DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-0207; Product Identifier 2019-NE-02-AD; Amendment
39-19703; AD 2019-15-10]
Airworthiness Directives; Safran Aerosystems Life Jackets
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Safran Aerosystems (formerly Zodiac Aerospace Services) life
jackets. This AD was prompted by reports of defective welding on
certain life jackets around the inflation system. This AD requires
removal and replacement of the affected life jackets. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective September 19, 2019.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of September 19,
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Zodiac Aerospace Services, 61 Rue Pierre Curie, CS20001, 78370
Plaisir Cedex, France; phone: + 33 1 61 34 23 23; fax: + 33 1 61 34 21
13; email: Technical.Retrofit@zodiacaerospace.com; internet: http://tpi.services.zodiacaerospace.com.
You may view this service information
at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District
Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. For information on the availability of
this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on
the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0207.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0207; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains
this final rule, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information
(MCAI), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other
information. The address for Docket Operations is U.S. Department of
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor,
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin King, Aerospace Engineer,
ACO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803; phone
781-238-7655; fax: 781-238-7199; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Safran
Aerosystems life jackets. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on
April 15, 2019 (84 FR 15160). The NPRM was prompted by reports of
defective welding on certain life jackets around the inflation system.
The NPRM proposed to require removal and replacement of the affected
life jackets. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has
issued EASA AD 2019-0010, dated January 23, 2019 (referred to after
this as ``the MCAI''), to address the unsafe condition on these
products. The MCAI states:
Defective welding around the inflation system has been
reportedly found on certain life jackets on the production line.
Subsequent investigation results identified a batch of life jackets
which might be affected by this manufacturing defect.
This condition, if not corrected, could lead to inability of the
life jacket to perform its intended function, possible resulting in
injury to the user of that life jacket.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Safran Aerosystems
issued the SB, providing the list of affected parts, and the repair
SB, providing instructions to repair affected parts. For the reason
described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of affected
life jackets, and allows their (re)installation on an aircraft only
after having being repaired.
You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD
docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for
and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0207.
The FAA gave the public the opportunity to participate in
developing this final rule. The following presents the comments
received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.
Request To Update Service Information
Alaska Airlines, Inc. (ASA) and Empire Airlines requested that the
FAA update all references to Zodiac Aerospace Services Service Bulletin
(SB) 25-65-33, Revision 01, dated January 8, 2019, and Zodiac Aerospace
Services SB 25-65-34, Original Issue, dated January 8, 2019, to
Revision 02 and Revision 01, respectively. ASA indicated that updated
service information was published during the NPRM commenting period,
and updating this information would avoid the need for operators to
submit alternative methods of compliance requests.
The FAA agrees to incorporate the latest service information in
Request for Previous Credit
ASA requested the final rule include a ``Credit for Previous
Actions'' paragraph allowing credit for performing the inspection using
Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-33, Revision 01, dated January 8,
2019, or performing the modification using Zodiac Aerospace Services SB
25-65-34, Original Issue, dated January 8, 2019.
The FAA partially agrees. As noted in the previous response, the
FAA agrees with incorporating the latest service information in the
applicability section and the definition section of this AD. The FAA
notes the applicability of this AD and the definition of a part
eligible of installation has not changed as the information in Table 1
of Revision 02 and Revision 01 of Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-33
is identical. Therefore, the FAA is not referencing Revision 01 of
Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-33 in this AD and previous credit is
The FAA has also revised the Installation Prohibition section of
this AD to allow the use of either Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-
34, Revision 01, dated March 15, 2019, or Original Issue, dated January
8, 2019, to perform the repair and marking. The FAA, therefore, does
not require a previous credit section in this AD.
Request To Clarify the Eligible for Installation Definition
ASA requested that the FAA clarify the definition of a life jacket
eligible for installation. ASA proposed defining a life jacket eligible
for installation as one that is ``not applicable'' to Zodiac Aerospace
Services SB 25-65-33, Revision 02, dated March 15, 2019, or one that is
repaired in accordance with Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-34,
Revision 01, dated March 15, 2019.
The FAA agrees. The FAA clarifies the definition of a life jacket
eligible for installation in this AD.
Support for the NPRM
Several individual commenters expressed support for the NPRM. One
commenter supported the NPRM but noted that cost should be a secondary
consideration in determining whether to issue an AD on a potentially
life-saving component. Another commenter supported the NPRM but added
that all Safran Aerosystems life jackets should be removed from
airplanes for safety precautions and passengers on the airplanes should
be informed of the issue and know that it is being addressed.
The FAA partially agrees. The FAA agrees with the importance of
this AD action because life jackets are potentially life-saving devices
and must be in working condition. The FAA also notes that it considers
cost when developing rules, but its primary consideration is safety.
The FAA disagrees with expanding the applicability of this AD to
all Safran Aerosystems life jackets because the information relied upon
by the FAA indicates an unsafe condition exists only with respect to
those life jackets identified in the Applicability section of this AD.
Passengers who wish to find information on safety issues related to
specific model aircraft, engines, propellers, or associated appliances
may view airworthiness directives at www.regulations.gov. The FAA did
not change this AD.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments
received, and determined that air safety and the public interest
require adopting this final rule with the changes described previously
and minor editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor
Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the
NPRM for addressing the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the NPRM.
The FAA also determined that these changes will not increase the
economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-33, Revision
02, dated March 15, 2019, and Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-34,
Revision 01, dated March 15, 2019. Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-
33 identifies the affected life jackets by part number and serial
number. Zodiac Aerospace Services SB 25-65-34 describes procedures for
repairing and marking the affected life jackets. This service
information is reasonably available because the interested parties have
access to it through their normal course of business or by the means
identified in the ADDRESSES section.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects an unknown number of life
jackets installed on, but not limited to, ATR-GIE Avions de Transport
Regional ATR 42 and ATR 72, Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321, Airbus A330,
Airbus A340, Airbus A350, and Airbus A380 airplanes of U.S. registry.
Operators have the option to replace or repair the affected life
jackets. The FAA has no way of determining the number of life jackets
that might be replaced or repaired.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
|Inspect life jacket
||0.1 work-hours x $85 per hour
|Replace life jacket
||0.5 work-hours x $85 per hour
|Repair life jacket
||0.5 work-hours x $85 per hour
According to the manufacturer, some
of the costs of this AD may be
covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected
individuals. The FAA does not control warranty coverage for affected
individuals. As a result, the FAA has included all costs in our cost
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.
The FAA is 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
This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the
Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by
FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is
normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but
during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the
authority to issue ADs applicable to engines, propellers, and
associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards
Branch, Policy and Innovation Division.
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 this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
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.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness