Airworthiness Directive

ID: 2017-20-10
Issue date: 2017-10-11
Effective date: 2017-11-15
Subject: Auto Flight
Source: FAA
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Airbus Airplanes

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 195 (Wednesday, October 11, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47084-47091]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-21224]

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0624; Product Identifier 2016-NM-135-AD; Amendment 39-19067; AD
2017-20-10]

RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Summary:
We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A319 series
airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -
131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a runway excursion due to
an unexpected thrust increase leading to an unstable approach performed using the current flight
management and guidance computer (FMGC) standard. This AD requires identification of potentially
affected FMGCs, replacement of any affected FMGC, and applicable concurrent actions. We are
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Dates:
This AD is effective November 15, 2017.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain
publications listed in this AD as of November 15, 2017.

Addresses:
For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus, Airworthiness
Office–EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93
36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet
http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport
Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this
material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at
http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0624.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for
and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0624; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD,

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the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the
Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, 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: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International
Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356;
telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD
that would apply to all Airbus Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232,
and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes. The
NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 29, 2017 (82 FR 29440) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM
was prompted by a runway excursion due to an unexpected thrust increase leading to an unstable
approach performed using the current FMGC standard. The NPRM proposed to require identification
of potentially affected FMGCs, replacement of any affected FMGC, and applicable concurrent
actions. We are issuing this AD to prevent unstable approaches due to an unexpected thrust increase,
which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane and runway excursions.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member
States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016-0122, dated June 21,
2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”),
to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A319 series airplanes, Model A320-211, -212, -
214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes, and Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and
232 airplanes. The MCAI states:

Following an instrument landing system (ILS) approach, during night, in rainy
condition, an A321 aeroplane experienced a longitudinal runway excursion.
Investigation revealed that the approach was not stabilized with an overspeed of 19
knots (kts) over the runway threshold, followed by a long flare (18 seconds) with
touchdown far behind the touchdown zone. The aeroplane exited the runway at 75 kts
and came to rest around 300 meters beyond the end of the runway. During the final
approach, at 150 feet Radio Altimeter (RA) altitude, the corrected airspeed of the
aeroplane was 165 kts (24 kts overspeed). Auto thrust (ATHR) commanded a transient
N1 increase up to 70% due to the ATHR speed Mach control law.

The ATHR system on A320 family aeroplane was designed to maintain accurately the
aircraft speed/Mach to speed/Mach target by commanding the thrust, featuring also a
trade-off at low altitude between thrust corrections to maintain speed equal to speed
target and too large thrust corrections destabilizing the aircraft trajectory near the
ground. The conclusions of the investigations were that the main contributor to this
runway excursion was a non-stabilized approach not followed by a go-around. ATHR
misbehaviour in case of large overspeed led to an unexpected thrust increase, which is
considered as a contributor to the long flare.

This ATHR characteristic, reported as “Spurious thrust increase during approach,”
was initially found in 1996 and a modification was developed and introduced in Flight
Guidance (FG) 2G standard “C8 or I8” (C for CFM engines and I for IAE engines) in
2001.

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Prompted by these findings, Airbus introduced a programme to encourage operators to
replace the FMGC Legacy with the FMGC equipped with Flight Management System
type 2 (FMS2) and FG standard, which introduces additional operational capabilities,
including Runway Overrun Protection System/Runway Overrun Warning
(ROPS/ROW) and Autopilot/Traffic Collision Avoidance System (AP/TCAS). It was
determined that the ROPS, in a scenario similar to the one described above, would
have triggered a <> aural alert before touchdown. Information was made available
through Airbus Service Information Letter (SIL) 22-039 (later superseded by Word In
Service Experience (WISE) In Service Information 22.83.00003), and EASA
published Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) 2013-19, recommending the FMGC
upgrade.

Since EASA SIB was published, it was determined that many operators have chosen
not to implement the optional upgrade that improves the ATHR behaviour.

More recently, prompted by a recommendation from the BEA (Bureau d'Enquêtes et
d'Analyses pour la sécurité de l'aviation civile) of France, to reduce the risk of further
runway excursions due to uninterrupted unstable approaches performed with the
legacy FMGC standard, EASA decided to require installation of at least the first
version of the FMS2 and associated FG for legacy aeroplanes.

DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued AD 1999-411-
140(B)R1 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2000-12-13, Amendment 39-11791 (65 FR
37845, June 19, 2000) (“AD 2000-12-13”)] and AD 1998-226-119(B)R1 [which
corresponds to FAA AD 98-19-08, Amendment 39-10750 (63 FR 50503, September
22, 1998)] to address different unsafe conditions, requiring to install a certain previous
FMGC standard that may be susceptible to the “Spurious thrust increase during
approach”.

For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD * * * requires replacement of the
affected FMGC units with upgraded units [and applicable concurrent actions].

Concurrent actions include the installation of certain FMGCs, wiring, display management
computers, wiring associated with pin programming, and applicable operational program
configuration disks. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at
http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0624.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the
comment received. Air Line Pilots Association, International supported the NPRM.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety
and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, except for minor editorial changes. We
have determined that these minor changes:
• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe
condition; and
• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.


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Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

Airbus has issued the following service information, which describes procedures for replacement
of any affected FMGC with a serviceable FMGC. These documents are distinct since they apply to
different airplane configurations.
• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1090, Revision 11, dated July 20, 2004.
• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1103, Revision 04, dated March 12, 2004.
• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1116, Revision 04, dated March 29, 2004.
• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1152, Revision 03, dated February 18, 2005.
• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1243, Revision 05, dated May 31, 2010.
• Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1519, Revision 02, dated December 21, 2015.
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

We estimate that this AD affects 1,032 airplanes of U.S. registry.
We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs
Action Labor cost Parts Cost per Cost on U.S.
cost product operators
Inspection 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $0 $85 $87,720
$85

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements required based on the results
of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these
replacements.

On-Condition Costs
Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product
Replacement 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 $30,000 $30,765

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.
We are 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 is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft
Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance
of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this



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transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to
transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

Regulatory Findings

We determined that 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. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034,
February 26, 1979);
3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and
4. 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.

Adoption of 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.

§ 39.13 [Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):




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AIRWORTHINESS
FAA DIRECTIVE
Aviation Safety
www.faa.gov/aircraft/safety/alerts/
www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/advanced.html


2017-20-10 Airbus: Amendment 39-19067; Docket No. FAA-2017-0624; Product Identifier 2016-
NM-135-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective November 15, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD affects AD 2000-12-13, Amendment 39-11791 (65 FR 37845, June 19, 2000) (“AD
2000-12-13”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs
(c)(1) through (c)(3) of this AD, all manufacturer serial numbers.
(1) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.
(2) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.
(3) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 22, Auto Flight.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by a report of a runway excursion due to an unexpected thrust increase
leading to an unstable approach performed using the current flight management and guidance
computer (FMGC) standard. We are issuing this AD to prevent unstable approaches due to an
unexpected thrust increase, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane and runway
excursions.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Inspection and Replacement of Affected FMGC

(1) Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD: Inspect the FMGC to determine if any
FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2),
and (j) of this AD is installed. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of
inspecting the FMGC, provided those records can be relied upon for that purpose and the part number
of the FMGC can be conclusively identified from that review.


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(2) If any affected FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs
(g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD is found during any inspection or review required by
paragraph (g)(1) of this AD: Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the FMGC
with a serviceable FMGC having a part number that is not identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1),
(g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions and
paragraph 1.B. (concurrent actions) of the applicable service information specified in paragraphs
(g)(2)(i) through (g)(2)(vi) of this AD, or using a method approved by the Manager, International
Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or
Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). Refer to Figure 2 to paragraph (g)(2) of this
AD and Figure 3 to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD for the lists of approved eligible FMGCs certified as
of the effective date of this AD.
(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1090, Revision 11, dated July 20, 2004 (installation of
FMGC part number (P/N) C13042BA01).
(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1103, Revision 04, dated March 12, 2004 (installation of
FMGC P/N C13043AA01).
(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1116, Revision 04, dated March 29, 2004 (installation of
FMGC P/N C13043BA01).
(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1152, Revision 03, dated February 18, 2005 (installation of
FMGC P/N C13043AA02).
(v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1243, Revision 05, dated May 31, 2010 (installation of
FMGC P/N C13043BA04).
(vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1519, Revision 02, dated December 21, 2015 (installation
of FMGC P/N C13207CA00).




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(h) Unaffected Airplanes

(1) An airplane on which Airbus Modification 31896 or Airbus Modification 31897 has been
embodied in production is not affected by the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, provided it is
conclusively determined that no FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to
paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD has been installed on that airplane since the
date of issuance of the original certificate of airworthiness or the original export certificate of
airworthiness. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable to make this determination
provided those records can be relied upon for that purpose and the part number of the FMGC can be
conclusively identified from that review.
(2) An airplane on which the actions specified in paragraph (g)(2) have been done before the
effective date of this AD is not affected by the requirements in paragraph (g) of this AD, provided it
is conclusively determined that no FMGC with an affected part number identified in Figure 1 to
paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this AD has been installed on that airplane since
accomplishing the actions specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD. A review of airplane maintenance
records is acceptable to make this determination provided those records can be relied upon for that
purpose and the part number of the FMGC can be conclusively identified from that review.

(i) Parts Installation Limitation

Installation of an FMGC standard approved after the effective date of this AD on any airplane, is
acceptable for compliance with the actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, provided the
conditions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD are accomplished.
(1) The software and hardware standard, as applicable, must be approved by the Manager,
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA.
(2) The installation must be accomplished using airplane modification instructions approved by
the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA
DOA.

(j) Parts Installation Prohibition

As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install on any airplane an FMGC with an
affected part number identified in Figure 1 to paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (h)(1), (h)(2), and (j) of this
AD.

(k) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, if those
actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the applicable service information
identified in Figure 4 to paragraph (k) of this AD.




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(l) Terminating Action for Other ADs

Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, and, as applicable, paragraph
(g)(2) of this AD, terminates all requirements of AD 2000-12-13.

(m) Other FAA AD Provisions

The following provisions also apply to this AD:
(1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Section,
Transport Standards 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 International Section, send it to the attention of the person
identified in paragraph (n)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOC-
REQUESTS@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal
inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district
office/certificate holding district office.
(2) Contacting the
Manufacturer:
For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions
from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager,
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA; or EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If
approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

(n) Related Information

(1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness
Directive 2016-0122, dated June 21, 2016, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the
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AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No.
FAA-2017-0624.
(2) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer,
International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA
98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.
(3) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at
the addresses specified in paragraphs (o)(3) and (o)(4) of this AD.

(o) 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 this AD specifies otherwise.
(i) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1090, Revision 11, dated July 20, 2004.
(ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1103, Revision 04, dated March 12, 2004.
(iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1116, Revision 04, dated March 29, 2004.
(iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1152, Revision 03, dated February 18, 2005.
(v) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1243, Revision 05, dated May 31, 2010.
(vi) Airbus Service Bulletin A320-22-1519, Revision 02, dated December 21, 2015.
(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office–EIAS, 1
Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5
61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com.
(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind
Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-
227-1221.
(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National
Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at
NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 20, 2017.
Dionne Palermo,
Acting Director, System Oversight Division,
Aircraft Certification Service.




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Sources as credited.