2018-11134. Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes  

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    AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-25-03, which applies to certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. AD 2016-25-03 requires repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) frame forks; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. Since we issued AD 2016-25-03, we have determined that accomplishing a new frame fork repair or reinforcement would allow an extension of the repetitive inspection intervals as would a frame fork replacement. This proposed AD would retain the actions required by AD 2016-25-03, with revised corrective actions and compliance times. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.

    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 http://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.Start Printed Page 24245

    For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0417; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    Start Further Info

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

    End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0417; Product Identifier 2017-NM-132-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    We issued AD 2016-25-03, Amendment 39-18729 (81 FR 93801, December 22, 2016) (“AD 2016-25-03”), for certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. AD 2016-25-03 requires repetitive HFEC inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops; and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2016-25-03 resulted from a report of two adjacent frame forks that were found cracked on the aft LDCD of two Model A300-600F4 airplanes during scheduled maintenance. We issued AD 2016-25-03 to detect and correct cracked or ruptured aft LDCD frames, which could allow loads to be transferred to the remaining structural elements. This condition could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft LDCD frames, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the aft LDCD.

    Actions Since AD 2016-25-03 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2016-25-03, we have determined that accomplishing a new frame fork repair or reinforcement would allow an extension of the repetitive inspection intervals as would the existing frame fork replacement.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0152R1, dated May 23, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A300 F4-600R series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During scheduled maintenance at frames (FR) 61 and FR61A on the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) of two A300-600F4 aeroplanes, two adjacent frame forks were found cracked. Subsequent analysis determined that, in case of cracked or ruptured aft cargo door frame(s), loads will be transferred to the remaining structural elements. However, these secondary load paths will be able to sustain the loads for a limited number of flight cycles only.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft cargo door frame(s), resulting in reduced structural integrity of the aft cargo door.

    To address this unsafe condition, Airbus issued Alert Operators Transmission (AOT) A52W011-15 to provide inspection instructions, and, consequently, EASA issued AD 2015-0152 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2016-25-03] to require repetitive inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

    Since that AD was issued, Airbus published Service Bulletin (SB) SB A300-52-6085 which provides frame fork reinforcement instruction and SB A300-52-6086 which provides instruction to inspect the cargo door for cracks as well as frame fork replacement instructions having the inspection interval extended from 600 flight cycles (FC) to 1,200 FC.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD is revised to introduce frame forks replacement or repair [or reinforcement] as an allowance to extend the inspection interval.

    Required actions include repetitive HFEC inspections of the aft LDCD frame forks and repair, reinforcement, or replacement if necessary; a one-time check of the LDCD clearances and adjustment if necessary; and a one-time detailed visual inspection of hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops for wear, and corrective actions if necessary. Corrective actions include blend-out, adjustment, and replacement of hooks, bushes and x-stops. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0417.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information:

    • Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015, which describes procedures for a check of the aft LDCD clearances “U” and “V” between the latching hooks and the eccentric bush at frame (FR)60 through FR64A and an adjustment of the latching hook; a detailed inspection to detect signs of wear of the hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops and corrective actions; and an HFEC inspection to detect cracking at all frame fork stations of the aft LDCD and a replacement of the frame fork.
    • Service Bulletin A300-52-6085, Revision 00, dated December 22, 2016. This service information describes procedures for reinforcing frame fork fastener holes, which include related investigative and corrective actions. The related investigative actions include a rotating probe inspection for cracking of the fastener holes and a check to determine the hole diameter. Corrective actions include repair and cold working the fastener holes.
    • Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016, which describes procedures for a check of the aft LDCD clearances “U” and “V” between the latching hooks and the eccentric bush at FR60 through FR64A and an adjustment of the latching hook; and HFEC inspection to detect cracking at all frame fork stations of the aft LDCD and a repair of the frame fork.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.Start Printed Page 24246

    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 our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we 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.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 58 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions

    Labor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
    17 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,445$0$1,445$83,810

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

    Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions

    Labor costParts costCost per product
    Up to 65 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,525$10,000$15,525

    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.

    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in “Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    Regulatory Findings

    We 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. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

    4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Start List of Subjects

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    • Air transportation
    • Aircraft
    • Aviation safety
    • Incorporation by reference
    • Safety
    End List of Subjects

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

    End Part Start Amendment Part

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

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

    End Authority
    [Amended]
    Start Amendment Part

    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-25-03, Amendment 39-18729 ( 81 FR 93801, December 22, 2016), and adding the following new AD:

    End Amendment Part

    Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2018-0417; Product Identifier 2017-NM-132-AD.

    (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 9, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2016-25-03, Amendment 39-18729 (81 FR 93801, December 22, 2016) (“AD 2016-25-03”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and A300 F4-622R airplanes, certificated in any category, on which Airbus modification 12046 has been embodied in production. Modification 12046 has been embodied in production on manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) 0805 and above, except MSNs 0836, 0837, and 0838.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 52, Doors.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of two adjacent frame forks that were found cracked on the aft lower deck cargo door (LDCD) of two airplanes during scheduled maintenance, and the introduction of frame fork Start Printed Page 24247reinforcement or repair procedures that, when done, allow an extension of repetitive inspection intervals. We are issuing this AD to address cracked or ruptured aft LDCD frames, which could allow loads to be transferred to the remaining structural elements. This condition could lead to the rupture of one or more vertical aft LDCD frames, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the aft LDCD.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection Requirements and On-Condition Actions, With Revised Compliance Times and New Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2016-25-03, with revised compliance times and new service information. At the applicable time specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, or before exceeding the threshold defined in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, whichever occurs later: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD. Repeat the high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed the applicable times specified in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) A one-time check of the aft LDCD clearances “U” and “V” between the latching hooks and the eccentric bush at FR60 through FR64A, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016. If any value outside tolerance is found, adjust the latching hook before further flight, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016.

    (2) A one-time detailed inspection to detect signs of wear of the hooks, eccentric bushes, and x-stops, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015. If any wear is found, do all applicable corrective actions before further flight, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015.

    (3) An HFEC inspection to detect cracking at all frame fork stations of the aft LDCD, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; or the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016. If any crack is found, before further flight, replace the cracked frame fork, in accordance with the instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; repair the cracked frame fork, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016; or reinforce the cracked frame fork, including doing all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6085, Revision 00, dated December 22, 2016, except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (h) Retained Compliance Times, With No Changes

    At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, do the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) Before the accumulation of 4,500 total flight cycles.

    (2) At the applicable time specified by paragraph (h)(2)(i) or (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For airplanes that have accumulated 8,000 or more total flight cycles as of January 26, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2016-25-03): Within 100 flight cycles after January 26, 2017.

    (ii) For airplanes that have accumulated fewer than 8,000 total flight cycles as of January 26, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2016-25-03): Within 400 flight cycles after January 26, 2017.

    (i) Service Information Exception

    Where Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6085, Revision 00, dated December 22, 2016, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action: Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m)(2) of this AD.

    (j) No Terminating Action

    Accomplishment of corrective actions on an airplane as required by paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, or repair, reinforcement, or replacement of a frame fork as required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD, on the aft LDCD of an airplane does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive HFEC inspections required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD for that airplane.

    (k) Compliance Time Clarification

    After replacement, repair, or reinforcement of any frame fork on the aft LDCD of an airplane, as specified in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD, the next HFEC inspection as required by paragraph (g)(3) of this AD can be deferred for any frame fork that is replaced, repaired, or reinforced, but must be accomplished before exceeding 6,800 flight cycles after the replacement, repair, or reinforcement of that frame fork.

    (l) No Reporting

    Although the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Alert Operators Transmission—AOT A52W011-15, Revision 00, dated July 23, 2015; and Airbus Service Bulletin A300-52-6086, Revision 00, dated December 25, 2016, specify to submit certain information to Start Printed Page 24248the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

    (m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus'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 (i) and paragraph (l) of this AD: If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2015-0152R1, dated May 23, 2017, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0417.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAW, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

    Start Signature

    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 11, 2018.

    Michael Kaszycki,

    Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

    End Signature End Supplemental Information

    [FR Doc. 2018-11134 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

Document Information

Published:
05/25/2018
Department:
Transportation Department
Agency:
Federal Aviation Administration
EntryType:
Proposed Rule
Action:
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
Document Number:
2018-11134
Dates:
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 2018.
Pages:
24244-24248 (5 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. FAA-2018-0417, Product Identifier 2017-NM-132-AD
RIN:
2120-AA64: Airworthiness Directives
RINLinks:
https://www.federalregister.gov/regulations/2120-AA64/airworthiness-directives
SectionNoes:
Topics:
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety
PDF File:
2018-11134.pdf
Supporting Documents:
» Table 1; NPRM 2017-NM-132-AD
CFR: (1)
14 CFR 39