[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 33 (Friday, February 19, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7407-7409]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-3288]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2010-0122; Directorate Identifier 2009-CE-067-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. Models PA-32R-301T 
and PA-46-350P Airplanes

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. Models PA-32R-301T and PA-46-350P 
airplanes. This proposed AD would require you to replace any spot-
welded V-band exhaust coupling with a riveted V-band exhaust coupling. 
This proposed AD results from reports that spot-welded V-band exhaust 
couplings are failing. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of 
the V-band exhaust coupling, which could cause the exhaust pipe to 
detach from the turbocharger. This failure could result in release of 
high temperature gases inside the engine compartment and possibly cause 
an in-flight fire. An in-flight fire could lead to loss of control.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 5, 2010.

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 FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Darby Mirocha, Aerospace Engineer, 
FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1701 Columbia Avenue, 
College Park, Georgia 30337; telephone: (404) 474-5573; fax: (404) 474-
5606; e-mail: darby.mirocha@faa.gov.

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-
2010-0122; Directorate Identifier 2009-CE-067-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

    We have received reports that spot-welded V-band exhaust couplings 
that are installed on certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. Models PA-32R-301T 
and PA-46-350P airplanes are failing.
    The V-band exhaust coupling attaches the exhaust pipe to the 
engine's turbocharger. The spot welds on the coupling can fail and the 
coupling may become detached from the turbocharger and expose the 
firewall to hot exhaust gases.
    Several failures of part number 40D21162-340M, a Lycoming spot-
welded coupling, on other airplane models have occurred, and some of 
the failures resulted in an in-flight fire. These failures caused us to 
issue the following ADs:
     AD 2004-23-17, Amendment 39-13872 (69 FR 67809, November 
22, 2004), applicable to Mooney Airplane Company, Inc. Model M20M 
airplanes; and
     AD 2000-11-04, Amendment 39-11752 (65 FR 34941, June 1, 
2000), applicable to Commander Aircraft Company Model 114TC airplanes.
    A newer and more robust design V-band exhaust coupling has been 
developed by the Lycoming supplier that is assembled using rivets 
instead of spot welds.
    This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the V-
band exhaust coupling, which could cause the exhaust pipe to detach 
from the turbocharger. This failure could result in release of high 
temperature gases inside the engine compartment and possibly cause an 
in-flight fire. An in-flight fire could lead to loss of control.

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 replacing any spot-welded V-band exhaust coupling with a 
riveted V-band exhaust coupling.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD could affect up to 596 airplanes 
in the U.S. registry provided they had the affected V-band exhaust 
coupling installed.
    We estimate the following costs to do the proposed replacement:

[[Page 7408]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                              Total cost on U.S.
                                                                                              operators based on
                                                                             Total cost per     all airplanes
                        Labor cost                            Parts cost        airplane     having the affected
                                                                                                V-band exhaust
                                                                                              coupling installed
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2 work-hours x $85 per hour = $170.......................            $714             $884             $526,864
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, 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-2010-0122; Directorate 
Identifier 2009-CE-067-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) We must receive comments on this airworthiness directive 
(AD) action by April 5, 2010.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Model                           Serial numbers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PA-32R-301T.........................  3257001 through 3257311.
PA-46-350P..........................  4622001 through 4622200 and
                                       4636001 through 4636341.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject

    (d) Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 78: Engine 
Exhaust.

Unsafe Condition

    This AD is the result of reports that spot-welded V-band exhaust 
couplings are failing. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of 
the V-band exhaust coupling, which could cause the exhaust pipe to 
detach from the turbocharger. This failure could result in release 
of high temperature gases inside the engine compartment and possibly 
cause an in-flight fire. An in-flight fire could lead to loss of 
control.

Compliance

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

------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Actions                 Compliance            Procedures
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Replace V-band exhaust    At the next           Remove the spot
 couplings, part number (P/    regularly scheduled   welded V-band clamp
 N) Lycoming 40D21162-340M     maintenance event     and discard.
 or Eaton/Aeroquip 55677-      after the effective   Install the new
 340M with an improved         date of this AD or    riveted clamp and
 design Eaton/Aeroquip P/N     within the next 25    tighten to an
 NH1009399-10 or Lycoming P/   hours time-in-        initial torque of
 N 40D23255-340M.              service (TIS) after   40 in. lbs. Tap the
                               the effective date    V-band clamp around
                               of this AD,           its circumference
                               whichever occurs      with a rubber
                               first.                mallet to equalize
                                                     band tension.
                                                     Retorque the clamp
                                                     to 60 in. lbs. and
                                                     again tap the clamp
                                                     around its
                                                     circumference.
                                                     Retorque the clamp
                                                     to a 60 in. lbs.
                                                     final torque and re-
                                                     safety wire the V-
                                                     band coupling.
(2) Do not install any Eaton/ As of the effective   Not applicable.
 Aeroquip P/N 55677-340M or    date of this AD.
 Lycoming P/N 40D21162-340M.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 7409]]

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: Darby Mirocha, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 
Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337; telephone: (404) 474-
5573; fax: (404) 474-5606. 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.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 9, 2010.
Steven W. Thompson,
Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-3288 Filed 2-18-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P