[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 65 (Wednesday, April 7, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17995-17998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07090]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0261; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01502-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 supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2019-19-06, which applies to certain Airbus SAS Model A330-202, -243, -
243F, -302, -323, and -343 airplanes. AD 2019-19-06 requires an 
inspection to determine the part number and serial number of the slat 
geared rotary actuators (SGRAs), and replacement of each affected SGRA 
with a serviceable part. Since the FAA issued AD 2019-19-06, it was 
determined that the requirements of AD 2019-19-06 may not ensure the 
permanent removal from service of affected SGRAs. This proposed AD 
would continue to require replacement of each affected SGRA with a 
serviceable part, and would expand the applicability to include all 
airplanes on which the affected part may be installed. This proposed AD 
would also prohibit installation of an affected part, as specified in a 
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is proposed for 
incorporation 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 May 24, 
2021.

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 material that will be incorporated by reference (IBR) in this 
AD, contact 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-2021-0261.

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-2021-
0261; 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, 
Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 
South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; 
email [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0261; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2020-01502-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 
the proposal because of those comments.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR

[[Page 17996]]

11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to 
https://www.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 
Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, 
WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email 
[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 FAA issued AD 2019-19-06, Amendment 39-19742 (84 FR 51960, 
October 1, 2019) (AD 2019-19-06), which applies to certain Airbus SAS 
Model A330-202, -243, -243F, -302, -323, and -343 airplanes. AD 2019-
19-06 requires an inspection to determine the part number and serial 
number of the SGRAs, and replacement of each affected SGRA with a 
serviceable part. The FAA issued AD 2019-19-06 to address cracking of 
an SGRA, which, in combination with an independent failure on the 
second SGRA of the same slat surface, could lead to an uncontrolled 
movement of the affected slat surface in flight, or detachment of the 
slat surface, and could possibly result in damage to the stabilizers 
and reduced controllability of the airplane.

Actions Since AD 2019-19-06 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2019-19-06, it was confirmed that the 
affected parts were still installed on the airplanes specified in that 
AD. It was also determined that the requirements of AD 2019-19-06 may 
not ensure the permanent removal from service of affected SGRAs. 
Therefore, affected parts that were removed from airplanes could later 
be installed on other airplanes. EASA and the FAA have determined that 
a new AD is necessary to prohibit the (re)installation of affected 
parts.
    The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0245, dated November 9, 2020 
(EASA AD 2020-0245) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing 
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition 
for all Airbus A330-201, A330-202, A330-203, A330-223, A330-223F, A330-
243, A330-243F, A330-301, A330-302, A330-303, A330-321, A330-322, A330-
323, A330-341, A330-342, A330-343, A330-743L, A330-841, and A330-941 
airplanes. EASA AD 2020-0245 supersedes EASA AD 2019-0093 (which 
corresponds to FAA AD 2019-19-06). Model A330-743L airplanes are not 
certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type 
certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include those 
airplanes in the applicability.
    This proposed AD was prompted by a report that cracks have been 
found within the ring gears of the SGRAs due to a change in the 
manufacturing process and inadequate post-production non-destructive 
testing for potential cracking, and a determination that the 
requirements of AD 2019-19-06 may not ensure the permanent removal from 
service of affected SGRAs. The FAA is proposing this AD to address 
cracking of an SGRA, which, in combination with an independent failure 
on the second SGRA of the same slat surface, could lead to an 
uncontrolled movement of the affected slat surface in flight, or 
detachment of the slat surface, and could possibly result in damage to 
the stabilizers and reduced controllability of the airplane. See the 
MCAI for additional background information.

Explanation of Retained Requirements

    Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the 
requirements of AD 2019-19-06, this proposed AD would retain certain 
requirements of AD 2019-19-06. Those requirements are referenced in 
EASA AD 2020-0245, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of 
this proposed AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2020-0245 describes procedures for replacing each affected 
SGRA, and specifies a prohibition against installation of an affected 
part.
    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 pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition 
exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same 
type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2020-0245 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 2020-0245 
will be incorporated by reference in the FAA final rule. This proposed 
AD would, therefore, require compliance with EASA AD 2020-0245 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

[[Page 17997]]

Time(s)'' in the EASA AD. Service information specified in EASA AD 
2020-0245 that is required for compliance with EASA AD 2020-0245 will 
be available on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0261 after the FAA final 
rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 123 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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                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
             Action                     Labor cost          Parts cost     Cost per  product       operators
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Retained action from AD 2019-19- 17 work-hours x $85 per            * $0  $1,445............  $177,735.
 06.                              hour = $1,445.
New proposed actions...........  Up to 15 work-hours x              * $0  Up to $1,275......  Up to $156,825.
                                  $85 per hour = Up to
                                  $1,275.
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* The FAA has received no definitive data on which to base the cost estimates for the parts specified in this
  proposed AD.

    According to the manufacturer, some or all of the costs of this 
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost 
impact on affected operators. The FAA does not control warranty 
coverage for affected operators. As a result, the FAA has included all 
known costs in the cost estimate

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 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) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (3) Would 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:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2019-19-06, Amendment 39-19742 
(84 FR 51960, October 1, 2019) (AD 2019-19-06), and
0
b. Adding the following new AD:

Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2021-0261; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-
01502-T.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) action by May 24, 2021.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2019-19-06, Amendment 39-19742 (84 FR 51960, 
October 1, 2019) (AD 2019-19-06).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus SAS airplanes specified in 
paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of this AD, certificated in any 
category.
    (1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes.
    (2) Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes.
    (3) Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, 
and -343 airplanes.
    (4) Model A330-841 airplanes.
    (5) Model A330-941 airplanes.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight 
controls.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that cracks have been found 
within the ring gears of the slat geared rotary actuators (SGRAs) 
due to a change in the manufacturing process and inadequate post-
production non-destructive testing for potential cracking, and a 
determination that the requirements of AD 2019-19-06 may not ensure 
the permanent removal from service of affected SGRAs. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to address cracking of an SGRA, which, in 
combination with an independent failure on the second SGRA of the 
same slat surface, could lead to an uncontrolled movement of the 
affected slat surface in flight, or detachment of the slat surface, 
and could possibly result in damage to the stabilizers and reduced 
controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, 
unless already done.
0
(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 2020-0245, dated 
November 9, 2020 (EASA AD 2020-0245).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2020-0245

    (1) Where EASA AD 2020-0245 refers to May 10, 2019 (the effective 
date of EASA AD 2019-0093), this AD requires using November 5, 2019 
(the effective date of AD 2019-19-06).
    (2) Where paragraph (1) of EASA AD specifies to ``replace each 
affected part with a serviceable part in accordance with the 
instructions of the SB,'' this AD requires ``removal of each affected 
part and installation of a serviceable part in accordance with 
paragraphs 3.C. (2) and 3.C. (3) of the SB.''

[[Page 17998]]

    (3) Where EASA AD 2020-0245 refers to its effective date, this AD 
requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (4) The ``Remarks'' section of EASA AD 2020-0245 does not apply to 
this AD.
0
(i) 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 (j)(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 2020-0245 that contains RC procedures and 
tests: Except as required by paragraph (i)(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.

(j) Related Information

    (1) For information about EASA AD 2020-0245, contact 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-
2021-0261.
    (2) For more information about this AD, contact Vladimir 
Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; 
telephone and fax 206-231-3229; email [email protected].

    Issued on March 30, 2021.
Ross Landes,
Deputy Director for Regulatory Operations, Compliance & Airworthiness 
Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-07090 Filed 4-6-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P