[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 64 (Thursday, April 3, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18626-18629]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07235]



[[Page 18626]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0363; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-031-AD; 
Amendment 39-17769; AD 2014-04-10]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus Model A330-200, -300 and -200 Freighter series airplanes; and 
Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. This AD was 
prompted by a report that an airplane equipped with Angle of Attack 
(AOA) sensors installed with conic plates recently experienced blockage 
of all sensors during climb, leading to autopilot disconnection and 
activation of the alpha protection (Alpha Prot) when Mach number was 
increased. This AD requires, for certain airplanes, revising the 
airplane flight manual (AFM) to advise the flightcrew of emergency 
procedures for addressing AOA sensor blockage. This AD also requires 
replacing the AOA sensor conic plates with AOA sensor flat plates, 
which is a terminating action for the AFM revision. We are issuing this 
AD to prevent reduced control of the airplane.

DATES: This AD becomes effective May 8, 2014.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of May 8, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2013-0363; or in person at the 
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.
    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; 
email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the 
FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. 
For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
425-227-1221.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to 
amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus 
Model A330-200, -300 and -200 Freighter series airplanes; and Model 
A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. The SNPRM published in 
the Federal Register on October 2, 2013 (78 FR 60798). We preceded the 
SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), which published in 
the Federal Register on May 3, 2013 (78 FR 25902). The SNPRM was 
prompted by a report that an airplane equipped with AOA sensors 
installed with conic plates recently experienced blockage of all 
sensors during climb, leading to autopilot disconnection and activation 
of the alpha protection (Alpha Prot) when Mach number was increased. 
The NPRM and the SNPRM both proposed to revise the airplane flight 
manual (AFM) to advise the flightcrew of emergency procedures for 
addressing AOA sensor blockage, for certain airplanes. The NPRM and the 
SNPRM also proposed to require replacing the AOA sensor conic plates 
with AOA sensor flat plates, which is a terminating action for the AFM 
revision. We are issuing this AD to prevent reduced control of the 
airplane.
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2013-0023, dated February 1, 2013 (referred to 
after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or 
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified 
products. The MCAI states:

    An A330 aeroplane experienced a blockage of all Angle of Attack 
(AOA) probes during climb leading to Autopilot (AP) disconnection 
and activation of the alpha protection (Alpha Prot) when Mach number 
increased.
    Analysis showed that this aeroplane was equipped with AOA probes 
having conic plates, and it is suspected that these plates might 
have contributed to the event. Investigations are on-going to 
determine the root cause of this AOA probes blockage. The AOA conic 
plates can also be installed on A340 aeroplanes.
    These AOA conic plates could have been installed in production 
through Airbus modification (mod.) 201609, associated to Thales 
Avionics AOA probes Part Number (P/N) C16291AA and P/N C16291AB, or 
mod. 201610, associated to Goodrich AOA probes P/N 0861ED, or in 
service through Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A330-34-3255 or SB 
A340-34-4250 or SB A340-34-5081.
    The blockage of two or three AOA probes of the same angle may 
cause the Alpha Prot of the normal law to activate.
    Under normal flight conditions (in normal law), if the Alpha 
Prot activates and Mach number increases, the flight control laws 
order a pitch down of the aeroplane that the flight crew may not be 
able to counteract with a sidestick deflection, even in the full 
backward position.
    This condition, if not corrected, could result in reduced 
control of the aeroplane.
    To address this condition, Airbus developed a ``Blocked AOA 
probes'' emergency procedure included in Airbus Airplane Flight 
Manual (AFM) A330 Temporary Revision (TR) TR293 issue 1 and Airbus 
AFM A340 TR294 issue 1.
    Consequently, EASA issued Emergency AD 2012-0258-E to require 
amendment of the AFM to ensure that flight crews, in case of AOA 
probe blockage, apply the applicable emergency procedure.
    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Airbus published approved 
instructions to re-install AOA probe flat plates on A330/A340 family 
aeroplanes.
    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the 
requirements of EASA [Emergency] AD 2012-0258-E which is superseded, 
and requires installation of AOA probe flat plates, after which the 
AFM operational procedure must be removed.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2013-0363-0002.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. We have considered the comment received. The following 
presents the comment received on the proposal (78 FR 60798, October 2, 
2013) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Reduce Compliance Times

