[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 38 (Tuesday, February 26, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 12988-12991]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04339]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0094; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-160-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed 
AD was prompted by reports that certain trimmable horizontal stabilizer 
actuators (THSA) were found with corrosion that affected the ballscrew 
lower splines between the tie-bar and screw-jack. This proposed AD 
would require repetitive inspections of the THSA; ballscrew integrity 
tests, if necessary; and replacement of affected THSAs. We are 
proposing this AD to detect and correct corrosion in the ballscrew 
lower splines, which, if the ballscrew ruptured, could lead to 
transmission of THSA torque loads from the ballscrew to the tie-bar, 
prompting THSA blowback, and possible loss of control of the airplane.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 12, 2013.

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 Airbus service information identified in this proposed AD, 
contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office--EAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice 
Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax 
+33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet 
http://www.airbus.com. For Goodrich service information identified in 
this proposed AD, contact Goodrich Corporation, Actuation Systems, 
Stafford Road, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton WV10 7EH, England; telephone 
+44 (0) 1902 624938; fax +44 (0) 1902 788100; email 
techpubs.wolverhampton@goodrich.com; Internet http://www.goodrich.com/TechPubs.You may review copies of the referenced service information at 
the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
WA. 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: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, 
International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 
fax (425) 227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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-2013-0094; 
Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-160-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 European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical 
Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA 
Airworthiness Directive 2012-0175, dated September 7, 2012 (referred to 
after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or 
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified 
products. The MCAI states:

    Some Trimmable Horizontal Stabilizer Actuators (THSA), Part Number 
(P/N) 47147-500 fitted on A330/A340 aeroplanes have been found with 
corrosion, affecting the ballscrew lower splines between the tie bar 
and the screw-jack. The affected ballscrew is made of steel and anti-
corrosion protection is ensured, except on both extremities (upper and 
lower splines) where Molykote is applied.
    The results of the technical investigations have identified that 
the corrosion was caused by a combination of:

--contact/friction between the tie bar and the inner surface of the 
ballscrew, leading to the removal of Molykote (corrosion protection) at 
the level of the tie bar splines,
--humidity ingress initiating surface oxidation starting from areas 
where Molykote is removed, and
--water retention in THSA lower part leading to corrosion spread out 
and to the creation of a brown deposit (iron oxide).

    The results of the technical investigations have also concluded 
that A320 family THSA P/N 47145-XXX (where XXX stands for any numerical

[[Page 12989]]

value) ballscrews might be affected by this corrosion issue.
    This condition, if not detected and corrected, may lead, in case of 
ballscrew rupture, to loss of transmission of THSA torque loads from 
the ballscrew to the tie-bar, prompting THSA blowback, possibly 
resulting in loss of control of the aeroplane.
    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive 
detailed inspections of the ballscrew lower splines of THSAs having P/N 
47145-XXX to detect corrosion and, depending on findings, the 
accomplishment of applicable corrective actions.

The required action is repetitive detailed inspections of the gaps 
between the ballscrew shaft and tie-rod splines of the affected THSAs 
to determine the corrosion category. Depending on the corrosion 
category, additional actions include a ballscrew shaft integrity test 
and replacing the THSA with a new THSA if necessary. You may obtain 
further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket.

Relevant Service Information

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, including Appendix 
01, dated February 23, 2012; and Goodrich has issued Service Bulletin 
47145-27-16, dated November 7, 2011. 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 755 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that 
it would take about 4 work-hours per product to comply with the basic 
requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per 
work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed 
AD on U.S. operators to be $256,700, or $340 per product.
    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would 
take about 15 work-hours and require parts costing $2,203, for a cost 
of $3,478 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 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

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:

Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2013-0094; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-
160-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 12, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Airbus Model A318-111, -112, -121, and -
122 airplanes; Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, 
-132, and -133 airplanes; Airbus Model A320-111, -211, -212, -214, -
231, -232, and -233 airplanes; and Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -
131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes; certificated in any 
category.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight 
controls.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports that certain trimmable 
horizontal stabilizer actuators (THSA) were found with corrosion 
that affected the ballscrew lower splines between the tie-bar and 
screw-jack. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct corrosion 
in the ballscrew lower splines, which, if the ballscrew ruptured, 
could lead to transmission of THSA torque loads from the ballscrew 
to the tie-bar, prompting THSA blowback, and possible loss of 
control 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) Explanation of THSA First Flight

    For the purposes of this AD, the definition of THSA first flight 
is the THSA ``entry into service date,'' as identified in Goodrich 
Service Bulletin 47145-27-16, dated November 7, 2011. If the THSA 
part number (P/N) is not identified in Goodrich Service Bulletin 
47145-27-16, dated November 7, 2011, the THSA first flight is the 
manufacturing date engraved on the THSA identification plate.

