[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 10, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 10195-10197]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-4987]


========================================================================
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.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 45 / Tuesday, March 10, 2009 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 10195]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2009-0218; Directorate Identifier 2009-CE-006-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. PA-23, PA-31, and 
PA-42 Series Airplanes

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Piper) PA-23 series airplanes and all PA-
31 and PA-42 series airplanes. This proposed AD would establish life 
limits for safety-critical nose baggage door components. This proposed 
AD would also require you to replace those safety-critical nose baggage 
door components and repetitively inspect and lubricate the nose baggage 
door latching mechanism and lock assembly. This proposed AD results 
from several incidents and accidents, including fatal accidents, where 
the nose baggage door opening in flight was listed as a causal factor. 
We are proposing this AD to detect and correct worn, corroded, or non-
conforming nose baggage door components, which could result in the nose 
baggage door opening in flight. The door opening in flight could 
significantly affect the handling and performance of the aircraft. It 
could also allow baggage to be ejected from the nose baggage 
compartment and strike the propeller. This failure could lead to loss 
of control.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 11, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to comment on this 
proposed 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.
    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact 
Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; 
telephone: (772) 567-4361; fax: (772) 978-6573; Internet: http://
www.newpiper.com/company/publications.asp.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory K. Noles, Aerospace Engineer, 
One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Blvd., Suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia 
30349; telephone: (770) 703-6085; fax: (770) 703-6097.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address 
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number, ``FAA-
2009-0218; Directorate Identifier 2009-CE-006-AD'' at the beginning 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://
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We 
will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we 
receive concerning this proposed AD.

Discussion

    On January 5, 2008, a Piper PA-31-350 airplane crashed shortly 
after takeoff. The National Transportation Safety Board preliminary 
report of the fatal accident indicates the nose baggage door opened in 
flight. Our investigation of the accident indicates the nose baggage 
door opening in flight was a causal factor in the accident. The 
investigation also indicated that the baggage door did not conform to 
the type design and was not in a condition for safe operation. We have 
also received several other incident and accident reports where the 
nose baggage door opening in flight was listed as a causal factor.
    Our investigation of PA-31 airplanes has found additional 
nonconforming nose baggage door components. Examples of problems 
discovered are: key locks that have been replaced with locks that allow 
the key to be removed when the door is unlocked; bent, corroded, worn, 
or broken parts; parts installed backwards; inoperative warning 
systems; and installation of secondary latches that are not strong 
enough to secure the door in a closed position.
    This condition, if not corrected, could result in the nose baggage 
door opening in flight. The door opening in flight could significantly 
affect the handling and performance of the aircraft. It could also 
allow baggage to be ejected from the nose baggage compartment and 
strike the propeller. This failure could lead to loss of control.

Relevant Service Information

    We have reviewed Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1194A, 
dated November 10, 2008.
    The service information describes procedures for:
     Repetitive inspection of the nose baggage door latching 
mechanism and lock assembly and replacement of life limited parts as 
identified in the service bulletin; and
     Repetitive lubrication and inspection of the nose baggage 
door latching and locking components.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and 
determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist 
or develop on other products of the same type design. This proposed AD 
would require you to replace safety-critical nose baggage door 
components and repetitively inspect and lubricate the nose baggage door 
latching mechanism and lock assembly. This proposed AD would also 
establish life limits for

[[Page 10196]]

safety-critical nose baggage door components.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    The applicability of this AD is expanded to include Models PA-23, 
PA-23-160, and PA-23-235 airplanes that have a nose baggage door 
installed. These models were not manufactured with a nose baggage door 
and are not included in Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 
1194A, dated November 10, 2008. However there are PA-23, PA-23-160, and 
PA-23-235 airplanes in service that may have been modified with the 
applicable nose baggage door installed. The requirements of this 
proposed AD, if adopted as a final rule, would take precedence over the 
provisions in the service information.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 8,000 airplanes in 
the U.S. registry.
    We estimate the following costs to do the proposed inspection and 
parts replacement:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Total cost per   Total cost on
                          Labor cost                              Parts cost        airplane      U.S. operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4 work-hours x $80 per hour = $320...........................            $190             $510       $4,080,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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. 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 proposed AD and placed it in the AD docket.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket that contains the proposed 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.