    Airbus asked that we reduce the compliance time of 5 months, as 
specified in paragraphs (h) and (i) of the SNPRM (78 FR 60798, October 
2, 2013), to 10 weeks. Airbus stated that, taking into account that 
this AD was delayed due to issuance of an SNPRM, and that the 
terminating action required by EASA AD 2013-0023, dated February 1, 
2013 (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2013-0363-
0002), was already completed, it

[[Page 18627]]

recommends a 10-week compliance time for the actions in those 
paragraphs.
    We acknowledge the commenter's recommendation to reduce the 
compliance time specified in the SNPRM (78 FR 60798, October 2, 2013) 
to 10 weeks. While there might be merit to reducing the compliance time 
in this AD, the suggested reduction would make the actions currently 
required by this AD more restrictive, so additional rulemaking would be 
necessary. We find that further delaying this action would be 
inappropriate in light of the identified unsafe condition. Therefore, 
we have not changed this final rule in this regard.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data, including the comment 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 
SNPRM (78 FR 60798, October 2, 2013) for correcting the unsafe 
condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the SNPRM (78 FR 60798, October 2, 2013).

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 64 airplanes of U.S. registry. We 
estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on U.S.
                Action                         Labor cost           Parts cost        product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AFM revision..........................  1 work-hour x $85 per                 $0             $85          $5,440
                                         hour = $85.
Replacement of certain AOA sensor       7 work-hours x $85 per                 0             595          38,080
 conic plates.                           hour = $595.
Modification of installations of        5 work-hours x $85 per                 0             425          27,200
 certain AOA sensor flat plates.         hour = $425.
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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 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 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.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2013-0363; 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 Operations office (telephone (800) 
647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

    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 FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new AD:

2014-04-10 Airbus: Amendment 39-17769. Docket No. FAA-2013-0363; 
Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-031-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective May 8, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes, certificated in any 
category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.
    (1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, 
-302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes, all 
manufacturer serial numbers.
    (2) Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 
airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that an airplane equipped with 
Angle of Attack (AOA) sensors installed with conic plates recently 
experienced blockage of all sensors during climb, leading to 
autopilot disconnection and activation of the alpha protection 
(Alpha Prot) when Mach number was increased. We are issuing this AD 
to prevent reduced control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

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(g) Airplane Flight Manual Revision

    For airplanes identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this 
AD, except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD: Within 10 days 
after the effective date of this AD, revise the Emergency Procedures 
of the Airbus A330 and A340 Airplane Flight Manuals (AFMs), by 
incorporating Airbus A330 Temporary Revision TR293, Issue 1.0, dated 
December 4, 2012; or Airbus A340 Temporary Revision TR294, Issue 
1.0, dated December 4, 2012; as applicable; to advise the flightcrew 
of emergency procedures for addressing AOA sensor blockage. This can 
be done by inserting Airbus A330 Temporary Revision TR293, Issue 
1.0, dated December 4, 2012; or Airbus A340 Temporary Revision 
TR294, Issue 1.0, dated December 4, 2012; into the applicable AFM. 
When the information in Airbus A330 Temporary Revision TR293, Issue 
1.0, dated December 4, 2012; or Airbus A340 Temporary Revision 
TR294, Issue 1.0, dated December 4, 2012; is included in the general 
revisions of the applicable AFM, the general revisions may be 
incorporated into the AFM, and the temporary revisions may be 
removed.
    (1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, 223F, -243, -243F, -301, -
302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes, all 
manufacturer serial numbers, on which Airbus modification 201609 or 
201610 has been embodied in production; or on which Airbus Service 
Bulletin A330-34-3255 has been embodied in service.
    (2) Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 
airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers, on which Airbus 
modification 201609 or 201610 has been embodied in production; or on 
which Airbus Service Bulletin A340-34-4250 or A340-34-5081 has been 
embodied in service.

