DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0541; Project Identifier AD-2021-00453-A;
Amendment 39-21639; AD 2021-14-12]
Airworthiness Directives; True Flight Holdings LLC Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
True Flight Holdings LLC Models AA-1, AA-1A, AA-1B, AA-1C, and AA-5
airplanes. This AD was prompted by the report of an accident of an
airplane exhibiting bondline corrosion and delamination of the
horizontal stabilizers. This AD requires inspecting the horizontal
stabilizers, including the bondlines, for cracks, buckles, corrosion,
delamination, rust, and previous repair and repairing or replacing
parts and applying corrosion inhibitor as necessary. The FAA is issuing
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective July 27, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 27,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by August 26, 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 service information identified in this final rule, contact True
Flight Holdings LLC, 2300 Madison Highway, Valdosta, GA 31601; phone:
(229) 242-6337; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. It is also available at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0541.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0541; 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: Fred Caplan, Aviation Safety Engineer,
Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337;
phone: (404) 474-5507; fax: (404) 474-5606; email:
The FAA received a report of an accident involving a True Flight
Holdings LLC Model AA-5 airplane that occurred on January 19, 2021.
During flight, the outboard elevator attach bracket on the horizontal
stabilizer detached causing loss of elevator control and significant
damage to the airplane. An investigation identified corrosion and
delamination of the airplane skin bondlines around the area of the
horizontal stabilizer where the elevator attach bracket was attached.
Multiple field reports have identified additional instances of
corrosion and delamination of skin bondlines around the horizontal
stabilizer and other primary structures.
All Models AA-1, AA-1A, AA-1B, AA-1C, and AA-5 Traveler airplanes
have horizontal stabilizers that are similar in design and use the same
attachment method for the elevators. The affected airplanes are
constructed using a metal-to-metal bonding process. While the bond
adhesive remains structurally sound throughout the aging process,
factors such as corrosion and freezing moisture may compromise the
structural integrity of some of the bond joints. This can lead to
delamination of the skin from the primary structure.
Field reports indicate that bondline inspections are not being
adequately performed during routine inspections. The FAA has determined
that a more thorough inspection is necessary to reliably identify
corrosion and delamination of bondlines in these critical areas,
including the horizontal stabilizer.
This condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced
structural integrity with consequent loss of control of the airplane.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
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 True Flight Aerospace Service Bulletin SB-195,
Revision A, dated June 1, 2021 (True Flight SB-195, Revision A). This
service information specifies procedures for inspecting the primary
structure and flight controls for cracks, buckles, corrosion,
delamination, rust, and previous repair and repairing or replacing
parts and applying corrosion inhibitor 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 ADDRESSES.
Other Related Service Information
The FAA also reviewed True Flight Aerospace Service Kit 125,
Revision B. This service information specifies procedures for repairing
bondline delamination of flight controls and structures.
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service
information already described, except as discussed under ``Differences
Between the AD and the Service Information.''
Differences Between the AD and the Service Information
True Flight SB-195, Revision A applies to Models AA1, AA-1A, AA-1B,
AA-1C, AA5, AA-5A, and AA-5B airplanes. However, this AD only
applies to Models AA-1, AA-1A, AA-1B, AA-1C, and AA-5 airplanes. Also,
this AD only requires the Part B inspection and repair from True Flight
SB-195, Revision A. Actions for the airplanes not affected by this AD
are specified in Part A of True Flight SB-195, Revision A, thus the
reason for reduced applicability. In addition, True Flight SB-195,
Revision A, specifies a reporting requirement, but this AD does not.
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 foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because cracks, buckles, corrosion, delamination, rust, and previous
repair of the horizontal stabilizers could result in reduced integrity
and lead to loss of control of the airplane. Additionally, the
compliance time for the inspection of the horizontal stabilizers is
within 25 hours time-in-service or before the next 100 hour or annual
inspection, whichever occurs first, a time period of up to 3 months
based on the average utilization rate of these airplanes. This time
period is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and
for publication of the final rule. Accordingly, notice and opportunity
for prior public comment are impracticable and contrary to the public
interest 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-2021-0541 and Project Identifier
AD-2021-00453-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 Fred
Caplan, Aviation Safety Engineer, Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701
Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337. 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 1,113 airplanes of U.S.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
||Cost per product
||Cost on U.S. operators
|Inspection for delamination and
||3 work-hours x $85 per hour =
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary repairs
that would be required based on the results of the inspection. The
agency has no way of determining the number of airplanes that might
need these repairs:
||Cost per product
|Installation of rivets and repair
of bondlines of the horizontal stabilizers
||8 work-hours x $85 per hour =
|Treatment of inside of the horizontal
stabilizers with corrosion inhibitor
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
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
on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various
levels of government.
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