AVIATION / FAA “Airworthiness Directives” to correct “unsafe conditions” in aircraft and engines – Airbus airplanes, Bell helicopters, Boeing airplanes, Cessna airplanes, DASSAULT SERVICES airplanes, Dowty propellers, Engine Alliance turbofan engines, Eurocopter France helicopters, Fokker Services B.V. airplanes, Hamilton Sunstrand propellers, MD helicopters, Piper airplanes, and Turbomeca 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.

Certain Airbus Model A310 series airplanes.

February 5, 2013, Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking. 

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Airbus Model A310 series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires repetitive inspections for fatigue cracking of the area around the fasteners of the landing plate of the aileron access doors of the bottom skin panel of the wings, and related corrective action. The existing AD provides for an optional terminating action, which ends the repetitive inspections. Since the FAA issued that AD, a reassessment of the previous fatigue threshold and inspection interval resulted in a determination that reduced inspection thresholds and intervals for accomplishment of the tasks are necessary. This proposed AD would reduce the initial inspection compliance time and intervals and provide additional terminating action options. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the area around the fasteners of the landing plate of the aileron access doors and the bottom skin panel of the wings, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wings.

All Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. 

February 8, 2013, Notice of proposed rulemaking. 

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires repetitive inspections of the upper support of the nose landing gear (NLG), and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary; and also provides an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. Since the FAA issued that AD, it has determined that previously allowed terminating actions no longer address the unsafe condition and that a new terminating action is necessary. This proposed AD would require installing a new enhanced manufacturing and maintainability (EMM) braking and steering control unit (BSCU) standard and adds airplanes to the applicability. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent landings with the NLG turned 90 degrees from centerline, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane. 

Certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. 

February 11, 2013, Final rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and F4-600R series airplanes, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes (collectively called A300-600 series airplanes); and Model A310 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracking through the honeycomb core closed with phenolic resin. This condition could result in extended debonding and could adversely affect the structural integrity of the rudder. This AD requires inspecting to determine the serial number of a certain rudder and replacing the rudder with a new or serviceable rudder if necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent extended de-bonding, which could result in loss of the rudder and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. 

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 747-400 series airplanes. 

February 7, 2013, Notice of proposed rulemaking. 

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-400 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of auxiliary power unit (APU) faults due to power feeder cable chafing. This proposed AD would require detailed inspections for damage of the APU power feeder cables; replacing the clamps and installing grommets; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct chafing of the APU power feeder cables within a flammable fluid leakage zone, which, with arcing, could result in fire and structural damage.

Certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, and 747SP series airplanes.

February 8, 2013, Notice of proposed rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, and 747SP series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of worn or incorrectly assembled latches on main deck escape slides installed on airplane doors. This proposed AD would require determining if the latches are correctly assembled; and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD also would require, for certain airplanes, modifications to the escape slide/rafts and escape slides. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent a latch hook moving from closed to open in an escape slide/raft or escape slide, which could result in the escape slide/raft or escape slide not deploying correctly in an emergency, or releasing/inflating into the passenger cabin and causing injury to passengers and crew. 

Certain Cessna Aircraft Company Model 500, 501, 550, 551, S550, 560, 560XL, and 650 airplanes. 

February 11, 2013, Supplemental Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking; Reopening Of Comment Period. 

The FAA is revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Cessna Aircraft Company Model 500, 501, 550, 551, S550, 560, 560XL, and 650 airplanes. That NPRM proposed to require an inspection to determine if certain air conditioning (A/C) compressor motors are installed and to determine the accumulated hours on certain A/C drive motor assemblies; repetitive replacement of the brushes in the drive motor assembly, or as an option to the brush replacement, deactivation of the A/C system and placard installation; and return of replaced brushes to Cessna. That NPRM was prompted by multiple reports of smoke and/or fire in the tailcone caused by sparking due to excessive wear of the brushes in the A/C motor. This action revises that NPRM by revising the optional A/C system deactivation procedure. The FAA is proposing this supplemental NPRM to prevent the brushes in the A/C motor from wearing down beyond their limits, which could result in the rivet in the brush contacting the commutator causing sparks and consequent fire and/or smoke in the tailcone with no means to detect or extinguish the fire and/or smoke. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the NPRM, the FAA is reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes. 

Certain DASSAULT AVIATION Model MYSTERE-FALCON 900 and FALCON 900EX airplanes. 

February 5, 2013, Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain DASSAULT AVIATION Model MYSTERE-FALCON 900 and FALCON 900EX airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of chafing between the tail strobe power supply and a hydraulic line. This proposed AD would require modifying the tail strobe power supply wire routing. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent chafing between the tail strobe power supply and a hydraulic line, which could result in hydraulic fluid leakage and possible fire due to arcing, and consequent loss of control of the airplane due to structural failure of the tail.

All Dowty Propellers R408/6-123-F/17 model propellers.

February 7, 2013, Notice of proposed rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to revise an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all Dowty Propellers R408/6-123-F/17 model propellers. The existing AD currently requires initial applications of sealant between the bus bar assembly and the backplate assembly of certain line-replaceable units (LRUs), and repetitive applications of sealant on all R408/6-123-F/17 model propellers. Since the FAA issued that AD, Dowty Propellers has introduced an optional terminating action to the applications of sealant. This proposed AD would add the optional terminating action. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent an in-flight double generator failure, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

Certain Engine Alliance GP7270 and GP7277 turbofan engines. 

February 7, 2013, Notice of proposed rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Engine Alliance GP7270 and GP7277 turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by damage to the high-pressure compressor (HPC) stage 7-9 spool caused by failure of the baffle plate feature on affected HPC stage 6 disks. This proposed AD would require initial and repetitive borescope inspections of the baffle plate feature and removal from service of the HPC stage 6 disk before further flight, if the plate is missing material. This proposed AD would also require mandatory removal from service of these HPC stage 6 disks at the next HPC module exposure. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent uncontained failure of the HPC stage 7-9 spool, uncontained engine failure, and damage to the airplane.

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.

Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model AS350 and AS355 helicopters. 

February 11, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model AS350 and AS355 helicopters, to require inspecting for a crack in the control lever attachment yokes, and if needed, replacing the tail rotor gearbox (TGB). This proposed AD is prompted by improper casting of TGB casing assemblies, which may lead to cracking. A crack in the control lever attachment yokes could cause a loss of tail rotor pitch control, and consequently, loss of control of the helicopter.

All Fokker Services B.V. Model F.27 Mark 050 airplanes, and Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. 

February 5, 2013, Supplemental Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking; Reopening Of Comment Period.

The FAA is revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F.27 Mark 050 airplanes, and Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. That NPRM proposed to require inspecting and, if necessary, adjusting, the torque values of nuts on circuit breakers, contactors, and terminal blocks of the electrical power center (EPC) and battery relay panel. This proposed AD would also require inspecting to determine if certain parts are installed, and installing the parts if necessary. This action revises that NPRM by adding a previously omitted terminal block to the required actions. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct loose nuts, which could result in arcing and potentially an onboard fire, possibly resulting in damage to the airplane and injury to occupants or maintenance personnel. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the NPRM, the FAA is reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes. 

Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation 14SF-7, 14SF-15, and 14SF-23 series propellers using certain Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation auxiliary pumps and motors (auxiliary feathering pumps). 

February 7, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation 14SF-7, 14SF-15, and 14SF-23 series propellers using certain Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation auxiliary pumps and motors (auxiliary feathering pumps). This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a propeller not moving into the feathering position after an engine in-flight shutdown. This proposed AD would require removing certain serial numbers (S/Ns) of auxiliary feathering pumps from service. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent propellers from failing to move into the feathering position after an engine in-flight shutdown. Propellers failing to feather can cause high drag on the propeller, asymmetric thrust, and difficulty of, or impossibility in, controlling the airplane.

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) Model 500N, 600N and MD900 helicopters. 

February 8, 2013, Final Rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) Model 500N, 600N and MD900 helicopters to require determining the cure date for each NOTAR fan blade tension-torsion strap (T-T strap), establishing a calendar-time retirement life for certain T-T straps, reducing the retirement life of certain T-T straps, marking each T-T strap with the expiration date, creating a component record card for each T-T strap, and revising the airworthiness limitations section of the maintenance manual to reflect the changes to the retirement life. This AD was prompted by a report from the T-T strap manufacturer that, over a period of time, moisture may reduce the strength of a T-T strap. The actions are intended to prevent failure of a T-T strap, loss of directional control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter. 

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. 

All Turbomeca S.A. Arrius Models 2B, 2B1, and 2F turboshaft engines. 

February 7, 2013, Notice of proposed rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all Turbomeca S.A. Arrius Models 2B, 2B1, and 2F turboshaft engines. The existing AD currently requires replacement of injector manifolds and borescope-inspection of the flame tube and the high-pressure (HP) turbine area for possible damage. Since the FAA issued that AD, we received a report that the corrective actions of the existing AD were insufficient to eliminate the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would require, depending on the engine model, repetitive replacements of fuel injection manifolds and the privilege injector, or, repetitive replacements of the privilege injector. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent an uncommanded in-flight shutdown of Arrius 2B1 and 2F turboshaft engines and damage to the helicopter.