[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 170 (Thursday, September 3, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 45550-45553]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-21368]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2009-0781; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-111-AD; 
Amendment 39-16004; AD 2009-18-08]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 Series 
Airplanes, Model A340-200 and -300 Series Airplanes, and Model A340-541 
and -642 Airplanes

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

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, Model A340-200 
and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes. This 
AD requires replacing certain Thales Avionics pitot probes with certain 
other pitot probes. This AD results from reports of airspeed indication 
discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather 
conditions. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed discrepancies, 
which could lead to disconnection of the autopilot and/or auto-thrust 
functions, and reversion to flight control alternate law and consequent 
increased pilot workload. Depending on the prevailing airplane altitude 
and weather, this condition, if not corrected, could result in reduced 
control of the airplane.

DATES: This AD becomes effective September 8, 2009.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of September 8, 
2009.
    We must receive comments on this AD by October 5, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 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 http://www.regulations.gov; 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 in the ADDRESSES section. 
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 
227-1138; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued a 
Notification of a Proposal to Issue an Airworthiness Directive (PAD), 
PAD 09-099, dated August 10, 2009 (referred to after this as ``the EASA 
PAD''), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-
200 and -300 series airplanes, Model A340-200 and -300 series 
airplanes, and Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes. The EASA PAD states 
that airspeed indication discrepancies have been reported on Model A330 
and A340 airplanes while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather 
conditions. Investigation results indicate that these airplanes 
equipped with certain Thales Avionics pitot probes appear to have a 
greater susceptibility to adverse environmental conditions than certain 
other pitot probes.
    The EASA PAD also states that a new Thales Avionics pitot probe 
having part number (P/N) C16195BA has been designed, which improves the 
airspeed indication behavior in heavy rain conditions on Model A320 
airplanes. This same pitot probe standard has been made available as an 
optional installation on Model A330 and A340 airplanes, and although 
this has shown to be an improvement over the previous Thales Avionics 
pitot probe, P/N C16195AA standard, it has not yet demonstrated the 
same level of robustness to withstand high-altitude ice crystals as 
Goodrich pitot probes having P/N 0851HL.
    We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed discrepancies, which 
could lead to disconnection of the autopilot and/or auto-thrust 
functions, and reversion to flight control alternate law and consequent 
increased pilot workload. Depending on the prevailing airplane altitude 
and weather, this condition, if not corrected, could result in reduced 
control of the airplane.

Other Relevant Rulemaking

    On February 4, 2004, we issued AD 2004-03-33, Amendment 39-13477 
(69 FR 9936, March 3, 2004), for certain Airbus Model A300 B2 and B4 
series airplanes; Model A300 B4-600, A300 B4-600R, and A300 F4-600R 
series airplanes (collectively called A300-600); Model A310 series 
airplanes; Model A319, A320, and A321 series

[[Page 45551]]

airplanes; Model A330-301, -321, -322, -341, and -342 airplanes; and 
Model A340 series airplanes. Paragraphs (g)(1) and (h)(1) of that AD 
require, for some Model A330 and A340 airplanes, replacement of certain 
pitot probes with Goodrich pitot probes having P/N 0851HL. For other 
Model A330 and A340 airplanes, paragraphs (g)(2) and (h)(2) of that AD 
require replacement of certain pitot probes with Thales Avionics pitot 
probe having P/N C16195AA.

Relevant Service Information

    Airbus has issued the service bulletins listed in the following 
table:

                                            Table--Service Bulletins
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Service Bulletin                        Revision                              Date
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A330-   Original...................  August 12, 2009.
 34-3231.
Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-   Original...................  August 12, 2009.
 34-4238.
Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-   Original...................  August 12, 2009.
 34-5071.
Airbus Service Bulletin A330-34-3206....  01.........................  November 12, 2008.
Airbus Service Bulletin A340-34-4200....  01.........................  November 12, 2008.
Airbus Service Bulletin A340-34-5068....  Original...................  December 1, 2008.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Airbus Service Bulletins A330-34-3206, A340-34-4200, and A340-34-
5068 describe procedures for replacing Thales Avionics pitot probes, P/
N C16195AA, in positions 1, 2, and 3 (captain, first officer, and 
standby, respectively) with Thales Avionics pitot probes, P/N C16195BA 
in those positions.
    Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletins A330-34-3231, A340-34-4238, and 
A340-34-5071 describe procedures for replacing Thales Avionics pitot 
probes, P/N C16195BA, in positions 1 and 3 (captain and standby, 
respectively) with a Goodrich pitot probe, P/N 0851HL, in those 
positions.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This 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 service 
information referenced above. We are issuing 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.
    We have reviewed the EASA PAD, which proposes to require replacing 
certain Thales Avionics pitot probes installed on certain Airbus Model 
A330 and A340 airplanes. Additionally, we have reviewed the numerous 
airspeed anomalies recently reported on Model A330 and A340 airplanes. 
Based on our review, we have determined that an unsafe condition exists 
and immediate airworthiness action for the Model A330 and A340 fleet is 
warranted.
    Therefore, we are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed 
discrepancies, which could lead to disconnection of the autopilot and/
or auto-thrust functions, and reversion to flight control alternate law 
and consequent increased pilot workload. Depending on the prevailing 
airplane altitude and weather, this condition, if not corrected, could 
result in reduced control of the airplane. This AD requires replacing 
Thales Avionics pitot probes having P/N C16195AA and P/N C16195BA at 
positions 1 (captain) and 3 (standby) with Goodrich pitot probes having 
P/N 0851HL at positions 1 and 3. This AD also requires replacing Thales 
Avionics pitot probes having P/N C16195AA at position 2 (first officer) 
with Thales Avionics pitot probes having P/N C16195BA at position 2. In 
addition, this AD provides for optional installation of Goodrich pitot 
probes having P/N 0851HL at position 2.
    We have determined that doing the actions in this new AD terminates 
the requirements of paragraphs (g)(2) and (h)(2) of AD 2004-03-33, and 
also is acceptable for compliance with paragraphs (g)(1) and (h)(1) of 
AD 2004-03-33. We might consider further rulemaking to revise AD 2004-
03-33.
    This AD corresponds to the EASA PAD, which addresses the identified 
unsafe condition on Model A330 and A340 airplanes. AD 2004-03-33 is 
applicable to Model A330 and A340 airplanes and other Airbus airplane 
models. We might consider further rulemaking to address other Airbus 
models.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    Airspeed discrepancies could lead to disconnection of the autopilot 
and/or auto-thrust functions, and reversion to flight control alternate 
law and consequent increased pilot workload. Depending on the 
prevailing airplane altitude and weather, this condition, if not 
corrected, could result in reduced control of the airplane. Because of 
our requirement to promote safe flight of civil aircraft and thus, the 
critical need to assure the proper functioning of the pitot probes, and 
the short compliance time involved with this action, this AD must be 
issued immediately.
    The required compliance time of 120 days is usually sufficient to 
allow for a brief comment period before adoption of a final rule. In 
this AD, however, the compliance time of 120 days was selected because 
of a short-term problem with the availability of sufficient replacement 
parts; a shorter compliance time might have resulted in the unnecessary 
removal of airplanes from service pending delivery of replacement 
parts. Nevertheless, we have determined that immediate adoption of this 
AD is necessary in this case because of the importance of initiating 
the required replacements as soon as possible.
    Because an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate 
adoption of this AD, we find that notice and opportunity for prior 
public comment hereon are impracticable and that good cause exists for 
making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety, and we did not provide you with notice and an opportunity to 
provide your comments before it becomes effective. However, we invite 
you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send 
your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include 
``Docket No. FAA-2009-0781; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-111-AD'' at 
the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the 
overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this 
AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may 
amend this AD because of those comments.

[[Page 45552]]

    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 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.

Regulatory Findings

    We have determined that this AD will not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a 
substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the 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); and
    3. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES 
section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

0
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, 
the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends Sec.  39.13 by 
adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

2009-18-08 Airbus: Amendment 39-16004. Docket No. FAA-2009-0781; 
Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-111-AD.

Effective Date

    (a) This AD becomes effective September 8, 2009.

Affected ADs

    (b) This AD affects AD 2004-03-33, Amendment 39-13477.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs 
(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, 
equipped with Thales Avionics pitot probes having part number (P/N) 
C16195AA or C16195BA.
    (1) Airbus Model A330-201, A330-202, A330-203, A330-223, A330-
243, A330-301, A330-302, A330-303, A330-321, A330-322, A330-323, 
A330-341, A330-342, and A330-343 series airplanes.
    (2) Airbus Model A340-211, A340-212, A340-213, A340-311, A340-
312, and A340-313 series airplanes.
    (3) Airbus Model A340-541 and A340-642 airplanes.

Subject

    (d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 34: 
Navigation.

Unsafe Condition

    (e) This AD results from reports of airspeed indication 
discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather 
conditions. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed 
discrepancies, which could lead to disconnection of the autopilot 
and/or auto-thrust functions, and reversion to flight control 
alternate law and consequent increased pilot workload. Depending on 
the prevailing airplane altitude and weather, this condition, if not 
corrected, could result in reduced control of the airplane.

Compliance

    (f) You are responsible for having the actions required by this 
AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the 
actions have already been done.

Replacement

    (g) Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, 
accomplish the applicable replacements required by paragraphs (g)(1) 
and (g)(2) of this AD.
    (1) For airplanes equipped with Thales Avionics pitot probes, P/
N C16195AA, in position 2 (first officer): Replace the P/N C16195AA 
pitot probe with a Thales Avionics pitot probe having P/N C16195BA, 
in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable 
service bulletin listed in Table 1 of this AD.

              Table 1--Service Bulletins for Replacements Specified in Paragraph (g)(1) of This AD
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Use Airbus Service
            For model--                   Bulletin--             Revision--                   Dated--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, - A330-34-3206.........  01...................  November 12, 2008.
 301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -
 323, -341, -342, and -343 series
 airplanes.
A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312,   A340-34-4200.........  01...................  November 12, 2008.
 and -313 series airplanes.
A340-541 and -642 airplanes.......  A340-34-5068.........  Original.............  December 1, 2008.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) For airplanes equipped with Thales Avionics pitot probes, P/
N C16195AA or P/N C16195BA, in position 1 (captain) or 3 (standby): 
Replace P/N C16195AA and P/N C16195BA pitot probes with Goodrich 
pitot probes having P/N 0851HL, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin 
listed in Table 2 of this AD.

[[Page 45553]]



              Table 2--Service Bulletins for Replacements Specified in Paragraph (g)(2) of This AD
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Use Airbus Mandatory
            For model--                Service Bulletin--          Revision--                  Dated--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -  A330-34-3231..........  Original..............  August 12, 2009.
 301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323,
 -341, -342, and -343 series
 airplanes.
A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312,    A340-34-4238..........  Original..............  August 12, 2009.
 and -313 series airplanes.
A340-541 and -642 airplanes........  A340-34-5071..........  Original..............  August 12, 2009.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Optional Replacement

    (h) Installing Goodrich pitot probes having P/N 0851HL in 
position 2 (first officer), in accordance with a method approved by 
either the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency 
(EASA) (or its delegated agent); is acceptable for compliance with 
the requirements of paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

Credit for Actions Done in Accordance With Previous Issues of Service 
Bulletins

    (i) Accomplishing the replacement required by paragraph (g)(1) 
of this AD before the effective date of this AD, in accordance with 
Airbus Service Bulletin A330-34-3206, dated September 14, 2007; or 
Airbus Service Bulletin A340-34-4200, dated September 14, 2007; as 
applicable, is acceptable for compliance with the corresponding 
action required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD.

Related AD 2004-03-33

    (j) Doing the applicable replacements required by this AD 
terminates the replacements required by paragraphs (g)(2) and (h)(2) 
of AD 2004-03-33.
    (k) Doing the applicable replacements required by this AD is 
acceptable for compliance with the replacements required by 
paragraphs (g)(1) and (h)(1) of AD 2004-03-33.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (l) The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for 
this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. 
Send information to ATTN: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone 
(425) 227-1138; fax (425) 227-1149. Before using any approved AMOC 
on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your principal 
maintenance inspector (PMI) or principal avionics inspector (PAI), 
as appropriate, or lacking a principal inspector, your local Flight 
Standards District Office. The AMOC approval letter must 
specifically reference this AD.

Related Information

    (m) None.

Material Incorporated by Reference

    (n) You must use the applicable service information contained in 
Table 3 of this AD to do the actions required by this AD, unless the 
AD specifies otherwise.
    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 
U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Airbus SAS--Airworthiness Office--EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice 
Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; 
fax +33 5 61 93 45 80, e-mail: airworthiness.A330-A340@airbus.com; 
Internet http://www.airbus.com.
    (3) You may review copies of the service information at the FAA, 
Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, 
Washington. For information on the availability of this material at 
the FAA, call 425-227-1221 or 425-227-1152.
    (4) You may also review copies of the 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/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

               Table 3--Material Incorporated by Reference
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Service Bulletin            Revision                Date
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Airbus Mandatory Service      Original.......  August 12, 2009.
 Bulletin A330-34-3231.
Airbus Mandatory Service      Original.......  August 12, 2009.
 Bulletin A340-34-4238.
Airbus Mandatory Service      Original.......  August 12, 2009.
 Bulletin A340-34-5071.
Airbus Service Bulletin A330- 01.............  November 12, 2008.
 34-3206.
Airbus Service Bulletin A340- 01.............  November 12, 2008.
 34-4200.
Airbus Service Bulletin A340- Original.......  December 1, 2008.
 34-5068.
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    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 24, 2009.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. E9-21368 Filed 9-2-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P