Airworthiness Directives; British Aerospace Model BAe 146 and Model Avro 146-RJ Series Airplanes

Summary:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to all British Aerospace Model BAe 146 and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. This proposal would require repetitive non-destructive testing (NDT) inspections to detect cracking at the fuselage end of the inner sidestays of the main landing gear (MLG) by the anti-rotation pin, and replacement of the sidestay with a new sidestay, if necessary. This action is necessary to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the inner sidestays of the MLG, which could result in failure of the MLG. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

Table of Contents

Dates:

Comments must be received by November 29, 2000.

Addresses:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-253-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-253-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate. Comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

For further information contact:

Norman B. Martenson, Manager,International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2110; fax (425) 227-1149.

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 shall 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.

Submit comments using the following format:

• Organize comments issue-by-issue. For example, discuss a request to change the compliance time and a request to change the service bulletin reference as two separate issues.

• For each issue, state what specific change to the proposed AD is being requested.

• Include justification (e.g., reasons or data) for each request.

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 summarizing 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 Number 2000-NM-253-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, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-253-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on all British Aerospace Model BAe 146 and Model Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. The CAA advises that, during increased load fatigue testing, a crack has been found at the fuselage end on the inner sidestays of the main landing gear (MLG) by the anti-rotation pin. Such fatigue cracking, if not detected and corrected, could result in failure of the MLG.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The manufacturer has issued British Aerospace Service Bulletin SB.32-157, dated June 2, 2000. The British Aerospace service bulletin references Messier-Dowty Service Bulletin 146-32-148, including Appendix A, dated April 17, 2000, as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishment of repetitive non-destructive testing (NDT) inspections to detect cracking at the fuselage end of the inner sidestays of the MLG by the anti-rotation pin. The British Aerospace service bulletin recommends that cracked sidestays be replaced with new sidestays prior to further flight. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the Messier-Dowty service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

The CAA classified the British Aerospace service bulletin as mandatory and issued British airworthiness directive 001-06-2000 in order to assure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in the United Kingdom.

FAA's Conclusions

These airplane models are manufactured in the United Kingdom and are 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 CAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the CAA, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

Explanation of Requirements of Proposed Rule

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of the same type design registered in the United States, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the inspections specified in the Messier-Dowty service bulletin described previously. The proposed AD also would require replacement of any cracked sidestay with a new sidestay.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 60 Model BAe 146-100A, -200A, and -300A series airplanes, and Model Avro 146RJ70A, 146RJ85A, and 146-RJ100A series airplanes, of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD. It would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspection, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $3,600, or $60 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the proposed requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this AD were not adopted. The cost impact figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform the specific actions actually required by the AD. These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other administrative actions.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations proposed herein would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationshipbetween the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, it is determined that this proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that 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) 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 is contained 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.

§ 39.13

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

British Aerospace Regional Aircraft (Formerly British Aerospace Regional Aircraft Limited, Avro International Aerospace Division; British Aerospace, PLC; British Aerospace Commercial Aircraft Limited): Docket 2000-NM-253-AD.

Applicability: All Model BAe 146-100A, -200A, and -300A series airplanes, and all Model Avro 146-RJ70A, 146-RJ85A, and 146-RJ100A series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane 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 airplanes 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 detect and correct fatigue cracking of the inner sidestays of the main landing gear (MLG), which could result in failure of the MLG, accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Prior to the accumulation of 8,000 total flight cycles on the MLG sidestays, or within 500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Perform a non-destructive testing (NDT) inspection to detect cracking at the fuselage end of the inner sidestays of the MLG by the anti-rotation pin, in accordance with Messier-Dowty Service Bulletin 146-32-148, including Appendix A, dated April 17, 2000. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight cycles.

Replacement

(b) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, prior to further flight, replace the sidestay with a new sidestay in accordance with British Aerospace Service Bulletin SB.32-157, dated June 2, 2000.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(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, International Branch, ANM-116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the International Branch, ANM-116.

Special Flight Permits

(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 airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

Note 3:

The subject of this AD is addressed in British airworthiness directive 001-06-2000.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 24, 2000. Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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