[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 31 (Wednesday, February 18, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7552-7554]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-3016]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2009-0118; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-073-AD; 
Amendment 39-15810; AD 2009-04-04]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Cessna Aircraft Company Models 401, 
401A, 401B, 402, 402A, and 402B Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain Cessna Aircraft Company (Cessna) Models 401, 401A, 401B, 402, 
402A, and 402B airplanes. This AD requires an inspection of the 
auxiliary wing spar near the location where the main landing gear 
trunnion is mounted for cracks; immediate replacement if cracks of 0.5 
inch or more are found; repetitive inspections with replacement at a 
later time as long as cracks of less than 0.5 inch are found; and a 
report to the FAA and Cessna if any cracks are found. This AD results 
from several reports of fatigue cracking on the affected airplanes in 
the auxiliary wing spar. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct 
such cracks, which, if not corrected, could result in failure of the 
wing auxiliary spar web and cause landing gear collapse during normal 
landing. This could lead to loss of control and passenger injury.

DATES: This AD becomes effective on March 2, 2009.
    On March 2, 2009, the Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD.
    We must receive any comments on this AD by April 20, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to comment on this AD.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    To get the service information identified in this AD, contact 
Cessna Aircraft Company, P.O. Box 7704, Wichita, Kansas 67277; 
telephone: (800) 423-7762 or (316) 517-6056; Internet: http://
www.cessna.com.
    To view the comments to this AD, go to http://www.regulations.gov. 
The docket number is FAA-2009-0118; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-073-
AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Neubauer, Aerospace Engineer, 
1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 
946-4156; fax: (316) 946-4107.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We have received several reports of fatigue cracking on Cessna 
Models 402A and 402B airplanes in the area of the auxiliary wing spar 
where the main landing gear trunnion is mounted. Other models with 
similar design that share

[[Page 7553]]

the same risk of auxiliary wing spar cracking include Cessna Models 
401, 401A, 401B, and 402.
    This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the 
wing auxiliary spar web and cause landing gear collapse during normal 
landing. This could lead to loss of control and passenger injury.
    Cessna has shown the FAA that parts with cracks in this area that 
are 0.5 inch or more need immediate replacement as they pose an 
immediate safety of flight issue. Cessna's analysis also shows that 
residual strength in the wing, up to ultimate design loads, will remain 
with cracks less than 0.5 inch, and the growth of these cracks is slow.
    Because analysis shows that a repetitive inspection program can 
provide an interim acceptable level of safety, the FAA will allow 
repetitive inspections when a crack less than 0.5 inch is found in the 
wing auxiliary spar during the initial inspection required by this 
action. Cracks need to be monitored (inspected every 50 hours time-in-
service (TIS)) to show they do not reach 0.5 inch.
     If any crack reaches 0.5 inch or more, then the cracked 
part must be replaced before further flight.
     If no crack reaches 0.5 inch or more, then the cracked 
part must be replaced within 200 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever 
occurs first, regardless of crack growth.

Relevant Service Information

    We reviewed Cessna Service Bulletin MEB08-8, dated December 23, 
2008. The service information describes procedures for inspecting the 
wing auxiliary spar webs for cracks and replacing the left web/right 
web with a new left web/right web.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

    We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all the information and 
determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist 
or develop on other products of the same type design. This AD requires:
     An inspection of the auxiliary wing spar near the location 
where the main landing gear trunnion is mounted for cracks;
     Immediate replacement if cracks are 0.5 inch or more;
     Repetitive inspections (50 hours TIS) with replacement at 
200 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever occurs first, if cracks are found 
that are less than 0.5 inch; and
     A report to the FAA and Cessna if any cracks are found.
    The FAA considers this interim action. We will work with Cessna and 
evaluate the crack reports and all other information. Based on this 
information, we may initiate additional rulemaking action.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies 
waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because 
cracks in the wing auxiliary spar web could lead to failure in this 
area and could cause landing gear collapse during normal landing. This 
could lead to loss of control and passenger injury. Some of the 
affected airplanes are operated 100 hours TIS or more monthly. 
Therefore, the repetitive inspections on these airplanes would occur in 
short intervals, and the replacement would be required within 2 months. 
Therefore, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment 
before issuing this AD are impracticable and that good cause exists for 
making this amendment effective in fewer than 30 days.

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety, and we did not precede it by notice and an opportunity for 
public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, 
or arguments regarding this AD. Send your comments to an address listed 
under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number ``FAA-2009-0118; 
Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-073-AD'' at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the AD. We will consider 
all comments received by the closing date and may amend the AD in light 
of those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We 
will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we 
receive concerning this AD.

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 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.
    We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket that contains the AD, the regulatory 
evaluation, any comments received, and other information on the 
Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket 
Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) 
is located at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. 
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

0
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, 
the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

[[Page 7554]]

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 adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2009-04-04 Cessna Aircraft Company: Amendment 39-15810; Docket No. 
FAA-2009-0118; Directorate Identifier 2008-CE-073-AD.

Effective Date

    (a) This AD becomes effective on March 2, 2009.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to the following airplane models and serial 
numbers that are certificated in any category:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Models                             Serial Nos.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
401.............................................  655 and 401-0001
                                                   through 401-0322.
401A............................................  655 and 401A0001
                                                   through 401A0132.
401B............................................  401B0001 through
                                                   401B0221.
402.............................................  402-0001 through 402-
                                                   0322.
402A............................................  402A0001 through
                                                   402A0129.
402B............................................  402B0001 through
                                                   402B0122, 402B0201
                                                   through 402B0249,
                                                   402B0301 through
                                                   402B0455, 402B0501
                                                   through 402B0640,
                                                   402B0801 through
                                                   402B0935, 402B1001
                                                   through 402B1100,
                                                   402B1201 through
                                                   402B1250, and
                                                   402B1301 through
                                                   402B1384.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD is the result of several reports of fatigue cracking 
on the affected airplanes in the auxiliary wing spar. We are issuing 
this AD to detect and correct such cracks, which, if not corrected, 
could result in failure of the wing auxiliary spar web and cause 
landing gear collapse during normal landing. This could lead to loss 
of control and passenger injury.

Compliance

    (e) To address this problem, you must do the actions below using 
Cessna Service Bulletin MEB08-8, dated December 23, 2008, at the 
following compliance time, unless already done:

    Note 1: Cessna Service Bulletin MEB08-8, dated December 23, 
2008, provides detailed instructions on measuring, inspecting, and 
replacing cracked parts, including how to handle two or more cracks 
in the same hole.

    (1) Within the next 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) after March 
2, 2009 (the effective date of this AD) and, in addition, before 
further flight anytime the airplane experiences a ``hard landing,'' 
visually inspect the auxiliary wing spar near the location where the 
main landing gear trunnion is mounted for cracks.
    (2) If any crack is found during any inspection required by this 
AD that is 0.5 inch or more, before further flight after any such 
crack is found, replace the cracked parts.
    (3) If cracks are found during any inspection required by this 
AD that are less than 0.5 inch, do the following:
    (i) Repetitively thereafter inspect the cracks for length at 
intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS and, before further flight, 
replace any part that has a crack length of 0.5 inch or more; and
    (ii) Replace the cracked part within 200 hours TIS after the 
original crack was found or within 12 months after the original 
crack was found, whichever occurs first.
    (4) If you find any cracks as a result of any inspection 
required by this AD, report the results to Cessna using the form in 
the service bulletin. Send a copy of this report to the FAA at the 
address specified in paragraph (f) of this AD. For the reporting 
requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has 
approved the information collection requirements and has assigned 
OMB Control Number 2120-0056. Do the reporting requirement at 
whichever of the following that occurs later:
    (i) Within 10 days after the inspection; or
    (ii) Within the next 10 days after March 2, 2009 (the effective 
date of this AD).

    Note 2: The FAA considers this interim action. We will work with 
Cessna and evaluate the crack reports and all other information. 
Based on this information, we may initiate additional rulemaking 
action.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (f) The Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested 
using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to 
ATTN: Adam Neubauer, Wichita ACO, Aerospace Engineer, 1801 Airport 
Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4156; 
fax: (316) 946-4107. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane 
to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal 
inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), 
or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

Material Incorporated by Reference

    (g) You must use Cessna Service Bulletin MEB08-8, dated December 
23, 2008, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD 
specifies otherwise.
    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 
U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Cessna Aircraft Company, P.O. Box 7704, Wichita, Kansas 67277; 
telephone: (800) 423-7762 or (316) 517-6056; Internet: http://
www.cessna.com.
    (3) You may review copies of the service information 
incorporated by reference for this AD at the FAA, Central Region, 
Office of the Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 
64106. For information on the availability of this material at the 
Central Region, call (816) 329-3768.
    (4) You may also review copies of the service information 
incorporated by reference for this AD 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/code_of_federal_regulations/
ibr_locations.html.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 6, 2009.
Kim Smith,
Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. E9-3016 Filed 2-17-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P