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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2011-1062; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-038-AD]

RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: In 2003, a number of reports had been received concerning broken wires and corroded connectors in the SAAB 340 main landing gear (MLG) emergency release system. The investigation results showed that these were due to improper repairs and installations, not conforming to the approved type design.

This condition, if not corrected, could inhibit the functioning of the separation bolt, preventing proper release of the MLG during an emergency situation, possibly resulting in damage to aeroplane during landing and injury to the occupants.

The proposed AD would require actions that are intended to address the unsafe condition described in the MCAI.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 25, 2011.
ADDRESSES: *Federal eRulemaking Portal:Go tohttp://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 Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems, SE-581 88, Linkoping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; e-mailsaab2000.techsupport@saabgroup.com;Internethttp://www.saabgroup.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 athttp://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 theADDRESSESsection. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 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.
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 theADDRESSESsection. Include “Docket No. FAA-2011-1062; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-038-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, tohttp://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

On May 28, 2004, we issued AD 2004-12-03, Amendment 39-13662 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on the products listed above.

Since we issued AD 2004-12-03, Amendment 39-13662 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004), we have received reports that the previous modification does not fully meet the expected results; therefore, an improved separation bolt harness having part number (P/N) 7292520-691 has been designed to replace the current separation bolt harness having P/N 7292520-678. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2011-0003, dated January 17, 2011 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

In 2003, a number of reports had been received concerning broken wires and corroded connectors in the SAAB 340 main landing gear (MLG) emergency release system. The investigation results showed that these were due to improper repairs and installations, not conforming to the approved type design.

This condition, if not corrected, could inhibit the functioning of the separation bolt, preventing proper release of the MLG during an emergency situation, possibly resulting in damage to aeroplane during landing and injury to the occupants.

To address that unsafe condition, Swedish AD (SAD) 1-186 was issued to require an inspection and, depending on findings, corrective action, in accordance with SAAB Service Bulletin (SB) 340-32-127.

Subsequently, Saab introduced a modification to ensure correct functioning of the MLG emergency release system. Accomplishment of that modification (SAAB SB 340-32-128) was made mandatory by SAD 1-189 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2004-12-03 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004)].

Since that [SAD] AD was issued, service experience has shown that this modification does not fully meet the expected results.

Prompted by these findings, SAAB has developed an improved separation bolt harness with a new routing.

For the reasons described above, this AD requires replacement of the currentseparation bolt harness Part Number (P/N) 7292520-678 with the improved unit, P/N 7292520-691.

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

Relevant Service Information

Saab has issued Service Bulletin 340-32-139, Revision 01, dated November 1, 2010. 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.

Differences Between This AD and the MCAI or Service Information

We have reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. But we might have found it necessary to use different words from those in the MCAI to ensure the AD is clear for U.S. operators and is enforceable. In making these changes, we do not intend to differ substantively from the information provided in the MCAI and related service information.

We might also have proposed different actions in this AD from those in the MCAI in order to follow FAA policies. Any such differences are highlighted in a NOTE within the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

Based on the service information, we estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 111 products of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs For certain model— Action— Number of
  • affected
  • airplanes—
  • Work hours— Parts cost— Total cost—
    SAAB SF340A and SAAB 340B series airplanes (retained actions from existing AD 2004-12-03 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004) Inspection and modification of harnesses 111 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 $1,475 $168,280, or $1,985 per airplane. SAAB SF340A and SF340B series airplanes (new proposed action) Replace separation bolt harnesses 111 10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850 1,790 $96,140, or $2,640 per airplane.
    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); and

    3. 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.

    § 39.13 [Amended]

    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Amendment 39-13662 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004) and adding the following new AD:

    Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems:Docket No. FAA-2011-1062; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-038-AD. Comments Due Date

    (a) We must receive comments by November 25, 2011.

    Affected ADs

    (b) This AD supersedes AD 2004-12-03, Amendment 39-13662 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004).

    Applicability

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

    Subject

    (d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32: Landing gear.

    Reason

    (e) The mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) states:

    In 2003, a number of reports had been received concerning broken wires and corroded connectors in the SAAB 340 main landing gear (MLG) emergency release system. The investigation results showed that these were due to improper repairs and installations, not conforming to the approved type design.

    This condition, if not corrected, could inhibit the functioning of the separation bolt, preventing proper release of the MLG during an emergency situation, possibly resulting in damage to aeroplane during landing and injury to the occupants.

    Compliance

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

    Restatement of Requirements of AD 2004-12-03, Amendment 39-13662 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004), With Changes Inspection

    (g) Within 3 months after July 29, 2004 (the effective date of AD 2004-12-03, Amendment 39-13662 (69 FR 35235, June 24, 2004)), perform an inspection of the MLG's separation bolt harness for broken wires and corroded connectors, and any applicable corrective actions by doing all of the actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-127, dated December 18, 2002; or Revision 01, dated January 23, 2003. Perform the inspection/corrective actions in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-127, dated December 18, 2002; or Revision 01, dated January 23, 2003. Perform any applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    Concurrent Service Bulletins

    (h) For Model SAAB SF340A series airplanes: Within 12 months after July 29, 2004, do the actions specified in table 1 of this AD, as applicable.

    Table 1—Prior/Concurrent Actions For airplanes with serial Nos.— Accomplish all actions associated with— According to the accomplishment instructions of— 004 through 108 inclusive Modifying the MLG separation bolt's electrical harness Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-041, Revision 01, dated October 9, 1987. 004 through 078 inclusive Modifying the MLG separation bolt's electrical harness Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-028, Revision 01, dated November 25, 1986. New Requirements of This AD

    (i) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace the separation bolt harnesses having part number (P/N) 7292520-678 with separation bolt harnesses having P/N 7292520-691, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-139, Revision 01, dated November 1, 2010.

    Parts Installation

    (j) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a separation bolt harness having P/N 7292520-678, on any airplane.

    Credit for Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service Information

    (k) Actions done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-139, dated January 12, 2010, are acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (i) of this AD.

    FAA AD Differences Note 1:

    This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: Although the MCAI states not to install a separation bolt having P/N 7292520-678 on any airplane after modification of the airplane, this AD states not to install a separation bolt having P/N 7292520-678 on any airplane as of the effective date of this AD.

    Other FAA AD Provisions

    (l) 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: 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 e-mailed 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.

    Related Information

    (m) Refer to MCAI EASA Airworthiness Directive 2011-0003, dated January 17, 2011; and the service information specified in paragraphs (m)(1) through (m)(5) of this AD, as applicable; for related information.

    (1) Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-139, Revision 01, dated November 1, 2010.

    (2) Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-127, dated December 18, 2002.

    (3) Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-127, Revision 01, dated January 23, 2003.

    (4) Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-041, Revision 01, dated October 9, 1987.

    (5) Saab Service Bulletin 340-32-028, Revision 01, dated November 25, 1986.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 28, 2011. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.