[[Page 12990]]

(h) Repetitive Inspections

    At the later of the times in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of 
this AD: Do a detailed inspection of the gaps between the ballscrew 
shaft and tie-rod splines on any THSA having P/N 47145-XXX (where 
XXX stands for any numerical value) to determine if the corrosion 
category is Type I, Type II, or Type III, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, 
including Appendix 01, dated February 23, 2012; and the 
Accomplishment Instructions and the flowchart following the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Goodrich Service Bulletin 47145-27-
16, dated November 7, 2011. Repeat the inspection thereafter at 
intervals not to exceed 24 months.
    (1) Within 22 years accumulated by the THSA since the THSA's 
first flight, but no earlier than 20 years accumulated by the THSA 
since its first flight.
    (2) Within three months after the effective date of this AD.

(i) Ballscrew Integrity Test and Corrective Actions

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, 
it is determined that a THSA has Type II or Type III corrosion: 
Before further flight, do a ballscrew integrity test, in accordance 
with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin 
A320-27-1214, including Appendix 01, dated February 23, 2012; and 
the Accomplishment Instructions and the flowchart following the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Goodrich Service Bulletin 47145-27-
16, dated November 7, 2011. If Type I corrosion is found, no action 
is required by this paragraph.
    (1) For THSAs having Type II or Type III corrosion and for which 
the results of the ballscrew integrity test are not correct, as 
specified in Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, including 
Appendix 01, dated February 23, 2012: Before further flight, replace 
the affected THSA with a new THSA, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, 
including Appendix 01, dated February 23, 2012.
    (2) For THSAs having Type III corrosion and on which the results 
of the ballscrew integrity test are correct, as specified in Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320 27-1214, including Appendix 01, dated February 
23, 2012: Within 10 days after the most recent inspection, replace 
the THSA with a new THSA, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, including 
Appendix 01, dated February 23, 2012.
    (3) For THSAs having Type II corrosion and on which the results 
of the ballscrew integrity test are correct, as specified in Airbus 
Service Bulletin A320 27-1214, including Appendix 01, dated February 
23, 2012: Within 24 months or 5,000 flight cycles after the most 
recent inspection, whichever occurs first, replace the THSA with a 
new THSA, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of 
Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, including Appendix 01, dated 
February 23, 2012.

(j) Replacement of a THSA Is Not Terminating Action

    Replacement of a THSA, as required by paragraph (i) of this AD, 
does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive 
inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

(k) Reporting Requirement

    If any corrosion type is found during any inspection required by 
paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable time in paragraph (k)(1) 
or (k)(2) of this AD, report the findings to Airbus, Customer 
Services Engineering--SEEL5, Flight Control Systems A320 Family, 1 
Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; fax +33 5 
61 93 44 25. The report must include the information specified in 
Appendix 01 of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, dated February 
23, 2012.
    (1) If the inspection was done on or after the effective date of 
this AD: Within 90 days after that inspection.
    (2) If the inspection was done before the effective date of this 
AD: Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD.

(l) Parts Installation Limitations

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a 
THSA having P/N 47145-XXX (where XXX stands for any numerical 
value), on any airplane, unless that THSA meets the criteria 
specified in paragraphs (l)(1) and (l)(2) of this AD.
    (1) The THSA has not accumulated 20 years since the THSA's first 
flight, or the THSA has been inspected as required by paragraph (h) 
of this AD and it has been determined that the THSA had Type I 
corrosion (no corrosion) at the time of installation; and
    (2) The THSA is thereafter inspected as required by paragraph 
(h) of this AD, and any applicable actions specified in paragraph 
(i) of this AD are accomplished.

(m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
International Branch, ANM-116, 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: Sanjay 
Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-
3356; telephone (425) 227-1405; 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.

(n) Special Flight Permits

    Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 
21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 
and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the airplane 
can be modified (if the operator elects to do so), provided that, if 
any THSA corrosion is found during any action required by paragraph 
(h) of this AD, that corrosion is classified as Type I or Type II, 
as defined in Goodrich Service Bulletin 47145-27-16, dated November 
7, 2011.

(o) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information 
European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2012-0175, 
dated September 7, 2012, and the service information specified in 
paragraphs (o)(1)(i) and (o)(1)(ii) of this AD, for related 
information.
    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-27-1214, including Appendix 01, 
dated February 23, 2012.
    (ii) Goodrich Service Bulletin 47145-27-16, dated November 7, 
2011.
    (2) For Airbus service information identified in this AD, 
contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office--EAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice 
Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; 
fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; 
Internet http://www.airbus.com. For Goodrich service information 
identified in this AD, contact Goodrich Corporation, Actuation 
Systems, Stafford Road, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton WV10 7EH, England; 
telephone +44 (0) 1902 624938; fax +44 (0) 1902 788100; email 
techpubs.wolverhampton@goodrich.com; Internet http://www.goodrich.com/TechPubs. You may review copies of the referenced 
service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 
Lind Avenue SW.,

[[Page 12991]]

Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at 
the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 11, 2013.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-04339 Filed 2-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P