DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2020-1073; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01303-A]
Airworthiness Directives; Embraer S.A. (Type Certificate
Previously Held by Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A.)
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
2020-12-08, which applies to all Embraer S.A. Model EMB-505 airplanes.
AD 2020-12-08 requires inspections of the mass-balance weights of the
elevators, ailerons, and rudder (flight control surfaces) and their
attachment parts, and corrective actions if necessary, and revising the
airworthiness limitation section of the maintenance manual or
instructions for continued airworthiness to incorporate new
airworthiness limitations. Since AD 2020-12-08 was issued, the FAA has
determined that new applicable airplane serial numbers and new criteria
for the replacement of affected parts must be required in order to
address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would retain the actions
required by AD 2020-12-08 and would require, for certain airplanes,
cleaning and weighing certain mass-balances and installation or
replacement, as applicable; and for certain other mass-balances for
certain airplanes, replacement of those mass-balances. The FAA is
proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by October
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
instructions 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 service information identified in this NPRM, contact Phenom
Maintenance Support, Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 2170, P.O. Box 36/
2, Sao Jose dos Campos, 12227-901, Brazil; phone: +55 12
3927 1000; email: email@example.com; website: https://www.
embraer.com.br/en-US/Pages/home.aspx. You may view this service
information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational
Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106. For information on
the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-1073; 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 NPRM, the MCAI,
any comments received, and other information. The street address for
Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Rutherford, Aviation Safety
Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International
Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; phone:
(816) 329-4165; fax: (816) 329-4090; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include "Docket No. FAA-2020-1073; Project Identifier
MCAI-2020-01303-A" at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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
the proposal 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 proposed AD.
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 NPRM 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 NPRM, 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 NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Jim
Rutherford, Aviation Safety Engineer, General Aviation & Rotorcraft
Section, International Validation Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas
City, MO 64106. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not
specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for
The FAA issued AD 2020-12-08, Amendment 39-21143 (85 FR 36312, June
16, 2020) (AD 2020-12-08), for Embraer S.A. (type certificate
previously held by Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A.) Model
EMB-505 airplanes, all serial numbers. AD 2020-12-08 was prompted by
reports of corrosion in the mass-balance weights of the flight control
surfaces and a determination that new airworthiness limitations are
necessary. AD 2020-12-08 was based on mandatory continuing
airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the Ag[ecirc]ncia Nacional
de Avia[ccedil]ao Civil (ANAC), which is the aviation authority
for Brazil. ANAC issued Brazilian Emergency AD No. 2020-01-01, dated
January 9, 2020, to address the unsafe condition on all Embraer S.A.
Model EMB-505 airplanes.
AD 2020-12-08 requires, for certain serial-numbered airplanes,
inspecting the mass-balance weights of the flight control surfaces and
their attachment parts for corrosion and fragmentation, and corrective
actions if necessary, including sending inspection results to Embraer.
For all airplanes, AD 2020-12-08 requires revising the airworthiness
limitation section of the maintenance manual or instructions for
continued airworthiness to incorporate new airworthiness limitations.
The FAA issued AD 2020-12-08 to address corrosion in the mass-
balance weights of the flight control surfaces. The unsafe condition,
if not addressed, could result in loss of mass or the detachment of the
mass-balance weights, resulting in an unbalanced control surface, which
could lead to flutter and loss of airplane control.
Actions Since AD 2020-12-08 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2020-12-08, ANAC superseded Brazilian
Emergency AD No. 2020-01-01, dated January 9, 2020, and issued
Brazilian AD No. 2020-09-01, dated September 8, 2020 (referred to after
this as "the MCAI"). The MCAI states:
It has been found the occurrence of corrosion in the mass-
balance weights of the control surfaces. The corrosion may lead to
loss of mass or detachment of the mass-balance weights, resulting in
an unbalance control surface, which, in conjunction with certain
flight conditions, could lead to flutter and possible loss of
Since this condition may occur in other airplanes of the same
type and affects flight safety, a corrective action is required.
Thus, sufficient reason exists to request compliance with this
[ANAC] AD in the indicated time limit.
After [ANAC] EAD 2020-01-01 was released, a reassessment of the
unsafe condition by Embraer and, subsequently, the SB 505-55-0004,
revisions 0 and 1, dated March 25th, 2020 and June 24, 2020,
respectively, expanding the list of affected aircraft serial numbers
(S/Ns) as well as inserting more restrictive criteria to determine
the replacement of affected P/Ns.
Therefore, this [ANAC] AD retains the requirements of [ANAC] EAD
2020-01-01, which is superseded, and incorporates new applicable
aircraft S/Ns and new criteria for the replacement of affected P/Ns.
You may examine the MCAI at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-1073.
Comments on AD 2020-12-08
The FAA issued AD 2020-12-08 as a final rule; request for comments.
The FAA received comments on AD 2020-12-08 from Flexjet LLC (Flexjet),
an individual, and two anonymous commenters.
Flexjet and an anonymous commenter requested that AD 2020-12-08
allow credit for previous actions using Embraer Alert Service Bulletin
SB505-55-A004, Revision 5, dated December 12, 2019 (SB505-550A004 R5),
as that service bulletin is not listed in paragraph (l) of AD 2020-12-08
("Credit for Previous Actions" paragraph).
