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2023-26-03 WACO CLASSIC AIRCRAFT CORPORATION: Amendment 39-22646; Docket No. FAA-2023-2005; Project Identifier AD-2022-01523-A.
(a) EFFECTIVE DATE

    This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective February 7, 2024.

(b) AFFECTED ADS

    None.

(c) APPLICABILITY

    This  AD  applies  to  WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation Model 2T-1A-2
    airplanes, serial numbers 1200 and subsequent with the 30116-100 upper
    wing center section assembly configuration,  certificated in any cate-
    gory.

(d) SUBJECT

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 5712, Wing, Rib/Bulkhead.

(e) UNSAFE CONDITION

    This AD was prompted by reports of multiple cracks at the leading edge
    former ribs  and trailing  edge former  ribs in  the upper wing center
    section along the top flange where  the ribs attach to the spar  after
    low flight hours.  The FAA is  issuing this AD  to detect and  correct
    cracks in the leading and trailing edge former ribs in the upper  wing
    center section. The unsafe  condition, if not addressed,  could result
    in  reduced  structural  integrity of  the  airplane  and the  reduced
    ability of the flightcrew to  maintain the safe flight and  landing of
    the airplane.

(f) COMPLIANCE

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified,  unless al-
    ready done.

(g) REQUIRED ACTIONS

(1) Within 30 days  after the effective date of this AD,  insert  maneuver
    restriction placards  on the  instrument panel  of the  front and rear
    cockpits,  and  next  to the  operating placard  in the  rear cockpit,
    stating "NO AEROBATIC MANEUVERS ALLOWED."

(2) Within 100 hours time-in-service (TIS)  or  within 12 months after the
    effective  date of  this AD,  whichever occurs  first, accomplish  the
    following:

(i) Inspect the leading edge former ribs  and trailing edge former ribs in
    the upper wing center section for cracking in accordance with  section
    B and  before further  flight, replace  any cracked  rib in accordance
    with section C of the Accomplishment Instructions in WACO Great  Lakes
    2T-1A-2 Service Bulletin  GL-SB0002, Revision NR,  dated July 6,  2023
    (WACO  SB   2T-1A-2,  Revision   NR).  Although   section  B   of  the
    Accomplishment Instructions in WACO SB 2T-1A-2, Revision NR, specifies
    to record the locations of all identified cracks found on the  leading
    edge former  ribs and  the trailing  edge former  ribs and  share this
    information  with  WACO  Aircraft,  this  AD  does  not  require those
    actions.

(ii) Modify the center section  to the 30116-104 upper wing center section
     assembly configuration in accordance with section C of the Accomplish
     -ment Instructions in WACO SB 2T-1A-2, Revision NR.

(3) After replacing all cracked ribs  and  modifying the center section to
    the 30116-104  upper wing center section assembly configuration, aero-
    batic maneuvers can resume  and  the  "NO AEROBATIC MANEUVERS ALLOWED"
    maneuver restriction placards  can be removed  from the front and rear
    cockpits.

(h) ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF COMPLIANCE (AMOCS)

(1) The Manager, Central Certification Branch,  FAA,  has the authority to
    approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found  in
    14 CFR 39.19. In  accordance with 14 CFR  39.19, send your request  to
    your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as
    appropriate. If  sending information  directly to  the manager  of the
    Central Certification Branch, send it  to the attention of the  person
    identified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC,  notify your appropriate principal in-
    spector, or lacking  a principal inspector,  the manager of  the local
    Flight Standards District Office/certificate holding district office.

(i) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    For more information about this AD, contact Tim Eichor, Aviation Safe-
    ty Engineer, FAA, 1801 S Airport Road, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: (847)
    294-7141; email: tim.d.eichor@faa.gov.

(j) MATERIAL INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

(1) The Director of the Federal Register  approved  the  incorporation  by
    reference  (IBR)  of the service information  listed in this paragraph
    under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable  to do the actions
    required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) WACO Great Lakes 2T-1A-2 Service Bulletin GL-SB0002 Revision NR, dated
    July 6, 2023.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) For service information  identified in this AD,  contact  WACO Classic
    Aircraft Corporation, 15955 South Airport Road, Battle Creek, MI 49015
    phone: (269) 565-1000;  email: hello@wacoaircraft.com.;  website: waco
    aircraft.com.

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA,  Airworthiness Prod-
    ucts 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.

(5) You may view this material at the National Archives and Records Admin-
    istration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material
    at NARA,  visit www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations or
    email fr.inspection@nara.gov.

Issued on December 21, 2023.  Caitlin Locke,  Director,  Compliance & Air-
worthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Eichor, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA
1801 S Airport Road, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: (847) 294-7141; email: tim.
d.eichor@faa.gov.
PREAMBLE 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


14 CFR Part 39


[Docket No. FAA-2023-2005; Project Identifier AD-2022-01523-A;
Amendment 39-22646; AD 2023-26-03]
RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
certain WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation Model 2T-1A-2 airplanes. This
AD was prompted by reports of multiple types of cracks at the leading
edge former ribs and trailing edge former ribs in the upper wing center
section. This AD requires installing maneuver restriction placards in
the front and rear cockpits, inspecting the leading and trailing edge
former ribs for cracking, replacing any cracked ribs, modifying the
upper wing center section assembly, and removing the maneuver
restriction placards after completing the modification. The FAA is
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective February 7, 2024.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of February 7,
2024.

ADDRESSES:
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-2005; 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, 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.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
For service information identified in this final rule,
contact WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation, 15955 South Airport Road,
Battle Creek, MI 49015; phone: (269) 565-1000; email:
hello@wacoaircraft.com.; website: wacoaircraft.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 regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Eichor, Aviation Safety Engineer,
FAA, 1801 S Airport Road, Wichita, KS 67209; phone: (847) 294-7141;
email: tim.d.eichor@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain WACO Classic
Aircraft Corporation Model 2T-1A-2 airplanes. The NPRM published in the
Federal Register on October 27, 2023 (88 FR 73780). The NPRM was
prompted by reports of multiple types of cracks after low flight hours
on WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation Model 2T-1A-2 airplanes. The
cracks were approximately 1 to 1.5 inches long and located in the
leading edge former ribs and trailing edge former ribs in the upper
wing center section, along the top flange where the ribs attach to the
spar. Due to the cracking, the fabric support channels have come close
to separating from the trailing edge former ribs. When fabric support
channels detach from a rib, they would still be attached to the fabric,
but the upper center wing airfoil may not maintain its shape due to the
fabric support channels being pulled up by aerodynamic loads, which
could lead to unexpected and unknown flight characteristics. The type
certificate holder determined that this unsafe condition affects
airplane serial numbers 1200 and subsequent with the upper wing center
section assembly 30116-100 configuration. In the NPRM, the FAA proposed
to require installing maneuver restriction placards in the front and
rear cockpits, inspecting the leading and trailing edge former ribs for
cracking, replacing any cracked ribs, modifying the upper wing center
section assembly, and removing the maneuver restriction placards after
completing the modification. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.

Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive

Comments

The FAA received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of
the costs.

Conclusion

The FAA reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety
requires adopting this AD as proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. This AD is
adopted as proposed in the NPRM.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed WACO Great Lakes 2T-1A-2 Service Bulletin GL-
SB0002, Revision NR, dated July 6, 2023 (WACO SB 2T-1A-2, Revision NR).
This service information specifies procedures for inspecting the
leading edge former ribs and trailing edge former ribs in the upper
wing center section for cracking, replacing any cracked ribs, and
modifying the upper wing center section assembly by installing new
fabric support channels, saddles, and brackets. Modifying the upper
wing center section assembly changes the configuration from the 30116-
100 upper wing center section assembly configuration to the 30116-104
upper wing center section assembly configuration.
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.

Difference Between This AD and the Service Information

Although section B of the Accomplishment Instructions in WACO SB
2T-1A-2, Revision NR, specifies to record the locations of all
identified cracks found on the leading edge former ribs and the
trailing edge former ribs and share this information with WACO
Aircraft, this AD does not require those actions.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this AD affects 19 airplanes of U.S. registry.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs

Action
Labor cost
Parts cost
Cost per product
Cost on U.S. operators
Maneuver restriction placard installation/removal 1 work-hour x $85 per hour = $85
$10
$95
$1,805
Rib inspection 4 work-hours x $85 per hour = $340
0
340
6,460
Upper wing center assembly modification 185 work-hours x $85 per hour = $15,725
4,063
19,788
375,972

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary rib
replacement that would be required based on the results of the
inspection. The agency has no way of determining the number of
airplanes that might need this replacement:

On-Condition Costs

Action
Labor cost
Parts cost
Cost per product
Rib replacement (8 ribs) 16 work-hours x $85 per hour = $1,360 (8 ribs)
$1,032 (8 ribs)
$2,392 (8 ribs)

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.

Regulatory Findings

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,
(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
reference, Safety.

The Amendment

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
directive: