AVIATION / FAA “Airworthiness Directives” to correct “unsafe conditions” in aircraft and engines – Airbus airplanes, BAE Systems airplanes, The Boeing Company airplanes, Bombardier airplanes, Cessna Aircraft airplanes, Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnausri engines, Diamond airplanes, Eurocopter France helicopters, Pilatus airplanes, Slingsby Sailplanes sailplanes, and Turbomeca, S.A. 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, -200, and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. 

March 11, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A330-200 Freighter, -200, and -300 series airplanes; and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that erroneous height indication by one radio altimeter with engaged flare and retard mode, in case of go-around, might lead to a temporary loss of airplane longitudinal control. This AD requires revising the airplane flight manual. The FAA is issuing this AD to ensure that the flightcrew applies the appropriate operational procedures in the event of an erroneous indication of the radio altimeter, which could result in temporary loss of airplane longitudinal control. 

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

March 11, 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 a determination that certain maintenance activities, such as repairs or the accumulation of paint layers, might cause the weight of an elevator to exceed the certified limits. This proposed AD would require checking the weight of certain elevators, and corrective action if necessary; and re-identifying the elevators. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct elevators that exceed the certified weight limits, which could result in reduced control of the airplane. 

Certain Airbus Model A310-204, -222, -304, -322, and -324 airplanes. 

March 7, 2013, Final Rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A310-204, -222, -304, -322, and -324 airplanes. This AD was prompted by the manufacturer re-classifying slat extension eccentric bolts as principle structural elements (PSE) with replacement due at or before newly calculated fatigue life limits. This AD requires replacing slat extension eccentric bolts and associated washers with new slat extension eccentric bolts and washers. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent fatigue cracking, which could result in the loss of structural integrity of the airplane. 

Certain Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -222, -304, -322, and -324 airplanes. 

March 5, 2013, Final Rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A310-203, -204, -222, -304, -322, and -324 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a design review of the fuel tank access covers and analyses comparing compliance of the access covers to different tire burst models. ‘Type 21’ panels located within the debris zone revealed that they could not sustain the impact of the tire debris. This AD requires modifying the wing manhole surrounds and replacing certain fuel access panels. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent a possibility of a fire due to tire debris impact on the fuel access panels. 

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

March 7, 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 that certain ceramic terminal blocks, through which the wiring for the engine fire extinguishers, fire detection circuits, and engine and intake anti-ice system are routed, have been found to have moisture ingress, which can degrade the insulation resistance of the ceramic terminal blocks. This AD requires a one-time insulation resistance test of ceramic terminal blocks, and if necessary, replacement of the blocks. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent latent failure of the number 2 fire bottle, which, in the event of an engine fire, could result in failure of the fire bottle to discharge when activated and possibly preventing the flightcrew from extinguishing an engine fire. 

All The Boeing Company Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and MD-88 airplanes. 

March 11, 2013, Final Rule.  

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and MD-88 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks of the hinge bearing lugs of the center section ribs of the horizontal stabilizer. This AD requires repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of the left and right rib hinge bearing lugs of the aft face of the center section of the horizontal stabilizer; measuring crack length and blending out cracks; and replacing the horizontal stabilizer center section rib, if necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the hinge bearing lugs of the horizontal stabilizer center section ribs, which could result in failure of the lugs, and consequent inability of the horizontal stabilizer to sustain the required limit loads and loss of control of the airplane. 

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

March 11, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires repetitive inspections of the downstop assemblies on the main tracks of the No. 2, 3, 4, and No. 5 slats and the inboard track of the No. 1 and 6 slats to verify if any parts are missing, damaged, or in the wrong order; other specified actions; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Since the FAA issued that AD, the manufacturer has developed a modification, which, when installed, would terminate the repetitive inspections. This proposed AD would add an inspection of the slat can interior for foreign object debris (FOD), and removal of any FOD found; modification of the slat track hardware; an inspection for FOD and for damage to the interior surface of the slat cans; and related investigative and corrective actions, if necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to prevent loose or missing parts in the main slat track downstop assemblies, which could puncture the slat track housing and result in a fuel leak and consequent fire. 

Certain The Boeing Company Model 767 airplanes.

March 8, 2013, Supplemental Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Snprm); Reopening Of Comment Period.

