DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-0141; Project Identifier MCAI-2020-01162-T;
Amendment 39-21669; AD 2021-16-07]
Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Defense and Space S.A. (Formerly
Known as Construcciones Aeronauticas, S.A.) Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Airbus Defense and Space S.A. Model C-212-CB, C-212-CC, C-212-
CD, C-212-CE, C-212-CF, C-212-DE, and C-212-DF airplanes. This AD was
prompted by a report of cracks on the left-hand (LH) and right-hand
(RH) side fuselage skin and on a certain frame underneath the skin,
near the leading edge of the wing. This AD requires repetitive
inspections of the LH and RH side center wing fairings at a certain
frame, around the wing leading edge for discrepancies (cracks), and
repair if necessary, as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety
Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective September 28, 2021.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September
ADDRESSES: For material incorporated by reference (IBR) in this
contact EASA, Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 3, 50668 Cologne, Germany; telephone
+49 221 8999 000; email ADs@easa.europa.eu; internet
www.easa.europa.eu. You may find this IBR material on the EASA website
at https://ad.easa.europa.eu. You may view this IBR material at the
FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 2200
South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of
this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available in
the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-0141.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-
0141; 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
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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace
Engineer, Large Aircraft Section, International Validation Branch, FAA,
2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-
3220; email: Shahram.Daneshmandi@faa.gov.
EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the
European Union, issued EASA AD 2020-0182, dated August 13, 2020 (EASA
AD 2020-0182) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing
Airworthiness Information, or the MCAI), to correct an unsafe condition
for certain Airbus Defense and Space S.A Model C-212-CB, C-212-CC, C-
212-CD, C-212-CE, C-212-CF, C-212-DD, C-212-DE, C-212-DF, C-212-EE and
C-212-VA airplanes. Model C-212-DD, C-212-EE, and C-212-VA airplanes
are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type
certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include those
airplanes in the applicability.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Defense
and Space S.A. Model C-212-CB, C-212-CC, C-212-CD, C-212-CE, C-212-CF,
C-212-DE, and C-212-DF airplanes. The NPRM was published in the Federal
Register on March 11, 2021 (86 FR 13841). The NPRM was prompted by a
report of cracks on the LH and RH side fuselage skin and on frame (FR)
5 underneath the skin, near the leading edge of the wing. The NPRM
proposed to require repetitive inspections of the LH and RH side center
wing fairings at FR 5, around the wing leading edge for discrepancies
(cracks), and repair if necessary, as specified in EASA AD 2020-0182.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracks on the LH and RH side
fuselage skin and on FR 5 underneath the skin, near the leading edge of
the wing, which could affect the structural integrity of the airplane.
See the MCAI for additional background information.
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.
Request To Allow Special Flight Permits
Ryan Air reported that it began detecting and repairing fuselage
skin cracks on its fleet in 2018, and no new cracks have since been
detected in more than 10,000 flight hours. Assuming the cracking did
not all occur at the same time, Ryan Air questioned why the proposed AD
would require repair before further flight. Ryan Air recommended that
the proposed AD be revised to allow flying the airplane to a location
where repairs can be made after finding cracks in this area.
The FAA notes that 14 CFR 39.23 allows flight to a repair facility
for every AD, if the operations specifications (ops specs) for a
particular operator give that authority, unless they are specifically
prohibited or limited in an AD. Any operator who does not have the
authority in their ops specs may contact their local FAA Flight
Standards District Office to receive a special flight permit. No change
to the AD is necessary as a result of this comment.
Request To Allow Certain Approvals
Ryan Air recommended that the proposed AD be revised to allow
repairs approved by a part 25 structures designated engineering
representative (DER). Ryan Air stated that repair approvals from Airbus
Engineering and the FAA have taken four weeks or longer. Ryan Air
asserted that grounding an airplane for more than a month--for a four-
day repair--would be an unreasonable economic burden on affected
operators, who are mostly small business owners.
The FAA disagrees with this request. This AD allows required
repairs to be approved only by the FAA, EASA, or Airbus Defense and
Space S.A.'s EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). For approval by
part 25 structures DER for the corrective repair required by this AD,
an operator must first request approval of an alternative method of compliance
(AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1)
AD. The FAA has not changed this AD as a result of this comment.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment
received, and determined that air safety and the public interest
require adopting this final rule as proposed, except for minor
editorial changes. The FAA has determined that these minor changes:
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.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
EASA AD 2020-0182 describes procedures for repetitive detailed
visual inspections of the LH and RH side center wing fairings at FR 5,
around the wing leading edge for discrepancies (cracks) and repair.
This material 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 45 airplanes of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
Cost on U.S. operators
|3 work-hours @$85 per hour =
The FAA has received no definitive
data on which to base the cost
estimates for the on-condition repairs specified in this AD.
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
(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