[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 224 (Wednesday, November 24, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66945-66948]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-25534]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2021-0545; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00071-T; 
Amendment 39-21791; AD 2021-22-18]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. This AD was prompted by 
a report of a broken forward guide arm found during a passenger door 
emergency opening test. Investigation results indicated that the 
opening speed of the door was higher than expected, likely caused by a 
reduced damping due to oil leakage of the passenger door damper 
emergency opening actuator (DEOA). This AD requires repetitively 
replacing certain forward and aft guide arms on the passenger door, 
inspecting the forward and aft guide arm support brackets for damage, 
modifying certain DEOAs, and repairing damage if necessary, and also 
provides an optional terminating action for the repetitive 
replacements, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency 
(EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is issuing this 
AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective December 29, 2021.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 29, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: For material 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-2021-0545.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0545; 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 final rule, the 
mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), any comments 
received, and other information. The address for Docket Operations is 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, 
Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Rodina, Aerospace Engineer, Large 
Aircraft Section, FAA, International Validation Branch, 2200 South 
216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206-231-3225; email 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the 
European Union, has issued EASA AD 2021-0085, dated March 19, 2021 
(EASA AD 2021-0085) (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. EASA AD 2021-
0085 superseded EASA AD 2021-0018, dated January 15, 2021.
    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Airbus SAS Model 
A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal 
Register on July 6, 2021 (86 FR 35413). The NPRM was prompted by a 
report of a broken forward guide arm found during a passenger door 
emergency opening test. Investigation results indicated that the 
opening speed of the door was higher than expected, likely caused by a 
reduced damping due to oil leakage of the passenger door DEOA. The NPRM 
proposed to require repetitively replacing certain forward and aft 
guide arms on the passenger door, inspecting the forward and aft guide 
arm support brackets for damage, modifying certain DEOAs, and repairing 
damage if necessary, and also proposed to provide an optional 
terminating action for the repetitive replacements, as specified in 
EASA AD 2021-0085.
    The FAA is issuing this AD to address failure of a passenger door 
to perform its intended function during an emergency opening, which 
could result in reduced evacuation capacity from the airplane and 
injury to occupants. See the MCAI for additional background 
information.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

    The FAA received comments from one commenter. The following 
presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to 
each comment.

Request To Add Exceptions to MCAI Specifications

    Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) asked that the FAA add a new exception 
paragraph to the proposed AD to allow the replacement of DEOA part 
number (P/N) FE396001001 with DEOA P/N FE396001004, FE396001005, or 
FE396001006 (or later model), in addition to DEOA P/N FE396001003 
currently included in the instructions. DAL stated that the RC 
(required for compliance) instructions appear to limit operators to 
install only P/N FE396001003. DAL sent in a request for clarification 
from Airbus in which Airbus clarified that DEOA P/N FE396001001 can be 
replaced with DEOA P/N FE396001003, FE396001004, FE396001005, or 
FE396001006, since P/Ns FE396001003, FE396001004, FE396001005, and 
FE396001006 are interchangeable.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter's request, for the reasons 
provided. The FAA has added the exception in paragraph (h)(6) of this 
AD.
    DAL also asked that the FAA add another new exception paragraph to 
the proposed AD, as follows: ``For this AD,

[[Page 66946]]

