[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 9 (Friday, January 12, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1535-1537]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00345]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-1243; Product Identifier 2012-NM-150-AD; Amendment 
39-19151; AD 2018-01-10]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2011-14-10, 
which applied to certain Airbus Model A330-342 airplanes. AD 2011-14-10 
required repetitive ultrasonic inspections for cracks of a certain 
fuselage frame at the fastener hole area just above a certain stringer, 
and repair, if necessary. This new AD was prompted by a new fatigue and 
damage tolerance evaluation, which showed that certain inspection 
thresholds and intervals need to be shorter. This AD requires 
contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the unsafe 
condition on these products, and doing the actions specified in those 
instructions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on 
these products.

DATES: This AD becomes effective January 29, 2018.
    We must receive comments on this AD by February 26, 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, 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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-
1243; or in person at the Docket Operations office 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. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind 
Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-
227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued AD 2011-14-10, Amendment 39-16745 (76 FR 41657, July 15, 
2011) (``AD 2011-14-10''), which applied to certain Airbus Model A330-
342 airplanes. AD 2011-14-10 was prompted by a determination that 
airworthiness limitation item (ALI) task 533105-10-02 was not performed 
on certain airplanes. AD 2011-14-10 required repetitive ultrasonic 
inspections for cracks of fuselage frame 39.1 at the fastener hole area 
just above stringer 28, and repair, if necessary. We issued AD 2011-14-
10 to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the internal structure of 
the fuselage, which could adversely affect the structural integrity of 
the airplane.
    Since we issued AD 2011-14-10, we have determined, based on a new 
fatigue and damage tolerance evaluation that took into account airplane 
usage, that the compliance time threshold and intervals need to be 
shorter.
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 
2012-0140, dated July 27, 2012 (referred to after this as the Mandatory 
Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an 
unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-342 airplanes. The MCAI 
states:

    Airworthiness Limitation Item (ALI) task 533105-01-02 is 
applicable to aeroplanes on which Airbus modification 40391 has not 
been embodied in production. The requirements associated to this 
task are applicable to aeroplanes on which Modification Proposal 
(MP) S10374 has not been embodied.
    Following a query from an operator, investigations revealed that 
some aeroplane [manufacturer serial numbers] MSN, for which Airbus 
modification 40391 was indicated as fully embodied inside the 
Aircraft Inspection Report (AIR), did not

[[Page 1536]]

have MP S10374 which is part of this modification embodied in 
production. As a result, ALI task 533105-01-02 has not been 
performed on the aeroplane MSN listed in the applicability section 
of this [EASA] AD, which constitutes an unsafe condition.
    Prompted by these findings, EASA issued AD 2010-0173 [which 
corresponds to FAA AD 2011-14-10] to require repetitive special 
detailed inspections corresponding to ALI task 533105-01-02 and, 
depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective 
actions.
    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, a new fatigue and damage 
tolerance evaluation has been done, taking into account the 
aeroplane utilisation. Certain threshold and interval are more 
restrictive depending on airplane utilisation.
    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the 
requirements of EASA AD 2010-0173, which is superseded, but requires 
those actions to be accomplished within amended thresholds and 
intervals.

    You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-
1243.

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 MCAI. We are 
issuing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and 
determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or 
develop on other products of the same type design.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product, we 
find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment 
are unnecessary. In addition, for the reason(s) stated above, we find 
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 precede it by notice and opportunity for public 
comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under 
the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2017-1243; Product 
Identifier 2012-NM-150-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 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 AD.

Costs of Compliance

    Currently, there are no affected U.S.-registered airplanes. This AD 
requires contacting the FAA to obtain instructions for addressing the 
unsafe condition, and doing the actions specified in those 
instructions. Based on the actions specified in the MCAI AD, we are 
providing the following cost estimates for an affected airplane that is 
placed on the U.S. Register in the future:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Action                            Labor cost              Parts cost        Cost per product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspection (retained action from AD     15 work-hours x $85 per hour =              $0  $1,275 per inspection
 2011-14-10).                            $1,275 per inspection cycle.                    cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 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.

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.

[[Page 1537]]

Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 
2011-14-10, Amendment 39-16745 (76 FR 41657, July 15, 2011), and adding 
the following new AD:

2018-01-10 Airbus: Amendment 39-19151; Docket No. FAA-2017-1243; 
Product Identifier 2012-NM-150-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective January 29, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2011-14-10, Amendment 39-16745 (76 FR 41657, 
July 15, 2011) (``AD 2011-14-10'').

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-342 airplanes, certificated 
in any category, manufacturer serial numbers 0012 and 0017.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that airworthiness 
limitation item (ALI) task 533105-10-02 was not performed on certain 
airplanes, and a new fatigue and damage tolerance evaluation, which 
showed that certain inspection thresholds and intervals need to be 
shorter. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue 
cracking of the internal structure of the fuselage, which could 
adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Action(s)

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request 
instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport 
Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in 
paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the action(s) at the times 
specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance 
can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information 
(MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2012-0140, dated 
July 27, 2012.

(h) 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 (i)(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.

(i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2012-0140, dated July 27, 2012, for 
related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2017-1243.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir 
Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport 
Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057-3356; 
telephone: 425-227-1138; fax: 425-227-1149.

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 2, 2018.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-00345 Filed 1-11-18; 8:45 am]
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