Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - May add 414A to 402C AD

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - May add 414A to 402C AD

[Federal Register: October 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 192)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 57392-57394]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr03oc03-28]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 2002-CE-57-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Cessna Aircraft Company Models 402C and
414A Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of
the comment period.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document proposes to revise an earlier proposed
airworthiness directive (AD) that would supersede Airworthiness
Directive (AD) 2000-23-01, which applies to all Cessna Aircraft Company
(Cessna) Model 402C airplanes. AD 2000-23-01 currently requires
repetitive inspections of the forward, aft, and auxiliary wing spars
for cracks, and repair or replacement as necessary. Cessna has
performed fatigue and crack growth analyses of the wings of these
airplanes, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has evaluated
this information and determined that a wing spar modification and
inspections are necessary on the Model 414A airplanes as well as the
Model 402C airplanes. The earlier NPRM would have required you to
inspect the wing spar caps for fatigue cracks with any necessary repair
or replacement and to incorporate a spar strap modification on each
wing spar. We received a request to reopen the comment period for this
action in order to allow more time to evaluate the impact of the
actions of the proposed AD. Therefore, we are reopening the comment
period to allow the public additional time to comment on the proposed
AD.

DATES: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive any
comments on this proposed rule on or before December 8, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to FAA, Central Region, Office of the
Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-CE-57-AD, 901
Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. You may view any
comments at this location between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also send comments electronically to the following address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Comments sent electronically must contain ``Docket No. 2002-CE-57-AD''
in the subject line. If you send comments electronically as attached
electronic files, the files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for
Windows or ASCII text.
    You may get service information that applies to this proposed AD
from the Cessna Aircraft Company, Product Support, P.O. Box 7706,
Wichita, Kansas 67277; telephone: (316) 517-5800; facsimile: (316) 942-
9006. You may also view this information at the Rules Docket at the
address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Nguyen, Aerospace Engineer, FAA,
Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Mid-Continent
Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4125; facsimile:
(316) 946-4107.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

How Do I Comment on This Proposed AD?

    The FAA invites comments on this proposed rule. You may submit
whatever written data, views, or arguments you choose. You need to
include the proposed rule's docket number and submit your comments to
the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. We will consider all
comments received on or before the closing date. We may amend this
proposed rule in light of comments received. Factual information that
supports your ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating
the effectiveness of this proposed AD action and determining whether we
need to take additional rulemaking action.

Are There Any Specific Portions of This Proposed AD I Should Pay
Attention to?

    The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory,
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed rule that
might suggest a need to modify the rule. You may view all comments we
receive before and after the closing date of the rule in the Rules
Docket. We will file a report in the Rules Docket that summarizes each
contact we have with the public that concerns the substantive parts of
this proposed AD.

How Can I Be Sure FAA Receives My Comment?

    If you want FAA to acknowledge the receipt of your mailed comments,
you must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard. On the postcard,
write ``Comments to Docket No. 2002-CE-57-AD.'' We will date stamp and
mail the postcard back to you.

Discussion

What Events Have Caused This Proposed AD?

    Reports of fatigue cracks on Cessna 401, 402, and 411 series
airplanes caused FAA to take AD action (AD 79-10-15 R2, Amendment 39-
3711) to require repetitive inspections of the right and left wing spar
lower cap areas for fatigue cracks and to require wing spar cap repair
or replacement as necessary.
    Cessna Models 402C and 414A airplanes incorporate a similar design
to those airplanes affected by AD 79-10-

[[Page 57393]]

15 R2. We issued AD 2000-23-01, Amendment 39-11971 (65 FR 70645,
November 27, 2000), to require repetitive inspections of the forward,
aft, and auxiliary wing spars for cracks on Cessna Models 402C
airplanes with repair or replacement as necessary.
    There is no similar AD action addressing the Model 414A airplanes.
    Since issuance of AD 79-10-15 and AD 2000-23-01, Cessna has
analyzed the wing, including fatigue and crack growth analyses, on the
affected airplanes. Analysis included:
    [sbull] A determination of the probable location and modes of
damage based on analytical results, available test data, and service
information;
    [sbull] Classical fatigue analyses;
    [sbull] Crack growth and residual strength analyses including use
of linear elastic fracture mechanics methods;
    [sbull] Full-scale ground testing to validate analytical models;
and
    [sbull] A flight strain survey to develop stress spectra used in
the analyses.
    The inspections required by AD 79-10-15 R2 in accordance with
Cessna Service Bulletin ME79-16, Revision 3, are accomplished using a
surface eddy current inspection method.
    Based on the analysis, Cessna has found that the eddy current
method will not find the crack until it is .03 inch longer than the
critical crack length. When the crack reaches the critical length, it
is not reliably detectable because it is under the head of the
fastener. Once the main spar cap is severed, the remaining structure
will no longer meet the residual strength requirements. Wing separation
could then occur under loading conditions significantly less than those
established for the design limit load.
    Cessna reported only one instance where cracks were detected using
the nondestructive inspection (NDI) eddy current procedure. There are
other reported instances where cracks were detected visually in the
wheel well area on the aft flange. The problem with visual inspections
is the access doubler flanges cover a large percentage of the forward
spar flange. This limits the effectiveness of the visual inspections.
    To meet industry NDI standards, cracks need to be found on Cessna
Models 402C and 414A airplanes through NDI inspection methods with a
90-percent probability of detection at a 95-percent confidence level.
    Cessna's analysis indicates that the probability and confidence
levels are not being met.

What Are the Consequences if the Condition Is Not Corrected?

    This condition, if not corrected could result in wing spar cap
failure due to undetected fatigue cracks. Such failure could result in
loss of a wing with consequent loss of airplane control.

Has FAA Taken Any Action to This Point?

    We issued a proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation
Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an AD that would apply to all
Cessna Models 402C and 414A airplanes. This proposal was published in
the Federal Register as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on May
15, 2003 (68 FR 26244). The NPRM proposed to require you to:
    [sbull] Inspect the wing spar caps for fatigue cracks;
    [sbull] Repair or replace the wing spar caps as necessary; and
    [sbull] Incorporate a spar strap modification on each wing spar.
    You would have to accomplish the proposed actions in accordance
with Cessna Service Bulletin MEB02-05 and Cessna Service Kit SK402-47,
both dated June 24, 2002.

Was the Public Invited To Comment?

    The FAA encouraged interested persons to participate in the making
of this amendment. During the comment period, we received requests to
extend the comment period. Consequently, we extended the comment period
from August 8, 2003, to September 8, 2003.
    We have received an additional comment to extend the comment period
an additional 6 months action in order to allow more time to evaluate
the impact of the actions of the proposed AD. We have evaluated this
request and determined the following:
    [sbull] An additional 60 days is a more appropriate time than 6
months; and
    [sbull] Instead of extending the comment period, we will need to
reopen the comment period because the comment period ending date has
passed.

The Supplemental NPRM

The FAA's Determination?

    We have determined that an additional 60 days (total of 150 days)
is a reasonable time period to allow the public to comment on the
proposed AD. Therefore, we are issuing a supplemental NPRM and
reopening the comment period to allow the public additional time to
comment.

How Does the Revision to 14 CFR Part 39 Affect This Proposed AD?

    On July 10, 2002, FAA published a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67
FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs FAA's AD system. This
regulation now includes material that relate to special flight permits,
alternative methods of compliance, and altered products. This material
previously was included in each individual AD. Since this material is
included in 14 CFR part 39, we will not include it in future AD
actions.

Cost Impact

How Many Airplanes Would This Proposed AD Impact?

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 656 airplanes in the U.S.
registry.

What Would Be the Cost Impact of This Proposed AD on Owners/Operators
of the Affected Airplanes?