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA 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 adding the following new AD:

Piper Aircraft, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2009-0218; Directorate 
Identifier 2009-CE-006-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) We must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) action by May 11, 2009.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to Models PA-23, PA-23-160, PA-23-235, PA-
23-250, PA-23-250 (Navy UO-1), PA-31, PA-31-300, PA-31-325, PA-31-
350, PA-31P, PA-31P-350, PA-31T, PA-31T1, PA-31T2, PA-31T3, PA-42, 
PA-42-720, PA-42-1000, and PA-E23-250 airplanes, all serial numbers, 
that are:
    (1) Certificated in any category; and
    (2) Equipped with a baggage door in the fuselage nose section (a 
nose baggage door).

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from several incidents and accidents, 
including some fatal accidents, where the nose baggage door opening 
in flight was listed as a causal factor. We are issuing this AD to 
detect and correct worn, corroded, or non-conforming nose baggage 
door components, which could result in the nose baggage door opening 
in flight. The door opening in flight could significantly affect the 
handling and performance of the aircraft. It could also allow 
baggage to be ejected from the nose baggage compartment and strike 
the propeller. This failure could lead to loss of control.

Compliance

    (e) To address this problem, you must do the following, unless 
already done:

[[Page 10197]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Actions                  Compliance              Procedures
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) For all aircraft:      (A) Initially: Within     Follow
(i) Inspect the nose        1,000 hours time-in-      INSTRUCTIONS: PART
 baggage door assembly      service (TIS) since all   I of Piper
 for damaged, worn, or      life-limited components   Aircraft, Inc.
 corroded components;       were installed new        Service Bulletin
(ii) Replace life-limited   following Piper           No. 1194A, dated
 components specified in    Aircraft, Inc. Service    November 10, 2008.
 the service information;   Bulletin No. 1194A,
 and                        dated November 10,
(iii) Install or inspect,   2008, or within the
 as applicable, the nose    next 100 hours TIS
 baggage placard            after the effective
 following the service      date of this AD,
 information.               whichever occurs later;
                            and
                           (B) Repetitively
                            thereafter: At
                            intervals not to exceed
                            1,000 hours TIS.
(2) For all aircraft:      (A) Initially: Within     Follow
(i) Lubricate and inspect   100 hours TIS after the   INSTRUCTIONS: PART
 all nose baggage door      effective date of this    II of Piper
 latching and locking       AD; and                   Aircraft, Inc.
 components for damaged,   (B) Repetitively           Service Bulletin
 worn, or corroded          thereafter: At            No. 1194A, dated
 components; and            intervals not to exceed   November 10, 2008.
(ii) Verify the key can     100 hours TIS.
 only be removed from the
 lock assembly in the
 locked position in
 accordance with the
 service instructions.
(3) For all aircraft with  Before further flight     Follow Piper
 damaged, worn, or          after any inspection      Aircraft, Inc.
 corroded components:       required in paragraphs    Service Bulletin
 Repair/replace any         (e)(1) and (e)(2) of      No. 1194A, dated
 damaged, worn, or          this AD where any         November 10, 2008.
 corroded components.       evidence of damaged,
                            worn, or corroded
                            components was found.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (f) The Manager, Atlanta 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: Gregory K. Noles, Aerospace Engineer, One Crown Center, 1895 
Phoenix Blvd., Suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone: (770) 
703-6085; fax: (770) 703-6097. 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.

Related Information

    (g) To get copies of the service information referenced in this 
AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, 
Florida 32960; telephone: (772) 567-4361; fax: (772) 978-6573; 
Internet: http://www.newpiper.com/company/publications.asp. To view 
the AD docket, go to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, or on the Internet at 
http://www.regulations.gov.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 3, 2009.
David R. Showers,
Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
 [FR Doc. E9-4987 Filed 3-9-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P