[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 117 (Monday, June 18, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 36224-36226]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14808]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0638; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-266-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. 
(EMBRAER) Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER) Model EMB-135 
airplanes, and Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, and -
145EP airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a 
lightning strike hitting an airplane tail boom causing certain rear 
bulkhead parts to jam an elevator control rod. This proposed AD would 
require installing or reworking, as applicable, metallic diverters and 
aluminum sheets; modifying the lights assembly on the tail boom rear 
movable fairing; and replacing the hood assembly with a new hood 
assembly and rerouting its electrical harness. We are proposing this AD 
to prevent lightning strikes from causing certain parts to contact the 
airplane pitch control system, which could reduce airplane 
controllability.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 2, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     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, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact 
Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), Technical 
Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170--Putim--
12227-901 S[atilde]o Jose dos Campos--SP--BRASIL; telephone +55 12 
3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email 
distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet: http://www.flyembraer.com. You may 
review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, 
Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the 
FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Examining the AD Docket

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 
227-1175; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 36225]]

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address 
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2012-0638; 
Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-266-AD'' at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposed AD based on 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 about this proposed AD.

Discussion

    The Ag[ecirc]ncia Nacional de Avia[ccedil][atilde]o Civil (ANAC), 
which is the aviation authority for Brazil, has issued Brazilian 
Airworthiness Directive 2011-11-01, dated November 30, 2011 (referred 
to after this as ``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for the 
specified products. The MCAI states:

    * * * [A] lightning strike event hitting the airplane tail boom 
[caused certain rear bulkhead parts to jam an elevator control rod] 
* * *. The lack of the appropriate protection against lightning 
strike effects [could cause certain parts to contact the airplane 
pitch control system, which could reduce airplane controllability.]
* * * * *
The required actions include installing or reworking, as applicable, 
metallic diverters and aluminum sheets; modifying the lights assembly 
on the tail boom rear movable fairing; and replacing the hood assembly 
with a new hood assembly and rerouting its electrical harness. You may 
obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

    EMBRAER has issued Service Bulletin 145LEG-55-0013, dated September 
8, 2011 (for Model EMB-135BJ airplanes); and Service Bulletin 145-55-
0030, Revision 05, dated July 29, 2011 (for Model EMB-145 and EMB-135, 
except -135BJ, airplanes). The actions described in this service 
information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in 
the MCAI.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another 
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant 
to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have 
been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service 
information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we 
evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition 
exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same 
type design.

Costs of Compliance

    Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD 
would affect about 668 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that 
it would take about 12 work-hours per product to comply with the basic 
requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per 
work-hour. Required parts would cost about $2,507 per product. Where 
the service information lists required parts costs that are covered 
under warranty, we have assumed that there will be no charge for these 
parts. As we do not control warranty coverage for affected parties, 
some parties may incur costs higher than estimated here. Based on these 
figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to 
be $2,356,036, or $3,527 per product.

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 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 this 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);
    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and
    4. 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.

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:

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Docket No. FAA-
2012-0638; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-266-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by August 2, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. 
(EMBRAER) Model EMB-145, -145ER, -145MR, -145LR, -145MP, and -145EP 
airplanes; and Model EMB-135BJ, -135ER, -135KE, -135KL, and -135LR 
airplanes; certificated in any category; all serial numbers.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of a lightning strike hitting 
an airplane tail boom causing certain rear bulkhead parts to jam an 
elevator control rod. We are issuing this AD

[[Page 36226]]

to prevent lightning strikes from causing certain parts to contact 
the airplane pitch control system, which could reduce airplane 
controllability.

(f) Compliance

    You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD 
performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions 
have already been done.

(g) Actions

    Within 5,000 flight hours or 48 months after the effective date 
of this AD, whichever occurs first: Install or rework, as 
applicable, metallic diverters and aluminum sheets; modify the 
lights assembly on the tail boom rear movable fairing; and replace 
the hood assembly with a new hood assembly having part number (P/N) 
145-23046-403 and reroute its electrical harness. Do all the actions 
in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of EMBRAER 
Service Bulletin 145LEG-55-0013, dated September 8, 2011 (for Model 
EMB-135BJ airplanes); or EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-55-0030, 
Revision 05, dated July 29, 2011 (for Model EMB 145 and EMB-135, 
except -135BJ, airplanes).

(h) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
International Branch, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the 
authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the 
procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, 
send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight 
Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information 
directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Todd 
Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, 
Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1175; fax (425) 227-1149. 
Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-REQUESTS@faa.gov. 
Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal 
inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the 
local flight standards district office/certificate holding district 
office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this 
AD.
    (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain 
corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these 
actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered 
FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority 
(or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product 
is airworthy before it is returned to service.

(i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to MCAI ANAC Airworthiness Directive 2011-11-01, dated 
November 30, 2011, and the following service information, for 
related information.
    (i) EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145LEG-55-0013, dated September 8, 
2011.
    (ii) EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145-55-0030, Revision 05, dated 
July 29, 2011.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), Technical 
Publications Section (PC 060), Av. Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170--
Putim--12227-901 S[atilde]o Jose dos Campos--SP--BRASIL; telephone 
+55 12 3927-5852 or +55 12 3309-0732; fax +55 12 3927-7546; email 
distrib@embraer.com.br; Internet: http://www.flyembraer.com. You may 
review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, 
Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
Washington. For information on the availability of this material at 
the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 8, 2012.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-14808 Filed 6-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P