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AD: Airbus SAS Airplanes

AD 2020-22-11 Prompted By A Report Indicating That The Material Used To Manufacture The Upper Frame Feet Was Changed

The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-18-17, which applied to all Airbus SAS Model A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R, A300 F4-622R, and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

AD 2017-18-17 required modifying certain fuselage frames and a repair on certain modified airplanes. This AD continues to require the actions in AD 2017-18-17, and also requires, for certain airplanes, an inspection to determine if rotating probe inspections were performed prior to oversizing of the open-holes, and repair if necessary; as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that the material used to manufacture the upper frame feet was changed and negatively affected the fatigue life of the frame feet, and a determination that more work is required for certain airplanes that were previously modified. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. This AD is effective December 14, 2020.

Supplementary Information: The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0051, dated March 11, 2020 (¡§EASA AD 2020-0051¡¨) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ¡§the MCAI¡¨), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus SAS Model A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R, A300 F4-622R, A300 C4-620, and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes. Model A300 C4-620 airplanes are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; this AD therefore does not include those airplanes in the applicability.

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2017-18-17, Amendment 39-19026 (82 FR 43160, September 14, 2017) (¡§AD 2017-18-17¡¨). AD 2017-18-17 applied to all Airbus SAS Model A300 B4-603, A300 B4-620, A300 B4-622, A300 B4-605R, A300 B4-622R, A300 F4-605R, A300 F4-622R, and A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 8, 2020 (85 FR 35016). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that the material used to manufacture the upper frame feet was changed and negatively affected the fatigue life of the frame feet, and a determination that more work is required for certain airplanes that were previously modified. The NPRM proposed to continue to require the actions in AD 2017-18-17, as specified in an EASA AD. The NPRM also proposed to require, for certain airplanes, an inspection to determine if rotating probe inspections were performed prior to oversizing of the open-holes, and repair if necessary, as specified in an EASA AD.

The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracking of the center section of the fuselage, which could result in a ruptured frame foot and reduced structural integrity of the airplane. See the MCAI for additional background information.

FMI: www.regulations.gov

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