[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 170 (Wednesday, September 2, 1998)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 46714-46716]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-23616]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 98-CE-72-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Burkhart GROB Luft-und Raumfahrt GmbH 
Model G 109B Gliders

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: This document proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive

[[Page 46715]]

(AD) that would apply to all Burkhart GROB Luft-und Raumfahrt GmbH 
(Grob) Model G 109B gliders. The proposed AD would require inspecting 
the engine mounting frame for paint scratches and damage (abrasions, 
notches, or chafing); and repairing any paint scratches, and repairing 
or replacing any engine mounting frame that is found damaged. The 
proposed AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness 
information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Germany. 
The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to detect and 
correct damage to the engine mounting frame, which could result in 
failure of the engine mount structure with consequent loss of the 
engine.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 6, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA), Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 
Attention: Rules Docket No. 98-CE-72-AD, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, 
Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Comments may be inspected at this location 
between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, holidays excepted.
    Service information that applies to the proposed AD may be obtained 
from Grob-Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Unternehmensbereich, Burkhart Grob 
Flugzeugbau, Flugplatz Mattsies, 86874 Tussenhausen, Germany. This 
information also may be examined at the Rules Docket at the address 
above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Mike Kiesov, Aerospace Engineer, 
FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 1201 Walnut, suite 900, Kansas City, 
Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 426-6932; facsimile: (816) 426-2169.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the 
proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as 
they may desire. Communications should identify the Rules Docket number 
and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All 
communications received on or before the closing date for comments, 
specified above, will be considered before taking action on the 
proposed rule. The proposals contained in this notice may be changed in 
light of the comments received.
    Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All 
comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing 
date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested 
persons. A report that summarizes each FAA-public contact concerned 
with the substance of this proposal will be filed in the Rules Docket.
    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments 
submitted in response to this notice must submit a self-addressed, 
stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ``Comments 
to Docket No. 98-CE-72-AD.'' The postcard will be date stamped and 
returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

    Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request 
to the FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: 
Rules Docket No. 98-CE-72-AD, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas 
City, Missouri 64106.

Discussion

    The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which is the airworthiness authority 
for Germany, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all 
Grob G 109B gliders. The LBA reports several incidents of paint 
scratches and damage (abrasions, notches, or chafing) on the above-
referenced gliders. This damage is parallel to tube #3 of the engine 
mounting frame. The steel spiral of the warm air duct that is running 
from the heat exchanger to the left-hand carburetor is rubbing on the 
engine mounting frame and causing this damage.
    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could result in 
failure of the engine mount structure with consequent loss of the 
engine.

Relevant Service Information

    Grob has issued Service Bulletin TM 817-45, dated July 27, 1995, 
which specifies procedures for inspecting the engine mounting frame for 
paint scratches and damage (abrasions, notches, or chafing). This 
service bulletin also specifies repairing paint scratches; and sending 
any engine mounting frame that is damaged to the manufacturer for 
repair.
    The LBA classified this service bulletin as mandatory and issued 
German AD 95-362 Grob, dated September 27, 1995, in order to assure the 
continued airworthiness of these gliders in Germany.

The FAA's Determination

    This glider model is manufactured in Germany and is type 
certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of 
section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and 
the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this 
bilateral airworthiness agreement, the LBA has kept the FAA informed of 
the situation described above.
    The FAA has examined the findings of the LBA; reviewed all 
available information, including the service information referenced 
above; and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this 
type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Explanation of the Provisions of the Proposed AD

    Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to 
exist or develop in other Grob G 109B gliders of the same type design 
registered in the United States, the FAA is proposing AD action. The 
proposed AD would require inspecting the engine mounting frame for 
paint scratches and damage (abrasions, notches, or chafing); and 
repairing any paint scratches, and repairing or replacing any engine 
mounting frame that is found damaged. Accomplishment of the proposed 
actions would be required in accordance with Grob Service Bulletin TM 
817-45, dated July 27, 1995.

Cost Impact

    The FAA estimates that 29 gliders in the U.S. registry would be 
affected by the proposed inspection, that it would take approximately 2 
workhours per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspection, and that 
the average labor rate is approximately $60 an hour. Based on these 
figures, the total cost impact of the proposed inspection on U.S. 
operators is estimated to be $3,480, or $120 per glider.
    If damage is found on the engine mounting frame that is beyond 
certain limits specified in the service information, the FAA estimates 
that it would take approximately 13 workhours per glider to accomplish 
the proposed repair or replacement, at an average labor rate of 
approximately $60 an hour. Parts cost $200 for repair and $750 for 
replacement. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the 
proposed repair, if necessary, is estimated to be $980 per glider. The 
total cost impact of the proposed replacement, if necessary, is 
estimated to be $1,530 per glider.

Compliance Time of This AD

    Although damage to the engine mounting frame occurs during flight, 
this unsafe condition is not a result of the number of times the glider 
is operated. The chance of this situation

[[Page 46716]]

occurring is the same for a glider with 10 hours time-in-service (TIS) 
as it would be for a glider with 500 hours TIS. For this reason, the 
FAA has determined that a compliance based on calendar time should be 
utilized in this proposed AD in order to assure that the unsafe 
condition is addressed on all gliders in a reasonable time period.

Regulatory Impact

    The regulations proposed herein would not have substantial direct 
effects 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. Therefore, in 
accordance with Executive Order 12612, it is determined that this 
proposal would not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant 
the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is 
not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866; 
(2) is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) if promulgated, 
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. A copy of the draft regulatory evaluation 
prepared for this action has been placed in the Rules Docket. A copy of 
it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location 
provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 
part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (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. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new airworthiness directive 
(AD) to read as follows:

Burkhart GROB Luft-und Raumfahrt GMBH: Docket No. 98-CE-72-AD.

    Applicability: Model G 109B gliders, all serial numbers, 
certificated in any category.

    Note 1: This AD applies to each glider identified in the 
preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been 
modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the 
requirements of this AD. For gliders that have been modified, 
altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of 
this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an 
alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (d) of 
this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of 
the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition 
addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been 
eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to 
address it.

    Compliance: Required as indicated in the body of this AD, unless 
already accomplished.
    To detect and correct damage to the engine mounting frame, which 
could result in failure of the engine mount structure with 
consequent loss of the engine, accomplish the following:
    (a) Within the next 3 calendar months after the effective date 
of this AD, inspect the engine mounting frame for paint scratches 
and damage (abrasions, notches, or chafing) in accordance with the 
Action section of Grob Service Bulletin TM 817-45, dated July 27, 
1995.
    (b) If a paint scratch(es) is found during the inspection 
required by paragraph (a) of this AD, prior to further flight, 
remove all flakes and dust from the area, degrease the tube and 
apply a protective anti-corrosion coat, and shorten the warm air 
duct or replace it if damaged. Accomplish the warm air duct 
modification or replacement in accordance with the maintenance 
manual.
    (c) If damage (abrasions, notches, or chafing) is found during 
the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, and the damage 
is 0.7 millimeters (mm) or less in depth as specified in paragraph 
3(b) of the Action section of Grob Service Bulletin TM 817-45, dated 
July 27, 1995, prior to further flight, degrease the tube and apply 
a protective anti-corrosion coat, and shorten the warm air duct or 
replace it if damaged. Accomplish the warm air duct modification or 
replacement in accordance with the maintenance manual. Within 6 
calendar months after the inspection required by paragraph (a) of 
this AD, accomplish one of the following:
    (1) Send the engine mounting frame to the manufacturer for 
repair at the address specified in paragraph (g) of this AD and 
accomplish the warm air duct modification or replacement specified 
in paragraph (b) of this AD. Do not operate the glider until the 
part is repaired, sent back, and re-installed on the glider; or
    (2) Replace the engine mounting frame with a new part of the 
same design, or an FAA-approved part that has been inspected in 
accordance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this AD and is 
found free of damage.
    (d) If damage (abrasions, notches, or chafing) is found during 
the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, and the damage 
is more than 0.7 mm in depth as specified in paragraph 3(c) of the 
Action section of Grob Service Bulletin TM 817-45, dated July 27, 
1995, prior to further flight, accomplish one of the following:
    (1) Send the engine mounting frame to the manufacturer for 
repair at the address specified in paragraph (g) of this AD and 
accomplish the warm air duct modification or replacement specified 
in paragraph (b) of this AD. Do not operate the glider until the 
part is repaired, sent back, and re-installed on the glider; or
    (2) Replace the engine mounting frame with a new part of the 
same design, or an FAA-approved part that has been inspected in 
accordance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this AD and is 
found free of damage. Accomplish the warm air duct modification or 
replacement specified in paragraph (b) of this AD
    (e) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with 
Secs. 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 
requirements of this AD can be accomplished.
    (f) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the 
compliance times that provides an equivalent level of safety may be 
approved by the Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, 1201 Walnut, 
suite 900, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. The request shall be 
forwarded through an appropriate FAA Maintenance Inspector, who may 
add comments and then send it to the Manager, Small Airplane 
Directorate.

    Note 2: Information concerning the existence of approved 
alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be 
obtained from the Small Airplane Directorate.

    (g) Questions or technical information related to Grob Service 
Bulletin TM 817-45, dated July 27, 1995, should be directed to Grob-
Werke GmbH & Co. KG, Unternehmensbereich, Burkhart Grob Flugzeugbau, 
Flugplatz Mattsies, 86874 Tussenhausen, Germany. This service 
information may be examined at the FAA, Central Region, Office of 
the Regional Counsel, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, 
Missouri 64106.

    Note 3: The subject of this AD is addressed in German AD 95-362 
Grob, dated September 27, 1995.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 27, 1998.
James E. Jackson,
Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 98-23616 Filed 9-1-98; 8:45 am]
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