Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes, 54136-54139 [2021-20804]

Download as PDF 54136 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Proposed Rules Discussion The FAA issued an NPRM that proposed to amend 14 CFR part 39 by removing AD 2002–20–01, Amendment 39–12895 (67 FR 61771, October 2, 2002), which applies to restricted category Model HH–1K, TH–1F, TH–1L, UH–1A, UH–1B, UH–1E, UH–1F, UH– 1H, UH–1L, and UH–1P helicopters; and Southwest Florida Aviation Model SW204, SW204HP, SW205, and SW205A–1 helicopters, manufactured by BHTI for the Armed Forces of the United States. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2010 (75 FR 20933). The NPRM would have applied to Model AH–1G, AH–1S, HH– 1K, TH–1F, TH–1L, UH -A, UH–1B, UH–1E, UH–1F, UH–1H, UH–1L, and UH–1P helicopters with BHTI main rotor TT strap, part number (P/N) 204– 011–113–1, 204–012–112–1, 204–012– 112–5, 204–012–112–7, 204–012–122–1, 204–012–122–5, 204 310–101–101, or Bendix Energy Controls Co. P/N 2601139, 2601399, 2601400, or 2606650, installed; and Southwest Florida Aviation Model UH–1B (SW204 and SW204HP) and UH–1H (SW205) helicopters. The NPRM was prompted by fatigue cracking in certain TT straps that have stainless steel filament windings and a determination that corrosion damage, which is related to calendar time, necessitates a calendar time retirement life for certain TT straps in addition to the retirement life based on hours TIS. The NPRM was also prompted by fatigue cracking in other TT straps with encased thin stainless steel plates. The NPRM proposed to require removing certain serial-numbered TT straps from service, reducing the retirement life for other TT straps, and establishing a retirement life in terms of calendar time in addition to hours TIS for certain other affected TT straps. The NPRM also proposed to add two model helicopters to the applicability. The proposed actions were intended to prevent failure of a TT strap, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Actions Since the NPRM Was Issued Since issuance of the NPRM, the FAA has re-reviewed the available information and failure data used to justify issuance of the NPRM, and reviewed the service difficulty data produced since the NPRM was issued. Through that review, the FAA determined that there have not been any further reported problems with the affected part number TT straps since the NPRM was issued. Based on that review, the FAA concluded that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 totality of the available information and the lack of additional reports does not support issuance of a final rule. The potential unsafe condition identified as the justification for issuance of the NPRM has not materialized. Therefore, the FAA has determined that AD action is not appropriate. Withdrawal of the NPRM constitutes only such action and does not preclude the FAA from further rulemaking on this issue, nor does it commit the FAA to any course of action in the future. Comments The FAA gave the public the opportunity to comment on the NPRM and received 38 comments. The FAA received comments from individual commenters as well as from organizations on a variety of topics, including the costs estimates, compliance times, and requests to withdraw the NPRM. You may examine the comments received in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2010–0427. The FAA acknowledges these comments to the NPRM. However, because the FAA is withdrawing the NPRM, the commenter’s requests are no longer necessary. FAA’s Conclusions Upon further consideration of the available information, the FAA has determined that the NPRM is unnecessary. Accordingly, the NPRM is withdrawn. Regulatory Findings Since this action only withdraws an NPRM, it is neither a proposed nor a final rule. This action therefore is not covered under Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, or DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Withdrawal Accordingly, the notice of proposed rulemaking, Docket No. FAA–2010– 0427, which was published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2010 (75 FR 20933), is withdrawn. ■ Issued on September 23, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–21050 Filed 9–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0833; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00245–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) 2020–18–04, which applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes. AD 2020–18–04 requires a one-time health check of the slat power control unit (PCU) torque sensing unit (TSU), a detailed inspection of the slat transmission systems, corrective actions if necessary, and track 12 slat gear rotary actuator (SGRA) water drainage and vent plug cleaning. Since the FAA issued AD 2020–18–04, it has been determined that the one-time health check must be repetitive instead to monitor the TSU wear, and that the water drainage and vent plug cleaning is no longer required. This proposed AD would require repetitive health checks of the slat PCU TSU, a detailed visual inspection of the slat transmission systems, and corrective actions if necessary; as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, 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 November 15, 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 EASA material that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in this AD, contact EASA, Konrad-AdenauerSUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30SEP1.SGM 30SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Proposed Rules 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 on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021– 0833. 