The FAA notes that the actions of AD 2020-12-08 must be done in
accordance with SB505-55A004 R5. Paragraph (f) of AD 2020-12-08
requires compliance "unless already done." Thus, AD 2020-12-08
already allows operators to take credit for using SB505-55A004 R5 if
done before the effective date of the AD.
Flexjet and an anonymous commenter requested AD 2020-12-08 include
Embraer Service Bulletin SB505-55-0004, dated March 24, 2020 (SB505-55-
0004), as this service bulletin addresses the worldwide fleet.
The FAA agrees. SB505-55-0004 includes additional actions, which
are required by ANAC AD No. 2020-09-01, dated September 8, 2020. This
proposed AD would include those additional requirements.
The individual commenter noted that SB505-55-0004, SB505-55A004 R5,
and Embraer Alert Service Bulletin SB505-55-A004, Revision 06, dated
March 25, 2020, apply to different ranges of serial numbers and
requested the FAA clarify the correct serial numbers for AD 2020-12-08.
AD 2020-12-08 applies to all Model EMB-505 airplanes, regardless of
serial number. However, only those airplanes with a serial number in
SB505-55A004 R5 are required to do the actions in paragraphs (h) and
(k) of AD 2020-12-08.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Embraer Alert Service Bulletin SB505-55-A004,
Revision 06, dated March 25, 2020. This service information specifies
procedures for inspecting the mass-balance weights of the flight
control surfaces and their respective attachment parts for corrosion
and fragmentation, and performing corrective actions on certain serial-
numbered Model EMB-505 airplanes. Corrective actions include
installation of a stainless steel mass-balance, replacement of the
mass-balance, and replacement of attachment parts.
The FAA also reviewed Embraer Service Bulletin SB505-55-0004,
Revision 01, dated June 24, 2020. This service information specifies
procedures, for certain airplanes, for cleaning and weighing the
elevator, aileron, and rudder mass-balances, and installing or
replacing the mass-balances (includes replacing attachment parts), as
applicable, and for certain elevator mass-balances for certain
airplanes, replacing those elevator mass-balances (includes replacing
Embraer has also issued Alert Service Bulletin SB505-55-A004,
Revision 5, dated December 12, 2019, which the Director of the Federal
Register approved for incorporation by reference as of July 1, 2020 (85
FR 36312, June 16, 2020).
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 ADDRESSES.
Other Related Service Information
Embraer has issued Embraer Service Bulletin SB505-55-0004, dated
March 25, 2020. The actions specified in Embraer Service Bulletin
SB505-55-0004, dated March 25, 2020, are the same as those specified in
Embraer Alert Service Bulletin SB505-55-0004, Revision 01, dated June
24, 2020; however, Embraer Alert Service Bulletin SB505 55-0004,
Revision 01, dated June 24, 2020, was issued to add serial-numbered
airplanes to the effectivity. No additional work is required for
airplanes on which Embraer Service Bulletin SB505-55-0004, dated March
25, 2020, has been accomplished.
This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another
country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant
to the FAA's bilateral agreement with this State of Design Authority,
it has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI
and service information described above. The FAA is issuing this NPRM
after determining that the unsafe condition described previously is
likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would retain the actions required by AD 2020-12-08
and would require, for certain airplanes, cleaning and weighing the
elevator, aileron, and rudder mass-balances, and installation or
replacement, as applicable of the mass-balances. This proposed AD would
also remove the reporting required by AD 2020-12-08.
For the retained requirement to revise the airworthiness
limitations section (ALS) of the existing maintenance manual or
instructions for continued airworthiness in paragraph (i) of this
proposed AD, the FAA notes the inspection tasks are part of Chapter 5
of the aircraft maintenance manual--Part III--scheduled maintenance
requirements. This proposed AD would require these tasks as new
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information
Embraer Alert Service Bulletin SB505-55-A004, Revision 5, dated
December 12, 2019; and Revision 06, dated March 25, 2020, contain
procedures for inspecting for the integrity of the mass-balance weights
of flight control surfaces and their attachment parts. This proposed AD
would not include that requirement.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 392 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following
costs to comply with this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|Retained inspections from AD
||9 work-hours x $85 per hour =
|Retained ALS revision from AD
||1 work hour x 85 per hour = $85
|New cleaning, weighing, and replacement
||Up to 130 work-hours x $85 per
hour = Up to $11,050
||Up to $18,118
||Up to $29,168
||Up to $11,433,856
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary
installations or replacements that would be required based on the
results of the inspections and weighing. The FAA has no way of
determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions:
Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions
|Installation or replacement
||Up to 129 work-hours x $85 per
hour = Up to $10,965
||Up to $18,118
||Up to $29,083
The FAA has included all known costs
in this cost estimate.
According to the manufacturer, however, some of the costs of this
proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost
impact on affected operators.
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.
The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 that the proposed
(1) Is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2020-12-08, Amendment 39-21143 (85
FR 36312, June 16, 2020); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: