DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0469; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00124-Q]
Airworthiness Directives; Cameron Balloons Ltd. Burner Assemblies
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for certain Cameron Balloons Ltd. (Cameron) Stratus double burner
assemblies installed on hot air balloons. This proposed AD was prompted
by reports 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 fatigue cracking of the weld on Stratus double
burner hangers. This proposed AD would require repetitively inspecting
certain Stratus double burner hangers and replacing certain Stratus
double burners, and would prohibit installing certain parts. 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 June
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 proposed AD, contact
Cameron Balloons Ltd., St Johns Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 4NH,
United Kingdom; phone: +44 0 117 9637216; email:
email@example.com; website: https://www.cameronballoons.co.uk.
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-2022-0469; 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: Mike Kiesov, Aviation Safety Engineer,
General Aviation & Rotorcraft Section, International Validation Branch,
FAA, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, MO 64106; phone: (816) 329-
4144; 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 the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2022-0469;
Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00124-Q'' 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 this 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 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
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued
EASA AD 2021-0042, dated January 29, 2021 (referred to after this as
``the MCAI''), to address an unsafe condition on all hot air balloons.
The MCAI states:
An occurrence was been reported of a Stratus burner hanger,
[part number] P/N CB8504, failing after landing, leaving one burner
unit detached from the load frame. Investigation revealed a limited
number of similar failures. Comparable issues have been experienced
with other parts of the Stratus product line (see Australian [Civil
Aviation Safety Authority] CASA AWB 14-001 [Airworthiness Bulletin
AWB 14-001, Issue 3, dated February 5, 2021]). The suspected cause
is fatigue cracking of the weld, caused mainly during ground
transportation with the burner erect, combined with an overload
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to
burner falling on the balloon occupant's head, resulting in injury
to balloon occupants. It could also lead to an uncontrolled cold
descent and hard landing, possibly resulting in injury to balloon
occupants and persons on the ground.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Cameron Balloons
issued the SB [Service Bulletin No. 28, Revision 3, dated February
3, 2021], providing inspection and replacement instructions. It was
determined that some burner hangers cannot be inspected as they are
covered with a doubler plate to reinforce the central part of the
For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires
repetitive detailed inspections (DET) of the affected parts A and,
depending on findings, replacement with a serviceable part. This
[EASA] AD also requires direct replacement of the burner hanger
installed on affected parts B.
You may view the MCAI in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0469.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Cameron Balloons Service Bulletin 28, Revision 3,
dated February 3, 2021. The service information specifies identifying
the Stratus double burner hanger, inspecting it in accordance with
Cameron Balloons SB28: Accomplishment Instructions CBL/TN/DCB/3191,
Issue B, dated February 4, 2020 (CBL/TN/DCB/3191 Issue B), and
replacing it if there are any cracks.
The FAA also reviewed CBL/TN/DCB/3191 Issue B, which contains
procedures for identifying and inspecting affected Stratus double
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 agency of the unsafe condition described in the
MCAI and service information referenced 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
Proposed AD Requirements
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in the service information already described, except as discussed under
``Differences Between this Proposed AD and the MCAI.''
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
The MCAI requires reporting information to Cameron Balloons, and
this proposed AD would not.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 220 burner assemblies that have been produced worldwide. The FAA
has no way of knowing how many of these burner assemblies are installed
on hot air balloons of U.S. Registry. Therefore, for the purposes of
this proposed AD, the FAA is basing the fleet cost estimate on the
maximum number of 220 burner assemblies.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed
hot air balloon
|Inspect burner hangers
||1 work-hour x $85
per hour = $85
||$85 per inspection
||$18,700 per inspection cycle
The FAA estimates the following costs
to replace a cracked burner
hanger or a burner that has a doubler plate. The FAA has no way of
determining the number of hot air balloons that would need this action.
hot air balloon
|Replace with a serviceable part
||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.
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 this proposed
(1) Would not be a ``significant regulatory action'' under
Executive Order 12866,
(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 adding the following new airworthiness