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– 0833; 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. Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3225; email dan.rodina@faa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 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–2021–0833; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00245–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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3225; email dan.rodina@ 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. Background The FAA issued AD 2020–18–04, Amendment 39–21225 (85 FR 54896, September 3, 2020) (AD 2020–18–04), which applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes. AD 2020–18–04 requires a one-time health check of the slat PCU TSU for discrepancies, and corrective actions if necessary; a detailed inspection of the left-hand (LH) and right-hand (RH) slat transmission systems for discrepancies, and corrective actions if necessary; and LH and RH track 12 SGRA water drainage and vent plug cleaning (which includes an inspection for moisture). The FAA issued AD 2020–18–04 to address a slat system jam during landing, which could lead to a double shaft disconnection/rupture, potentially causing one or more slat surfaces to be no longer connected to either the slat wing tip brake or the slat PCU, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane. Actions Since AD 2020–18–04 Was Issued Since the FAA issued AD 2020–18– 04, it has been determined that the onetime health check must be repetitive instead to monitor the TSU wear, and that the water drainage and vent plug cleaning is no longer required. EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 54137 Union, has issued EASA AD 2021– 0053R1, dated April 19, 2021 (EASA AD 2021–0053R1, also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes. EASA AD 2021–0053R1 supersedes EASA AD 2020–0163R2, dated September 10, 2020 (which revised EASA AD 2020–0163R1, dated August 7, 2020, which corresponds to FAA AD 2020–18–04). This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a slat system jam during landing. The FAA is proposing this AD to address a slat system jam during landing, which could lead to a double shaft disconnection/ rupture, potentially causing one or more slat surfaces to be no longer connected to either the slat wing tip brake or the slat PCU, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane. See the MCAI for additional background information. Explanation of Retained Requirements Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the requirements of AD 2020–18–04, this proposed AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2020– 18–04. Those requirements are referenced in EASA AD 2021–0053R1, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of this proposed AD. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 EASA AD 2021–0053R1 describes procedures for a repetitive health check of the slat PCU TSU for discrepancies, and corrective actions if necessary; a detailed visual inspection of the LH and RH slat transmission systems for discrepancies, and corrective actions if necessary. This material is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. 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. E:\FR\FM\30SEP1.SGM 30SEP1 54138 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Proposed Rules Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in EASA AD 2021–0053R1 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 developed a process to use some civil aviation authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2021–0053R1 by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2021– 0053R1 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 EASA AD 2021–0053R1 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 EASA AD 2021–0053R1. Service information required by EASA AD 2021–0053R1 for compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0833 after the FAA final rule is published. Interim Action The FAA considers this proposed AD interim action. AD 2020–18–04 is also interim action. Once final action has been identified, the FAA might consider further rulemaking. Costs of Compliance The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 15 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS FOR REQUIRED ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Up to 16 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $1,360 per inspection cycle. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required based on Cost per product $0 Up to $1,360 ................. the results of any required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the Cost on U.S. operators Up to $20,400 per inspection cycle. number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions: ESTIMATED COSTS OF ON-CONDITION ACTIONS Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product 10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850 .................................................................................................................... $275,300 $276,150 LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action. 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. Regulatory Findings The Proposed Amendment The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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) 2020–18–04, Amendment 39– 21225 (85 FR 54896, September 3, 2020); and ■ b. Adding the following new AD: ■ ■ Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA–2021–0833; Project Identifier MCAI–2021–00245–T. (a) Comments Due Date The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) by November 15, 2021. (b) Affected ADs This AD replaces AD 2020–18–04, Amendment 39–21225 (85 FR 54896, September 3, 2020) (AD 2020–18–04). E:\FR\FM\30SEP1.SGM 30SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 187 / Thursday, September 30, 2021 / Proposed Rules (c) Applicability This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes, certificated in any category. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight Controls. (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report of a slat system jam during landing and the determination that an inspection must be repetitive to monitor torque sensor unit (TSU) wear. The FAA is issuing this AD to address a slat system jam during landing, which could lead to a double shaft disconnection/rupture, potentially causing one or more slat surfaces to be no longer connected to either the slat wing tip brake or the slat power control unit (PCU), possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane. (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, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021–0053R1, dated April 19, 2021 (EASA AD 2021– 0053R1). (h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021–0053R1 (1) Where EASA AD 2021–0053R1 refers to March 11, 2021 (the effective date of EASA AD 2021–0053, dated February 25, 2021), this AD requires using the effective date of this AD. (2) Where paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2021– 0053R1 specifies compliance times for accomplishment of certain actions, replace the text ‘‘but not exceeding the compliance time for the repeat health check as determined in accordance with the instructions of AOT [Alert Operators Transmission] A27P015–20, or AOT A27P016–20,’’ with ‘‘but within the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph 4.2.3.1 of AOT A27P015–20; or 4.2.2.2.2 or 4.2.2.3.2 of AOT A27P016–20; as applicable.’’ (3) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ‘‘Remarks’’ section of EASA AD 2021–0053R1. LOTTER on DSK11XQN23PROD with PROPOSALS1 (i) No Reporting Requirement Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0053R1 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:59 Sep 29, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 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 paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, if any service information referenced in EASA AD 2021–0053R1 that contains paragraphs that are labeled as RC, the instructions in RC paragraphs, including subparagraphs under an RC paragraph, must be done to comply with this AD; any paragraphs, including subparagraphs under those paragraphs, that are not identified as RC are recommended. The instructions in paragraphs, including subparagraphs under those paragraphs, 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 instructions identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to instructions identified as RC require approval of an AMOC. (k) Related Information (1) For information about EASA AD 2021– 0053R1, contact EASA, Konrad-AdenauerUfer 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 on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2021–0833. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3225; email dan.rodina@ faa.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 54139 Issued on September 21, 2021. Gaetano A. Sciortino, Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2021–20804 Filed 9–29–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2021–0839; Project Identifier MCAI–2020–01697–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) 2020–21–01, which applies to certain Airbus Helicopters Model AS–365N2, AS 365N3, EC 155B, EC155B1, and SA– 365N1 helicopters. AD 2020–21–01 requires modifying the main gearbox (MGB) tail rotor (T/R) drive flange installation. Since the FAA issued AD 2020–21–01, the FAA has determined that additional helicopters are affected by the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would continue to require modifying the MGB T/R drive flange installation, and would also include new helicopters in the applicability for the required actions. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 15, 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 service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 North Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30SEP1.SGM 30SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 187 (Thursday, September 30, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54136-54139]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-20804]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0833; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00245-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) 
2020-18-04, which applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 
airplanes. AD 2020-18-04 requires a one-time health check of the slat 
power control unit (PCU) torque sensing unit (TSU), a detailed 
inspection of the slat transmission systems, corrective actions if 
necessary, and track 12 slat gear rotary actuator (SGRA) water drainage 
and vent plug cleaning. Since the FAA issued AD 2020-18-04, it has been 
determined that the one-time health check must be repetitive instead to 
monitor the TSU wear, and that the water drainage and vent plug 
cleaning is no longer required. This proposed AD would require 
repetitive health checks of the slat PCU TSU, a detailed visual 
inspection of the slat transmission systems, and corrective actions if 
necessary; as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency 
(EASA) AD, 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 November 
15, 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 EASA material that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in 
this AD, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-

