[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 239 (Wednesday, December 13, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74878-74880]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-21184]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2005-20856; Directorate Identifier 2004-NE-25-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH 
Propellers

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness 
directive (AD) for certain MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH variable pitch 
and fixed pitch propellers manufactured before 1995 which had not been 
overhauled since April 1994. That AD currently requires overhauling the 
propeller blades and performing initial and repetitive visual 
inspections of affected propeller blades. That AD also requires 
removing all propeller blades from service with damaged erosion sheath 
bonding or loose erosion sheaths and installing any missing or damaged 
polyurethane protective strips. This proposed AD would require the same 
actions. This proposed AD results from the need to clarify the 
population of affected propellers previously listed in AD 2006-05-05. 
We are proposing this AD to prevent erosion sheath separation leading 
to damage of the airplane.

DATES: We must receive any comments on this proposed AD by February 12, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to comment on this 
proposed AD.
     DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow 
the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
     Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your 
comments electronically.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, 
Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Fax: (202) 493-2251.
     Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Contact MT-Propeller USA, Inc., 1180 Airport Terminal Drive, 
Deland, FL 32724; telephone (386) 736-7762, fax (386) 736-7696 or visit 
http://www.mt-propeller.com for the service information identified in 
this proposed AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Walsh, Aerospace Engineer, 
Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller 
Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299; 
telephone (781) 238-7158, fax (781) 238-7170.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments regarding this proposal. Send your comments to an address 
listed under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2005-20856; 
Directorate Identifier 2004-NE-25-AD'' in the subject line of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend the 
proposed AD in light of those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://
dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will 
also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA 
personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of the 
DMS Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our 
dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or 
signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, 
etc.). You may review the DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the 
Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78) or you 
may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the docket that contains the proposal, any comments 
received and any final disposition in person at the DMS Docket Office 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on 
the plaza level of the Department of Transportation Nassif Building at 
the street address stated in ADDRESSES. Comments will be available in 
the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Discussion

    On February 24, 2006, we issued AD 2006-05-05, Amendment 39-14502 
(71 FR 11151, March 6, 2006). That AD requires overhaul of models MT, 
MTV-1, MTV-2, MTV-3, MTV-5, MTV-6, MTV-7, MTV-9, MTV-10, MTV-11, MTV-
12, MTV-14, MTV-15, MTV-17, MTV-18, MTV-20, MTV-21, MTV-22, MTV-24, and 
MTV-25 propellers with serial numbers (SNs) below 95000, which had not 
been overhauled since April 1994, within 30 days after the effective 
date of the AD. That action also required performing initial and 
repetitive visual inspections of those propeller blades. That action 
also required removing all propeller blades from service with damaged 
erosion sheath bonding or loose erosion sheaths and to install any 
missing or damaged polyurethane protective strips. The European 
Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the airworthiness authority for 
the European Union, notified us that an unsafe condition may exist on 
certain MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH propellers.

Actions Since AD 2006-05-05 Was Issued

    Since AD 2006-05-05 was issued, MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH 
Propellers and EASA have clarified the population of affected 
propellers. AD 2006-05-05 described the affected propellers as variable 
pitch and fixed pitch propellers with serial numbers (SNs) below 95000. 
Because propellers with SNs starting with 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, and 
06, were manufactured in the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 
and 2006 respectively, some operators are confused as to whether their 
propeller SN is part of the affected population. For example, propeller 
SN 00246, manufactured in 2000, would appear to be part of the affected 
population because the number is below 95000. For clarification, we are 
proposing to identify the affected population as variable pitch and 
fixed pitch propellers manufactured before

[[Page 74879]]

1995 which had not been overhauled since April 1994. Also, since AD 
2006-05-05 was issued, we discovered that propeller model MTV-25 was 
erroneously listed in the AD.

Relevant Service Information

    We have reviewed and approved the technical contents of MT-
Propeller Service Bulletin (SB) No. 8B, dated March 8, 2006, which 
lists the affected propeller population as models MT, MTV-1, MTV-2, 
MTV-3, MTV-5, MTV-6, MTV-7, MTV-9, MTV-10, MTV-11, MTV-12, MTV-14, MTV-
15, MTV-17, MTV-18, MTV-20, MTV-21, MTV-22, and MTV-24 propellers, 
manufactured before 1995 which have not been overhauled since April 
1994. This SB describes the visual inspections, removals, and 
installations proposed by this AD. EASA classified this SB as mandatory 
and issued AD No. 2006-0345, dated November 14, 2006, in order to 
ensure the airworthiness of these MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH 
propellers in Europe.

Bilateral Agreement Information

    These propeller models are manufactured in Germany and are 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. Under this bilateral 
airworthiness agreement, EASA kept us informed of the situation 
described above. We have examined the findings of EASA, reviewed all 
available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for 
products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the 
United States.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

    We have evaluated all pertinent information and identified an 
unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on other products 
of this same type design. We are proposing this AD, which would require 
you to:
     Overhaul all installed propeller blades of propellers 
listed in the applicability, within 30 days after the effective date of 
this AD, unless previously done per AD 2006-05-05.
     Visually inspect certain MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH 
variable pitch and fixed pitch propellers manufactured before 1995.
     Remove from service, certain MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH 
variable pitch and fixed pitch propellers manufactured before 1995 if 
the propeller blades have damaged erosion sheath bonding or loose 
erosion sheaths.
     Install polyurethane protective strips onto propeller 
blades that are missing these strips or have damaged strips.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that 103 of these MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH 
variable pitch and fixed pitch propellers installed on aircraft of U.S. 
registry would be affected by this proposed AD. We also estimate that 
it would take about 2 work-hours to inspect and install the 
polyurethane protective strip of each affected propeller, and 4 work-
hours to remove a propeller requiring overhaul. The average labor rate 
is $80 per work-hour. Required parts to inspect and install the 
polyurethane protective strip of each affected propeller would cost 
about $20. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the 
proposed AD to U.S. operators, to inspect and install protective strips 
to be $18,540.

