Airworthiness Directives; Hamilton Standard 54H60 Series Propellers

Summary

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to Hamilton Standard 54H60 series propellers. This action requires removing from service affected propeller blades, and returning those blades to the manufacturer or an approved facility for inspection, rework, and return to service. This amendment is prompted by reports of a propeller blade manufacturing defect. The actions specified in this AD are intended to prevent propeller blade fracture due to the manufacturing defect, which could result in propeller blade separation and loss of control of the aircraft.

Full text

SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that 
is applicable to Hamilton Standard 54H60 series propellers. This action 
requires removing from service affected propeller blades, and returning 
those blades to the manufacturer or an approved facility for 
inspection, rework, and return to service. This amendment is prompted 
by reports of a propeller blade manufacturing defect. The actions 
specified in this AD are intended to prevent propeller blade fracture 
due to the manufacturing defect, which could result in propeller blade 
separation and loss of control of the aircraft.

DATES: Effective July 14, 1997.
    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in 
the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as 
of July 14, 1997.
    Comments for inclusion in the rules docket must be received on or 
before August 26, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA), New England Region, Office of the Assistant Chief 
Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 97-ANE-24-AD, 12 New England 
Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299. Comments may also be sent 
via the Internet using the following address: ``9-ad-
engineprop@faa.dot.gov''. Comments sent via the Internet must contain 
the docket number in the subject line.
    The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from 
Hamilton Standard, Attn: Publications Mail Stop 6-B12, One Hamilton 
Rd., Windsor Locks, CT 06096-1010; telephone (860) 654-6876, fax (860) 
654-6906. This information may be examined at the FAA, New England 
Region, Office of the Assistant Chief Counsel, 12 New England Executive 
Park, Burlington, MA; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 
North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Walsh, Aerospace Engineer, 
Boston Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller 
Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299; 
telephone (617) 238-7158, fax (617) 238-7199.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 
has received reports of a propeller blade fracture and subsequent blade 
departure on a Hamilton Standard Model 54H60-111 propeller installed on 
a military Lockheed Martin KC-130 aircraft. Propellers with the same or 
similar design are installed on many civil aircraft. The crack 
initiated in the beveled radius of the blade root. The investigation 
revealed that the propeller blades were manufactured during the fourth 
quarter of 1983 when a possible random deficiency cold rolling 
intensity occurred. Further investigation revealed that this 
manufacturing defect may exist for a larger propeller blade population 
than those propellers originally inspected in accordance with Hamilton 
Standard Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 54H60-61-A125, dated May 23, 
1990. This condition, if not corrected, could result in propeller blade 
fracture due to the manufacturing defect, which could result in 
propeller blade separation and loss of control of the aircraft.
    The FAA has reviewed and approved the technical contents of 
Hamilton Standard Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 54H60-61-A133, 
Revision 1, dated May 29, 1997, that lists serial numbers of affected 
propeller blades, and describes procedures for removing from service 
affected propeller blades, and returning those blades to the 
manufacturer or an approved repair facility for return to service. The 
FAA is concerned with the structural integrity of certain propeller 
blades in the suspect population, identified in that SB, with propeller 
repair records indicating that the beveled radius was recut and cold 
rolled at a repair facility as the result of repair of the beveled 
radius area of the blade root. The recutting and cold rolling repair 
procedure may mask damage and permit the blade to be acceptable with 
the inspection method specified in this AD. These propeller blades must 
be retained at the repair facility and further inspected by a more extensive 
inspection procedure now under development. These propeller blades may 
only be returned to service when this more extensive inspection 
procedure and subsequent repair is approved by the FAA.
    Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to 
exist or develop on other propellers of the same type design, this AD 
is being issued to prevent propeller blade fracture. This AD requires 
removing from service affected propeller blades, and returning those 
blades to the manufacturer or an approved facility for inspection, 
rework, and return to service. The actions are required to be 
accomplished in accordance with the ASB described previously.
    Since a situation exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this regulation, it is found that notice and opportunity for prior 
public comment hereon are impracticable, and that good cause exists for 
making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

