[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 13, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 6118-6120]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-02749]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0952; Product Identifier 2017-CE-028-AD; Amendment 
39-19189; AD 2018-03-16]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Stemme AG Gliders

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-10-11 for 
Stemme AG Model Stemme S10-VT gliders (type certificate previously held 
by Stemme GmbH & Co. KG). This AD results from mandatory continuing 
airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of 
another country to identify and address an unsafe condition on an 
aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as certain 
propeller front transmission gear wheels having insufficient material 
strength because of improper heat treatment during manufacturing. We 
are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition 
on these products and to add Stemme AG Model Stemme S 12 gliders to the 
Applicability section.

DATES: This AD is effective March 20, 2018.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of March 20, 
2018.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-
0952; or in person at Docket Operations, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
    For service information identified in this AD, contact STEMME AG, 
Flugplatzstrasse F2, Nr. 6-7, D-15344 Strausberg, Germany; telephone: 
+49 (0) 3341 3612-0, fax: +49 (0) 3341 3612-30; internet: https://www.stemme.com. You may view this referenced service information at the 
FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 
64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, 
call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2017-0952.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, 
FAA, Small Airplane Standards Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas 
City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: (816) 329-4090; 
email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Stemme AG Model Stemme 
S10-VT gliders (type certificate previously held by Stemme GmbH & Co. 
KG) and all Stemme AG Model Stemme S 12 gliders equipped with a certain 
front gearbox, part number 11AG. That NPRM was published in the Federal 
Register on October 10, 2017 (82 FR 46938), and proposed to supersede 
AD 2017-10-11, Amendment 39-18885 (82 FR 24239, May 26, 2017) (``AD 
2017-10-11'').
    Since we issued AD 2017-10-11, we have type certificated Stemme AG 
Model Stemme S 12 gliders in the United States and have determined 
those model gliders should also be included in the applicability of AD 
2017-10-11. In addition, Stemme AG has issued new service information 
with procedures for addressing the unsafe condition.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. The following presents the comment received on the proposal 
and the FAA's response to the comment.

Request for Manufacturer To Be Responsible for All Associated Cost

    Taylor Ray stated that the manufacturer should be responsible for 
replacing the front gearbox on the affected gliders at no cost to the 
owners/operators. We infer that the commenter is referring to the cost 
for both parts and labor.
    Taylor Ray stated that since the unsafe condition resulted from the 
manufacturing process, the manufacturer should be responsible for 
fixing the unsafe condition.
    We neither agree nor disagree since the FAA does not get involved 
in who pays for the cost of mitigating an unsafe condition. The primary 
concern the FAA has when issuing an AD is addressing unsafe conditions 
on various aircraft flying in the United States. While we provide 
information related to the estimated labor and parts cost associated 
with each AD, we do not control warranty coverage for owner/operators 
of the affected aircraft nor can

[[Page 6119]]

we mandate the manufacturer to cover all associated costs. We have 
contacted Stemme AG about this issue. The following is the response we 
received: ``All costs will be paid by Stemme AG (parts + work) for 
customers who are affected within the one-year warranty. Customers who 
are out of the one-year warranty will receive parts for free, but 
unfortunately, they have to pay for the necessary work (approx. 10 
working hours).'' Based on this response from Stemme AG, we revised the 
Cost of Compliance section in this AD. We changed the number of 
estimated work-hours per product to replace the front gearbox from 19 
to 10, updated the total cost on U.S. operators and cost per product 
based on this change, and added standard warranty information.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and 
determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
this AD as proposed except for changes stated above. We have determined 
that these changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Stemme AG has issued STEMME Service Bulletin Dok. Nr.: P062-980010, 
Issue: 01, dated June 14, 2017, and STEMME Procedural Specification 
Dok. Nr.: P320-900060, dated June 14, 2017. In combination, the service 
information describes procedures for replacing the front gearbox. This 
service information is reasonably available because the interested 
parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by 
the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this AD.

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

    The service information for this AD allows the owner/operator to do 
certain maintenance tasks. Also, the service information specifies 
certain maintenance tasks be done by Stemme AG. However, for this AD, 
we do not allow the owner/operator to do any maintenance tasks; all 
maintenance tasks must be done by an appropriately certified mechanic 
or maintenance shop. In addition, we do not require any maintenance 
tasks be done specifically by Stemme AG; any appropriately certified 
mechanic or maintenance shop may do the tasks required by this AD.

Costs of Compliance

    According to the U.S. registry, we have a total of 51 of both 
glider types registered, but there are still only 14 serial numbers of 
the part number 11AG front gearbox. Therefore, the most gliders that 
will be affected remains 14. According to Stemme AG, there are a total 
of 4 of the affected front gearboxes on both glider types of U.S. 
registry (2 for each model).
    It will take an estimated 10 work-hours per product to comply with 
the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per 
work-hour. Required parts will cost about $2,000 per product.
    Based on these figures, if we consider the costs for all 14 
affected gearboxes, then we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. 
operators to be $39,990, or $2,850 per product.
    According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this AD may be 
covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected 
individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected 
individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost 
estimate.

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.
    This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the 
Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by 
FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is 
normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but 
during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the 
authority to issue ADs applicable to small airplanes, gliders, 
balloons, airships, domestic business jet transport airplanes, and 
associated appliances to the Director of the Policy and Innovation 
Division.

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 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.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-
0952; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains 
the NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other 
information. The street address for Docket Operations (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 removing Amendment 39-18885 (82 FR 
24239, May 26, 2017), and adding the following new AD:


[[Page 6120]]


2018-03-16 Stemme AG: Amendment 39-19189; Docket No. FAA-2017-0952; 
Product Identifier 2017-CE-028-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This airworthiness directive (AD) becomes effective March 20, 
2018.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2017-10-11, Amendment 39-18885 (82 FR 24239, 
May 26, 2017) (``AD 2017-10-11'').

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Stemme AG Model Stemme S10-VT gliders (type 
certificate previously held by Stemme GmbH & Co. KG), all serial 
numbers, and Stemme AG Model Stemme S 12 gliders, all serial 
numbers, that are:
    (1) Equipped with a front gearbox, part number (P/N) 11AG, with 
a serial number listed in table 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD; and
    (2) are certificated in any category.

                   Table 1 to Paragraph (c) of This AD--Affected P/N 11AG (Front Gearbox) S/Ns
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       80058/0814             80059/0915             80060/0915             80061/1115             80062/1215
       80063/0116             80064/0416             80065/0616             80066/0716             80067/0916
       80068/1016             80069/0117             80070/0217             80071/0217      ....................
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    Note 1 to paragraph (c) of this AD: Page 2 of Stemme AG Service 
Bulletin No. P062-980010, dated April 21, 2017, provides a pictorial 
of where the serial number of the affected gearboxes are located.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 61: Propellers/
Propulsors.

(e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness 
information (MCAI) issued by the aviation authority of another 
country to identify and address an unsafe condition on an aviation 
product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as certain 
propeller front transmission gear wheels having insufficient 
material strength because of improper heat treatment during 
manufacturing. We are issuing this AD to add a model glider to the 
Applicability, paragraph (c) of this AD, and to prevent failure of 
the propeller front transmission gear wheels. This failure could 
cause loss of power between the engine and the propeller, which 
could result in reduced control.

(f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the following actions:
    (1) For Model Stemme S10-VT gliders: Before further flight after 
June 15, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017-10-11), replace the 
front gearbox following STEMME Procedural Specification Dok. Nr.: 
P320-900060, as specified in STEMME Service Bulletin Dok. Nr.: P062-
980010, Issue: 01, both dated June 14, 2017.
    (2) For Model Stemme S 12 gliders: Before further flight after 
March 20, 2018 (the effective date of this AD), replace the front 
gearbox following STEMME Procedural Specification Dok. Nr.: P320-
900060, as specified in STEMME Service Bulletin Dok. Nr.: P062-
980010, Issue: 01, both dated June 14, 2017.
    (3) As of March 20, 2018 (the effective date of this AD), do not 
install a front gear box listed in table 1 of paragraph (c) of this 
AD.
    (4) The service information for this AD allows the owner/
operator to do certain maintenance tasks. Also, the service 
information specifies certain maintenance tasks be done by Stemme 
AG. However, for this AD, we do not allow the owner/operator to do 
any maintenance tasks; all maintenance tasks must be done by an 
appropriately certified mechanic or maintenance shop. In addition, 
we do not require any maintenance tasks be done specifically by 
Stemme AG; any appropriately certified mechanic or maintenance shop 
may do the tasks required by this AD.

(g) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:
    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, 
Small Airplane Standards Branch, 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: Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, 
FAA, Small Airplane Standards Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas 
City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4165; fax: (816) 329-
4090; email: [email protected].
    (i) 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.
    (ii) AMOCs approved for AD 2017-10-11, Amendment 39-18885 (82 FR 
24239, May 26, 2017) are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding 
provisions of this AD.
    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD 
to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be 
accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, Small Airplane 
Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency 
(EASA).

(h) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 
2017-0072-E, dated April 26, 2017, and Stemme AG Service Bulletin 
No. P062-980010, dated April 21, 2017, for related information. You 
may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov 
by searching for and locating Docket No. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2017-0952-0002.

(i) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless this AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) STEMME Service Bulletin Dok. Nr.: P062-980010, Issue: 01, 
dated June 14, 2017.
    (ii) STEMME Procedural Specification Dok. Nr.: P320-900060, 
dated June 14, 2017.
    (3) For Stemme AG service information identified in this AD, 
contact STEMME AG, Flugplatzstrasse F2, Nr. 6-7, D-15344 Strausberg, 
Germany; telephone: +49 (0) 3341 3612-0, fax: +49 (0) 3341 3612-30; 
internet: https://www.stemme.com.
    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Policy and 
Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
816-329-4148. In addition, you can access this service information 
on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and 
locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0639.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 5, 2018.
Melvin J. Johnson,
Deputy Director, Policy & Innovation Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-02749 Filed 2-12-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P