[Federal Register Volume 88, Number 15 (Tuesday, January 24, 2023)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 4114-4117]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2023-01166]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2023-0023; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-01030-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) 
2021-08-08, which applies to all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 
airplanes. AD 2021-08-08 requires replacing affected bleed duct 
assemblies and bleed gimbals at the wing-to-pylon interface, and 
prohibits the installation of affected parts. This AD was prompted by a 
report of a welding quality issue in the gimbal joint of the air bleed 
duct at each wing-to-pylon interface and the consequent deformation of 
the gimbal inner ring, and by new findings that affected bleed gimbals 
were found on certain airplanes that did not have any maintenance 
record of affected part replacement. This proposed AD would continue to 
require the actions in AD 2021-08-08 and, for certain airplanes, would 
require inspection of the bleed gimbals to determine the part number 
and replacement if necessary, 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 March 10, 
2023.

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 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.
    AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov under 
Docket No. FAA-2023-0023; 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, the mandatory continuing airworthiness 
information (MCAI), any comments received, and other information. The 
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
    Material Incorporated by Reference:
     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]; website 
easa.europa.eu. You may find this material on the EASA website at 
ad.easa.europa.eu.
     You may view this service information 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dat Le, Aerospace Engineer, Large 
Aircraft Section, FAA, International Validation Branch, 2200 South 
216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 516-228-7317; 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-2023-0023; Project Identifier 
MCAI-2022-01030-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.
    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 NPRM.

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 Dat 
Le, Aerospace Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, FAA, International 
Validation Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; 
telephone 516-228-7317; email [email protected]. Any commentary that the 
FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be

[[Page 4115]]

placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Background

    The FAA issued AD 2021-08-08, Amendment 39-21502 (86 FR 20453, 
April 20, 2021) (AD 2021-08-08), for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and 
-1041 airplanes. AD 2021-08-08 was prompted by MCAI originated by EASA, 
which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European 
Union. EASA issued EASA AD 2020-0169R1, dated August 19, 2020 (EASA AD 
2020-0169R1), to correct an unsafe condition.
    AD 2021-08-08 requires replacing affected bleed duct assemblies and 
bleed gimbals at the wing-to-pylon interface with serviceable parts. 
The FAA issued AD 2021-08-08 to address a welding quality issue 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 cause cracking by direct contact between metal parts, and 
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.

Actions Since AD 2021-08-08 Was Issued

    Since the FAA issued AD 2021-08-08, EASA superseded EASA AD 2020-
0169R1 and issued EASA AD 2022-0156, dated August 2, 2022 (EASA AD 
2022-0156) (also referred to as the MCAI), to correct an unsafe 
condition for all Airbus SAS Model A350-941 and -1041 airplanes. Since 
EASA AD 2020-0169R1 was issued, affected bleed gimbals at the wing-to-
pylon interface have been found installed on certain airplanes without 
having any maintenance record of affected part replacement.
    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at regulations.gov under 
Docket No. FAA-2023-0023.

Explanation of Retained Requirements

    Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the 
requirements of AD 2021-08-08, this proposed AD would retain all of the 
requirements of AD 2021-08-08. Those requirements are referenced in 
EASA AD 2022-0156, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of 
this proposed AD.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    EASA AD 2022-0156 specifies procedures, for certain airplanes, for 
replacing affected bleed duct assemblies and bleed gimbals at the wing-
to-pylon interface with serviceable parts, and, for certain other 
airplanes, inspecting each bleed gimbal at the wing-to-pylon interface 
to determine if it is an affected part and replacing affected parts. 
EASA AD 2022-0156 also prohibits the installation of an affected part 
on any airplane. 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

    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, it 
has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI 
referenced above. The FAA is issuing this NPRM after determining that 
the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop 
in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in EASA AD 2022-0156 described previously, except for any differences 
identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.

Explanation of Required Compliance Information

    In the FAA's ongoing efforts to improve the efficiency of the AD 
process, the FAA developed a process to use some civil aviation 
authority (CAA) ADs as the primary source of information for compliance 
with requirements for corresponding FAA ADs. The FAA has been 
coordinating this process with manufacturers and CAAs. As a result, the 
FAA proposes to incorporate EASA AD 2022-0156 by reference in the FAA 
final rule. This proposed AD would, therefore, require compliance with 
EASA AD 2022-0156 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 EASA AD 2022-0156 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 EASA AD 2022-
0156. Service information required by EASA AD 2022-0156 for compliance 
will be available at regulations.gov under Docket No. FAA-2023-0023 
after the FAA final rule is published.

Costs of Compliance

    The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would 
affect 31 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 actions (Group 1        Up to 25 work-hours x    Up to $48,800.....  Up to $50,925.....            * $0
 airplanes in the MCAI).          $85 per hour = $2,125.
New proposed actions (Group 2    2 work-hours x $85 per   0.................  170...............           5,270
 airplanes in the MCAI).          hour = $170.
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\*\ The retained replacement from AD 2021-08-08 applies to Group 1 airplanes specified in the MCAI. There are no
  affected U.S.-registered airplanes in Group 1.

    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-
condition action that would be required based on the results of any 
required actions. The FAA has no way of determining the number of 
aircraft that might need this on-condition action:

[[Page 4116]]



                 Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
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           Labor cost                 Parts cost       Cost per product
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Up to 25 work-hours x $85 per     Up to $48,800.....  Up to $50,925.
 hour = $2,125.
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    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 individuals. The FAA does not control warranty 
coverage for affected individuals. 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) 2021-08-08, Amendment 39-21502 
(86 FR 20453, April 20, 2021); and
    b. Adding the following new AD:

Airbus SAS: Docket No. FAA-2023-0023; Project Identifier MCAI-2022-
01030-T.

(a) Comments Due Date

    The FAA must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) by March 10, 2023.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2021-08-08, Amendment 39-21502 (86 FR 20453, 
April 20, 2021) (AD 2021-08-08).

(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) Unsafe Condition

    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, and by new findings that 
affected bleed gimbals were found on certain airplanes that did not 
have any maintenance record of affected part replacement. The unsafe 
condition, if not addressed, could result in 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 paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD: Comply 
with all required actions and compliance times specified in, and in 
accordance with, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 
2022-0156, dated August 2, 2022 (EASA AD 2022-0156).

(h) Exceptions to EASA AD 2022-0156

    (1) Where EASA AD 2022-0156 refers to its effective date, this 
AD requires using the effective date of this AD.
    (2) Where paragraph (6) of EASA AD 2022-0156 refers to August 
26, 2020 (the effective date of EASA AD 2020-0169R1), this AD 
requires using May 25, 2021 (the effective date of AD 2021-08-08).
    (3) Where the definition of ``Groups'' in EASA AD 2022-0156 
specifies Group 1 airplanes are those manufacturer serial numbers 
(MSN) listed in certain service information, replace the text 
``Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A350-36-P021 and SB A350-36-P022'' 
with ``Airbus Service Bulletin A350-36-P021, dated January 17, 2020; 
and Airbus Service Bulletin A350-36-P022, dated January 17, 2020.''
    (4) Where the definition of ``Groups'' in EASA AD 2022-0156 
specifies Group 2 airplanes are those MSN listed in certain service 
information, replace the text ``Airbus SB A350-36-P029'' with 
``Airbus Service Bulletin A350-36-P029, Revision 01, dated February 
3, 2022.''
    (5) This AD does not adopt the Remarks paragraph of EASA AD 
2022-0156.

(i) No Reporting Requirement

    Although the service information referenced in EASA AD 2022-0156 
specifies to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD 
does not include that requirement.

(j) Additional FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): 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 responsible Flight Standards Office, as 
appropriate. If sending information directly to the International 
Validation Branch the attention of the person identified in 
paragraph (k) 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

[[Page 4117]]

be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, 
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) Additional Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Dat Le, Aerospace 
Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, FAA, International Validation 
Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone 516-
228-7317; email [email protected].

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) 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 2022-0156, 
dated August 2, 2022.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EASA AD 2022-0256, contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 
50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone +49 221 8999 000; email 
[email protected]; website easa.europa.eu. You may find this EASA 
AD on the EASA website at ad.easa.europa.eu.
    (4) You may view this service information 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 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 January 18, 2023.
Christina Underwood,
Acting Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft 
Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2023-01166 Filed 1-23-23; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P