    Although this action is in the form of a final rule that involves 
requirements affecting flight safety and, thus, was not preceded by 
notice and an opportunity for public comment, comments are invited on 
this rule. Interested persons are invited to comment on this 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 under the caption ADDRESSES. All 
communications received on or before the closing date for comments will 
be considered, and this rule may be amended in light of the comments 
received. Factual information that supports the commenter's ideas and 
suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the 
AD action and determining whether additional rulemaking action would be 
needed.
    Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the rule that might 
suggest a need to modify the 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 
AD 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 Number 97-ANE-24-AD.'' The postcard will be date stamped and 
returned to the commenter.
    The regulations adopted herein will 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 final 
rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the 
preparation of a Federalism Assessment.
    The FAA has determined that this regulation is an emergency 
regulation that must be issued immediately to correct an unsafe 
condition in aircraft, and is not a ``significant regulatory action'' 
under Executive Order 12866.
    It has been determined further that this action involves an 
emergency regulation under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 
FR 11034, February 26, 1979). If it is determined that this emergency 
regulation otherwise would be significant under DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures, a final regulatory evaluation will be prepared and 
placed in the rules docket. A copy of it, if filed, may be obtained 
from the rules docket at the location provided under the caption 
ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 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 the following new 
airworthiness directive:

97-13-07  Hamilton Standard: Amendment 39-10054. Docket 97-ANE-24-
AD.

    Applicability: Hamilton Standard Models 54H60-77, -91, -111, -
117, -123, and -125 propellers, with serial numbers listed in 
Hamilton Standard Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) No. 54H60-61-A133, 
Revision 1, dated May 29, 1997. These propellers are installed on 
but not limited to Lockheed Martin C-130, C-130A, 382 series, L-100 
series, L-188 series; Aero Space Lines Model 3775GT, and Lockheed 
Martin (Convair) CV580 series aircraft.

    Note 1: This airworthiness directive (AD) applies to each 
propeller 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 propellers 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 (c) 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, unless accomplished 
previously.
    To prevent propeller blade fracture due to a manufacturing 
defect, which could result in propeller blade separation and loss of 
control of the aircraft, accomplish the following:
    (a) Within 50 hours time in service after the effective date of 
this AD, remove from service affected propeller blades, and return 
those blades to the manufacturer or an approved facility for 
inspection, rework, and return to service, in accordance with 
Hamilton Standard ASB No. 54H60-61-A133, Revision 1, dated May 29, 
1997.
    (b) Those propeller blades that had the beveled radius recut and 
cold rolled at an FAA approved repair facility in accordance with 
the reference maintenance documents and cannot be returned to 
service at this time. Inspection and repair procedures are currently 
under development.
    (c) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the 
compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be 
used if approved by the Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification 
Office. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate 
FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then 
send it to the Manager, Boston Aircraft Certification Office.

    Note 2: Information concerning the existence of approved 
alternative methods of compliance with this airworthiness directive, 
if any, may be obtained from the Boston Aircraft Certification 
Office.

    (d) 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 aircraft to a location where 
the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.
    (e) The actions required by this AD shall be done in accordance 
with the following Hamilton Standard ASB: ------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Document No.            Pages   Revision           Date        
------------------------------------------------------------------------
54H60-61-A133.................      1-9         1  May 29, 1997.        
    Total Pages: 9.                                                     
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the 
Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 
51. Copies may be obtained from Hamilton Standard, Attn: 
Publications Mail Stop 6-B12, One Hamilton Rd., Windsor Locks, CT 
06096-1010; telephone (860) 654-6876, fax (860) 654-6906. Copies may 
be inspected at the FAA, New England Region, Office of the Assistant 
Chief Counsel, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA; or at 
the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., 
suite 700, Washington, DC.
    (f) This amendment becomes effective on July 28, 1997.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on June 13, 1997.
Jay J. Pardee,
Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 97-16281 Filed 6-26-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-U  

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