[[Page 54137]]

Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email 
[email protected]asa.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 on the internet at 
https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2021-0833.

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-
0833; 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: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large 
Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 
216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225; 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-2021-0833; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2021-00245-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 Dan 
Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; 
telephone and fax 206-231-3225; 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.

Background

    The FAA issued AD 2020-18-04, Amendment 39-21225 (85 FR 54896, 
September 3, 2020) (AD 2020-18-04), which applies to all Airbus SAS 
Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. AD 2020-18-04 requires a one-time 
health check of the slat PCU TSU for discrepancies, and corrective 
actions if necessary; a detailed inspection of the left-hand (LH) and 
right-hand (RH) slat transmission systems for discrepancies, and 
corrective actions if necessary; and LH and RH track 12 SGRA water 
drainage and vent plug cleaning (which includes an inspection for 
moisture). The FAA issued AD 2020-18-04 to address a slat system jam 
during landing, which could lead to a double shaft disconnection/
rupture, potentially causing one or more slat surfaces to be no longer 
connected to either the slat wing tip brake or the slat PCU, possibly 
resulting in reduced control of the airplane.

Actions Since AD 2020-18-04 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2020-18-04, it has been determined that the 
one-time health check must be repetitive instead to monitor the TSU 
wear, and that the water drainage and vent plug cleaning is no longer 
required.
    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0053R1, dated April 19, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0053R1, also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. EASA AD 2021-
0053R1 supersedes EASA AD 2020-0163R2, dated September 10, 2020 (which 
revised EASA AD 2020-0163R1, dated August 7, 2020, which corresponds to 
FAA AD 2020-18-04). This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a slat 
system jam during landing. The FAA is proposing this AD to address a 
slat system jam during landing, which could lead to a double shaft 
disconnection/rupture, potentially causing one or more slat surfaces to 
be no longer connected to either the slat wing tip brake or the slat 
PCU, possibly resulting in reduced control of the airplane. See the 
MCAI for additional background information.

Explanation of Retained Requirements

    Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the 
requirements of AD 2020-18-04, this proposed AD would retain certain 
requirements of AD 2020-18-04. Those requirements are referenced in 
EASA AD 2021-0053R1, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of 
this proposed AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0053R1 describes procedures for a repetitive health 
check of the slat PCU TSU for discrepancies, and corrective actions if 
necessary; a detailed visual inspection of the LH and RH slat 
transmission systems for discrepancies, and corrective actions if 
necessary. This material is reasonably available because the interested 
parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by 
the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

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.

[[Page 54138]]

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2021-0053R1 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 developed a process to use some civil aviation 
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance 
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been 
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the 
FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2021-0053R1 by reference in the FAA 
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with 
EASA AD 2021-0053R1 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 EASA AD 2021-0053R1 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 EASA AD 2021-
0053R1. Service information required by EASA AD 2021-0053R1 for 
compliance will be available at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0833 after the FAA final 
rule is published.

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this proposed AD interim action. AD 2020-18-04 is 
also interim action. Once final action has been identified, the FAA 
might consider further rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 15 airplanes of 
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Labor cost                  Parts cost         Cost per product          Cost on U.S. operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up to 16 work-hours x $85 per hour =                $0  Up to $1,360.............  Up to $20,400 per inspection
 Up to $1,360 per inspection cycle.                                                 cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition actions that would be required based on the results of any 
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of 
aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

                                     Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                                  Labor cost                                       Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
10 work-hours x $85 per hour = $850...........................................        $275,300         $276,150
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    The FAA is issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements. 
Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight 
of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for 
practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary 
for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that 
authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to 
exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

    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) 2020-18-04, Amendment 39-21225 
(85 FR 54896, September 3, 2020); and
0
b. Adding the following new AD:

Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2021-0833; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-
00245-T.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by November 15, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2020-18-04, Amendment 39-21225 (85 FR 54896, 
September 3, 2020) (AD 2020-18-04).

[[Page 54139]]

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 
airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a slat system jam during 
landing and the determination that an inspection must be repetitive 
to monitor torque sensor unit (TSU) wear. The FAA is issuing this AD 
to address a slat system jam during landing, which could lead to a 
double shaft disconnection/rupture, potentially causing one or more 
slat surfaces to be no longer connected to either the slat wing tip 
brake or the slat power control unit (PCU), possibly resulting in 
reduced control of the airplane.

(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, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2021-0053R1, dated April 19, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0053R1).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2021-0053R1

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0053R1 refers to March 11, 2021 (the 
effective date of EASA AD 2021-0053, dated February 25, 2021), this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where paragraph (2) of EASA AD 2021-0053R1 specifies 
compliance times for accomplishment of certain actions, replace the 
text ``but not exceeding the compliance time for the repeat health 
check as determined in accordance with the instructions of AOT 
[Alert Operators Transmission] A27P015-20, or AOT A27P016-20,'' with 
``but within the applicable compliance time specified in paragraph 
4.2.3.1 of AOT A27P015-20; or 4.2.2.2.2 or 4.2.2.3.2 of AOT A27P016-
20; as applicable.''
    (3) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ``Remarks'' 
section of EASA AD 2021-0053R1.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0053R1 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 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 
paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, if any service information referenced 
in EASA AD 2021-0053R1 that contains paragraphs that are labeled as 
RC, the instructions in RC paragraphs, including subparagraphs under 
an RC paragraph, must be done to comply with this AD; any 
paragraphs, including subparagraphs under those paragraphs, that are 
not identified as RC are recommended. The instructions in 
paragraphs, including subparagraphs under those paragraphs, 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 instructions 
identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an 
airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to instructions 
identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For information about EASA AD 2021-0053R1, 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 on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-
2021-0833.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, 
Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 
Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 
and fax 206-231-3225; email [email protected].

    Issued on September 21, 2021.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-20804 Filed 9-29-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P