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AD: Airbus SAS Airplanes

AD 2020-18-07 Require Repetitive Inspections Of The Fuselage Skin For Chafing Damage

The FAA is superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2016-18-09, which applied to certain Airbus SAS Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes. AD 2016-18-09 required repetitive detailed inspections for damage on the fuselage skin at certain frames, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions.

This AD continues to require repetitive inspections of the fuselage skin for chafing damage at certain frames using a new inspection process, and corrective actions if necessary; as specified in a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, which is incorporated by reference. This AD was prompted by reports of additional chafing of the forward fuselage found underneath the fairing structure. Investigation revealed the cause as contact between the belly fairing nut plate and the fuselage. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. This AD is effective October 9, 2020.

Supplementary Information: The EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2020-0030, dated February 18, 2020 (“EASA AD 2020-0030”) (also referred to as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus SAS Model A318 series airplanes; Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes; and Model A320-211, -212, -214, -215, -216, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes. Model A320-215 airplanes are not certificated by the FAA and are not included on the U.S. type certificate data sheet; therefore, this AD does not include those airplanes in the applicability. EASA AD 2020-0030 supersedes EASA AD 2014-0259 (which corresponds to FAA AD 2016-18-09, Amendment 39-18639 (81 FR 61993, September 8, 2016) (AD 2016-18-09)).

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2016-18-09. AD 2016-18-09 applied to certain Airbus SAS Model A318, A319, and A320 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 10, 2020 (85 FR 20203). The NPRM was prompted by reports of additional chafing of the forward fuselage found underneath the fairing structure. Investigation revealed the cause as contact between the belly  fairing nut plate and the fuselage. The NPRM proposed to continue to require repetitive inspections of the fuselage skin for chafing damage at certain frames using a new inspection process, and corrective actions if necessary, as specified in an EASA AD.

The FAA is issuing this AD to address damage to the fuselage skin, which could lead to crack initiation and propagation, possibly resulting in reduced structural integrity of the fuselage.

FMI: www.regulations.gov

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