Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes, 21228-21231 [2021-08202]

Download as PDF 21228 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 86, No. 76 Thursday, April 22, 2021 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0334; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01662–T] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017–12–13, which applies to certain Airbus SAS Model A320–212, –214, –232, and –233 airplanes. AD 2017–12– 13 requires repetitive low frequency eddy current inspections or repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections of the pocket radius at certain areas of the fuselage frame, and repair if necessary. Since the FAA issued AD 2017–12–13, it was determined that cracks can initiate and develop between certain other fuselage frames of the pocket radii and additional airplanes are subject to the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would require new repetitive inspections at the left- (LH) and right-hand (RH) sides of the fuselage skin at certain frames for any cracking, and repair if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is proposed for incorporation by reference. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. SUMMARY: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 7, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:20 Apr 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For material that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact 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 IBR material on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR 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. It is also available in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0334. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0334; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3223; email Sanjay.Ralhan@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2021–0334; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01662–T’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 all comments received by the closing date and may amend the proposal because of those comments. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this proposed AD. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3223; email Sanjay.Ralhan@ faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Discussion The FAA issued AD 2017–12–13, Amendment 39–18928 (82 FR 27983, June 20, 2017) (AD 2017–12–13), which applies to certain Airbus SAS Model A320–212, –214, –232, and –233 airplanes. AD 2017–12–13 requires repetitive low frequency eddy current inspections or repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections at the pocket radius between fuselage frame (FR) 35 and FR40, and repair if necessary. The FAA issued AD 2017–12–13 to address cracking of the pocket radius, which could lead to in-flight decompression of E:\FR\FM\22APP1.SGM 22APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 76 / Thursday, April 22, 2021 / Proposed Rules the airplane and possible injury to the passengers. Actions Since AD 2017–12–13 Was Issued Since the FAA issued AD 2017–12– 13, it was determined that cracks can initiate and develop between FR35 and FR47 of the pocket radii. Further investigation identified that additional airplanes are affected by the unsafe condition. The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020–0280, dated December 14, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0280) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A318– 111, –112 and –122 airplanes; Model A319–111, –112, –113, –114, –115, –131, –132, and –133 airplanes; and Model A320–211, –212, –214, –231, –232, and –233 airplanes. EASA AD 2020–0280 supersedes EASA AD 2014– 0278, dated December 19, 2014 (which corresponds to FAA AD 2017–12–13). This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a crack found during an inspection of the pocket radius of the fuselage frame, and a determination that similar cracks may develop in nearby areas of the fuselage frame and that additional airplanes are subject to the unsafe condition. The FAA is proposing this AD to address cracking of the pocket radius, which could lead to inflight decompression of the airplane and possible injury to the passengers. See the MCAI for additional background information. 12–13. Those requirements are referenced in EASA AD 2020–0280, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of this proposed AD. identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this AD. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 In the FAA’s ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020–0280 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020–0280 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to ‘‘all required actions and compliance times,’’ compliance with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled ‘‘Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)’’ in the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 2020–0280 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020–0280 will be available at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0334 after the FAA final rule is published. Explanation of Required Compliance Information EASA AD 2020–0280 describes procedures for doing repetitive external general visual inspections or special detailed inspections (i.e., phased array ultrasonic technology inspections of the external skin, or detailed inspections for primer/paint cracks and high frequency eddy current inspections of the internal skin) at the LH and RH sides of the fuselage skin, above stringer 6 from FR35 to FR47, for any cracking, and repair if necessary. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to the FAA’s bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. Proposed AD Requirements Explanation of Retained Requirements Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the requirements of AD 2017–12–13, this proposed AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2017– 21229 This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2020–0280 described previously, as incorporated by reference, except for any differences Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 439 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Action Labor cost Retained actions from AD 2017– 12–13. Repetitive inspections (new proposed actions). 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255. Up to 30 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $2,550. The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates for the repairs specified in this proposed AD. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:20 Apr 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 Cost per product Parts cost $0 $255 ................... $111,945. 0 Up to $2,550 ...... Up to $1,119,450. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Cost on U.S. operators 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. E:\FR\FM\22APP1.SGM 22APP1 21230 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 76 / Thursday, April 22, 2021 / Proposed Rules 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. (1) Model A318–111, –112 and –122 airplanes. (2) Model A319–111, –112, –113, –114, –115, –131, –132, and –133 airplanes. (3) Model A320–211, –212, –214, –231, –232, and –233 airplanes. Regulatory Findings The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by: a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017–12–13, Amendment 39– 18928 (82 FR 27983, June 20, 2017); and ■ b. Adding the following new AD: ■ ■ Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA–2021–0334; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01662–T. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by June 7, 2021. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2017–12–13, Amendment 39–18928 (82 FR 27983, June 20, 2017). (c) Applicability This AD applies to Airbus SAS airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this AD, certificated in any category, as identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020–0280, dated December 14, 2020 (EASA AD 2020–0280). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:20 Apr 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found during an inspection of the pocket radius of the fuselage frame, and a determination that similar cracks may develop in nearby areas of the fuselage frame and that additional airplanes are subject to the unsafe condition. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking of the pocket radius, which could lead to in-flight decompression of the airplane and possible injury to the passengers. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Requirements Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in accordance with, EASA AD 2020–0280. (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020–0280 (1) Where EASA AD 2020–0280 refers to its effective date, this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) Where paragraph (9) of EASA AD 2020– 0280 specifies if any crack is found during any inspection to ‘‘contact Airbus for approved repair instructions and accomplish those instructions accordingly,’’ this AD requires if any cracking is found, the cracking must be repaired before further flight 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) Where paragraph (10) of EASA AD 2020–0280 specifies credit for actions ‘‘in accordance with the instructions of an Airbus Repair Design Approval Sheet (RDAS), [and to] accomplish the next inspection of each repaired area in accordance with the instructions of, and within the compliance time as specified in, the applicable RDAS,’’ this AD requires using ‘‘in accordance with repair instructions approved, and within the compliance time specified in the repair approval, using a method approved by the Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus SAS’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.’’ (4) Where paragraph (11) of EASA AD 2020–0280 specifies terminating actions apply only if specified ‘‘in the Airbus RDAS instructions for a repaired aeroplane,’’ this AD requires using ‘‘in repair instructions approved using a method approved by the Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 EASA; or Airbus SAS’s EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.’’ (5) The ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2020–0280 does not apply to this AD. (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0280 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement. (j) Other FAA AD Provisions The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 responsible Flight Standards Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-AVS-AIR730-AMOC@faa.gov. Before using any 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 DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature. (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information referenced in EASA AD 2020–0280 that contains RC procedures and tests: Except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, RC procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator’s maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC. (k) Related Information (1) For information about EASA AD 2020– 0280, contact 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. 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 at E:\FR\FM\22APP1.SGM 22APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 76 / Thursday, April 22, 2021 / Proposed Rules https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0334. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3223; email Sanjay.Ralhan@ faa.gov. Issued on April 15, 2021. Lance T. Gant, Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–08202 Filed 4–21–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0195; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00262–R] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014–11–02 for Airbus Helicopters Model SA–365N, SA–365N1, AS– 365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2014–11–02 requires repetitively inspecting frame number (No.) 9 for a crack. Since the FAA issued AD 2014– 11–02, Airbus Helicopters developed a modification that would provide an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by AD 2014–11–02. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2014–11– 02, provide an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections, and reduce the applicability by excluding certain post-modified helicopters. The actions of this proposed AD are intended to address an unsafe condition on these products. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 7, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:20 Apr 21, 2021 Jkt 253001 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to the ‘‘Mail’’ address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0195; 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 proposed AD, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, any comments received and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this proposed rule, 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 this referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N–321, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222–5110; email matthew.fuller@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Comments Invited The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2021–0195; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–00262–R’’ at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposal because of those comments. Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https:// PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 21231 www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this NPRM. Confidential Business Information CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as ‘‘PROPIN.’’ The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Matt Fuller, AD Program Manager, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Unit, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222– 5110; email matthew.fuller@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking. Discussion The FAA issued AD 2014–11–02, Amendment 39–17852 (79 FR 33050, June 10, 2014) (AD 2014–11–02), for Airbus Helicopters (previously Eurocopter France) Model SA–365N, SA–365N1, AS–365N2, and AS 365 N3 helicopters. AD 2014–11–02 requires, for helicopters that have a No. 9 frame that has had any repair or alteration made, within 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 110 hours TIS, inspections of the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) frame No. 9 for a crack in certain areas using a 10X or higher power magnifying glass. For all other helicopters, the inspection is required within 110 hours TIS and thereafter in intervals not to exceed 110 hours TIS. If there is a crack, AD 2014–11–02 requires repairing the frame before further flight. AD 2014–11–02 was prompted by EASA AD 2012–0108–E, dated June 15, 2012 (EASA AD 2012–0108–E), issued by EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union. EASA advises that a crack was discovered during the ‘‘T’’ inspection of an AS365 helicopter. The crack started E:\FR\FM\22APP1.SGM 22APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 76 (Thursday, April 22, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 21228-21231]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-08202]


