Airworthiness directives: Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau,

 
CONTENT

[Federal Register: April 26, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 79)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Page 20142-20144]

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

[DOCID:fr26ap99-2]

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 91-CE-25-AD; Amendment 39-11149; AD 95-11-15 R1]

RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau Model ASK 21 Gliders

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Direct final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: This amendment revises Airworthiness Directive (AD) 95-11-15, which currently requires replacing the parallel rocker with a part of improved design and incorporating flight manual revisions on all Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau (Alexander Schleicher) Model ASK 21 gliders. AD 95-11-15 was the result of two incidents of the parallel rocker breaking at the elevator connection on the affected gliders. Since that time, the FAA has determined that the AD should only affect those Model ASK 21 gliders equipped with the automatic elevator connection. This AD retains the actions of AD 95-11-15, but only for those gliders with the automatic elevator connection incorporated. The actions specified in this AD are intended to continue to prevent possible loss of elevator control that could result from a broken parallel rocker.

DATES: Effective July 25, 1999.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications as listed in the regulations was previously approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 14, 1995 (60 FR 29978, June 7, 1995).

Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before May 28, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 91-CE-25-AD, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

Service information that applies to this AD may be obtained from Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co., Segelflugzeugbau, Postfach 60, 36163 Poppenhausen, Germany; telephone: ++49 (0) 6658-890; facsimile: ++49 (0) 6658-8923. This information may also be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 91-CE-25-AD, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW, suite 700, Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 1201 Walnut, suite 900, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 426-6932; facsimile: (816) 426-2169.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

AD 95-11-15, Amendment 39-9248 (60 FR 29978, June 7, 1995), currently requires the following on all Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau (Alexander Schleicher) Model ASK 21 gliders:

[[Page 20143]]

--Replacing the parallel rocker with a part of improved design; and --Incorporating flight manual revisions.

Accomplishment of these actions is required in accordance with Alexander Schleicher ASK 21 Technical Note No. 22, dated November 26, 1990.

AD 95-11-15 was the result of two incidents of the parallel rocker breaking at the elevator connection on the affected gliders.

The actions specified in AD 95-11-15 are intended to prevent possible loss of elevator control that could result from a broken parallel rocker.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous Rule

Since AD 95-11-15 became effective, the FAA has determined that the AD should only affect those Model ASK 21 gliders equipped with the automatic elevator connection. Model ASK 21 gliders incorporating serial numbers 21206 through 21473 were equipped with the automatic elevator connection at manufacture, and any earlier serial numbers could be modified to incorporate an automatic elevator connection. Alexander Schleicher Technical Note No. 11 includes the procedures necessary to accomplish this modification.

The FAA's Determination

After examining the circumstances and reviewing all available information related to the incidents described above, the FAA has determined that:

--The applicability of AD 95-11-15 should be limited to only those Model ASK 21 gliders equipped with the automatic elevator connection; and --AD action should be taken to continue to prevent possible loss of elevator control that could result from a broken parallel rocker.

Explanation of the Provisions of This AD

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop in other Alexander Schleicher Model ASK 21 gliders of the same type design registered in the United States, the FAA is issuing an AD to revise AD 95-11-15. This AD retains the actions of AD 95-11-15, but only for those gliders with the automatic elevator connection incorporated. Accomplishment of the actions of this AD would be required in accordance with Alexander Schleicher ASK 21 Technical Note No. 22, dated November 26, 1990.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 35 gliders in the U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 1 workhour per glider to accomplish the required action, and that the average labor rate is approximately $60 per work hour. Parts cost approximately $45 per glider. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $3,675, or $105 per glider. This figure is based upon the presumption that no affected glider owner/operator has accomplished the required replacement.

Alexander Schleicher has informed the FAA that improved design parallel rockers have been distributed for all 35 affected gliders. Presuming that each set of parts has been installed on one of the affected gliders, the required action will not impose any cost impact upon U.S. operators.

The Direct Final Rule Procedure

The FAA anticipates that this regulation will not result in adverse or negative comment and therefore is issuing it as a direct final rule. This AD restricts the glider applicability in that it only requires the actions on Alexander Schleicher Model ASK 21 gliders that are equipped with the automatic elevator connection instead of all gliders as required by 95-11-15. With this in mind, this AD reduces the burden that is currently required for U.S. operators of the affected gliders. Therefore, this action does not impose a significant burden on affected operators. In accordance with Section 11.17 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 11.17) unless a written adverse or negative comment, or a written notice of intent to submit an adverse or negative comment, is received within the comment period, the regulation will become effective on the date specified above. After the close of the comment period, the FAA will publish a document in the Federal Register indicating that no adverse or negative comments were received and confirming the date on which the final rule will become effective. If the FAA does receive, within the comment period, a written adverse or negative comment, or written notice of intent to submit such a comment, a document withdrawing the direct final rule will be published in the Federal Register, and a notice of proposed rulemaking may be published with a new comment period.

Comments Invited

Although this action is in the form of a final rule and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment, comments are invited on this rule. Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications shall identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered, and this rule may be amended in light of the comments received. Factual information that supports the commenter's ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the AD action and determining whether additional rulemaking action would be needed.

Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the rule that might suggest a need to modify the 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 AD will be filedin the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this rule must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ``Comments to Docket No. 91-CE-25-AD.'' The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations adopted herein will not have substantial direct effects 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, in accordance with Executive Order 12612, it is determined that this final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

The FAA has determined that this regulation is noncontroversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. For reasons discussed in the preamble, I certify that this regulation (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) 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 final evaluation has been prepared for this action and is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

[[Page 20144]]

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 95-11-15, Amendment 39-9248 (60 FR 29978, June 7, 1995), and by adding a new AD to read as follows:

95-11-15 R1 Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau: Amendment 39- 11149; Docket No. 91-CE-25-AD; Revises AD 95-11-15, Amendment 39- 9248.

Applicability: The following serial numbered Model ASK 21 gliders, certificated in any category:

--Serial numbers 21206 through 21473; and --Any earlier serial numbers that were retrofitted to incorporate an automatic elevator connection.

Note 1: Alexander Schleicher Technical Note No. 11 includes all the procedures necessary to retrofit the earlier serial numbered Model ASK 21 gliders.

Note 2: This AD applies to each glider 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 gliders 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 (e) 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 (compliance with AD 95-11-15).

To prevent possible loss of elevator control that could result from a broken parallel rocker, accomplish the following:

(a) Within 30 calendar days after July 14, 1995 (the effective date of AD 95-11-15), accomplish the following:

(1) Replace the parallel rocker with an improved and stronger part (part number 99.000.4940 with modification status 1), in accordance with the instructions in Alexander Schleicher ASK 21 Technical Note No. 22, dated November 26, 1990.

(2) Incorporate the flight manual revisions included with the technical note referenced above into the aircraft flight manual (AFM).

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install, on any affected glider, a parallel rocker that is not part number 99.000.4940 with modification status 1.

(c) Accomplishment of the AFM insertion, as required by paragraph (a)(2) of this AD, may be performed by the owner/operator holding at least a private pilot certificate as authorized by section 43.7 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.7), and must be entered into the aircraft records showing compliance with this AD in accordance with section 43.9 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.9).

(d) 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 glider to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

(e) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance times that provides an equivalent level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1201 Walnut, suite 900, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.

(1) 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.

(2) Alternative methods of compliance approved in accordance with AD 95-11-15 are considered approved for this AD.

Note 3: Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Small Airplane Directorate.

(f) The replacement required by this AD shall be done in accordance with Alexander Schleicher ASK 21 Technical Note No. 22, dated November 26, 1990. The incorporation by reference was previously approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51 as of July 14, 1995 (60 FR 29978, June 7, 1995). Copies may be obtained from Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co., Segelflugzeugbau, Postfach 60, 36163 Poppenhausen, Germany. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW, suite 700, Washington, DC.

(g) This amendment becomes effective on July 25, 1999. Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 19, 1999. James E. Jackson, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

[FR Doc. 99-10313Filed4-23-99; 8:45 am]

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