DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2023-1806; Project Identifier MCAI-2023-00934-Q;
Amendment 39-22535; AD 2023-17-09]
Airworthiness Directives; Cameron Balloons Ltd. Fuel Cylinders
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2022-13-
03, which applied to a certain Cameron Balloons Ltd. (Cameron) fuel
cylinder installed on hot air balloons. AD 2022-13-03 required removing
any installed fuel cylinder part number (P/N) CB2990 (Alugas) from
service before further flight. Since the FAA issued AD 2022-13-03, the
fuel cylinder part number has been identified as CB2990/A instead of
CB2990 (Alugas). This AD requires removing any installed fuel cylinders
P/N CB2990/A from service before further flight. The FAA is issuing
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective September 13, 2023.
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by October 13, 2023.
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 regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions 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.
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-1806; 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 mandatory continuing airworthiness
information (MCAI), any comments received, and other information. The
street address for Docket Operations is listed above.
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; website: cameronballoons.co.uk. You
may view this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products
Section, Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust Street, Kansas City, MO
64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA,
call (817) 222-5110. It is also available at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-1806.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Fred Guerin, Aviation Safety Engineer,
FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (206)
231-2346; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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-2023-1806; Project Identifier MCAI-
2023-00934-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
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 Fred
Guerin, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410,
Westbury, NY 11590. 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 2022-13-03, Amendment 39-22089 (87 FR 36053, June
15, 2022) (AD 2022-13-03), for a certain Cameron fuel cylinder
installed on hot air balloons. AD 2022-13-03 was prompted by MCAI
originated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the
airworthiness authority for the United Kingdom (UK). The UK CAA issued
Emergency AD G-2022-0010-E, dated May 12, 2022, to correct an unsafe
condition identified as cracks in the weld between the cylinder valve
plate and the upper dished end of Cameron fuel cylinder part number (P/
N) CB2990 (Alugas). AD 2022-13-03 required removing any installed fuel
cylinder P/N CB2990 (Alugas) from service before further flight. The
FAA issued AD 2022-13-03 to prevent uncontrolled fuel leakage of liquid
propane. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could lead to fire or
explosion and consequent emergency landing.
Actions Since AD 2022-13-03 Was Issued
Since the FAA issued AD 2022-13-03, the UK CAA superseded Emergency
AD G-2022-0010-E, dated May 12, 2022, and issued UK CAA Emergency AD G-
2023-0005-E, dated July 31, 2023, (referred to after this as ``the
MCAI''). The MCAI identifies the fuel cylinder part number as CB2990/A
instead of CB2990 (Alugas), references a re-design of the fuel cylinder
to P/N CB2990-B, and requires removing fuel cylinder P/N CB2990/A from
You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-1806.
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country and are 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 referenced above. The FAA is issuing this AD after determining
that the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or
develop on other products of the same type design.
This AD retains no requirements of AD 2022-13-13. This AD requires,
before further flight, removing any installed fuel cylinder P/N CB2990/
A from service.
Differences Between This AD and the MCAI
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.
Although the MCAI specifies emptying the removed fuel cylinder,
this AD does not require this action. While this action is encouraged
for the general safety related to the leakage of liquid propane from
these fuel cylinders once they have been removed from the balloon,
those actions are not required to address the unsafe condition
identified in this AD.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
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 forgoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because a liquid propane leak on the fuel cylinder could lead to an in-
flight fire or explosion, damaging the hot air balloon and leading to
forced emergency landing, which could injure balloon occupants and
persons on the ground. Additionally, 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 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
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 forgo notice and
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 696 fuel cylinders installed
on hot air balloons worldwide. The FAA has no way of knowing the number
of 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 removing the affected fuel cylinder will
take 1 work-hour costing $85, for a cost of up to $59,160 for the U.S.
fleet. The FAA estimates that installing a non-affected fuel cylinder
will take 1 work-hour costing $85 and will cost $3,200 per fuel
cylinder, for a cost of up to $2,286,360 for the U.S. fleet.
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:
a. Removing Airworthiness Directive 2022-13-03, Amendment 39-22089 (87
FR 36053, June 15, 2022); and
b. Adding the following new airworthiness directive: