from Aerostar and the effects that failure of these tubes 
could have on an airplane. Aerostar initially discovered corrosion on 
the elevator and aileron balance tubes while conducting maintenance on 
an airplane. This discovery prompted Aerostar to inspect the other four 
airplanes in its facility, which resulted in the identification of 
three additional incidents of corrosion on elevator and aileron balance 
tubes. The FAA's analysis of this data determined an unsafe condition 
exists and warrants corrective action through an AD. To the extent 
Aerostar has issued service information on this issue, while an 
operator may incorporate into its maintenance program the inspections 
in the manufacturer's service bulletin, not all operators are required 
to do so. In order for these inspections to become mandatory, and to 
correct the unsafe condition identified in the NPRM, the FAA must issue 
an AD.
    The FAA did not change this AD based on this comment.

Request To Remove Requirement To Replace All Tubes

    All three commenters requested that the FAA remove the proposed 
requirement to replace the elevator and aileron balance tubes even if 
no corrosion and rust is found during the inspection. Two commenters 
noted that requiring the replacement of parts found to be airworthy 
does not promote safety and instead subjects owners to unnecessary 
expenses. Yankee Aviation Services, Inc., stated the new tubes are the 
same as those being replaced and do not have corrosion proofing.
    The FAA disagrees. The FAA determined that the root cause of the 
rust and corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes is likely 
a deficient corrosion protection specification in the initial design 
and manufacture of these tubes. The commenter is not correct that the 
new tubes are the same as those being replaced. The existing balance 
tubes are part number (P/N) 26003-003, Revision L or earlier, while the 
new replacement balance tubes are P/N 26003-003, Revision M or later, 
as specified in the service information. The Revision M and later 
balance tubes have been manufactured with corrosion protection (Zinc 
Chromate primer) that was not applied on the earlier versions of the 
tubes. The FAA did not change this AD based on these comments.

Request To Allow Part Repair Instead of Replacement

    Yankee Aviation Services, Inc., requested the FAA revise the 
proposed AD to allow the repair of tubes with rust instead of 
replacement. The commenter stated that a tube with light rust and a 
wall thickness of 0.049 inch could be repaired by being wire brushed 
and painted with an epoxy paint.
    The FAA disagrees. Repairing the tubes without replacement would 
not address the root cause of the rust and

[[Page 82309]]

corrosion, which the FAA determined is likely a deficient corrosion 
protection specification in the initial design and manufacture of these 
tubes. The Revision M or later balance tubes have been manufactured 
with corrosion protection (Zinc Chromate primer) that was not applied 
on the earlier versions of the tubes. The commenter's request would 
allow the tubes to remain installed on the airplane without this 
additional corrosion protection. The FAA did not change this AD based 
on this comment.

Conclusion

    The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments 
received, and determined that air safety and the public interest 
require adopting this AD as proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing 
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51

    The FAA reviewed Aerostar Service Bulletin SB600-138, dated August 
30, 2018. The service bulletin contains procedures for repetitively 
inspecting the elevator and aileron balance tubes for corrosion 
(pitting and flaking) and rust (discoloration) and replacing the tubes 
at a specified time and repetitively if necessary. 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.

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

    This AD does not require completing the reply card and returning it 
to Aerostar as specified in Step 13 of Part II of the service 
information.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 404 airplanes of U.S. 
registry.
    The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
             Action                   Labor cost          Parts cost       Cost per product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspect elevator and aileron      1 work-hour x $85   Not Applicable....  $85 per inspection  $34,340 per
 balance tubes.                    per hour = $85                          cycle..             inspection cycle.
                                   per inspection
                                   cycle.
Replace elevator and aileron      8 work-hours x $85  $1,187............  $1,867............  $754,268.
 balance tubes.                    per hour = $680.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary 
replacements that are required based on the results of the repetitive 
inspections, assuming separate replacement intervals. The FAA has no 
way of determining the number of airplanes that might need these 
replacements:

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                    Action                                 Labor cost               Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Replace elevator balance tube.................  8 work-hours x $85 per hour =               $594          $1,274
                                                 $680.
Replace aileron balance tube..................  8 work-hours x $85 per hour =                594           1,274
                                                 $680.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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,
    (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 Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive:

2020-24-10 Aerostar Aircraft Corporation: Amendment 39-21340; Docket 
No. FAA-2020-0574; Product Identifier 2019-CE-015-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective January 22, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

[[Page 82310]]

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Model PA-60-
601P (Aerostar 601P), PA-60-602P (Aerostar 602P), and PA-60-700P 
(Aerostar 700P) airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any 
category.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27; Flight 
Controls.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of corrosion on the elevator and 
aileron balance tubes. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect 
corrosion on the elevator and aileron balance tubes. The unsafe 
condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the aileron 
and elevator balance tubes, jamming of the aileron and/or elevator 
balance tubes, and loss of control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

    Within 10 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this 
AD, inspect the elevator and aileron balance tubes for corrosion 
(pitting and flaking) and rust (discoloration) by following steps 1. 
through 3. of Part I (Inspection) of the Instructions in Aerostar 
Aircraft Corporation Service Bulletin SB600-138, dated August 30, 
2018 (Aerostar SB600-138). For each tube replaced as required by 
paragraph (h) of this AD, using a borescope, repeat the inspection 
within 10 years after replacing the tube and thereafter as follows:
    (1) At intervals not to exceed 10 years as long as no rust is 
found.
    (2) At intervals not to exceed 2 years if only rust is found 
(without any signs of corrosion).

(h) Replacements

    At the following compliance times, replace each elevator and 
aileron balance tube by following Part II (Replacement) of the 
Instructions in Aerostar SB600-138, except you are not required to 
report information to the manufacturer:
    (1) Before further flight if corrosion or rust is found (inside 
or outside the tubes) during the initial inspection required by 
paragraph (g) of this AD.
    (2) At the next 100-hour inspection or at the next annual 
inspection, whichever occurs first, if no corrosion and no rust is 
found (inside or outside the tubes) during the initial inspection 
required by paragraph (g) of this AD.
    (3) Before further flight if corrosion is found (inside or 
outside the tubes) during any repetitive inspection required by 
paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle ACO 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 directly to the 
manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the 
person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD. Information may be 
emailed to: [email protected].
    (2) 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.

(j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact David Herron, 
Aerospace Engineer, Seattle ACO Branch, FAA, 2200 S 216th St, Des 
Moines, WA 98198; phone: (206) 231-3544; email: 
[email protected].

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of the service information listed in this 
paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Aerostar Aircraft Corporation Service Bulletin SB600-138, 
dated August 30, 2018.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Aerostar Aircraft Corporation, 2265 West Aerostar Way, Hayden Lake, 
ID 83835; telephone: (208) 762-0338; fax: (208) 762-8349; internet: 
https://aerostaraircraft.com.
    (4) 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.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, email: [email protected], or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on December 15, 2020.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-27894 Filed 12-17-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P