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

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

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


Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 76 / Thursday, April 22, 2021 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 21228]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0334; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01662-T]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2017-12-13, which applies to certain Airbus SAS Model A320-212, -214, -
232, and -233 airplanes. AD 2017-12-13 requires repetitive low 
frequency eddy current inspections or repetitive high frequency eddy 
current inspections of the pocket radius at certain areas of the 
fuselage frame, and repair if necessary. Since the FAA issued AD 2017-
12-13, it was determined that cracks can initiate and develop between 
certain other fuselage frames of the pocket radii and additional 
airplanes are subject to the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would 
require new repetitive inspections at the left- (LH) and right-hand 
(RH) sides of the fuselage skin at certain frames for any cracking, and 
repair if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety 
Agency (EASA), which is proposed for incorporation by reference. The 
FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these 
products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 7, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For material that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in this 
AD, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; 
telephone +49 221 8999 000; email [email protected]; internet 
www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website 
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the 
FAA, 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. It is also available in 
the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0334.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0334; or in person at 
Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, any comments 
received, and other information. The street address for Docket 
Operations is listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 
South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223; 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0334; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2020-01662-T'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful 
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the 
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
the proposal because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you 
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each 
substantive verbal contact received about this proposed AD.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to 
Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, 
WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223; email [email protected]. 
Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically 
designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this 
rulemaking.

Discussion

    The FAA issued AD 2017-12-13, Amendment 39-18928 (82 FR 27983, June 
20, 2017) (AD 2017-12-13), which applies to certain Airbus SAS Model 
A320-212, -214, -232, and -233 airplanes. AD 2017-12-13 requires 
repetitive low frequency eddy current inspections or repetitive high 
frequency eddy current inspections at the pocket radius between 
fuselage frame (FR) 35 and FR40, and repair if necessary. The FAA 
issued AD 2017-12-13 to address cracking of the pocket radius, which 
could lead to in-flight decompression of

[[Page 21229]]

the airplane and possible injury to the passengers.

Actions Since AD 2017-12-13 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2017-12-13, it was determined that cracks 
can initiate and develop between FR35 and FR47 of the pocket radii. 
Further investigation identified that additional airplanes are affected 
by the unsafe condition.
    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0280, dated December 14, 2020 
(EASA AD 2020-0280) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for certain Airbus SAS Model A318-111, -112 and -122 airplanes; Model 
A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; and 
Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes. EASA AD 
2020-0280 supersedes EASA AD 2014-0278, dated December 19, 2014 (which 
corresponds to FAA AD 2017-12-13).
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a crack found during 
an inspection of the pocket radius of the fuselage frame, and a 
determination that similar cracks may develop in nearby areas of the 
fuselage frame and that additional airplanes are subject to the unsafe 
condition. The FAA is proposing this AD to address cracking of the 
pocket radius, which could lead to in-flight decompression of the 
airplane and possible injury to the passengers. See the MCAI for 
additional background information.

