Airworthiness directives: British Aerospace,

[Federal Register: January 6, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 4)]

[Proposed Rules]

[Page 729-730]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[DOCID:fr06ja00-18]

Proposed Rules Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

[[Page 729]]

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 99-CE-72-AD]

RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; British Aerospace Jetstream Model 3201 Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY: This document proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to all British Aerospace Jetstream Model 3201 airplanes. The proposed AD would require inspecting the fuel quantity indication system for damage to the insulation of the wiring within the fuel tanks. Damage is defined as corrosion (indicated by a dark stain), cuts, or nicks. The proposed AD would also require replacing or repairing any damaged wiring. The proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to detect damage to the insulation of the wiring within the fuel tanks of the fuel quantity indication system, which could result in a malfunction in the cockpit indicators and/or electrical sparking inside the fuel tank with consequent fire or explosion.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 9, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 99-CE-72-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Comments may be inspected at this location between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, holidays excepted.

Service information that applies to the proposed AD may be obtained from British Aerospace Regional Aircraft, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland; telephone: (01292) 672345; facsimile: (01292) 671625. This information also may be examined at the Rules Docket at the address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. S.M. Nagarajan, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4145; facsimile: (816) 329- 3091.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications should identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report that summarizes each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filedin the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this notice must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ``Comments to Docket No. 99-CE-72-AD.'' The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 99-CE-72-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

Discussion

The Civil Airworthiness Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom, recently notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all British Aerospace Jetstream Model 3201 airplanes. The CAA reports that, during a routine inspection, damage to the insulation of the wiring within the wing fuel tanks of the fuel quantity indication system on two of the affected airplanes was revealed. Further investigation shows that the damage to the insulation occurred during factory installation.

This condition, if not detected and corrected in a timely manner, could result in a malfunction in the cockpit indicators and/or electrical sparking inside the fuel tank with consequent fire or explosion.

Relevant Service Information

British Aerospace has issued Jetstream Alert Service Bulletin 28-A- JA990841, Original Issue: September 8, 1999; and Jetstream Alert Service Bulletin 28-A-JA990841 Revision No. 1: November 12, 1999. These documents include procedures for inspecting the fuel quantity indication system for damage to the insulation of the wiring within the fuel tanks, and replacing or repairing any damaged wiring.

The CAA classified these service bulletins as mandatory and issued British AD 003-09-99, dated September 13, 1999, in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the United Kingdom.

The FAA's Determination

This airplane model is manufactured in the United Kingdom and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the CAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above.

The FAA has examined the findings of the CAA; reviewed all available information, including the service information referenced above; and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

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Explanation of the Provisions of the Proposed AD

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop in other British Aerospace Jetstream Model 3201 airplanes of the same type design registered in the United States, the FAA is proposing AD action. The proposed AD would require inspecting the fuel quantity indication system for damage to the insulation of the wiring within the fuel tanks. Damage is defined as corrosion (indicated by a dark stain), cuts, or nicks. The proposed AD would also require replacing or repairing any damaged wiring. Accomplishment of the proposed actions would be required in accordance with the service information previously discussed.

Compliance Time Criteria of the Proposed AD

The compliance time of this AD is presented in both calendar time and hours time-in-service (TIS). Damage to the insulation of the wires in the fuel quantity indicator system could result in corrosion in the core conductor. Corrosion damage can then develop regardless of whether the airplane is in flight, and may not develop until a later time. Therefore, in order to assure that any damage does not go undetected, a compliance time of both hours TIS and calendar time (the prevalent one being that which occurs first) is proposed.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 115 airplanes in the U.S. registry would be affected by the proposed AD, that it would take approximately 60 workhours per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspection, and that the average labor rate is approximately $60 an hour. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $414,000, or $3,600 per airplane.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations proposed herein 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. Therefore, it is determined that this proposed rule would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) if promulgated, 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. A copy of the draft regulatory evaluation prepared for this action has been placed in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

  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]

  2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD) to read as follows:

    British Aerospace: Docket No. 99-CE-72-AD.

    Applicability: Jetstream Model 3201 airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

    Note 1: This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For airplanes that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (c) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

    Compliance: Required as indicated in the body of this AD, unless already accomplished.

    To detect damage to the insulation of the wiring within the fuel tanks of the fuel quantity indication system, which could result in a malfunction in the cockpit indicators and/or electrical sparking inside the fuel tank with consequent fire or explosion, accomplish the following:

    (a) Within the next 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD or within the next 60 calendar days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, inspect the fuel quantity indication system for damage to the insulation of the wiring within the fuel tanks. Damage is defined as corrosion (indicated by a dark stain), cuts, or nicks. Prior to further flight, replace or repair any damaged wiring. Accomplish these actions in accordance with one of the following:

    (1) British Aerospace Jetstream Alert Service Bulletin 28-A- JA990841, Original Issue: September 8, 1999; or

    (2) British Aerospace Jetstream Alert Service Bulletin 28-A- JA990841, Original Issue: September 8, 1999; Revision No. 1: November 12, 1999.

    (b) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

    (c) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance times that provides an equivalent level of safety may be approved by the Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. The request shall be forwarded through an appropriate FAA Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Small Airplane Directorate.

    Note 2: Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Small Airplane Directorate.

    (d) Questions or technical information related to the service information referenced in this document should be directed to British Aerospace Regional Aircraft, Prestwick International Airport, Ayrshire, KA9 2RW, Scotland; telephone: (01292) 672345; facsimile: (01292) 671625. This service information may be examined at the FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

    Note 3: The subject of this AD is addressed in British AD 003- 09-99, dated September 13, 1999.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 29, 1999. Michael Gallagher, Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

    [FR Doc. 00-241Filed1-5-00; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-U

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