DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2021-1171; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01361-Q;
Amendment 39-21894; AD 2022-01-06]
Airworthiness Directives; Cameron Balloons Ltd. Fuel Cylinders
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Cameron Balloons Ltd. (Cameron) fuel cylinders installed on hot
air balloons. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness
information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another
country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation
product. The MCAI identifies the unsafe condition as quick shut-off
(QSO) flanged adaptors manufactured with non-conforming (undersized)
threads. This AD immediately requires either replacing the QSO flange
adapter or inspecting the fuel cylinder for leakage and taking
corrective action, and replacing the QSO flange adapter within 4
months. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on
DATES: This AD is effective January 18, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 18,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by February 17, 2022.
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
Cameron Balloons Ltd., St Johns Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4NH,
United Kingdom; phone: +44 0 117 9637216; email:
email@example.com. 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 (817) 222-5110. It is also available
at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1171; 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
MCAI, any comments received, and other information. The street address
for the Docket Operations is listed above.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Kiesov, Aviation Safety Engineer,
FAA, General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation
Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; phone: (816) 329-
4144; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the airworthiness
authority for the United Kingdom, has issued CAA AD G-2021-0014R1-E,
dated December 10, 2021 (referred to after this as ``the MCAI''), to
address an unsafe condition for certain Cameron fuel cylinders. The
Certain Cameron Hot Air Balloon fuel cylinders are supplied with
liquid offtakes that consist of a quarter turn ball valve mounted on
a flanged adaptor ([part number] P/N CB437, see [CAA AD] figure 1).
Two recent batches of these adaptors have been manufactured with
non-conforming (undersize) threads.
In certain cases, when the minimum sized adaptors are combined
with cylinder bosses at maximum tolerance dimension and assembled to
fuel cylinders, the thread can impinge (``bottom out'') on the
cylinder boss. Although the required tightening torque value can be
achieved at installation, the torque required to unscrew the flange
could be below the minimum value. In extreme cases the adaptor may
be unscrewed by hand.
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could result in
an uncontrolled release of liquid propane which in turn could result
in a fire hazard that could damage the balloon and its envelope,
ultimately leading to a forced emergency landing, during which
balloon occupants and persons on the ground could be injured.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Cameron Balloons
Ltd. issued the Service Bulletin to provide instructions for the
removal from service of the affected parts.
For the reasons described above, this [CAA] AD retains the
requirements of CAA Emergency AD G-2021-0010-E dated 01 October
2021, which required a one-time inspection of each affected fuel
cylinder for leakage around the threaded joint between the QSO valve
adaptor flange and the cylinder boss and, depending on findings,
removal from service of the affected fuel cylinder. The AD also
required modification of each fuel cylinder by replacement of the
affected part with a serviceable part.
Since AD G-2021-0010-E was issued, additional applicability
information has been released by the manufacturer, Cameron Balloons
Ltd. Additional serial number applicability for CB2902 Cylinders has
been identified and added to the list of affected parts. (See [CAA
AD] appendix 1).
For the reason described above AD 2021-0010-E, was superseded by
AD G-2021-0014-E which expands the list of affected parts.
Since the issue of AD G-2021-0014-E additional information
pertaining to the means of visual identification of the affected
parts has been released by the manufacturer, Cameron Balloons Ltd.
It was also found that that the replacement part specified in the
previous [emergency airworthiness directives] EADs, Part No. CB437
`Issue G' did not go into production and instead `Issue H' was
For the reasons described above this [CAA] AD has been revised
to include additional information in the applicability, the
inclusion of photos ([CAA AD] figures 2, 3 and 4) and to reference
the correct replacement part number (updated drawing issue).
This revised [CAA] AD also introduces editorial changes not
affecting the requirements.
You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2021-1171.
Cameron identified fuel cylinder P/Ns CB2901, CB2902, and CB2903
that had the non-conforming QSO flange adapter P/N CB437 Issue F
installed at manufacture. However, the following additional fuel
cylinders that were not fitted with flange adapter P/N CB437 Issue F at
manufacture may have been later retrofitted with P/N CB437 Issue F:
Fuel cylinder P/Ns CB2901, CB2902, and CB2903; stainless steel fuel
cylinder P/Ns CB426, CB497, CB599, CB959, CB2088, V20, V30, and V40;
titanium fuel cylinder P/Ns CB2380, CB2383, CB2385, CB2387, and T30
(CY-050-A-001); and ``Worthington'' aluminum fuel cylinder P/N CB250.
The unsafe flange adapter has ``CB437'' machine-engraved on the
part. Flange adapters with ``CB437'' hand-stamped on the part or
machine-engraved with Issue H (``CB437/H'') or later issue are not
subject to the unsafe condition.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Cameron Balloons CBL/TN/DCB/3287, Issue C, dated
October 14, 2021, which specifies procedures for torque testing fuel
cylinders and for replacing the handwheel valve or flange adapter. 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 reviewed Cameron Balloons Service Bulletin No. 32, Revision
4, dated November 3, 2021. This service information specifies
procedures for identifying affected parts (including figures
illustrating both the unsafe and safe flange adapters). This service
information also specifies inspecting fuel cylinders for leakage.
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 referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD after
determining the unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop in other
products of the same type design.
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service
information described previously.
Differences Between This AD and the MCAI
The MCAI identifies affected fuel cylinders by serial number or
invoice number, while this AD identifies affected fuel cylinders by the
type of engraving of P/N CB437 on the flange adapter.
The MCAI applies to hot air balloons and certain airships. This AD
only applies to hot air balloons because the airships identified in the
MCAI do not have an FAA type certificate.
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
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 a liquid propane leak could result in an inflight fire,
damaging the balloon and leading to a forced emergency landing, which
could injure balloon occupants and persons on the ground. In addition,
some of the corrective actions must be accomplished before further
flight. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment
are impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5
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-2021-1171 and Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-01361-Q'' 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 Mike
Kiesov, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, 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
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 396 fuel cylinders installed
on hot air balloons worldwide. The FAA has no way of knowing the number
of the hot air balloons of U.S. Registry that may have an affected fuel
cylinder installed. The estimated cost on U.S. operators reflects the
maximum possible cost based on fuel cylinders worldwide. The average
labor rate is $85 per work-hour.
The FAA estimates that replacing the QSO flange adapter will take 1
work-hour and require parts costing $80, for a cost of $165 per adapter
and up to $65,340 for the U.S. fleet.
The FAA also estimates that it will take about 1 work-hour per hot
air balloon to inspect the fuel cylinder for leakage for a cost of $85
per hot air balloon and up to $33,660 for the U.S. fleet. In addition,
the FAA estimates that the torque test will take 1 work-hour for a cost
of $85 per hot air balloon. The FAA has no way of determining the
number of hot air balloons that may need the torque test.
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