The FAA is revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) to supersede an existing AD for certain The Boeing Company Model 767 airplanes. The existing AD currently requires repetitive inspections to detect discrepancies of the wiring and surrounding Teflon sleeves of the fuel tank boost pumps and override/jettison pumps; replacement of the sleeves with new sleeves, for certain airplanes; and repair or replacement of the wiring and sleeves with new parts, as necessary. The first SNPRM proposed to reduce the initial compliance time and repetitive inspection interval in the existing AD. The first SNPRM also proposed to mandate a terminating action for the repetitive inspections, to eliminate wire damage. In addition, the first SNPRM proposed to remove certain airplanes from the applicability of the existing AD. The first SNPRM was prompted by fleet information indicating that the repetitive inspection interval in the existing AD is too long, because excessive chafing of the sleeving continues to occur much earlier than expected between scheduled inspections. This action revises the first SNPRM by also proposing to require revising the maintenance program to incorporate changes to the airworthiness limitations section. The FAA is proposing this second SNPRM to detect and correct chafing of the fuel pump wire insulation and consequent exposure of the electrical conductor, which could result in electrical arcing between the wires and conduit and consequent fire or explosion of the fuel tank. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the first SNPRM, the FAA is reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes. 

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

March 7, 2013, Final Rule. 

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -800, and -900ER series airplanes. This AD was prompted by incorrect wire support clamps installed within the left environmental control systems (ECS) bay, which could allow wiring to come in contact with the exposed metal of the improper clamp. This AD requires inspections to identify the part number of the wire support clamp, related investigative actions, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent electrical arcing and a potential ignition source within the ECS bay, which in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a center wing fuel tank explosion, and consequent loss of the airplane.

All The Boeing Company Model 747SP series airplanes, and certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100B SUD and 747-300 series airplanes.

March 7, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 747SP series airplanes, and certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100B SUD and 747-300 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the fuselage skin just above certain lap splice locations is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections for cracking of the fuselage skin above certain lap splice locations, and repair if necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the fuselage skin, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane and sudden loss of cabin pressure.

All The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes.

March 7, 2013, Supplemental Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Nprm); Reopening Of Comment Period.

The FAA is revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes. That NPRM proposed to require performing 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 revise the maintenance program to incorporate a revision to the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the maintenance planning data (MPD) document. The FAA is proposing this supplemental NPRM to detect and correct failure of the engine fuel suction feed 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.

Certain The Boeing Company Model 747-400 and 747-400F series airplanes. 

March 7, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-400 and 747-400F series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracking in the outboard flange of the longeron extension fittings, which attach to the wing-to-body fairing support frame. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the longeron extension fittings for cracking, and corrective actions if necessary. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the longeron extension fittings, which can become large and adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

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

March 7, 2013, Supplemental Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (Nprm); Reopening Of Comment Period.

The FAA is revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER series airplanes. That NPRM proposed to require inspecting for a serial number that starts with the letters “SAIC” on the left- and right-side horizontal stabilizer identification plate; a detailed inspection for correct bolt protrusion and chamfer of the termination fitting bolts of the horizontal stabilizer rear spar, if necessary; inspecting to determine if certain bolts are installed, if necessary; and doing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. That NPRM was prompted by reports of incorrectly installed bolts common to the rear spar termination fitting on the horizontal stabilizer. This action revises that NPRM by adding airplanes to the applicability. The FAA is proposing this supplemental NPRM to prevent loss of structural integrity of the horizontal stabilizer attachment and loss of control of the airplane. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

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

March 6, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, and 747SR series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires repetitive inspections to find cracking of the web, strap, inner chords, inner chord angle of the forward edge frame of the number 5 main entry door cutouts, the frame segment between stringers 16 and 31, and repair if necessary; and repetitive inspections for cracking of repairs. Since we issued that AD, the FAA has received multiple reports of cracking outside of the previous fuselage inspection areas and a report of a crack that initiated at the aft edge of the inner chord rather than initiating at a fastener location, which was the previous cracking location. This proposed AD would expand the previous fuselage areas that are inspected for cracking. The FAA is proposing this AD to detect and correct such cracks, which could cause damage to the adjacent body structure and could result in depressurization of the airplane in flight.

Certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-102, -103, -106, -201, -202, -301, -311, and -315 airplanes.

March 5, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model DHC-8-102, -103, -106, -201, -202, -301, -311, and -315 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of the loss of the fixed frequency system, leading to the loss of power to the left and right buses and all systems serviced by these buses. This AD requires modification of the wiring and changes to existing airworthiness limitations. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent loss of the fixed frequency system, which could lead to loss of a number of the pilot’s and co-pilot’s flight instruments, in addition to other avionics systems.

Certain Cessna Aircraft Company Model 750 airplanes. 

