Airworthiness Directives; Goodrich Evacuation Systems Approved Under Technical Standard Order (TSO) TSO-C69b and Installed on Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 Series Airplanes, Model A340-200 and -300 Series Airplanes, and Model A340-541 and -642 Airplanes

Summary:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Goodrich evacuation systems approved under TSO-C69b and installed on certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes. This AD requires inspecting to determine the part number of the pressure relief valves on the affected Goodrich evacuation systems, and corrective action if necessary. This AD results from a report indicating that, during maintenance testing, the pressure relief valves on the affected Goodrich evacuation systems did not seal when activated, which caused the pressure in the escape slide/raft to drop below the minimum allowable raft mode pressure. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of pressure in the escape slides/rafts after an emergency evacuation, which could result in inadequate buoyancy to support the raft's passenger capacity during ditching, and increase the chance for injury to raft passengers.

Table of Contents

Addresses:

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC.

Contact Goodrich, Aircraft Interior Products, ATTN: Technical Publications, 3414 South Fifth Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040, for service information identified in this AD.

For further information contact:

Tracy Ton, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety/Mechanical and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5352; fax (562) 627-5210.

Supplementary information:

Examining the Docket

You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section.

Discussion

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to Goodrich evacuation systems approved under TSO-C69b and installed on certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 7876). That NPRM proposed to require inspecting to determine the part number of the pressure relief valves on the affected Goodrich evacuation systems, and corrective action if necessary.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments received.

Request To Revise Goodrich Service Bulletin

Northwest Airlines (NWA) asks that, prior to AD release, the referenced Goodrich service bulletin be revised and issued. NWA states that the subject Goodrich evacuation systems are defined in the service bulletin. NWA adds that Table 3 of the service bulletin identifies part numbers (P/Ns) 7A1509-115 and -117 as affected parts, and Table 5 of the service bulletin identifies P/N 7A1509-121 and subsequent as parts that are not affected. NWA notified Goodrich that P/N 7A1509-119 is not included in either table, yet it is a valid part. Goodrich responded to NWA stating that P/N 7A1509-119 is not affected by the AD, and it agreed that the P/N was omitted from the tables in the service bulletin in error. Goodrich also stated that it intends to revise the referenced service bulletin to include in Table 5 that P/N 7A1509-119 and subsequent are not affected by the AD.

We acknowledge the request that, prior to the release of this AD, the referenced Goodrich service bulletin be revised and issued. We infer that NWA is asking that after Goodrich revises the referenced service bulletin we add that bulletin to this AD. We will consider this after the revision is issued. Since P/N 7A1509-119 is not listed as an affected part, there is no harm done due to its omission. To delay this AD would be inappropriate, since we have determined that an unsafe condition exists and that action must be taken to ensure continued safety. Once the service bulletin is reviewed and available, we may consider additional rulemaking. For clarification, we have removed the reference to P/Ns identified in the referenced Goodrich service bulletin from the applicability section of the AD.

Operators as Beta Testers/Parts Cost

Lufthansa Technik (LT) states that beta testing of parts for the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is often unsuccessful and should not be done. LT adds that these OEM practices have an influence on the entire industry, and the results are not always favorable. LT concludes that, in general, the cost of unsuccessful parts replacement should be paid by the OEM, not operators; therefore, all necessary parts should be free of charge.

We acknowledge the information provided by LT and offer some clarification. The beta testing process is only used when the OEM and the operator agree to install a new, experimental part designed to collect in-service data. The pressure relief valves identified in this AD are not beta-tested parts; they were produced and tested to meet an approved design. In addition, we have no control over whether or not an OEM charges for replacement parts. No change to the AD is necessary in this regard.

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the change described previously. This change will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

This AD affects about 27 airplanes of U.S. registry. The actions will take about1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the AD for U.S. operators is $1,755, or $65 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 have 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 that this AD:

(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) 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 AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

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

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

§ 39.13 2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

2006-12-08Airbus: Amendment 39-14633. Docket No. FAA-2006-23890; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-229-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective July 17, 2006.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Goodrich Evacuation Systems Approved Under Technical Standard Order (TSO) TSO-C69b, as installed on Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -301, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes; and Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes; certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report indicating that, during maintenance testing, the pressure relief valves of certain Goodrich evacuation systems did not seal when activated, which allowed the pressure in the slide/raft to drop below the minimum allowable raft mode pressure. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of pressure in the escape slides/rafts after an emergency evacuation, which could result in inadequate buoyancy to support the raft's passenger capacity during ditching, and increase the chance for injury to raft passengers.

Compliance

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

Inspection

(f) Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD: Perform an inspection to determine the part number (P/N) of the pressure relief valve on the Goodrich evacuation systems in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Goodrich Service Bulletin 25-355, dated July 25, 2005.

(1) If any pressure relief valve having P/N 4A3791-3 is installed, before further flight, replace the valve with a new or serviceable valve having P/N 4A3641-1 and mark the girt adjacent to the placard, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

(2) If any pressure release valve having P/N 4A3641-1 is installed, before further flight, mark the girt adjacent to the placard in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

Part Installation

(g) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a pressure relief valve having P/N 4A3791-3, on any airplane equipped with Goodrich evacuation systems identified in Goodrich Service Bulletin 25-355, dated July 25, 2005.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(h)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

(2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office.

Related Information

(i) None.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(j) You must use Goodrich Service Bulletin 25-355, dated July 25, 2005, to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this document in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact Goodrich, Aircraft Interior Products, ATTN: Technical Publications, 3414 South Fifth Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040, for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Room PL-401, Nassif Building, Washington, DC; on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 31, 2006. Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

References

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