DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0049; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00033-A;
Amendment 39-21427; AD 2021-04-06]
Airworthiness Directives; Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. (Pilatus) Model PC-7 airplanes. This AD results
from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by
the aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an
unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe
condition as a missing release bar retaining screw on a Harley-type
buckle assembly installed on a harness shoulder strap. This condition,
if not corrected, could lead to loss of pilot restraint and
consequently loss of airplane control or injuries to the crew. The FAA
is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective February 12, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of February 12,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by March 29, 2021.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow
for submitting comments.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
For IrvinGQ Limited service information identified in this final
rule, contact Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., CH-6371, Stans, Switzerland;
phone: +41 848 24 7 365; email: email@example.com;
website: https://www.pilatus-aircraft.com/. You may view this service
information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational
Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information
on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.
It is also available at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for
and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0049.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0049; 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, any
comments received, and other information. The street address for the
Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doug Rudolph, Aviation Safety
Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International
Validation Branch, FAA, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri
64106; phone: (816) 329-4059; fax: (816) 329-4090; email:
The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), which is the aviation
authority for Switzerland, has issued FOCA AD HB-2021-001-E, dated
January 8, 2021 (referred to after this as ``the MCAI''), to address
the unsafe condition on Pilatus Model PC-7 airplanes. The MCAI states:
An occurrence was reported where in an in service event a
missing release bar retaining screw on a Harley-type buckle assembly
installed on a harness shoulder strap on an ejection seat was
This condition, if not corrected, could lead to loss of pilot
restraint and consequently loss of aeroplane control or injuries to
To address this potential unsafe condition, Pilatus and IrvinGQ
issued the [service bulletins] SBs to provide inspection
For the reason described above, this [FOCA] AD requires the
inspection of the Harley-type buckle assemblies on the seat
harnesses of the front and rear seats, as defined in this AD, and
prohibits (re-) installation of affected parts.
FOCA advises that the release bar retaining screws on the affected
Harley-type buckle assemblies were incorrectly peened during
manufacture. This inadequate peening of the retaining screws has led to
loose screws that can potentially be removed by hand or the actual
screw falling out of the assemblies. You may examine the MCAI in the AD
docket at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2021-0049.
This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another
country and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to
our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, it has
notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and
service information referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD
because the agency has determined the unsafe condition described previously
is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed IrvinGQ Limited Service Bulletin IGQSB033, Issue
2, dated December 2020 (IrvinGQ SB IGQSB033, Issue 2). This service
information provides a listing of the affected parts and specifies
procedures for inspecting the Harley-type buckle assemblies and
repairing or replacing as necessary. 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
Other Related Service Information
The FAA also reviewed Pilatus PC-7 Service Bulletin No. 25-015,
Revision 1, dated December 22, 2020. This service information specifies
inspecting and repairing the Harley-type buckle assemblies in
accordance with IrvinGQ SB IGQSB033, Issue 2.
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the IrvinGQ
Limited service information already described.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because detachment of a shoulder strap from the main harness assembly
could lead to loss of pilot restraint during operational maneuvers.
Because this model airplane is certificated in the acrobatic category,
if the pilot is not restrained during aerobatic flight, or even some
normal operations, it may result in loss of airplane control, or
injuries to the crew. For this reason, the FAA has determined that
operators must comply with the actions required by this AD before
further flight. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public
comment are unnecessary, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days,
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2021-0049 and Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-00033-A'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend
this final rule because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you
provide. The agency will also post a report summarizing each
substantive verbal contact received about this final rule.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this AD contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this AD, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Doug
Rudolph, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft
Section, International Validation Branch, FAA, 901 Locust, Room 301,
Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Any commentary that the FAA receives which
is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public
docket for this rulemaking.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 21 airplanes of U.S.
registry. The FAA also estimates that it would take about .5 work-hour
per product to comply with the inspection requirement of this AD. The
average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.
Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the cost of the AD on
U.S. operators would be $892.50 or $42.50 per product.
In addition, the FAA estimates that any necessary follow-on repair
actions would take .5 work-hour, for a cost of $42.50 per seat harness.
The FAA estimates that any necessary replacements that may be required
would take 3 work-hours and require parts costing $10,000, for a cost
of $10,255 per seat harness. The FAA has no way of determining the
number of airplanes that may need these actions.
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 rulemaking action.
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
the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels
For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
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