Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Scientific Company Seat Restraint System Rotary Buckle Assemblies, 17703-17706 [2021-06979]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Rules and Regulations approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the responsible Flight Standards Office. (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS’s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraphs (i) and (j)(2) of this AD, if any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator’s maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES (k) Related Information For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3218; email Kathleen.Arrigotti@faa.gov. (l) Material Incorporated by Reference (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) 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 this AD specifies otherwise. (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on May 11, 2021. (i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0167, dated July 27, 2020. (ii) [Reserved] (4) For EASA AD 2020–0167, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. (5) You may view this material at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. This material may be found in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–0854. (6) You may view this material that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 February 8, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–07003 Filed 4–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2013–0752; Product Identifier 2009–SW–44–AD; Amendment 39– 21490; AD 2021–07–13] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Pacific Scientific Company Seat Restraint System Rotary Buckle Assemblies Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Pacific Scientific Company rotary buckle assemblies (buckles). This AD requires inspecting each buckle including its buckle handle vane, and depending on the results, removing the buckle from service and installing an airworthy buckle. This AD also prohibits installing the affected buckles. This AD was prompted by several reports of cracked buckle handles. The actions of this AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. This AD is effective May 11, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of May 11, 2021. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final 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. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2013–0752. DATES: Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 service information that is incorporated by reference, any comments received, and other information. The street 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: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion SUMMARY: PO 00000 17703 The FAA issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Pacific Scientific Company buckle part numbers (P/Ns) 1111430 and 1111475, all dash numbers. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2020 (85 FR 60100). The FAA preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that published in the Federal Register on September 5, 2013 (78 FR 54594). The NPRM proposed to require inspecting each buckle for a crack and the thickness of the buckle handle vane. Depending on the inspection results, the NPRM proposed to require replacing the buckle. The NPRM also proposed to prohibit installing an affected buckle on any helicopter or airplane. The SNPRM proposed to the same requirements except with longer compliance times to accomplish the inspections. The SNPRM also corrected the name of Pacific Scientific Aviation Services to Pacific Scientific Company, updated the estimated costs of compliance, edited the Applicability paragraph by adding a note to clarify that an affected buckle could be included as a component of a different part-numbered restraint system assembly and reference Appendix 1 of Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin SB 25–1111432, dated May 22, 2007 (SB 25–1111432), which lists the P/Ns of potentially affected restraint systems, updated the names of certain potentially-affected Type Certificate holders, and updated the contact information name and contact E:\FR\FM\06APR1.SGM 06APR1 17704 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Rules and Regulations information from Pacific Scientific Aviation Services to Meggitt Services. The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD 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 reported 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 indicated 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 in its AD that this failure to release is possible when a passenger weighs more than 50 kg (approximately 110 lbs.) and an aircraft is upside down. Comments After the SNPRM was published, the FAA received comments from two commenters. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Request for Credit NetJets QC requested that this AD allow credit for compliance with Cessna Citation Service Letter (SL) 560–25–09, Cessna Citation SL560XL–25–10, or Cessna Citation SL750–25–15, each dated December 10, 2007. NetJets QC also requested that provisions be written in the AD for logbook/Illustrated Parts Catalog (IPC) research sign-off, since these buckles may not be installed on newly-manufactured aircraft. The FAA disagrees with both requests. This AD is an appliance AD that applies to Pacific Scientific Company buckles P/Ns 1111430 and 1111475, all dash numbers, without regard to date of manufacture, whereas each SL distinguishes the affected parts by date of manufacture. If an affected buckle is not installed on an aircraft, then this AD does not apply, and credit and provisions are not necessary to relieve this AD’s requirements for the concerned aircraft. However, this AD does not prohibit using maintenance records to determine if an affected buckle is installed. Using an IPC is not an acceptable method to determine an aircraft’s configuration. Addition of MU–2B Aircraft Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. (MHIA) suggested that the FAA add ‘‘Mitsubishi MU–2B series aircraft’’ to the list of aircraft models that could be affected by this AD. MHIA stated that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., holds Supplemental Type Certificate No. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 SA1751SW, which allows installation of certain affected buckles on Mitsubishi MU–2B series aircraft. The FAA partially agrees. The FAA agrees that affected buckles could be installed on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Model MU–2B series airplanes; however, the applicability only identifies possible installations on airplanes and helicopters by ‘‘make’’ and not ‘‘models.’’ Accordingly, the FAA has added Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., to the list of airplanes that affected buckles could be installed on in the applicability of this final rule. Extension of Compliance Time MHIA requested extending the compliance time to at least 12 months, as replacement parts could be in short supply. MHIA states that it has attempted to contact the product support representative at Meggitt Services located in Simi Valley, CA in order to obtain additional technical information; however, no formal response had been received from Meggitt Services when MHIA submitted this comment on November 9, 2020. MHIA expressed concern that with limited support from Meggitt Services, owners and operators of affected airplanes will have difficulty meeting the compliance requirements because of a potential lack of sufficient replacement parts. The FAA acknowledges MHIA’s concern about contacting Meggitt Services and has re-confirmed that its contact information is accurate. The FAA disagrees with changing the compliance time to inspect an affected buckle handle for a crack from 6 months to 12 months based on a potential lack of sufficient replacement parts. The FAA has not received any information to indicate that there is an insufficient number of replacement parts that would necessitate extending the compliance time from that stated in the proposed AD. FAA’s Determination These products have been approved by EASA and are 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 issuing this AD after evaluating all of the information provided by EASA and determining the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products and that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD requirements as proposed with the changes described previously. These changes are consistent with the intent of the PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 proposal in the SNPRM and will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of this AD. Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD The EASA AD applies to certain buckles used on certain restraint systems that are known to be installed on, but not limited to, certain Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) model helicopters. The applicability of the EASA AD is limited to rotorcraft only and is not intended for airplanes. Since the affected buckles may be installed in other aircraft resulting in the same unsafe condition, this AD applies to the same certain buckles, which may be installed on but not limited to certain airplanes and helicopters. This AD does not require returning the unairworthy buckle assembly to the manufacturer, and this AD does not apply to spare parts that are not installed on an aircraft. Also, this AD applies to buckle P/Ns 1111430 and 1111475, all dash numbers, and is not dependent on the restraint P/Ns. The EASA AD requires inspecting the buckles within 30 days, whereas this AD requires inspecting the buckle handle for a crack within 6 months and the buckle handle vane thickness within 12 months instead. The EASA AD requires a repetitive inspection of each buckle for cracks before any flight for up to 6 months following the effective date of the EASA AD until the buckle is replaced. This AD does 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 AD does not. Finally, the EASA AD allows for marking a seat as ‘‘un-operative’’ and this AD does not. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 The FAA reviewed SB 25–1111432, which 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, this service information provides procedures for removing the buckle and replacing it with an acceptable buckle. Information in this service information also advises that buckles with a cracked handle should be removed from service immediately. E:\FR\FM\06APR1.SGM 06APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD will affect 1,435 restraint systems installed on aircraft of U.S. Registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Inspecting a buckle costs a minimal amount and takes a nominal amount of time. Replacing a buckle takes about 0.5 work-hour and parts cost about $636 for an estimated cost of $679 per buckle and up to $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 helicopters identified in this rulemaking action. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of 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: ■ 2021–07–13 Pacific Scientific Company: Amendment 39–21490; Docket No. FAA–2013–0752; Product Identifier 2009–SW–44–AD. (a) Applicability This airworthiness directive (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., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., 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) Effective Date This AD becomes effective May 11, 2021. (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. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 17705 (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, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email 9-AVS-AIR-730-AMOC@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 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. (i) 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) Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin SB 25–1111432, dated May 22, 2007. (ii) [Reserved] (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Meggitt Services, 1785 Voyager Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063, telephone 877–666–0712 or at CustomerResponse@meggitt.com. (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:// E:\FR\FM\06APR1.SGM 06APR1 17706 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 64 / Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Rules and Regulations www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020–1173. Issued on March 25, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. Examining the AD Docket [FR Doc. 2021–06979 Filed 4–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2020–1173; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00299–R; Amendment 39–21489; AD 2021–07–12] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with RULES Discussion The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters. This AD was prompted by a reassessment of the flight control system. This AD requires modification of the cyclic stick, as specified in a European Aviation Safety Agency (now European Union Aviation Safety Agency) (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective May 11, 2021. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of May 11, 2021. ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email ADs@ easa.europa.eu; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this material on the EASA website at https:// ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material 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. It is also available in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Apr 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2020– 1173; 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: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone 817–222–5110; email kristin.bradley@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018–0063, dated March 22, 2018 (EASA AD 2018– 0063) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Deutschland GmbH (AHD) formerly Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (ECD), Eurocopter Espan˜a S.A, Model EC135 P1, EC135 P2, EC135 P2+, EC135 P3, EC135 T1, EC135 T2, EC135 T2+, EC135 T3, EC635 P2+, EC635 P3, EC635 T1, EC635 T2+ and EC635 T3 helicopters, all variants, all serial numbers (S/Ns) up to 1263 inclusive and S/N 1265, if equipped with autopilot, and S/N 2001 up to 2024 inclusive, except S/N 2006, 2008, 2013, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2022. The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Model EC135P1, EC135P2, EC135P2+, EC135P3, EC135T1, EC135T2, EC135T2+, and EC135T3 helicopters. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2021 (86 FR 5040). The NPRM was prompted by a reassessment of the flight control system, which revealed that uncommanded disengagement of the main rotor trim actuators during flight with the autopilot engaged and hands-off controls could result in high roll and pitch rates, which would require pilot intervention within a reaction time below that required by current PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 airworthiness standards. The NPRM proposed to require installing a cyclic stick weight compensation modification to correct this unsafe condition, which if not corrected may lead to subsequent loss of control of the helicopter, as specified in an EASA AD. Comments The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public. Conclusion The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes: • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM. The FAA also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final rule. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2018–0063 describes procedures for modifying the helicopter by retrofitting the cyclic stick weight compensation. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. Differences Between This AD and the MCAI The EASA AD applies to certain serial-numbered EC635-series helicopters with an autopilot installed, whereas this AD does not apply to the Model EC635-series helicopters because these models are not FAA typecertificated. The EASA AD requires a calendar compliance time, whereas this AD requires using hours time-in-service. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this AD affects 331 helicopters of U.S. registry. Labor rates are estimated at $85 per work-hour. Based on these numbers, the FAA estimates that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Modifying the cyclic stick weight compensator takes about 8 work-hours and parts cost about $1,300 for an estimated cost of about $1,980 per E:\FR\FM\06APR1.SGM 06APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 64 (Tuesday, April 6, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 17703-17706]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-06979]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0752; Product Identifier 2009-SW-44-AD; Amendment 
39-21490; AD 2021-07-13]
RIN 2120-AA64


