Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.
Final rule; request for comments.
This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Boeing Model 777 series airplanes. This action requires a one-time measurement of the electrical bonding resistance between the wing spar connectors of the fuel quantity indicating system (FQIS) and the spar structure, installation of bonding jumpers, a one-time operational check of the FQIS system, and corrective action, if necessary. This action is necessary to ensure adequate electrical bonding between the wing spar connectors of the FQIS and the spar structure. Inadequate electrical bonding, in the event of a lightning strike, could cause electrical arcing and ignition of fuel vapor in the main or center fuel tank, which could result in a fuel tank explosion. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.
Effective July 28, 2000.
The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 28, 2000.
Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before September 11, 2000.
Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-155-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: email@example.com. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-155-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate. Comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.
The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Larry Reising, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2683; fax (425) 227-1181.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The FAA has received data from the manufacturer indicating the results of tests conducted during the High Intensity Radiated Field Lightning Assurance Plan test program. One test revealed that the electrical bonding of the wing spar connectors of the fuel quantity indicating system (FQIS) was not adequate to meet the bonding limit required for lightning protection. This was because the bonding resistance of all six FQIS connectors exceeded the required limit. Investigation revealed that the faying surface of the adapter that bonds the connector to the spar structure was contaminated with fuel tank sealant or O-ring lubricant. Inadequate electrical bonding, in the event of a lightning strike, could cause electrical arcing, and ignition of fuel vapor in the main or center fuel tank, which could result in a fuel tank explosion.
Explanation of Relevant Service Information
The FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-28A0019, dated April 27, 2000, which describes procedures for a one-time measurement of the electrical bonding resistance between the wing spar connectors of the FQIS and the spar structure, installation of bonding jumpers to create a redundant bonding path between the connector and the spar structure, and a one-time operational check of that installation. The service bulletin references Boeing 777 Airplane Maintenance Manual, Chapter 28-41-00, as the appropriate source for accomplishment of the operational check and repair instructions if any discrepancy is found. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the alert service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. Start Printed Page 43222
Explanation of the Requirements of the Rule
Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other Model 777 series airplanes of the same type design, this AD is being issued to ensure adequate electrical bonding between the wing spar connectors of the FQIS and the spar structure. This AD requires a one-time measurement of the electrical bonding resistance between the wing spar connectors of the FQIS and the spar structure, installation of bonding jumpers, a one-time operational check of that installation, and corrective action, if necessary. The actions are required to be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletin described previously, except as discussed below.
Difference Between the Alert Service Bulletin and This AD
Operators should note that, although the service bulletin recommends accomplishing the specified actions within 24 months (after the release of the service bulletin), the FAA has determined that an interval of 24 months would not address the identified unsafe condition in a timely manner. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this AD, the FAA considered not only the manufacturer's recommendation, but the degree of urgency associated with addressing the subject unsafe condition, the average utilization of the affected fleet, and the time necessary to perform the required actions (approximately 6 hours). In light of all of these factors, the FAA finds a 90-day compliance time for completing the required actions to be warranted, in that it represents an appropriate interval of time allowable for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety.
Determination of Rule's Effective Date
Since a situation exists that requires the immediate adoption of this regulation, it is found that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are impracticable, and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.
Although this action is in the form of a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and, thus, was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment, comments are invited on this rule. Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications shall identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified under the caption ADDRESSES. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered, and this rule may be amended in light of the comments received. Factual information that supports the commenter's ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the AD action and determining whether additional rulemaking action would be needed.
Submit comments using the following format:
- Organize comments issue-by-issue. For example, discuss a request to change the compliance time and a request to change the service bulletin reference as two separate issues.
- For each issue, state what specific change to the AD is being requested.
- Include justification (e.g., reasons or data) for each request.
Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the rule that might suggest a need to modify the rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report that summarizes each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this AD will be filed in the Rules Docket.
Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this rule must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-155-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.
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.
The FAA has determined that this regulation is an emergency regulation that must be issued immediately to correct an unsafe condition in aircraft, and that it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. It has been determined further that this action involves an emergency regulation under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). If it is determined that this emergency regulation otherwise would be significant under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures, a final regulatory evaluation will be prepared and placed in the Rules Docket. A copy of it, if filed, may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
- Air transportation
- Aviation safety
- Incorporation by reference
Adoption of the AmendmentStart Amendment Part
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVESEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part
2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:End Amendment Part
2000-14-05 Boeing: Amendment 39-11814. Docket 2000-NM-155-AD.
Applicability: Model 777 series airplanes as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-28A0019, dated April 27, 2000; certificated in any category.
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 (c) 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 ensure adequate electrical bonding between the wing spar connectors of the fuel quantity indicating system (FQIS) and the spar structure in the event of a lightning strike, accomplish the following:
One-Time Measurement and Installation
(a) Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD: Perform a one-time Start Printed Page 43223measurement of the electrical bonding resistance between the wing spar connectors of the FQIS and the spar structure, record the measurements, and install bonding jumpers, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-28A0019, dated April 27, 2000.
Operational Check and Corrective Action
(b) Prior to further flight after accomplishment of the installation required by paragraph (a) of this AD: Perform an operational check in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-28A0019, dated April 27, 2000, and correct any discrepancy detected.
Alternative Methods of Compliance
(c) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Seattle 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, Seattle ACO.
Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Seattle ACO.
Special Flight Permits
(d) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 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
(e) The actions shall be done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-28A0019, dated April 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 Airplane Group, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.
(f) This amendment becomes effective on July 28, 2000.Start Signature
Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 3, 2000.
Vi L. Lipski,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 00-17298 Filed 7-12-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-U