AVIATION / FAA “Airworthiness Directives” to correct “unsafe conditions” in aircraft and engines – Airbus airplanes, BAE Systems airplanes, Bell helicopters, Boeing airplanes, Bombardier, Inc. airplanes, EADS CASA airplanes, Eurocopter helicopters, Piper Aircraft, Inc. airplanes, Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan engines, and Turbomeca S.A. Turboshaft engines.

The FAA has issued various final or proposed “airworthiness directives” (“AD’s”) for specified models of aircraft and engines. 

Who is affected? Any party who operates or holds a property interest (owner, lessee, or security party) in the specified aircraft or engines.

What is an AD? Per 14 CFR § 39.1 the FAA issues an AD where: (a) “An unsafe condition exists in a product [aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance]; and (b) “that condition is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design”. “No person may operate a product to which an [AD] applies except in accordance with the requirements of that [AD].” 14 CFR § 39.3.

All Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. 

February 1, 2013, Final rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter series airplanes; Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of a manufacturing defect in certain rods installed in the belly fairing, which could lead to cracks at the crimped end of the rod. This AD requires an inspection of the rods to determine the manufacturer; and for affected parts, an inspection for any cracking of the rods, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the rods, which could result in rupture of rods that attach the belly fairing to the airframe, leading to separation of the belly fairing from the airframe, and consequent damage to airplane structure and airplane systems.

All Airbus Model A310-203 airplanes. 

February 1, 2013, Final rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This AD requires, for certain airplanes, installing two warning level indicator lights on each of the P1-3 and P3-1 instrument panels in the flight compartment. This AD also requires, for certain airplanes, replacing the existing P5-16 and P5-10 panels; and, for certain airplanes, replacing the basic P5-16 panel with a high altitude landing P5-16 panel. Additionally, this AD requires revising the airplane flight manual to remove certain requirements of previous AD actions, and to advise the flightcrew of certain changes. This AD was prompted by a design change in the cabin altitude warning system that would address the identified unsafe condition. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the flightcrew to recognize and react to a valid cabin altitude warning horn, which could result in incapacitation of the flightcrew due to hypoxia (a lack of oxygen in the body), and consequent loss of control of the airplane. 

All BAE SYSTEMS (OPERATIONS) LIMITED Model BAe 146, and Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. 

February 1, 2013, Final rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all BAE SYSTEMS (OPERATIONS) LIMITED Model BAe 146, and Avro 146-RJ series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of loss of the end caps on the anti-icing piccolo tube of the wing leading edge. This AD requires a detailed inspection of the end caps on the anti-icing piccolo tube for lost or loose end caps, and replacing or repairing the end caps if necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct lost and loose end caps on the anti-icing piccolo tube, and ice accretion on the wing leading edge or run-back ice, which could lead to a reduction in the stall margin on approach and loss of controllability of the airplane.

Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) Model 407 helicopters with certain tailboom assemblies installed. 

February 1, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Canada (BHTC) Model 407 helicopters with certain tailboom assemblies installed. This proposed AD would require, at specified intervals, inspecting the tailboom assembly for a crack, loose rivet, or other damage. This proposed AD is prompted by a stress analysis of the tailboom skin that revealed high-stress-concentration areas are susceptible to skin cracking. This condition, if not detected, could result in a crack in the tailboom assembly, failure of the tailboom, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell), Model 412 and 412EP helicopters. 

February 4, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell), Model 412 and 412EP helicopters. This AD requires creating a component history card or equivalent record and begin counting and recording the number of accumulated landings for each high aft crosstube assembly (crosstube). Also, this AD requires installing “caution” decals regarding towing of a helicopter at or above 8,900 pounds. This AD also requires confirming the crosstube is within the horizontal deflection limits and replacing it if it is not. This AD also requires a recurring fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) of each crosstube and upper center support for a crack, any corrosion, nick, scratch, dent, or any other damage. This AD requires repairing damaged crosstubes and upper center supports that are within acceptable limits, reworking crosstubes by bonding on abrasion strips, and replacing each unairworthy crosstube with an airworthy crosstube. This AD was prompted by analysis of the crosstubes conducted as a result of recent field failures and corrosion problems of the affected crosstubes. The actions are intended to prevent failure of a crosstube, collapse of the landing gear, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. 

January 30, 2013, Final rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This AD requires, for certain airplanes, installing two warning level indicator lights on each of the P1-3 and P3-1 instrument panels in the flight compartment. This AD also requires, for certain airplanes, replacing the existing P5-16 and P5-10 panels; and, for certain airplanes, replacing the basic P5-16 panel with a high altitude landing P5-16 panel. Additionally, this AD requires revising the airplane flight manual to remove certain requirements of previous AD actions, and to advise the flightcrew of certain changes. This AD was prompted by a design change in the cabin altitude warning system that would address the identified unsafe condition. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the flightcrew to recognize and react to a valid cabin altitude warning horn, which could result in incapacitation of the flightcrew due to hypoxia (a lack of oxygen in the body), and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

Certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. 

January 30, 2013, Final rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports from the manufacturer that center overhead stowage (COS) boxes could fall from their supports under forward load levels less than the 9 g forward load requirements as defined by certain regulations. This AD requires modifying COS boxes by installing new brackets, stiffeners, and hardware as needed. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent detachment of COS boxes at forward load levels less than 9 g during an emergency landing, which would cause injury to passengers and/or crew, and could impede subsequent rapid evacuation.

All The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. 

January 30, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to revise an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. The existing AD currently requires revising the maintenance program by incorporating new and revised fuel tank system limitations in the Airworthiness Limitations (AWLs) section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness; and requires the initial inspection of certain repetitive AWL inspections to phase-in those inspections, and repair if necessary. Since the FAA issued that AD, the FAA has found errors in paragraph references in the existing AD. This proposed AD would revise those paragraph references to refer to the correct paragraphs. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent the potential for ignition sources inside fuel tanks caused by latent failures, alterations, repairs, or maintenance actions, which in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.

Certain The Boeing Company Model 767 airplanes. 

January 30, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 767 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracks and heat damage on pivot joint components found during main landing gear (MLG) overhaul. For certain airplanes, this proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the MLG pivots, truck beam bushings, and inner cylinder bushings. For all airplanes, this proposed AD would require a maintenance program revision, one-time inspections of the MLG truck beam, and related investigative and corrective actions (including configuration changes) if necessary; accomplishment of these actions would terminate the repetitive inspections. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct heat damage and cracks in the pivot pin, truck beam lugs, and inner cylinder lugs, which could result in fracture of the pivot joint components and consequent MLG collapse.

All The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. 

January 30, 2013, Supplemental Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking; Reopening Of Comment Period.

 

 

 

The FAA is revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. That NPRM proposed to require repetitive operational tests of the engine fuel suction feed of the fuel system, and other related testing if necessary. That NPRM was prompted by reports of two in-service occurrences on Model 737-400 airplanes of total loss of boost pump pressure of the fuel feed system, followed by loss of fuel system suction feed capability on one engine, and in-flight shutdown of the engine. This action revises that NPRM by proposing to require repetitive operational tests, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is proposing this supplemental NPRM to detect and correct loss of the engine fuel suction feed capability of the fuel system, which, in the event of total loss of the fuel boost pumps, could result in dual engine flameout, inability to restart the engines, and consequent forced landing of the airplane. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the previous NPRM, the FAA is reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. 

February 4, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that the safe life limit and inspection requirements for the horizontal stabilizer trim actuator (HSTA) attachment pins and trunnions were not listed in the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the maintenance program. This AD requires inspecting the trunnions and upper and lower pins for gouges, scratches, and corrosion, and replacing the trunnions if necessary; and adding serial numbers and new part numbers to certain trunnions, and upper and lower pins. This AD also requires revising the maintenance program to incorporate the information specified in certain temporary revisions of the limitations section. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking, gouges, scratches, and corrosion of the HSTA attachment pins and trunnions, which could result in failure of these pins and trunnions and consequent disconnection of the horizontal stabilizer and subsequent loss of controllability of the airplane. 

All EADS CASA (Type Certificate previously held by Construcciones Aeronáuticas, S.A.) Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes. 

February 1, 2013, Final rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all EADS CASA (Type Certificate previously held by Construcciones Aeronáuticas, S.A.) Model CN-235, CN-235-100, CN-235-200, and CN-235-300 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of incorrect electrical polarity connections on engine fire extinguishing discharge cartridges. This AD requires a one-time inspection to identify the correct polarity for each pair of electrical connectors on each engine fire extinguisher cartridge, and repair if necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct incorrect polarity connections, which could prevent the actuation of the discharge cartridge in case of automatic fire detection or manual initiation during a potential engine fire, and could result in damage to the airplane and injury to passengers. 

Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (Eurocopter) Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters.   

February 1, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (Eurocopter) Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. This proposed AD would require changing the direction of the bolt connecting the upper clevis bolt of a specific bellcrank in the main rotor assembly, repetitively inspecting the bearings in the bellcrank assemblies for correct staking, and replacing a bellcrank if a bearing is staked incorrectly. This proposed AD is prompted by improperly staked bellcrank bearings, which may cause the bellcrank to shift in the axial direction and cause chafing. The proposed actions are intended to prevent contact between the bolts on certain main rotor bellcranks, which could result in chafing and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model AS350B3 and EC130B4 helicopters.

February 4, 2013, Final Rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model AS350B3 and EC130B4 helicopters. This AD requires revising the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) to reduce the starter generator operating current to 180 amperes (amps) and installing a placard in the instrument panel indicating the revised limitation. This AD was prompted by the determination that the manufacturer-installed Aircraft Parts Corporation (APC) starter generator has exceeded the shaft horse power extractions allowed for Turbomeca engines. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent the engine surge margin being reduced, which can result in engine failure.

Certain CFM International, S. A. (CFM) model CFM56-5 and CFM56-5B series turbofan engines. 

January 14, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain CFM International, S. A. (CFM) model CFM56-5 and CFM56-5B series turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by corrosion of the delta P valve in the hydromechanical unit (HMU) caused by contaminants in type TS-1 fuel. This proposed AD would require cleaning, inspection and repair of affected HMUs. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent seizure of the HMU, leading to failure of one or more engines and damage to the airplane. 

Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (Eurocopter) Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters.

January 18, 2013, Final rule.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Eurocopter Deutschland GmbH (Eurocopter) Model MBB-BK 117 C-2 helicopters. This proposed AD would require determining if a certain serial-numbered bevel gear is installed in the tailrotor intermediate gear box (IGB). If such a bevel gear is installed in the IGB, this AD would require recording the bevel gear’s reduced life limit in the Airworthiness Limitations section of the maintenance manual and on the component history card or equivalent IGB record. If the bevel gear’s life limit has been reached or exceeded, this AD would require, before further flight, replacing the bevel gear with an airworthy bevel gear. This proposed AD is prompted by the discovery that the tooth foot fillets in certain bevel gears fell below the minimum dimensions required in the design documents to ensure safe functioning of the bevel gear until reaching its approved life limit. The proposed actions are intended to prevent failure of a bevel gear before reaching its currently approved life limit, failure of the IGB, and subsequent loss of helicopter control. 

All Rolls-Royce plc (RR) models RB211 Trent 768-60, 772-60, and 772B-60 turbofan engines. 

January 31, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Rolls-Royce plc (RR) models RB211 Trent 768-60, 772-60, and 772B-60 turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by low-pressure (LP) compressor blade partial airfoil release events. This proposed AD would require a one-time ultrasonic C-scan inspection of LP compressor blades that had accumulated more than 2,500 flight cycles since new. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent LP compressor blade airfoil separations, engine damage, and damage to the airplane. 

All Rolls-Royce plc RB211-Trent 970-84, RB211-Trent 970B-84, RB211-Trent 972-84, RB211-Trent 972B-84, RB211-Trent 977-84, RB211-Trent 977B-84 and RB211-Trent 980-84 turbofan engines. 

January 30, 2013, Final Rule; Request for Comments. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Rolls-Royce plc RB211-Trent 970-84, RB211-Trent 970B-84, RB211-Trent 972-84, RB211-Trent 972B-84, RB211-Trent 977-84, RB211-Trent 977B-84 and RB211-Trent 980-84 turbofan engines. This AD requires on-wing inspections of low-pressure turbine (LPT) disk seal fins and interstage seals when post-flight review indicates Engine Health Monitoring (EHM) vibratory maintenance-alert limits were exceeded in flight. The AD also requires in-shop inspections of the LPT disk seal fins and interstage seals to detect cracks or damage and, depending on the findings, accomplishment of corrective action. This AD is prompted by a Trent 900 engine experiencing LPT stage 2 disk interstage seal material loss and increased low-pressure rotor vibration while in flight. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent cracks in the LPT disk, which could result in uncontained engine failure and damage to the airplane. 

Certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. (type certificate previously held by The New Piper Aircraft Inc.) PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 airplanes. 

February 4, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. (type certificate previously held by The New Piper Aircraft Inc.) PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of control cable assembly failures that may lead to failure of the horizontal stabilator control system and could result in loss of pitch control. This AD requires inspections of the stabilator control system and replacement of parts as necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products. 

Turbomeca S.A. Arriel 2D turboshaft engines. 

January 31, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Turbomeca S.A. Arriel 2D turboshaft engines. This AD was prompted by a low fuel pressure event caused by deterioration and a loss of the low-pressure drive function within the hydro-mechanical metering unit (HMU). This AD requires replacing the HMU at a reduced life. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent an uncommanded in-flight shutdown of the engine, and possible loss of the helicopter.