[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 183 (Thursday, September 22, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57809-57812]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-20517]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2022-0153; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01051-A; 
Amendment 39-22172; AD 2022-19-03]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-26-
08, which applied to all Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-12, PC-12/45, 
PC-12/47, and PC-12/47E airplanes. AD 2016-26-08 required incorporating 
revisions into the airworthiness limitations section (ALS) of the 
maintenance program and inspecting the main landing gear (MLG) 
attachment bolts for cracks and corrosion. Since the FAA issued AD 
2016-26-08, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) superseded 
its mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) to add a new 
life limit for certain MLG actuator bottom attachment bolts and then 
superseded it again to add new life limits for the rudder bellcrank. 
This AD requires incorporating new revisions to the ALS of the existing 
airplane maintenance manual (AMM) or Instructions for Continued 
Airworthiness (ICA) to establish a 5-year life limit for certain MLG 
actuator bottom attachment bolts and new life limits for the rudder 
bellcrank. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition 
on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective October 27, 2022.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of October 27, 
2022.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 
contact Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., CH-6371, Stans, Switzerland; phone: 
+41848247365; email: aircraft.com">[email protected]aircraft.com; website: 
pilatus-aircraft.com/. You may view this service information at the 
FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 
Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability of 
this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110. It is also available at 
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0153.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov by searching for 
and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0153; 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 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: Doug Rudolph, Aviation Safety 
Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International 
Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; phone: 
(816) 329-4059; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2016-26-08, Amendment 39-18766 (82 FR 1172, 
January 5, 2017; corrected February 16, 2017, 82 FR 10859) (AD 2016-26-
08). AD 2016-26-08 applied to all Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. (Pilatus) Model 
PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47, and PC-12/47E airplanes. AD 2016-26-08 
required incorporating revisions into the ALS of the existing FAA-
approved maintenance program and inspecting the MLG attachment bolts 
for cracks and corrosion.

[[Page 57810]]

    The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2022 (87 FR 
14187). The NPRM was prompted by reports of failure of MLG actuator 
bottom attachment bolts, part number 532.10.12.218, identified with 
``VLG'' on the bolt head. These parts are from a specific vendor and 
are subject to hydrogen embrittlement. Accordingly, EASA, which is the 
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, superseded 
its prior AD on this condition and issued EASA AD 2021-0005, dated 
January 7, 2021, corrected January 14, 2021, to require a new 5-year 
life limit for the MLG actuator bottom attachment bolt identified with 
``VLG.'' Pilatus subsequently added new life limits for the rudder 
bellcrank. As a result, EASA superseded its AD again and issued AD 
2021-0214, dated September 17, 2021 (referred to after this as ``the 
MCAI''). The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations and certification maintenance 
instructions for Pilatus PC-12 aeroplanes, which are approved by 
EASA, are currently defined and published in Pilatus PC-12 AMM 
Chapter 04-00-00. These instructions have been identified as 
mandatory for continued airworthiness.
    Failure to accomplish these instructions could result in an 
unsafe condition.
    Previously, EASA issued [EASA] AD 2021-0005, requiring the 
actions described in the Pilatus PC-12 AMM Chapter 04-00-00, 
Document Number 02049 Issue 01 Revision 40, Document Number 02300 
Issue 01 Revision 24 and Document Number 02436 Issue 01 Revision 02.
    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, Pilatus published the 
applicable ALS, as defined in this [EASA] AD, which contains new 
and/or more restrictive tasks and limitations, as specified in the 
Component Limitations section, to introduce a new life limit for the 
rudder bellcrank. Due to the introduction of this life limit, the 
repetitive eddy current inspections are no longer required and 
deleted from the Supplemental Structural Inspection section.
    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the 
requirements of EASA AD 2021-0005, which is superseded, and requires 
accomplishment of the actions as specified in the applicable ALS.

    You may examine the MCAI at regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0153.
    In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require incorporating new 
revisions to the ALS of the existing AMM or ICA to establish a 5-year 
life limit for certain MLG actuator bottom attachment bolts and new 
life limits for the rudder bellcrank. The FAA is issuing this AD to 
prevent MLG collapse during all phases of airplane operations, 
including take-off and landing, and also to prevent rudder bellcrank 
failure, which could lead to loss of airplane control.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

    The FAA received comments from four commenters. The commenters were 
the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Pilatus, and two individuals. 
The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's 
response to each comment.
    ALPA supported the NPRM without change.

Requests Regarding the Service Information

    Pilatus requested that the FAA change the proposed AD to reference 
the most recent AMM revisions, which were issued December 10, 2021. 
Pilatus stated that it updated the AMM, including the ALS, for 
editorial changes and that requiring incorporation of the later AMM 
revisions would not increase the public burden. An individual commenter 
requested the FAA change the proposed AD to allow operators to comply 
by incorporating later FAA-approved revisions of the ALS. The commenter 
stated that not including this statement restricts operators to using 
the ALS revision required by the AD, unless they obtain approval of an 
alternative method of compliance (AMOC).
    The FAA partially agrees. The FAA agrees to allow incorporation of 
the latest revisions of the ALS, as requested by Pilatus, as an option 
for compliance with paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, and has updated this 
final rule accordingly. The FAA does not agree with allowing future 
revisions of the ALS as an option for compliance with paragraph (f)(1) 
of this AD. An AD may not refer to a document that does not exist at 
the time the AD is published. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) 
regulations for approval of materials ``incorporated by reference'' in 
rules require that service documents be submitted to the OFR for 
approval as ``referenced material.'' An AD may reference only the 
specific service document that was submitted and approved by the OFR 
for incorporation by reference. The individual commenter is correct 
that in order for operators to use later revisions of the referenced 
document (issued after the publication of the AD), either the FAA must 
revise the AD to reference the specific later revisions, or operators 
must request the approval of their use as an AMOC.

Request To Increase the Average Labor Rate

    An individual commenter requested the FAA adjust the average labor 
rate to reflect the current economic burden. The individual stated that 
the average labor rate in the NPRM is too low.
    The FAA disagrees. The FAA Office of Aviation Policy and Plans 
provides the labor rate of $85 per work-hour for the FAA to use when 
estimating the labor costs of complying with AD requirements. The FAA 
did not change this final rule based on this comment.

Additional Change Made to This Final Rule

    The FAA has revised the document citations for the service 
information required in this AD to adhere to OFR regulations for 
materials incorporated by reference.

Conclusion

    These products have been approved by the aviation authority of 
another country and are approved for operation in the United States. 
Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with this State of Design 
Authority, it has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in 
the MCAI referenced above. The FAA reviewed the relevant data, 
considered the comments received, and determined that air safety 
requires adopting this AD as proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing 
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. Except for 
the changes described previously, this AD is adopted as proposed in the 
NPRM. None of the changes will increase the economic burden on any 
operator.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    The FAA reviewed the following service information, which contains 
the new life limit for certain MLG actuator bottom attachment bolts and 
new life limits for the rudder bellcrank. These documents are distinct 
because they apply to different airplane models; the different revision 
levels include editorial updates.
     PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 Structural, Component and 
Miscellaneous Limitations--AMM Document No. 02049--Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document Module Code 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the 
Pilatus Model type--PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 MSN-101-888 Aircraft 
Maintenance Manual Document No. 02049, Revision 41, dated July 16, 
2021.
     PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 Structural, Component and 
Miscellaneous Limitations--AMM Document No. 02049--Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document Module Code 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the 
Pilatus Model type--PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 MSN-101-888 Aircraft

[[Page 57811]]

Maintenance Manual Document No. 02049, Revision 42, dated December 10, 
2021.
     PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 2300--Airworthiness Limitations, Document 
Module Code 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model type--PC-12/
47E MSN-545/1001-1719 and 1721-1942 Aircraft Maintenance Manual 
Document No. 02300, Revision 25, dated July 16, 2021.
     PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 2300--Airworthiness Limitations, Document 
Module Code 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model type--PC-12/
47E MSN-1001-1942 (except MSN 1720) Aircraft Maintenance Manual 
Document No. 02300, Revision 26, dated December 10, 2021.
     PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 02436--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-C-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12/47E MSN 1720, 2001-Up Aircraft Maintenance Manual Document 
No. 02436, Revision 03, dated July 16, 2021.
     PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 02436--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-C-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12/47E MSN 1720, 2001-Up Aircraft Maintenance Manual Document 
No. 02436, Revision 04, dated December 10, 2021.
    This service information 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.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 1,030 airplanes of U.S. 
registry. The FAA also estimates that it will take 1 work-hour per 
airplane to incorporate the revised ALS into the AMM or ICA. The 
average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the 
FAA estimates the cost on U.S. operators to be $87,550 or $85 per 
airplane.
    In addition, the FAA estimates that replacing a MLG actuator bottom 
attachment bolt, if necessary, will take 1 work-hour and will require 
parts costing $2,140 for a cost of $2,225 per airplane.
    Replacing the rudder bellcrank, if necessary, will take 3 work-
hours and will require parts costing $550 for a cost of $805 per 
airplane.

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 has 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) 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:
0
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2016-26-08, Amendment 39-18766 (82 
FR 1172, January 5, 2017; corrected February 16, 2017, 82 FR 10859); 
and
0
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive:

2022-19-03 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.: Amendment 39-22172; Docket No. 
FAA-2022-0153; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01051-A.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective October 27, 2022.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2016-26-08, Amendment 39-18766 (82 FR 1172, 
January 5, 2017; corrected February 16, 2017, 82 FR 10859).

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Model PC-12, PC-12/45, 
PC-12/47, and PC-12/47E airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated 
in any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 2722, Rudder 
Actuator; 3210, Main Landing Gear; and 3211, Main Landing Gear 
Attach Section.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness 
information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another 
country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation 
product. The unsafe condition in the MCAI is failure of main landing 
gear (MLG) actuator bottom attachment bolts and failure to 
accomplish a new life limit for the rudder bellcrank. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to prevent MLG collapse during all phases of 
airplane operations, including take-off and landing and also to 
prevent rudder bellcrank failure, which could lead to loss of 
airplane control.

(f) Actions and Compliance

    (1) Before further flight, unless already done, revise the 
Airworthiness Limitations section of the existing airplane 
maintenance manual (AMM) or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness 
for your airplane by incorporating the following documents.
    (i) For Model PC-12, PC-12/45, and PC-12/47 airplanes: PC-12, 
PC-12/45, PC-12/47 Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 02049--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 MSN-101-888 Aircraft Maintenance 
Manual Document No. 02049, Revision 41, dated July 16, 2021; or PC-
12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 02049--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 MSN-101-888 Aircraft Maintenance 
Manual Document No. 02049, Revision 42, dated December 10, 2021.
    (ii) For Model PC-12/47E airplanes with serial numbers 545, 1001 
through 1719, and 1721 through 1999: PC-12/47E Structural,

[[Page 57812]]

Component and Miscellaneous Limitations--AMM Document No. 2300--
Airworthiness Limitations, Document Module Code 12-B-04-00-00-00A-
000A-A, of the Pilatus Model type--PC-12/47E MSN-545/1001-1719 and 
1721-1942 Aircraft Maintenance Manual Document No. 02300, Revision 
25, dated July 16, 2021; or PC-12/47E Structural, Component and 
Miscellaneous Limitations--AMM Document No. 2300--Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document Module Code 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the 
Pilatus Model type--PC-12/47E MSN-1001-1942 (except MSN 1720) 
Aircraft Maintenance Manual Document No. 02300, Revision 26, dated 
December 10, 2021.
    (iii) For Model PC-12/47E airplanes with serial numbers 1720 and 
2001 and larger: PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 02436--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-C-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12/47E MSN 1720, 2001-Up Aircraft Maintenance Manual 
Document No. 02436, Revision 03, dated July 16, 2021; or PC-12/47E 
Structural, Component and Miscellaneous Limitations--AMM Document 
No. 02436--Airworthiness Limitations, Document Module Code 12-C-04-
00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model type--PC-12/47E MSN 1720, 
2001-Up Aircraft Maintenance Manual Document No. 02436, Revision 04, 
dated December 10, 2021.
    (2) The actions required by paragraph (f)(1) of this AD may be 
performed by the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private 
pilot certificate and must be entered into the aircraft records 
showing compliance with this AD in accordance with 14 CFR 43.9(a)(1) 
through (4), and 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2)(v). The record must be 
maintained as required by 14 CFR 91.417, 14 CFR 121.380, or 14 CFR 
135.439.
    (3) After revising the airworthiness limitations required by 
paragraph (f)(1) of this AD, no alternative life limits or 
inspection intervals may be used unless they are approved as 
provided in paragraph (g) of this AD.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, 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 local Flight 
Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information 
directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the 
attention of the person identified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD 
and email to: [email protected].
    (2) 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.

(h) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Doug Rudolph, 
Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, 
International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, 
MO 64106; phone: (816) 329-4059; email: [email protected].
    (2) Refer to MCAI European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) 
AD 2021-0214, dated September 17, 2021, for more information. You 
may view the EASA AD at regulations.gov in Docket No. FAA-2022-0153.

(i) 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 the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 Structural, Component and 
Miscellaneous Limitations--AMM Document No. 02049--Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document Module Code 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the 
Pilatus Model type--PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 MSN-101-888 Aircraft 
Maintenance Manual Document No. 02049, Revision 41, dated July 16, 
2021.
    (ii) PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 Structural, Component and 
Miscellaneous Limitations--AMM Document No. 02049--Airworthiness 
Limitations, Document Module Code 12-A-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the 
Pilatus Model type--PC-12, PC-12/45, PC-12/47 MSN-101-888 Aircraft 
Maintenance Manual Document No. 02049, Revision 42, dated December 
10, 2021.
    (iii) PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 2300--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12/47E MSN-545/1001-1719 and 1721-1942 Aircraft Maintenance 
Manual Document No. 02300, Revision 25, dated July 16, 2021.
    (iv) PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 2300--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-B-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12/47E MSN-1001-1942 (except MSN 1720) Aircraft Maintenance 
Manual Document No. 02300, Revision 26, dated December 10, 2021.
    (v) PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 02436--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-C-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12/47E MSN 1720, 2001-Up Aircraft Maintenance Manual 
Document No. 02436, Revision 03, dated July 16, 2021.
    (vi) PC-12/47E Structural, Component and Miscellaneous 
Limitations--AMM Document No. 02436--Airworthiness Limitations, 
Document Module Code 12-C-04-00-00-00A-000A-A, of the Pilatus Model 
type--PC-12/47E MSN 1720, 2001-Up Aircraft Maintenance Manual 
Document No. 02436, Revision 04, dated December 10, 2021.
    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., CH-6371, Stans, Switzerland; phone: 
+41848247365; email: aircraft.com">[email protected]aircraft.com; website: 
pilatus-aircraft.com/.
    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, 
Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 
Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on the availability 
of this material at the FAA, call (817) 222-5110.
    (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, email: [email protected], or go to: www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued on August 31, 2022.
Christina Underwood,
Acting Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft 
Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2022-20517 Filed 9-21-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P