DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0293; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-01125-G]
Airworthiness Directives; Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co.
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive
23-03, which applies to all Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co.
Segelflugzeugbau (Alexander Schleicher) Model Ka2B, Ka 6, Ka 6 B, Ka 6
BR, Ka 6 C, Ka 6 CR, K 7, K 8, and AS-K 13 gliders. AD 75-23-03
requires visually inspecting the glue joint between the elevator nose
rib number 1 and the nose plywood skin and replacing the glue joint if
insufficient glue adhesion is found. Since the FAA issued AD 75-23-03,
the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) superseded prior EASA
ADs for the unsafe condition on these products. This proposed AD would
add the Model K 8 B gliders to the applicability and would require
repetitively inspecting the glue joint at elevator rib number 1 and
repairing any damage found. 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 May
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 NPRM, contact Alexander
Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau, Alexander-Schleicher-Str. 1,
Poppenhausen, Germany D-36163; phone: +49 (0) 06658 89-0; email:
email@example.com; website: https://www.alexander-schleicher.de.
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.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0293; 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, FAA, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106;
phone: (816) 329-4165; 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-2022-0293; Project Identifier
MCAI-2021-01125-G'' 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 NPRM.
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 75-23-03, Amendment 39-2414 (40 FR 50706, October
31, 1975) (AD 75-23-03) for all Alexander Schleicher Model Ka2B, Ka 6,
Ka 6 B, Ka 6 BR, Ka 6 C, Ka 6 CR, K 7, K 8, and AS-K 13 gliders. AD 75-
23-03 was prompted by mandatory continuing airworthiness information
(MCAI) originated by Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA), which, at the time, was
the airworthiness authority for Germany. AD 75-23-03 requires a one-
time inspection of the glue joint at elevator rib number 1 for glue
adhesion and repair if necessary.
Actions Since AD 75-23-03 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 75-23-03, EASA, which is the Technical
Agent for the Member States of the European Union, superseded LBA's
prior AD on this unsafe condition and issued EASA AD 2021-0230, dated
October 14, 2021, (referred to after this as ``the MCAI''), for
Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Model AS-K 13, ASK 16,
ASK 16B, ASK 18, ASK 18 B, K 8, K 8 B, K 8 C, K 7, Ka 6, Ka 6 B, Ka 6
BR, Ka 6 C, Ka 6 CR, and Ka \6/0\ sailplanes (gliders). The MCAI
An occurrence was reported of structural failure of an elevator
during winch launching of a K 7 sailplane. Subsequent investigation
results determined that the occurrence was due to damaged glue of
the elevator's rib No. 1.
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the
structural integrity of an elevator, possibly resulting in reduced
control of the aeroplane.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Schleicher issued
the glued joint inspection TN [Technical Note], as defined in this
[EASA] AD, to provide inspection instructions and LBA Germany issued
AD 72-7 (later revised) to require those actions.
Since that [LBA Germany] AD was issued, additional similar
occurrences were reported of structural elevator failure, also on
(powered) sailplanes originally not affected by LBA 72-7/3. Prompted
by this development, Schleicher issued the applicable TN, providing
inspections instructions for all (powered) sailplanes having an
elevator of a similar design and making the inspections dependent
also on the number of take-offs.
For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD supersedes LBA
Germany AD 72-7/3 [dated December 13, 1989] and requires repetitive
inspections of the elevator and, depending on findings,
accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).
You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0293.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau
Appendix 01-2021, Flight and Operating Manual, dated March 1, 2021.
This service information specifies procedures for protecting the glider
from moisture and repetitively inspecting the glue joint between
elevator rib number 1 and the plywood skin.
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 the ADDRESSES section.
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 NPRM
after determining 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 supersede AD 75-23-03 without retaining any
of its actions. This proposed AD would require repetitively inspecting
the glue joint between elevator rib number 1 and the plywood skin and
repairing if necessary. This proposed AD would also add Model K 8 B
gliders to the applicability.
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
The MCAI applies to Model ASK 16, ASK 16B, ASK 18, ASK 18 B, K 8 C,
and Ka \6/0\ gliders and this proposed AD would not because they do not
have an FAA type certificate.
This proposed AD would include the Model Ka2B glider whereas the
MCAI does not.
Although the technical notes required by the MCAI specify to report
findings of damage to the manufacturer, this proposed AD would not
require that action.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 83 gliders of U.S. registry. The FAA also estimates that it
would take 4 work-hours per glider to inspect the glue joint at
elevator rib number 1 and would require parts costing $50. The average
labor rate is $85 per work-hour.
Based on these figures, the FAA estimates the cost on U.S.
operators to be $32,370 or $390 per glider, per inspection cycle.
The FAA estimates that replacing the glue joint, if necessary,
would take 8 work-hours and would require parts costing $250 for an
estimated cost of $930 per glider. The FAA has no way of determining
the number of gliders that may need this action.
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 75-23-03, Amendment 39-2414 (40 FR
50706, October 31, 1975), and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: