AVIATION / FAA “Airworthiness Directives” to correct “unsafe conditions” in aircraft and engines – Airbus airplanes, Boeing airplanes, and Gulfstream airplanes.

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 A318-112, A319-111, A319-112, A319-115, A319-132, and A319-133 airplanes. 

March 4, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A318-112, A319-111, A319-112, A319-115, A319-132, and A319-133 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that a fastener, which connects the cargo door keel beam foot to the circumferential butt-strap and the section 13-14 lower shell panel, was not installed on airplanes during production. This proposed AD would require inspecting forward fuselage frame 24, stringer 39, right hand, to determine if the fastener is missing; measuring the hole dimensions of the five holes surrounding the missing fastener if necessary; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct the missing fastener, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane. 

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

February 26, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A318, A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that certain trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuators (THSA) were found with corrosion that affected the ballscrew lower splines between the tie-bar and screw-jack. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the THSA; ballscrew integrity tests, if necessary; and replacement of affected THSAs. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct corrosion in the ballscrew lower splines, which, if the ballscrew ruptured, could lead to transmission of THSA torque loads from the ballscrew to the tie-bar, prompting THSA blowback, and possible loss of control of the airplane. 

Certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. 

February 28, 2013, Final Rule; Correction.

“The FAA is correcting an airworthiness directive (AD) that published in the Federal Register. That AD applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. That AD incorrectly identified certain actions that are terminated in another AD. This document corrects that error. In all other respects, the original document remains the same.” 

All The Boeing Company Model 767 airplanes. 

February 26, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

The FAA proposes to supersede two existing airworthiness directives (AD) that apply to all The Boeing Company Model 767 airplanes. One AD currently requires a functional check of the shear rivets in all six elevator power control actuator (PCA) bellcrank assemblies to determine the condition of the shear rivets, and replacement or rework of the bellcrank assemblies if necessary. The other AD currently requires repetitive testing of the elevator control system to determine if an elevator PCA is rigged incorrectly, and follow-on actions if necessary. Since the FAA issued those ADs, a terminating modification has been designed. This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine the part numbers and condition of the bellcrank assemblies; modification or replacement of the PCA bellcrank assembly, if necessary; and a repetitive functional test and mis-rig check, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent continued operation with yielded or failed shear rivets in the elevator PCA bellcrank assemblies, and to prevent certain failures or jams in the elevator system from causing a hardover of the elevator surface, resulting in a significant pitch upset and possible loss of control of the airplane. 

All Gulfstream Aerospace LP (Type Certificate Previously Held by Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd.) Model Gulfstream 100 airplanes, and Model Astra SPX and 1125 Westwind Astra airplanes. 

February 26, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

“We propose to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all Gulfstream Aerospace LP (Type Certificate Previously Held by Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd.) Model Gulfstream 100 airplanes, and Model Astra SPX and 1125 Westwind Astra airplanes. The existing AD currently requires amending the airplane flight manuals (AFMs) to include additional procedures for verifying complete closure and locking of the main entry door (MED). The existing AD also currently requires modifying the warning and caution lights panel (WACLP), changing the WACLP and MED wiring, changing the wiring harness connecting the MED to the WACLP, and revising the log of modification of the AFM if necessary. Since we issued that AD, we have determined that the compliance time must be revised to ensure the unsafe condition is addressed on low utilization airplanes. We have also removed one airplane from the applicability. We are proposing this AD to prevent incomplete closure of the MED, which may result in the door opening in flight and possible separation of the door, causing damage to the airplane structure and left engine by flying debris and objects.”