Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

SUMMARY

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. This AD requires replacing certain pitot probes on the captain, first officer, and standby sides with certain new pitot probes. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed indication discrepancies during inclement weather, which, depending on the prevailing altitude, could lead to unknown accumulation of ice crystals and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

 
CONTENT

Federal Register, Volume 81 Issue 88 (Friday, May 6, 2016)

Federal Register Volume 81, Number 88 (Friday, May 6, 2016)

Rules and Regulations

Pages 27298-27300

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov

FR Doc No: 2016-10215

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

Docket No. FAA-2015-0250; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-216-AD; Amendment 39-18505; AD 2016-09-07

RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. This AD requires replacing certain pitot probes on the captain, first officer, and standby sides with certain new pitot probes. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed indication discrepancies during inclement weather, which, depending on the prevailing altitude, could lead to unknown accumulation of ice crystals and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES: This AD is effective June 10, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of June 10, 2016.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office--EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet: http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0250.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-

0250; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone: 800-

647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, 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: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) (``the SNPRM'') to amend 14 CFR part 39 for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on December 23, 2015 (80 FR 79750). We preceded the SNPRM with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (``the NPRM'') that published in the Federal Register on March 6, 2015 (80 FR 12094). The NPRM proposed to require replacing certain pitot probes on the captain, first officer, and standby sides with certain new pitot probes. The NPRM was prompted by reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. The SNPRM proposed to revise the NPRM by reducing the proposed compliance time for replacing certain pitot probes based on a risk assessment due to additional reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed indication discrepancies during inclement weather, which, depending on the prevailing altitude, could lead to unknown accumulation of ice crystals and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0205, dated October 9, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

Occurrences have been reported on A320 family aeroplanes of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather conditions. Investigation results indicated that A320 aeroplanes equipped with Thales Avionics Part Number (P/N) 50620-10 or P/N C16195AA pitot probes appear to have a greater susceptibility to adverse environmental conditions that aeroplanes equipped with certain other pitot probes.

Prompted by earlier occurrences, DGAC Direction Geacuteneacuterale de l'Aviation Civile France issued DGAC AD 2001-362 http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/F-2001-362 which corresponds to paragraph (f) of FAA AD 2004-03-33, Amendment 39-13477 (69 FR 9936, March 3, 2004) to require replacement of Thales (formerly known as Sextant) P/N 50620-10 pitot probes with Thales P/N C16195AA probes.

Since that DGAC AD was issued, Thales pitot probe P/N C15195BA was designed, which improved airspeed indication behavior in heavy rain conditions, but did not demonstrate the same level of robustness to withstand high-altitude ice crystals. Based on these findings, EASA have decided to implement replacement of the affected Thales pitot probes as a precautionary measure to improve the safety level of the affected aeroplanes.

Consequently, EASA issued AD 2014-0237 (later revised) http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2014_0237.pdf/AD_2014-0237, retaining the requirements of DGAC France AD 2001-362, which was superseded, and cancelling two other DGAC ADs, to require replacement of Thales Avionics pitot probes P/N C16195AA and P/N C16195BA.

Since EASA issued AD 2014-0237R1 http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2014-0237R1 was issued, results of further analyses have determined that the compliance time (48 months) of that AD has to be reduced in relation to the risk assessment.

For the reasons described above, this EASA AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2014-0237R1, which is superseded, but reduces the compliance time.

You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-

0250.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comment received. United Airlines has no objection to the SNPRM.

Page 27299

Conclusion

We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the SNPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and

Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the SNPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed the following Airbus service information:

Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 30, dated June 18, 2015.

Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1456, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

The service information describes procedures for replacing certain Thales Avionics pitot probes on the captain, first officer, and standby sides. 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

We estimate that this AD affects 953 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We also estimate that it takes about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts will cost about $21,930 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $21,223,310, or $22,270 per product.

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.

We are 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

We 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. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979);

3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

4. 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.

Adoption of 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

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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

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2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

2016-09-07 Airbus: Amendment 39-18505. Docket No. FAA-2015-0250; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-216-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective June 10, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD affects AD 2004-03-33, Amendment 39-13477 (69 FR 9936, March 3, 2004) (``AD 2004-03-33'').

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

(1) Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -122 airplanes.

(2) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

(3) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

(4) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 34, Navigation.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by reports of airspeed indication discrepancies while flying at high altitudes in inclement weather. We are issuing this AD to prevent airspeed indication discrepancies during inclement weather, which, depending on the prevailing altitude, could lead to unknown accumulation of ice crystals and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement of Certain Pitot Probes on the Captain, First Officer, and Standby Sides

Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace any Thales pitot probe having part number (P/N) C16195AA or P/N C16195BA, with a Goodrich pitot probe having P/N 0851HL, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 30, dated June 18, 2015. Accomplishing the replacement in this paragraph terminates the requirements of paragraph (f) of AD 2004-03-33 for that airplane only.

(h) Optional Methods of Compliance for Replacement Required by Paragraph (g) of This AD

(1) Replacement of the pitot probes in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1456, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012 (pitot probes on the captain and standby sides); and Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012 (pitot probes on the first officer side); is an acceptable method of compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(2) Airplanes on which Airbus Modification 25578 was embodied in production, except for post-modification 25578 airplanes on which Airbus Modification 155737 (installation of Thales pitot probes) was also embodied in production, are compliant with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, provided it can be conclusively determined that no Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA, P/N C16195BA, or P/N 50620-10 has been installed since the date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness or the date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness. Post-modification 25578 airplanes on which Airbus Modification 155737 (installation of Thales pitot probes) was also embodied in production must be in compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

(1) This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the

Page 27300

effective date of this AD using the service information identified in paragraph (i)(1)(i) through (i)(1)(xxvi) of this AD. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 04, dated May 24, 2000.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 05, dated September 11, 2000.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 06, dated October 18, 2001.

(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 07, dated December 4, 2001.

(v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 08, dated January 15, 2003.

(vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 09, dated February 17, 2003.

(vii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 10, dated November 21, 2003.

(viii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 11, dated August 18, 2004.

(ix) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 12, dated December 2, 2004.

(x) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 13, dated January 18, 2005.

(xi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 14, dated April 21, 2005.

(xii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 15, dated July 19, 2005.

(xiii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 16, dated November 23, 2006.

(xiv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 17, dated February 14, 2007.

(xv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 18, dated October 9, 2009.

(xvi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 19, dated November 9, 2009.

(xvii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 20, dated December 1, 2010.

(xviii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 21, dated March 24, 2011.

(xix) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 22, dated July 19, 2011.

(xx) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 23, dated February 3, 2012.

(xxi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 24, dated April 12, 2012.

(xxii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 25, dated September 4, 2012.

(xxiii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 26, dated September 16, 2013.

(xxiv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 27, dated March 18, 2014.

(xxv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 28, dated September 1, 2014.

(xxvi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 29, dated February 16, 2015.

(2) This paragraph provides credit for the replacement of pitot probes on the captain and standby sides specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if the replacement was performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-

1456, dated December 2, 2009, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(3) This paragraph provides credit for the replacement of pitot probes on the first officer side as specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, dated March 9, 2010, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) Parts Installation Limitations

(1) At the applicable time specified in paragraph (j)(1)(i) or (j)(1)(ii) of this AD: No person may install on any airplane a Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA or P/N C16195BA.

(i) For airplanes with a Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA or P/N C16195BA installed: After accomplishing the replacement required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(ii) For airplanes without a Thales pitot probe having P/N C16195AA or P/N C16195BA installed: As of the effective date of this AD.

(2) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane a Thales pitot probe having part number P/N 50620-

10.

(k) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:

(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, 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 International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-

3356; telephone: 425-227-1405; fax: 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. 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. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

(2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(3) Required for Compliance (RC): 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0205, dated October 9, 2015, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0250.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3) and (m)(4) of this AD.

(m) 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) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1170, Revision 30, dated June 18, 2015.

(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1456, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-34-1463, Revision 01, dated May 15, 2012.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office--EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone: +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax: +33 5 61 93 44 51; email: account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet: http://www.airbus.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(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, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 20, 2016.

John P. Piccola, Jr.,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

FR Doc. 2016-10215 Filed 5-5-16; 8:45 am

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P