[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 206 (Friday, October 23, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 67467-67469]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-23235]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0965; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01068-T]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) 
for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. This proposed AD 
was prompted by a report that a welding quality issue has been 
identified in the gimbal joint of the air bleed duct located at each 
wing-to-pylon interface; the inner ring of a gimbal had deformed to an 
oval shape, which could lead to cracking caused by direct contact 
between metal parts. This proposed AD would require replacing affected 
bleed duct assemblies and bleed gimbals at the wing-to-pylon interface 
with a serviceable part, as specified in a European Union Aviation 
Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which will be incorporated by reference. The 
FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these 
products.

DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 7, 
2020.

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 https://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.
    For the material that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in 
this AD, contact the EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, 
Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email [email protected]; internet 
www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website 
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the 
FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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 in 
the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0965.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-
0965; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
this NPRM, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be 
available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace 
Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 
2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-
3218; [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to 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-2020-0965; 
Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01068-T'' at the beginning of your 
comments. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the 
proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include 
supporting data. The FAA will consider all comments received by the 
closing date and may amend this proposal because of those comments.

[[Page 67468]]

    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The 
agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal 
contact received about this proposed AD.

Confidential Business Information

    CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily 
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public 
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial 
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that 
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to 
this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted 
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing 
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as 
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public 
docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to 
Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, 
WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3218; [email protected]. 
Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically 
designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this 
rulemaking.

Discussion

    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0169R1, dated August 19, 2020 
(``EASA AD 2020-0169R1'') (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe 
condition for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. This 
proposed AD was prompted by a report that a welding quality issue has 
been identified in the gimbal joint of the air bleed duct located at 
each wing-to-pylon interface; the inner ring of a gimbal had deformed 
to an oval shape, which could lead to cracking caused by direct contact 
between metal parts. The FAA is proposing this AD to address this 
condition, which could lead to hot bleed air leakage in the pylon area, 
and possibly result in loss of the pneumatic system and exposure of the 
wing structure to high temperatures, and lead to reduced structural 
integrity of the airplane. See the MCAI for additional background 
information.

Related IBR Material Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0169R1 describes procedures for replacing affected 
bleed duct assemblies and bleed gimbals at the wing-to-pylon interface 
with serviceable parts. This material 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.

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 the FAA's bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, 
the FAA has been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI 
referenced above. The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA 
evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe 
condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other 
products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0169R1 described previously, as incorporated by 
reference, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the 
regulatory text of this AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA initially worked with Airbus and EASA to develop a 
process to use certain EASA ADs as the primary source of information 
for compliance with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has 
since coordinated with other manufacturers and civil aviation 
authorities (CAAs) to use this process. As a result, EASA AD 2020-
0169R1 will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This 
proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-
0169R1 in its entirety, through that incorporation, except for any 
differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this 
proposed AD. Using common terms that are the same as the heading of a 
particular section in the EASA AD does not mean that operators need 
comply only with that section. For example, where the AD requirement 
refers to ``all required actions and compliance times,'' compliance 
with this AD requirement is not limited to the section titled 
``Required Action(s) and Compliance Time(s)'' in the EASA AD. Service 
information specified in EASA AD 2020-0169R1 that is required for 
compliance with EASA AD 2020-0169R1 will be available on the internet 
at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. 
FAA-2020-0965 after the FAA final rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 13 airplanes of 
U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with 
this proposed AD:

                                      Estimated Costs for Required Actions
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              Labor cost                      Parts cost            Cost per product      Cost on U.S. operators
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25 work-hours x $85 per hour = $2,125  Up to $48,800..........  Up to $50,925..........  Up to $662,025.
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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.
    The FAA is 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

[[Page 67469]]

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

    The FAA 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) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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 airworthiness 
directive (AD):

Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2020-0965; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-
01068-T.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments by December 7, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 
airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 36, Pneumatic.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that a welding quality issue 
has been identified in the gimbal joint of the air bleed duct 
located at each wing-to-pylon interface; the inner ring of a gimbal 
had deformed to an oval shape, which could lead to cracking caused 
by direct contact between metal parts. The FAA is issuing this AD to 
address this condition, which could lead to hot bleed air leakage in 
the pylon area, and possibly result in loss of the pneumatic system 
and exposure of the wing structure to high temperatures, and lead to 
reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Requirements

    Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Comply with all 
required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2020-0169R1, dated August 19, 2020 (``EASA AD 2020-0169R1'').

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0169R1

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0169R1 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0169R1 does not 
apply to this AD.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2020-
0169R1 specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, 
this AD does not include that requirement.

(j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation 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 responsible Flight 
Standards Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to 
the Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, send it 
to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(2) of 
this AD. 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 
responsible Flight Standards Office.
    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD 
to obtain instructions from a manufacturer, the instructions must be 
accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, Large Aircraft 
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus 
SAS's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the 
DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.
    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): For any service information 
referenced in EASA AD 2020-0169R1 that contains RC procedures and 
tests: Except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, RC 
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.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For information about EASA AD 2020-0169R1, contact the EASA, 
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 
8999 000; email [email protected]; internet www.easa.europa.eu. You 
may find this EASA AD on the EASA website at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this material at the FAA, 
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 2200 
South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability 
of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. This material may be 
found in the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-
2020-0965.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Kathleen 
Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; 
telephone and fax 206-231-3218; [email protected].

    Issued on October 15, 2020.
Gaetano A. Sciortino,
Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-23235 Filed 10-22-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P