(h) Replacement

    Except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD: Within 5 months 
after the effective date of this AD, replace all AOA sensor conic 
plates having part number (P/N) F3411060200000 or P/N F3411060900000 
with an applicable AOA sensor flat plate identified in paragraph 
(h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD. Performing this replacement constitutes 
terminating action for the AFM revision required by paragraph (g) of 
this AD; and Airbus A330 Temporary Revision TR293, Issue 1.0, dated 
December 4, 2012, and Airbus A340 Temporary Revision TR294, Issue 
1.0, dated December 4, 2012, to the Airbus A330 and A340 AFMs, as 
applicable, must be removed from the AFM before further flight after 
doing the replacement.
    (1) Replace with a flat plate having P/N F3411007920200 or P/N 
F3411007920300, as applicable, in accordance with the applicable 
service information specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i), (h)(1)(ii), or 
(h)(1)(iii) of this AD.
    (i) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A330-34-3293, Revision 01, 
including Appendix 01, dated June 12, 2013.
    (ii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-34-4273, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated June 12, 2013.
    (iii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-34-5093, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated June 12, 2013.
    (2) Replace with a flat plate having P/N F3411007920000 or P/N 
F3411007920100, 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.

(i) Modification of Installation

    For airplanes on which any AOA sensor conic plate has been 
replaced with an AOA sensor flat plate, in accordance with the 
applicable service information specified in paragraph (i)(1), 
(i)(2), or (i)(3) of this AD: Within 5 months after the effective 
date of this AD, modify the installation of the AOA sensor flat 
plates so that the plates are flush with the fuselage, in accordance 
with the applicable service information identified in paragraph 
(h)(1)(i), (h)(1)(ii), or (h)(1)(iii) of this AD.
    (1) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A330-34-3293, including 
Appendix 01, dated January 31, 2013.
    (2) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-34-4273, including 
Appendix 01, dated January 30, 2013.
    (3) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-34-5093, including 
Appendix 01, dated January 30, 2013.

(j) Exception to the Requirements of Paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD

    For airplanes on which Airbus modification 203285 (improved AOA 
flat plate protection treatment) has been embodied in production: 
The actions specified in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD are not 
required, provided that, since first flight, no AOA probe conic 
plate having P/N F3411060200000 or P/N F3411060900000 has been 
installed.

(k) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on 
any airplane, an AOA sensor conic plate having P/N F3411060200000 or 
P/N F3411060900000 or an AOA protection cover having P/N 
98D34203003000.

(l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): 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. 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 Branch, send it to ATTN: Vladimir 
Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, 
Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1138; fax (425) 227-1149. 
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 
local flight standards district office/certificate holding district 
office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this 
AD.
    (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain 
corrective actions from a manufacturer, use these actions if they 
are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if 
they were approved by the State of Design Authority (or its 
delegated agent, or the DAH with a State of Design Authority's 
design organization approval). For a repair method to be approved, 
the repair approval must specifically refer to this AD. You are 
required to ensure the product is airworthy before it is returned to 
service.

(m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2013-0023, dated February 1, 2013, for 
related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2013-
0363-0002.
    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not 
incorporated by reference may be viewed at the addresses specified 
in paragraphs (n)(3) and (n)(4) of this AD.

(n) 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 the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Airbus A330 Temporary Revision TR293, Issue 1.0, dated 
December 4, 2012, to the Airbus A330 Airplane Flight Manual (AFM).
    (ii) Airbus A340 Temporary Revision TR294, Issue 1.0, dated 
December 4, 2012, to the Airbus A340 Airplane Flight Manual (AFM).
    (iii) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A330-34-3293, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated June 12, 2013.
    (iv) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-34-4273, Revision 
01, including Appendix 01, dated June 12, 2013.
    (v) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-34-5093, Revision 01, 
including Appendix 01, dated June 12, 2013.
    (3) 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; email [email protected]; 
Internet http://www.airbus.com.
    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
425-227-1221.
    (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.


[[Page 18629]]


    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 14, 2014.
Jeffrey E. Duven,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-07235 Filed 4-2-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P