Explanation of Retained Requirements

    Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the 
requirements of AD 2017-12-13, this proposed AD would retain certain 
requirements of AD 2017-12-13. Those requirements are referenced in 
EASA AD 2020-0280, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of 
this proposed AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0280 describes procedures for doing repetitive 
external general visual inspections or special detailed inspections 
(i.e., phased array ultrasonic technology inspections of the external 
skin, or detailed inspections for primer/paint cracks and high 
frequency eddy current inspections of the internal skin) at the LH and 
RH sides of the fuselage skin, above stringer 6 from FR35 to FR47, for 
any cracking, and repair if necessary.
    This material is reasonably available because the interested 
parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by 
the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, 
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI 
referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA 
evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition 
exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same 
type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0280 described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-0280 
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed 
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0280 in its 
entirety, through that incorporation, except for any differences 
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. 
Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a particular 
section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need comply only 
with that section. For example, where the AD requirement refers to 
``all required actions and compliance times,'' compliance with this AD 
requirement is not limited to the section titled ``Required Action(s) 
and Compliance Time(s)'' in the EASA AD. Service information specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0280 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-
0280 will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for 
and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0334 after the FAA final rule is 
published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 439 airplanes of 
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                Cost on U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost        Parts cost    Cost per  product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retained actions from AD 2017-12-  3 work-hours x $85             $0  $255................  $111,945.
 13.                                per hour = $255.
Repetitive inspections (new        Up to 30                        0  Up to $2,550........  Up to $1,119,450.
 proposed actions).                 work[dash]hours x
                                    $85 per hour = Up
                                    to $2,550.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost 
estimates for the repairs specified in this proposed AD.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

[[Page 21230]]

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

    The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed 
regulation:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) Would not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-12-13, Amendment 39-18928 
(82 FR 27983, June 20, 2017); and
0
b. Adding the following new AD:

Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2021-0334; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-
01662-T.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by June 7, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2017-12-13, Amendment 39-18928 (82 FR 27983, 
June 20, 2017).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus SAS airplanes specified in paragraphs 
(c)(1) through (3) of this AD, certificated in any category, as 
identified in European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2020-
0280, dated December 14, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0280).
    (1) Model A318-111, -112 and -122 airplanes.
    (2) Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 
airplanes.
    (3) Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found during an 
inspection of the pocket radius of the fuselage frame, and a 
determination that similar cracks may develop in nearby areas of the 
fuselage frame and that additional airplanes are subject to the 
unsafe condition. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking of 
the pocket radius, which could lead to in-flight decompression of 
the airplane and possible injury to the passengers.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, EASA AD 2020-0280.

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0280

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0280 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where paragraph (9) of EASA AD 2020-0280 specifies if any 
crack is found during any inspection to ``contact Airbus for 
approved repair instructions and accomplish those instructions 
accordingly,'' this AD requires if any cracking is found, the 
cracking must be repaired before further flight 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) Where paragraph (10) of EASA AD 2020-0280 specifies credit 
for actions ``in accordance with the instructions of an Airbus 
Repair Design Approval Sheet (RDAS), [and to] accomplish the next 
inspection of each repaired area in accordance with the instructions 
of, and within the compliance time as specified in, the applicable 
RDAS,'' this AD requires using ``in accordance with repair 
instructions approved, and within the compliance time specified in 
the repair approval, using a method approved by the Manager, Large 
Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or 
Airbus SAS's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must 
include the DOA-authorized signature.''
    (4) Where paragraph (11) of EASA AD 2020-0280 specifies 
terminating actions apply only if specified ``in the Airbus RDAS 
instructions for a repaired aeroplane,'' this AD requires using ``in 
repair instructions approved using a method approved by the Manager, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or 
EASA; or Airbus SAS's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval 
must include the DOA-authorized signature.''
    (5) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0280 does not apply 
to this AD.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-0280 
specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD 
does not include that requirement.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 responsible Flight 
Standards Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to 
the Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, send it 
to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of 
this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]. 
Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal 
inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the 
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 DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include 
the DOA-authorized signature.
    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information 
referenced in EASA AD 2020-0280 that contains RC procedures and 
tests: Except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, RC 
procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any 
procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. 
Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be 
deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the 
operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining 
approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as 
RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy 
condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests 
identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For information about EASA AD 2020-0280, contact EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 
8999 000; email [email protected]; Internet www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this 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 at

[[Page 21231]]

https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2021-0334.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, 
Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 
Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 
and fax 206-231-3223; email [email protected].

    Issued on April 15, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-08202 Filed 4-21-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P