[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 125 (Thursday, June 28, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 38470-38472]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15426]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0330; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-116-AD; 
Amendment 39-17103; AD 2012-13-01]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Airplanes

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B 
airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports indicating that wear of the 
elevator pushrods has occurred on some airplanes after extended time in 
service. This AD requires determining if a certain part number is 
installed, performing a detailed inspection for individual play between 
the elevator pushrod assembly and degradation of elevator pushrod 
assembly, and replacing the affected elevator pushrod assembly with a 
new elevator pushrod assembly if necessary. We are issuing this AD to 
prevent a free elevator from affecting the pitch control authority, 
which may result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

DATES: This AD becomes effective August 2, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 2, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace

[[Page 38471]]

Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane 
Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; 
telephone (425) 227-1112; fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. 
That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on April 2, 2012 (77 FR 
19565). That NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the 
specified products. The MCAI states:

    Field experience has indicated that wear of the elevator pushrod 
has occurred on some aeroplanes after extended time in service. 
Although properly installed, the locknut has been able to back off 
within a limited range, leading to degradation of the pushrod which 
causes backlash in between the rod end threads.
    This condition, if not detected and corrected, may lead to a 
free elevator affecting the pitch control authority, possibly 
resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.
    To address this unsafe condition, SAAB AB Aeronautics have 
issued Service Bulletin (SB) 340-27-100, accomplishment of which 
will reduce the probability for backlash and minimize the 
possibility of failure in the pitch control system.
    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires the 
identification of the pushrod assembly Part Number (P/N) as 
installed on the aeroplane, replacement of P/N TDF11755 pushrod 
assemblies, inspection of P/N 12003-33 and P/N R20990 elevator 
pushrod assemblies [for individual play between the elevator pushrod 
assembly and degradation of elevator pushrod assembly] and 
corrective actions [replacement], depending on findings.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD 
docket.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM (77 FR 19565, April 2, 
2012) or on the determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data and determined that air safety and 
the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 162 products of U.S. registry. 
We also estimate that it will take about 1 work-hour per product to 
comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate 
is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of 
this AD to the U.S. operators to be $13,770, or $85 per product.
    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would 
take about 7 work-hours and require parts costing $1,588 for a cost of 
$2,183 per product. We have no way of determining the number of 
products that may need these actions.

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 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 AD and placed it in the AD docket.

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 the NPRM (77 FR 19565, April 2, 2012), 
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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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 AD:

2012-13-01 Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems: Amendment 39-17103. Docket No. 
FAA-2012-0330; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-116-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective August 2, 
2012.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340A (SAAB/
SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes, certificated in any category, all 
serial numbers.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27: Flight 
Controls.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports indicating that wear of the 
elevator pushrods has occurred on some airplanes after extended time 
in service. We are issuing this AD to prevent a free elevator from 
affecting the pitch control authority, which may result in reduced 
controllability of the airplane.

(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) Inspection To Determine the Part Number

    Within the applicable time specified in table 1 of this AD, 
inspect each elevator pushrod assembly to determine the part number 
(P/N).

[[Page 38472]]

    (1) If a P/N TDF11755 elevator pushrod assembly is installed, or 
if the part number cannot be determined: Before further flight, 
replace the affected elevator pushrod assembly with a P/N R20990 
elevator pushrod assembly, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-100, dated February 1, 
2011.
    (2) If a P/N 12003-33 or P/N R20990 elevator pushrod assembly is 
installed: Do a detailed inspection for individual play between the 
rod end and the pushrod at the locking device and degradation of the 
elevator pushrod assembly (including rod end threads not visible 
through the inspection hole in the pushrod, and the nut and locking 
device not properly locked with the lock wire), in accordance with 
the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-100, 
dated February 1, 2011.

                        Table 1--Compliance Times
------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Total flight hours accumulated as of
     the  effective date of this AD              Compliance time
------------------------------------------------------------------------
For airplanes with 30,000 total flight   Within 6 months after the
 hours or more.                           effective date of this AD.
For airplanes with 28,000 total flight   Before the accumulation of
 hours or more, but less than 30,000      30,000 total flight hours or
 total flight hours.                      within 6 months after the
                                          effective date of this AD,
                                          whichever occurs later.
For airplanes with less than 28,000      Before the accumulation of
 total flight hours.                      30,000 total flight hours.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(h) Corrective Action

    If, during the inspection of the elevator pushrod assembly 
required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, individual play between the 
rod end and the pushrod at the locking device, or degradation of the 
elevator pushrod assembly (including rod end threads not visible 
through the inspection hole in the pushrod, and the nut and locking 
device not properly locked with the lock wire) is found: Before 
further flight, replace the affected elevator pushrod assembly with 
a new elevator pushrod assembly, P/N R20990, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-100, 
dated February 1, 2011.

(i) Parts Installation

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install an 
elevator pushrod assembly with P/N TDF11755, on any airplane.

(j) Reporting Requirement

    Submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of 
the inspection and replacement required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of 
this AD to Saab AB, Support and Services, SE-581 88 Link[ouml]ping, 
Sweden; fax +46 13 18 48 74; email 
saab340.techsupport@saabgroup.com; at the applicable time specified 
in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD.
    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of 
this AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the inspection.
    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this 
AD: Submit the report within 30 days after the effective date of 
this AD.

(k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
International Branch, ANM-116, 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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 
227-1112; 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.
    (3) Reporting Requirements: A federal agency may not conduct or 
sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, nor shall a 
person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a 
collection of information subject to the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection of information 
displays a current valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number 
for this information collection is 2120-0056. Public reporting for 
this collection of information is estimated to be approximately 5 
minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, 
completing and reviewing the collection of information. All 
responses to this collection of information are mandatory. Comments 
concerning the accuracy of this burden and suggestions for reducing 
the burden should be directed to the FAA at: 800 Independence Ave. 
SW., Washington, DC 20591, Attn: Information Collection Clearance 
Officer, AES-200.

(l) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness 
Directive 2011-0078, dated May 5, 2011; and Saab Service Bulletin 
340-27-100, dated February 1, 2011; for related information.

(m) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the following service 
information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use the following service information to do the 
actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-100, dated February 1, 2011.
    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Saab 
AB, Saab Aerosystems, SE-581 88, Link[ouml]ping, Sweden; telephone 
+46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email 
saab2000.techsupport@saabgroup.com; Internet http://www.saabgroup.com.
    (4) You may review copies of the 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.
    (5) You may also review copies of the service information that 
is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this 
material at an NARA facility, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 15, 2012.
Kalene C. Yanamura,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-15426 Filed 6-27-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P