DEOAs which are not `new' may be used when completing the instructions 
in Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P049, Rev 00, Option 2, as long as 
they fit the definition of a `serviceable part' per EASA AD 2021-0085, 
and do not have part number [P/N] FE396001001 (i.e., P/N FE396001003, 
FE396001004, FE396001005, FE396001006 or later).'' DAL stated that, the 
DEOA replacement in Option 2 of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P049, 
dated January 15, 2021, provides instructions to install a ``new'' 
DEOA. However, DAL believes that the word ``serviceable'' should be 
used rather than ``new'' in the instructions. DAL noted that Airbus may 
have inadvertently limited operators to only ``new'' actuators when 
otherwise ``used'' serviceable DEOAs would be acceptable per the 
definitions of ``serviceable part'' in the referenced service 
information. DAL added that it understands that the supply of these 
DEOAs is low worldwide, and serviceable parts, as defined by EASA AD 
2021-0085, may not necessarily be ``new.'' They may be overhauled, 
repaired, upgraded, modified, etc. DAL stated that such a DEOA will 
still be compliant with EASA AD 2021-0085, as long as the DEOA is in 
the ``serviceable'' configuration and does not have P/N FE396001001 
(i.e., has P/N FE396001003, FE396001004, FE396001005, FE396001006, or 
later). Because DAL is planning to ship affected (discrepant) P/N 
FE396001001 DEOAs back to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for 
modification, and P/N FE396001001 may be modified to become a 
``serviceable part,'' the possibility exists that DAL could receive 
serviceable parts (DEOAs other than P/N FE396001001) that may not 
necessarily be ``new'' according to the associated delivery documents.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter's request, for the reasons 
provided. DEOAs that are ``serviceable'' may be used during 
accomplishment of the instructions in Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-
P049, Option 2, provided the part fits the definition of a 
``serviceable part'' per EASA AD 2021-0085. The FAA has added the 
exception in paragraph (h)(7) of this AD.
    DAL asked that paragraph (h) be revised to add an exception to 
Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P049, which states to use CML 04SBA3 
varnish polyurethane to protect the identification plate during 
modification or replacement of the door actuator. DAL stated that the 
proposed AD should allow the use of CA8800/B900 in lieu of CML 04SBA3.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter's request. Airbus has granted DAL 
permission to use the material CA8800/B900 in lieu of the CML 04SBA3 
materials. The FAA has added this exception in paragraph (h)(10) of 
this AD.

Request To Clarify Compliance Time for Replacement

    DAL asked that the compliance time in paragraph (2) of EASA AD 
2021-0085 be clarified in the proposed AD as an exception. DAL stated 
that 15 days means 15 days ``in-service'' on an airplane. DAL stated 
that EASA AD 2021-0085 contains no provisions for used spare doors on 
which the 15-day guide arm replacement required by that paragraph may 
have already been exceeded. DAL noted that an operator could have a 
spare door (or acquire a spare door) that may have previously had an 
emergency opening with an affected DEOA, and may not have had the guide 
arms replaced within 15 days, and if the operator wishes to install the 
spare door, the replacement requirement cannot be complied with in 15 
days, since 15 days may have already elapsed. DAL concluded that any 
installation of a spare door that has had an emergency opening with the 
affected actuator would require requesting an alternative method of 
compliance (AMOC) for the guide arm replacement time.
    The FAA disagrees with the request. The grace period of 15 days is 
sufficient to accomplish the task and is unrelated to on-aircraft 
usage. For spare parts subject to this AD for which the grace period 
has elapsed, the AD actions would be required prior to reinstallation 
on an airplane. No change to the AD is made in this regard.

Request To Correct Cotter Pin Part Number

    DAL asked that the proposed AD be revised to add an exception to 
correct the cotter pin part number identified as P/N MS24665-155 in 
Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P050, dated December 15, 2020, which is 
referenced in the EASA AD. DAL stated that the proposed AD should allow 
the use of cotter pins having the correct P/N MS24665-300.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter's request. Airbus issued 
Operators Information Transmission (OIT)--SBIT 21-0014, dated July 8, 
2021, to inform operators that P/N MS24665-155 is an incorrect part 
number for a cotter pin. Therefore, the FAA has added an exception in 
paragraph (h)(8) of this AD, which requires the use of cotter pins 
having P/N MS24665-300 instead of cotter pin P/N MS24665-155.

Request To Relocate Configured Spare Component (CSC) Number Marking

    DAL asked that the proposed AD include an exception to correct the 
location to mark the CSC number. DAL stated that Airbus Service 
Bulletin A350-52-P049, dated January 15, 2021, specifies instructions 
to mark the new CSC number on the door label. DAL noted that an 
exception should require the new CSC number to be marked on the 
identification plate instead. DAL stated that the terms ``door label'' 
and ``identification plate'' appear to be used interchangeably in the 
referenced service information. DAL noted that as written, the 
instructions specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P049 are 
confusing because there is both an identification plate and a door 
label on the door in the referenced figures; therefore, the 
instructions incorrectly state to mark the new CSC number on the door 
label instead of the identification plate. DAL requested confirmation 
from Airbus that the instructions were incorrect and was informed that 
the intent of the referenced service information is to mark the new CSC 
number on the identification plate and not the door label. Airbus 
issued Repair Design Approval Form (RDAF) 80876584/008/2021#A, dated 
February 8, 2021, to provide DOA confirmation of the incorrect 
instructions. The RDAF confirmed that the door label is not to be 
altered, and the re-identification is to be done to the identification 
plate only.
    The FAA agrees with the commenter's request, for the reasons 
provided. The instructions specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A350-
52-P049 incorrectly specify marking the new CSC number on the door 
label. Therefore, the FAA has added an exception in paragraph (h)(8) of 
this AD, which requires the new CSC number to be marked on the 
identification plate.

Request for Clarification of Terminology

    DAL asked for clarification of the terminology used since the terms 
``rod'' and ``guide arms'' are used interchangeably in Airbus Service 
Bulletin A350-52-P050, dated December 15, 2020, but not in the proposed 
AD. DAL stated that in order to reduce potential confusion as to which 
part is to be replaced, the proposed AD should include a statement that 
clearly defines that the terms ``rod'' and ``guide arms'' are used 
interchangeably.
    The FAA agrees that ``guide arms'' and ``rods'' mean the same 
thing. The term ``guide arms'' is used in the

[[Page 66947]]

preamble of this AD; however, those terms are not specifically cited in 
the regulatory text. Therefore, the FAA has not changed this AD in this 
regard.

Request To Allow Parts Return

    DAL asked that the proposed AD include an exception to allow the 
return of affected actuators to the OEM after accomplishing the 
instructions in Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P049, dated January 15, 
2021. DAL stated that Option 2 of Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P049 
provides instructions to replace the affected part (DEOA P/N 
FE396001001) and discard the DEOA with P/N FE396001001 upon 
replacement. However, DAL stated it intends to ship the removed DEOA 
back to the OEM for upgrade per its retrofit agreement instructions, 
rather than discarding the DEOA. DAL requested that the final rule 
state that return of affected actuators to the OEM is acceptable when 
accomplishing the instructions in Airbus Service Bulletin A350-52-P049.
    The FAA acknowledges the commenter's request; however, this AD does 
not include a requirement that affected parts must be returned to the 
OEM. Returning affected parts is at the operator's discretion. However, 
the FAA has added an exception in paragraph (h)(11) of this AD to 
provide clarification that returning affected parts is not required by 
this AD.

Conclusion

    The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments 
received, and determined that air safety requires adopting this AD as 
proposed. Except for minor editorial changes, and any other changes 
described previously, this AD is adopted as proposed in the NPRM. None 
of the changes will increase the economic burden on any operator. 
Accordingly, the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition 
on these products.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2021-0085 describes procedures for repetitively replacing 
the forward and aft guide arms following any passenger door emergency 
opening, modifying the airplane so that there is a maximum of one 
affected DEOA per door pair (left- and right-hand sides), inspecting 
the forward and aft guide arm support brackets for damage, and repair. 
EASA AD 2021-0085 also describes procedures for the optional 
replacement of each affected DEOA having P/N FE396001001, which is 
terminating action for the repetitive replacements. 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.

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

    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) 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 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 airworthiness 
directive:

2021-22-18 Airbus SAS: Amendment 39-21791; Docket No. FAA-2021-0545; 
Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00071-T.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective December 29, 
2021.

(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 52, Doors.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a broken forward guide arm 
found during a passenger door emergency opening test. Investigation 
results indicated that the opening speed of the door was higher than 
expected, likely caused by a reduced damping due to oil leakage of 
the passenger door damper emergency opening actuator (DEOA). The FAA 
is issuing this AD to address failure of a passenger door to perform 
its intended function during an emergency opening, which could 
result in reduced evacuation capacity from the airplane and injury 
to occupants.

(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) EASA 
AD 2021-0085, dated March 19, 2021 (EASA AD 2021-0085).

(h) Exceptions and Clarifications to EASA AD 2021-0085

    (1) Where EASA AD 2021-0085 refers to January 29, 2021 (the 
effective date of EASA AD 2021-0018), this AD requires using the 
effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where EASA AD 2021-0085 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (3) This AD does not mandate compliance with the ``Remarks'' 
section of EASA AD 2021-0085.
    (4) Where paragraphs (4) and (5) of EASA AD 2021-0085 refer to 
``the limits as defined in the inspection SB [service bulletin],'' 
for this AD use ``the limits as defined in ASR [aircraft structural 
repair] A350-A-51-73-11-01ZZZ-667Z-A.''
    (5) Where paragraphs (1) and (2) of EASA AD 2021-0085 specify to 
``replace the forward and aft guide arms on that door in

[[Page 66948]]

accordance with the instructions of the inspection SB,'' this AD 
requires ``removing the forward and aft guide arms on that door, in 
accordance with the instructions of the inspection SB; doing a 
detailed inspection of the forward and aft guide arm support bracket 
on that door and all applicable corrective actions as specified in 
paragraphs (3) through (5) of EASA AD 2021-0085; and installing new 
forward and aft guide arms on that door, in accordance with the 
instructions of the inspection SB.''
    (6) Where paragraph (6) of EASA AD 2021-0085 specifies to modify 
the airplane ``in accordance with the instructions of the 
modification SB,'' this AD allows the replacement of DEOA P/N 
FE396001001with DEOA P/N FE396001004, FE396001005, or FE396001006, 
in addition to DEOA P/N FE396001003.
    (7) Where paragraph (6) of EASA AD 2021-0085 specifies to modify 
the airplane ``in accordance with the instructions of the 
modification SB'', this AD allows DEOAs that are ``serviceable'' to 
be used as replacement parts, provided the part fits the definition 
of a ``serviceable part'' as identified in EASA AD 2021-0085.
    (8) Where paragraph (4) of EASA AD 2021-0085 specifies to 
accomplish the applicable corrective actions ``in accordance with 
the instructions of the inspection SB,'' this AD requires the use of 
cotter pins having P/N MS24665-300 instead of cotter pins having P/N 
MS24665-155.
    (9) Where paragraphs (6) and (7) of EASA AD 2021-0085 specify to 
modify the airplane to ensure that there is a maximum of one 
affected part per door pair and that replacement of each affected 
part is terminating action, which involves the use of CML 04SBA3 
varnish polyurethane to protect the identification plate, this AD 
also allows the use of CA8800/B900 varnish polyurethane in lieu of 
the CML 04SBA3 varnish polyurethane.
    (11) Where the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-
0085 specifies discarding discrepant parts, this AD does not require 
that action.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2021-0085 
specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD 
does not include that requirement.

(j) Additional 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): Except as required by 
paragraph (j)(2) of this AD, if any service information contains 
procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those 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

    For more information about this AD, contact Dan Rodina, 
Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, FAA, International 
Validation Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; 
telephone and fax 206-231-3225; email [email protected].

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference 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 this AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2021-0085, 
dated March 19, 2021.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2021-0085, 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.
    (4) 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.
    (5) You may view this material that is incorporated by reference 
at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For 
information on the availability of this material at NARA, email 
[email protected], or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on October 21, 2021.
Lance T. Gant,
Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-25534 Filed 11-23-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P