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

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain Pacific Scientific Company rotary buckle assemblies (buckles). 
This AD requires inspecting each buckle including its buckle handle 
vane, and depending on the results, removing the buckle from service 
and installing an airworthy buckle. This AD also prohibits installing 
the affected buckles. This AD was prompted by several reports of 
cracked buckle handles. The actions of this AD are intended to address 
an unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective May 11, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain document listed in this AD as of May 11, 2021.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final 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. It is also available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2013-
0752.

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 service information that is 
incorporated by reference, any comments received, and other 
information. The street 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: Kristi Bradley, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; 
telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The FAA issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) 
to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to Pacific 
Scientific Company buckle part numbers (P/Ns) 1111430 and 1111475, all 
dash numbers. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on September 
24, 2020 (85 FR 60100). The FAA preceded the SNPRM with a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that published in the Federal Register on 
September 5, 2013 (78 FR 54594). The NPRM proposed to require 
inspecting each buckle for a crack and the thickness of the buckle 
handle vane. Depending on the inspection results, the NPRM proposed to 
require replacing the buckle. The NPRM also proposed to prohibit 
installing an affected buckle on any helicopter or airplane. The SNPRM 
proposed to the same requirements except with longer compliance times 
to accomplish the inspections. The SNPRM also corrected the name of 
Pacific Scientific Aviation Services to Pacific Scientific Company, 
updated the estimated costs of compliance, edited the Applicability 
paragraph by adding a note to clarify that an affected buckle could be 
included as a component of a different part-numbered restraint system 
assembly and reference Appendix 1 of Pacific Scientific Service 
Bulletin SB 25-1111432, dated May 22, 2007 (SB 25-1111432), which lists 
the P/Ns of potentially affected restraint systems, updated the names 
of certain potentially-affected Type Certificate holders, and updated 
the contact information name and contact

[[Page 17704]]

information from Pacific Scientific Aviation Services to Meggitt 
Services.
    The NPRM was prompted by EASA AD 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 reported 
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 indicated 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 in its AD that this 
failure to release is possible when a passenger weighs more than 50 kg 
(approximately 110 lbs.) and an aircraft is upside down.

Comments

    After the SNPRM was published, the FAA received comments from two 
commenters.

Request for Credit

    NetJets QC requested that this AD allow credit for compliance with 
Cessna Citation Service Letter (SL) 560-25-09, Cessna Citation SL560XL-
25-10, or Cessna Citation SL750-25-15, each dated December 10, 2007. 
NetJets QC also requested that provisions be written in the AD for 
logbook/Illustrated Parts Catalog (IPC) research sign-off, since these 
buckles may not be installed on newly-manufactured aircraft.
    The FAA disagrees with both requests. This AD is an appliance AD 
that applies to Pacific Scientific Company buckles P/Ns 1111430 and 
1111475, all dash numbers, without regard to date of manufacture, 
whereas each SL distinguishes the affected parts by date of 
manufacture. If an affected buckle is not installed on an aircraft, 
then this AD does not apply, and credit and provisions are not 
necessary to relieve this AD's requirements for the concerned aircraft. 
However, this AD does not prohibit using maintenance records to 
determine if an affected buckle is installed. Using an IPC is not an 
acceptable method to determine an aircraft's configuration.

