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Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes, that requires a detailed visual inspection of the external power feeder cables in the forward cargo compartment between certain stations to detect chafing or damage; repair, if necessary; and installation of spiral wrap. This amendment is prompted by reports of failure of the external power feeder cable due to being chafed during maintenance. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent chafing and damage to external ground power feeder cables, which could result in electrical arcing and consequent structural damage and smoke and fire in the forward cargo compartment.

DATES:

Effective May 19, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of May 19, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Technical Publications Business Administration, Dept. C1-L51 (2-60). This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brett Portwood, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5350; fax (562) 627-5210.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2000 (65 FR 4790). That action proposed to require a detailed visual inspection of the external power feeder cables in the forward cargo compartment between certain stations to detect chafing or damage; repair, if necessary; and installation of spiral wrap.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the single comment received.

The commenter supports the proposed rule.

Explanation of Revised Alert Service Bulletin

Since issuance of the NPRM, the FAA has reviewed and approved Revision 02 of McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A008, dated March Start Printed Page 2032827, 2000. The inspection and corrective action procedures in Revision 02 are identical that those specified in Revision 01 of the alert service bulletin, which was referenced in the proposed AD as the appropriate source of service information. Revision 02 of the alert service bulletin reverses the order of the groups of affected airplanes and removes one airplane from the effectivity listing.

As a result of the revised alert service bulletin, the FAA has revised the final rule to reference Revision 02 of the alert service bulletin as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the actions required by this AD and for determining the applicability of the AD. The FAA also has revised the final rule by including a new note that gives operators credit for accomplishing the actions required by this AD in accordance with Revision 01 of the alert service. In addition, the FAA has revised the Cost Impact section of the AD to reflect the appropriate cost information for the revised airplane groups.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comment noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the changes previously described. The FAA has determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 38 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 14 airplanes (11 airplanes identified as Group 1 and 3 airplanes identified as Group 2) of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD.

For Group 2 airplanes, the FAA estimates that it will take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the required inspection, and approximately 2 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required installation of spiral wrap, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $140 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators of Group 2 airplanes is estimated to be $960, or $320 per airplane.

For Group 1 airplanes, the FAA estimates that it will take approximately 2 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required inspection, and approximately 3 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required installation of spiral wrap. Required parts will cost approximately $140 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators of Group 1 airplanes is estimated to be $4,840, or $440 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this AD were not adopted.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations adopted herein 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. Therefore, it is determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 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. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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[Amended]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

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2000-07-19 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-11673. Docket 99-NM-268-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 series airplanes, as listed in McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A008, Revision 02, dated March 27, 2000; certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For airplanes that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (b) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent chafing and damage to external ground power feeder cables, which could result in electrical arcing and consequent structural damage and smoke and fire in the forward cargo compartment, accomplish the following:

Inspection and Modification

(a) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, perform a detailed visual inspection of the external ground power feeder cables in the forward cargo compartment between stations Y=879.000 and Y=1019.000 left of centerline to detect chafing or damage, in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A008, Revision 02, March 27, 2000.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed visual inspection is defined as: “An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.”

(1) If any chafing or damage is detected, prior to further flight, repair and install spiral wrap, in accordance with the service bulletin.

(2) If no chafing or damage is detected, prior to further flight, install spiral wrap in accordance with the service bulletin.

Note 3:

Inspections, repairs, and installations accomplished prior the effective date of this AD in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A008, Revision 01, dated December 2, 1999; are considered acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(b) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be Start Printed Page 20329used if approved by the Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Los Angeles ACO.

Note 4:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Los Angeles ACO.

Special Flight Permits

(c) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with §§ 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

Incorporation by Reference

(d) The actions shall be done in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A008, Revision 02, dated March 27, 2000. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Technical Publications Business Administration, Dept. C1-L51 (2-60). Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

(e) This amendment becomes effective on May 19, 2000.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 4, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-8815 Filed 4-13-00; 8:45 am]

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