    We estimate the following costs to accomplish the proposed
modification and initial inspection:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                            Total cost on U.S.
              Labor cost                      Parts cost        Total cost per airplane         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
485 workhours x $60 per hour =         $14,000 per airplane...  $29,100 + $14,000 =      $43,100 x 656 =
$29,100 per airplane.                                           $43,100 airplane.        $28,273,600.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above figures do not take into account the cost of repetitive
inspections. The FAA does not have any way of determining the number of
repetitive inspections each owner/operator would incur during the
operating life of the affected airplanes.

Regulatory Impact

Would This Proposed AD Impact Various Entities?

    The regulations proposed herein 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. Therefore, it
is determined that this proposed rule would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132.

[[Page 57394]]

Would This Proposed AD Involve a Significant Rule or Regulatory Action?

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed
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, under 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. FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD)
2000-23-01, Amendment 39-11971 (65 FR 70645, November 27, 2000), and by
adding a new AD to read as follows:

Cessna Aircraft Company: Docket No. 2002-CE-57-AD; Supersedes AD
2000-23-01, Amendment 39-11971.

    (a) What airplanes are affected by this AD? This AD affects
Models 402C and 414A airplanes, all serial numbers, that are
certificated in any category.
    (b) Who must comply with this AD? Anyone who wishes to operate
any of the airplanes identified in paragraph (a) of this AD must
comply with this AD.
    (c) What problem does this AD address? The actions specified by
this AD are intended to prevent wing spar cap failure due to
undetected fatigue cracks. Such failure could result in loss of a
wing with consequent loss of airplane control.
    (d) What actions must I accomplish to address this problem? To
address this problem, you must inspect the wing spar caps for
fatigue cracks and repair or replace the wing spar caps as necessary
and incorporate a spar strap modification on each wing spar in
accordance with Cessna Service Bulletin MEB02-5, dated June 24,
2002, and Cessna Service Kit SK402-47, dated June 24, 2002, as
follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Compliance times                   Affected  airplanes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Inspect and modify at whichever of   Cessna Models 402C and 414A
the following that occurs later and      airplanes, serial number
repair or replace as necessary prior     414A0001 through 414A0047 and
to further flight after the              414A0049 through 414A0200.
inspection, unless already
accomplished (no repetitive actions
necessary):
(i) Upon accumulating 8,500 hours time-
in-service (TIS) on a wing spar; or
(ii) Within the next 500 hours TIS
after the effective date of this AD or
12 months after the effective date of
this AD, whichever occurs first
(2) Inspect and modify at whichever of   Cessna Models 402C and 414A
the following that occurs first and      airplanes, serial numbers
repair or replace as necessary prior     414A0201 or through 414A1212.
to further flight after the
inspection, unless already
accomplished (no repetitive actions
necessary):
(i) Upon accumulating 14,500 hours TIS
on a wing spar;
(ii) Within the next 500 hours TIS
after the effective date of this AD or
12 months after the effective date of
this AD, whichever occurs first
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (e) Can I comply with this AD in any other way?
    (1) To use an alternative method of compliance or adjust the
compliance time, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Send these
requests to the Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office
(ACO). For information on any already approved alternative methods
of compliance, contact Paul Nguyen, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Wichita
Aircraft Certification Office, 1801 Airport Road, Mid-Continent
Airport, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: (316) 946-4125;
facsimile: (316) 946-4107.
    (2) Alternative methods of compliance approved in accordance
with AD 2000-23-01 and AD 99-11-13 are not approved as alternative
methods of compliance with this AD.
    (f) How do I get copies of the documents referenced in this AD?
You may get copies of the documents referenced in this AD from the
Cessna Aircraft Company, Product Support, P.O. Box 7706, Wichita,
Kansas 67277; telephone: (316) 517-5800; facsimile: (316) 942-9006.
You may view these documents at FAA, Central Region, Office of the
Regional Counsel, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.
    (g) Does this AD action affect any existing AD actions? This
amendment supersedes AD 2000-23-01, Amendment 39-11971.


    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 26, 2003.
Michael Gallagher,
Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 03-25088 Filed 10-2-03; 8:45 am]

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