DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0288; Project Identifier MCAI-2021-00913-G;
Amendment 39-22119; AD 2022-14-14]
Airworthiness Directives; Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co.
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Model ASW-15 gliders.
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 wing root damage. This AD
requires repetitively inspecting the wing root ribs for cracks, looseness,
and replacing any root rib with a crack, a loose rib or lift pin bushing,
or any damage. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective August 25, 2022.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 25,
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau, Alexander-
Schleicher-Str. 1, Poppenhausen, Germany D-36163; phone: +49 (0) 06658
89-0; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; 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. 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-2022-0288; 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 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: 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: email@example.com.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Alexander
Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Model ASW-15 gliders. The NPRM
published in the Federal Register on March 23, 2022 (87 FR 16433). The
NPRM was prompted by MCAI from the European Union Aviation Safety
Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of
the European Union. EASA issued AD 2021-0187, dated August 9, 2021
(referred to after this as ``the MCAI''), to address an unsafe
condition on all Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Model
ASW 15 gliders. The MCAI states:
Occurrences were reported of finding wing root rib damage.
Investigation is ongoing to determine the root cause of the damage.
This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the
structural integrity of the wing assembly of the sailplane.
To address this potential unsafe condition, Schleicher issued
the TN [technical note] to provide inspection instructions.
For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires
repetitive inspections of each affected part and, depending on
findings, replacement. This [EASA] AD also introduces restrictions
for installation of an affected part.
You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov
by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0288.
In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require repetitively inspecting
the wing root ribs for cracks, looseness, and damage and replacing any
root rib with a crack, a loose rib or lift pin bushing, or any damage.
The FAA is issuing this AD to detect and correct damaged root ribs. The
unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced structural
integrity of the wing assembly, which could lead to loss of control of
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received one comment from an individual. The following
presents the comment received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to the
An individual requested the FAA revise the proposed applicability
from ``all serial numbers'' to ``serial numbers 15001 up to 15183,'' as
stated in the Alexander Schleicher TN. The commenter stated that serial
numbers 15184 and subsequent should not be subject to the proposed AD
as the wing rib design changed at serial number 15184. The commenter
further stated that if the FAA does not change the proposed
applicability, owners of gliders with redesigned wing ribs would be
required to do needless inspections.
The FAA does not agree that the requested change is necessary. Type
Certificate Data Sheet No. G22EU identifies Model ASW-15 gliders as
those with serial numbers 15001 through 15183 and Model ASW-15B gliders
as those with serial numbers 15184 and subsequent. Therefore, this AD
applies to Model ASW-15 gliders, all serial numbers, certificated in
any category, which includes only serial numbers 15001 through 15183
The FAA did not change this AD based on this comment.
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 reviewed the relevant
data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety
requires adopting this AD as proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing
this AD to address the unsafe condition on this product. This AD is
adopted as proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau
ASW 15 Technical Note No. 29, dated June 28, 2021. This service
information specifies inspecting the root ribs at the wings.
The FAA also reviewed Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co.
Segelflugzeugbau ASW 15 Repair instruction exchange of wing root ribs
according to TN 29, dated June 28, 2021. This service information
specifies procedures for replacing the root ribs.
In addition, the FAA reviewed Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co.
Segelflugzeugbau ASW 15 Maintenance Instruction G, Issue 1, dated June
28, 2021. This service information specifies procedures for inspecting
the root ribs at the wings for damage.
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.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 20 gliders of U.S. registry.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
|Inspect root ribs
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary
replacements that would be required based on the results of the
inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of gliders
that might need these replacements:
|Replace all four root ribs
||8 work-hours 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
(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
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