2018-09280. Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes  

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    AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A318 series airplanes and Model A319 series airplanes; all Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and all Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the holes of the upper cleat to upper stringer attachments at certain areas of the left- and right-hand wings are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires modifying the holes of the upper cleat to upper stringer attachments at certain areas of the left- and right-hand wings. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective June 11, 2018.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of June 11, 2018.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-1245.

    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-2017-1245; 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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

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    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

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    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A318 series airplanes and Model A319 series airplanes; all Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and all Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2018 (83 FR 1579) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the holes of the upper cleat to upper stringer attachments at certain areas of the left- and right-hand wings are subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to require modifying the holes of the upper cleat to upper stringer attachments at certain areas of the left- and right-hand wings. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking in the stringer attachment holes of the wings, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2017-0117, dated July 7, 2017 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A318 series airplanes and Model A319 series Start Printed Page 19926airplanes; all Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and all Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Within the scope of work of service life extension for A320 aeroplanes and of widespread fatigue damage evaluations, it has been determined that a structural modification is required to allow the aeroplanes to continue operation up to the limit of validity (LoV).

    This condition, if not corrected, may affect the structural integrity of the wing.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus issued [service bulletin] SB A320-57-1208, providing instructions to oversize the holes of the upper cleat to upper stringer attachments at Rib 2 to Rib 7 (inclusive).

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD requires modification of the affected holes.

    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-2017-1245.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment. United Airlines agreed with the intent of the NPRM.

    Request To Clarify Applicability

    Allegiant Air asked that we clarify the manufacturer serial numbers (MSNs) identified in the applicability section of the proposed AD. Allegiant Air stated that the effectivity specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1208, dated November 21, 2016, identifies airplanes up to and including MSN 7493, and asked about airplanes having MSNs higher than 7493. Allegiant Air noted that it has 11 Model A320 airplanes with MSNs outside those listed in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1208, dated November 21, 2016. Allegiant Air added that it understands the AD takes precedence over the service information, but there are several configurations listed therein. Allegiant Air also added that since the MSNs in question are not listed in the effectivity of the service information, an operator with an MSN outside the effectivity will not know which modification kit to order.

    We agree to clarify. The effectivity in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1208, dated November 21, 2016, does not include all MSNs for Model A320 airplanes, and the applicability specified in paragraph (c) of this AD includes all MSNs for Model A320 airplanes, except for airplanes having certain modifications. We acknowledge that the referenced service information may not be adequate for certain airplane configurations. Therefore, we have revised paragraph (g) of this AD to provide an option for doing the modification, including identification of the appropriate modification kit, using a method approved by the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    In addition, Airbus has informed us that Revision 1 of the referenced service information will expand the effectivity to include MSNs up to 8555. Airbus has also informed us that, upon request, it will issue a technical adaptation as an interim method of compliance until a revised service bulletin is issued .

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1208, dated November 21, 2016. This service information describes procedures for modifying the stringer attachments at rib 2 through rib 7 of the left- and right-hand wings. The modification includes oversizing the holes, doing an eddy current inspection of the affected holes for damage, and repair. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 1,136 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs

    ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
    Modification (by oversizing and doing eddy current inspection)125 work-hours × $85 per hour = $10,625$26,260$36,885$41,901,360

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this 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.

    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 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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on Start Printed Page 19927the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

    2. 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.

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    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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    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.

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    [Amended]
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    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

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    2018-09-09 Airbus: Amendment 39-19266; Docket No. FAA-2017-1245; Product Identifier 2017-NM-099-AD.

    (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective June 11, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; Model A320-211, -212, -214, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers, except airplanes specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model A318 series airplanes on which Airbus Modification (Mod) 39195 has been embodied in production or Airbus Service Bulletin A320-00-1219 has been embodied in service.

    (2) Model A319 series airplanes on which Airbus Mod 28238, Mod 28162, and Mod 28342 have been embodied in production.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the holes of the upper cleat to upper stringer attachments at rib 2 through rib 7 of the left- and right-hand wings are subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking in the stringer attachment holes of the wings, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification

    Before reaching the upper limit, but not before reaching the lower limit, as defined in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, as applicable: Modify the holes of the upper cleat to upper stringer attachments at rib 2 through rib 7 inclusive, on the left- and right-hand wings by oversizing the holes, doing eddy current inspections of the holes for damage, and repairing any damage found before further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1208, dated November 21, 2016, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD; or 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.

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    (h) Service Information Exception

    Where Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1208, dated November 21, 2016, specifies to contact Airbus for appropriate action, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance): Before further flight, accomplish corrective actions in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (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 (j)(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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (h) 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.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA AD 2017-0117, dated July 7, 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-2017-1245.

    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3223.

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-57-1208, dated November 21, 2016.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 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.

    (4) 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.

    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

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    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on April 20, 2018.

    Michael Kaszycki,

    Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

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    [FR Doc. 2018-09280 Filed 5-4-18; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

Document Information

Effective Date:
6/11/2018
Published:
05/07/2018
Department:
Transportation Department
Agency:
Federal Aviation Administration
EntryType:
Rule
Action:
Final rule.
Document Number:
2018-09280
Dates:
This AD is effective June 11, 2018.
Pages:
19925-19928 (4 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. FAA-2017-1245, Product Identifier 2017-NM-099-AD, Amendment 39-19266, AD 2018-09-09
RIN:
2120-AA64: Airworthiness Directives
RINLinks:
https://www.federalregister.gov/regulations/2120-AA64/airworthiness-directives
SectionNoes:
39.13
Topics:
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety
PDF File:
2018-09280.pdf
Supporting Documents:
» A320-57-1208 R00
» Supporting AD Documents
CFR: (1)
14 CFR 39.13