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 have 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 that the proposed 
regulation:
    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); 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.
    We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this proposed AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location 
to examine the regulatory evaluation.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 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. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing Amendment 39-14502 (71 FR 
11151, March 6, 2006) and by adding a new airworthiness directive, to 
read as follows:

MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH: Docket No. FAA-2005-20856; 
Directorate Identifier 2004-NE-25-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive 
comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) action by February 12, 
2007.

Affected ADs

    (b) This AD supersedes AD 2006-05-05.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH, models MT, 
MTV-1, MTV-2, MTV-3, MTV-5, MTV-6, MTV-7, MTV-9, MTV-10, MTV-11, 
MTV-12, MTV-14, MTV-15, MTV-17, MTV-18, MTV-20, MTV-21, MTV-22, and 
MTV-24 propellers manufactured before 1995 which have not been 
overhauled since April 1994. These propellers may be installed on, 
but not limited to, Apex ATL, Apex DR400, EADS Socata Rallye, Extra 
EA-300, Piper PA-46, Rene Fournier RF4, Sukhoi SU-26, SU-29, and SU-
31; Yakovlev YAK-52, YAK-54, and YAK-55; and Technoavia SM-92 
airplanes.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from the need to clarify the population of 
affected propellers previously listed in AD 2006-05-05. We are 
issuing this AD to prevent erosion sheath separation leading to 
damage of the airplane.

Compliance

    (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this 
AD performed within

[[Page 74880]]

the compliance times specified unless the actions have already been 
done.

    Note 1: Information about inspection procedures and acceptable 
limits can be found in Table 1 of this AD.

Overhaul of Propeller Blades

    (f) Overhaul all installed propeller blades of propellers listed 
in the applicability, within 30 days after the effective date of 
this AD, unless previously done per AD 2006-05-05.

Initial Visual Inspection of the Propeller Blade

    (g) During the next preflight inspection or 100-hour inspection, 
whichever occurs first, after the effective date of this AD, inspect 
all MT and MTV propellers by doing the following:
    (1) Determine if the erosion sheath of any propeller blade is 
cracked or loose; and
    (2) Determine if any propeller blade has other damage out of 
acceptable limits.
    (3) Before the next flight, remove from service those propeller 
blades with a cracked or loose erosion sheath, or other damage 
affecting airworthiness.

                      Table 1.--Service Information
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                                          See Operation and Installation
       For Propeller Model . . .                   Manual . . .
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MT.....................................  No. E-112, issued Nov. 1993 or
                                          later.
MTV-1, MTV-7, MTV-10, MTV-17, MTV-18,    No. E-118, issued March 1994 or
 MTV-20.                                  later
MTV-5, MTV-6, MTV-9, MTV-11, MTV-12,     No. E-124, issued March 1994 or
 MTV-14, MTV-15, MTV-21, MTV-22, MTV-25.  later.
MTV-2, MTV-3...........................  No. E-148, issued March 1994 or
                                          later.
MTV-24.................................  No. E-309, issued March 1994 or
                                          later.
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Initial Visual Inspection of the Propeller Blade Polyurethane Strip

    (h) During the next pilot's preflight inspection after the 
effective date of this AD, if the polyurethane protective strip on 
the leading edge of the inner portion of the blade is found to be 
damaged or missing, the polyurethane protective strip must be 
replaced or installed within 10 flight hours. If electrical de-icing 
boots are installed, no polyurethane protective strips are required.

Repetitive Visual Inspection of the Propeller Blade

    (i) If after the effective date of this AD, any propeller blade 
erosion sheath found to be cracked or loose during the pilot's 
preflight inspection, or 100-hour inspection, or annual inspection, 
must be repaired, replaced, or overhauled before the next flight.

Repetitive Visual Inspection of the Propeller Blade Polyurethane Strip

    (j) If after the effective date of this AD, any propeller blade 
polyurethane protective strip found to be damaged or missing during 
the pilot's preflight inspection, or 100-hour inspection, or annual 
inspection, must be replaced or installed within 10 flight hours. If 
electrical de-icing boots are installed, polyurethane protective 
strips are not required.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

    (k) The Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office, has the 
authority to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD 
if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

Special Flight Permits

    (l) Special flight permits are prohibited.

Related Information

    (m) MT-Propeller Entwicklung GmbH, Service Bulletin No. 8B, 
dated March 8, 2006, pertains to the subject of this AD. European 
Aviation Safety Agency AD No. 2006-0345, dated November 14, 2006, 
also addresses the subject of this AD.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on December 6, 2006.
Diane Cook,
Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft 
Certification Service.
 [FR Doc. E6-21184 Filed 12-12-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P