Addition of MU-2B Aircraft

    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. (MHIA) suggested that the 
FAA add ``Mitsubishi MU-2B series aircraft'' to the list of aircraft 
models that could be affected by this AD. MHIA stated that Mitsubishi 
Heavy Industries, Ltd., holds Supplemental Type Certificate No. 
SA1751SW, which allows installation of certain affected buckles on 
Mitsubishi MU-2B series aircraft.
    The FAA partially agrees. The FAA agrees that affected buckles 
could be installed on Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., Model MU-2B 
series airplanes; however, the applicability only identifies possible 
installations on airplanes and helicopters by ``make'' and not 
``models.'' Accordingly, the FAA has added Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, 
Ltd., to the list of airplanes that affected buckles could be installed 
on in the applicability of this final rule.

Extension of Compliance Time

    MHIA requested extending the compliance time to at least 12 months, 
as replacement parts could be in short supply. MHIA states that it has 
attempted to contact the product support representative at Meggitt 
Services located in Simi Valley, CA in order to obtain additional 
technical information; however, no formal response had been received 
from Meggitt Services when MHIA submitted this comment on November 9, 
2020. MHIA expressed concern that with limited support from Meggitt 
Services, owners and operators of affected airplanes will have 
difficulty meeting the compliance requirements because of a potential 
lack of sufficient replacement parts.
    The FAA acknowledges MHIA's concern about contacting Meggitt 
Services and has re-confirmed that its contact information is accurate. 
The FAA disagrees with changing the compliance time to inspect an 
affected buckle handle for a crack from 6 months to 12 months based on 
a potential lack of sufficient replacement parts. The FAA has not 
received any information to indicate that there is an insufficient 
number of replacement parts that would necessitate extending the 
compliance time from that stated in the proposed AD.

FAA's Determination

    These products have been approved by EASA and are 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 issuing this AD after 
evaluating all of the information provided by EASA and determining the 
unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other 
products and that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
the AD requirements as proposed with the changes described previously. 
These changes are consistent with the intent of the proposal in the 
SNPRM and will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor 
increase the scope of this AD.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

    The EASA AD applies to certain buckles used on certain restraint 
systems that are known to be installed on, but not limited to, certain 
Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) model helicopters. The 
applicability of the EASA AD is limited to rotorcraft only and is not 
intended for airplanes. Since the affected buckles may be installed in 
other aircraft resulting in the same unsafe condition, this AD applies 
to the same certain buckles, which may be installed on but not limited 
to certain airplanes and helicopters. This AD does not require 
returning the unairworthy buckle assembly to the manufacturer, and this 
AD does not apply to spare parts that are not installed on an aircraft. 
Also, this AD applies to buckle P/Ns 1111430 and 1111475, all dash 
numbers, and is not dependent on the restraint P/Ns. The EASA AD 
requires inspecting the buckles within 30 days, whereas this AD 
requires inspecting the buckle handle for a crack within 6 months and 
the buckle handle vane thickness within 12 months instead. The EASA AD 
requires a repetitive inspection of each buckle for cracks before any 
flight for up to 6 months following the effective date of the EASA AD 
until the buckle is replaced. This AD does 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 AD does not. Finally, the EASA AD allows for 
marking a seat as ``un-operative'' and this AD does not.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed SB 25-1111432, which 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, this service 
information provides procedures for removing the buckle and replacing 
it with an acceptable buckle. Information in this service information 
also advises that buckles with a cracked handle should be removed from 
service immediately.

[[Page 17705]]

    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.

Costs of Compliance

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

Adoption of 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:

2021-07-13 Pacific Scientific Company: Amendment 39-21490; Docket 
No. FAA-2013-0752; Product Identifier 2009-SW-44-AD.

(a) Applicability

    This airworthiness directive (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., Mitsubishi Heavy 
Industries, Ltd., 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) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective May 11, 2021.

(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, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, 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 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.

(i) 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) Pacific Scientific Service Bulletin SB 25-1111432, dated May 
22, 2007.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Meggitt Services, 1785 Voyager Ave., Simi Valley, CA 93063, 
telephone 877-666-0712 or at [email protected].
    (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 [email protected], or go to: https://

[[Page 17706]]

www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on March 25, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-06979 Filed 4-5-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P