March 7, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Cessna Aircraft Company Model 750 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of loss of displayed airspeed. This AD requires inspecting certain logic modules to determine if certain cabin altitude/pitot static heater module assemblies are installed and replacing those assemblies with a new assembly; and revising the Non-Normal Procedures Section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) to include procedures for resetting the pitot switch in the event of pitot heater failure and for total loss of airspeed indication. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent the loss of all displayed airspeed, which could result in reduced ability to control the airplane.

Certain Cessna Aircraft Company (Cessna) Models 172R, 172S, 182S, 182T, T182T, 206H, and T206H airplanes.

March 7, 2013, https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/03/07/2013-05287/airworthiness-directives-cessna-aircraft-company-airplanes.

The FAA is revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Cessna Aircraft Company (Cessna) Models 172R, 172S, 182S, 182T, T182T, 206H, and T206H airplanes. That NPRM proposed to supersede an existing AD that currently requires an inspection of the engine oil pressure switch and, if applicable, replacement with an improved engine oil pressure switch. Since we issued the existing AD, the FAA has received new reports of internal failure of the improved engine oil pressure switch, which could result in complete loss of engine oil with consequent partial or complete loss of engine power or fire. The NPRM proposed to increase the applicability of the AD and place a life-limit of 3,000 hours time-in-service (TIS) on the engine oil pressure switch, requiring replacement when the engine oil pressure switch reaches its life limit. This action revises that NPRM by changing the applicable serial numbers ranges. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes. The FAA is proposing this supplemental NPRM to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam srl Model P2006T airplanes.

March 5, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam srl Model P2006T airplanes. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as multiple cracks found on the outboard aileron hinge support of a P2006T airplane during an inspection. The FAA is issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products. 

Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Model H-36, HK 36 R, HK 36 TS, and HK 36 TTS airplanes.

March 5, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Model H-36, HK 36 R, HK 36 TS, and HK 36 TTS airplanes. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as installation of an unsuitable self-locking nut on the bell crank of the elevator push rod that can cause failure of the elevator, resulting in loss of control. The FAA is issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model AS332C, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters.

March 11, 2013, Final Rule.

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the Eurocopter France (Eurocopter) Model AS332C, AS332L, and AS332L1 helicopters. This AD requires modifying the main landing gear control panel (control panel) 33G, connector 100G, and wiring. It also requires tests to ensure that these modifications function correctly. This AD was prompted by reports of electro-valve power supply disruptions while a helicopter is on the ground, causing the landing gear to retract and the helicopter nose to drop. This results in damage to the forward section of the helicopter’s bottom structure. The actions of this AD are intended to prevent an uncommanded landing gear retraction that would cause the helicopter nose to drop and hit the ground while the rotor blades are spinning.

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Models PC-6, PC-6-H1, PC-6-H2, PC-6/350, PC-6/350-H1, PC-6/350-H2, PC-6/A, PC-6-A-H1, PC-6/A-H2, PC-6/B-H2, PC-6/B1-H2, PC- 6/B2-H2, PC-6/B2-H4, PC-6/C-H2, and PC-6/C1-H2 airplanes. 

March 7, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Models PC-6, PC-6-H1, PC-6-H2, PC-6/350, PC-6/350-H1, PC-6/350-H2, PC-6/A, PC-6-A-H1, PC-6/A-H2, PC-6/B-H2, PC-6/B1-H2, PC- 6/B2-H2, PC-6/B2-H4, PC-6/C-H2, and PC-6/C1-H2 airplanes that would supersede an existing AD. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as failure to inspect and maintain stabilizer-trim attachment components and the flap actuator could result in loss of control. The FAA is issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

All Turbomeca S.A. Makila 1A2 turboshaft engines.

March 6, 2013, Final Rule; Request for Comments.

The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD) for all Turbomeca S.A. Makila 1A2 turboshaft engines. That AD currently requires replacement of certain serial number (S/N) N2 sensor harnesses. This AD requires replacement of the same S/N harnesses, and requires replacement of additional S/N N2 sensor harnesses. This AD was prompted by corrosion detected in affected N2 sensor harnesses. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent inadvertent activation of the 65% N1 back up mode, resulting in N2 speed fluctuation, significant power loss, and emergency landing of the helicopter.

All Slingsby Sailplanes Ltd. Models Dart T.51, Dart T.51/17, and Dart T.51/17R sailplanes equipped with aluminum alloy spar booms. 

March 6, 2013, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Slingsby Sailplanes Ltd. Models Dart T.51, Dart T.51/17, and Dart T.51/17R sailplanes equipped with aluminum alloy spar booms that would supersede an existing AD. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as an incident of glue joint failure on a starboard wing caused by water entering the area of the airbrake box that resulted in delamination and corrosion in the area of the aluminum alloy spar booms and the wing attach fittings. The FAA is issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.