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Rule

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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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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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 replacement of the upper and lower reading lights in the forward crew rest area with a redesigned light fixture. This amendment is prompted by reports of burning and smoldering blankets in the forward crew rest area due to a reading light fixture that came into contact with the blankets after the light was inadvertently left on. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent a possible flammable condition, which could result in smoke and fire in the forward crew rest area.

DATES:

Effective August 23, 2000.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 23, 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:

Albert Lam, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California Start Printed Page 4467390712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5346; 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 MD-11 series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on November 22, 1999 (64 FR 63764). That action proposed to require replacement of the upper and lower reading lights in the forward crew rest area with a redesigned light fixture.

Comments

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

One commenter states that it is not affected by the proposed rule.

Recommendation for a Smoke Detection System

One commenter recommends that the proposed AD require a smoke detection system for the forward crew rest compartment, since there will still be conditions existing that could cause a fire which could clearly be a hazard to flight safety. The commenter further states that the FAA should require a smoke detection system in any area where there are combustible materials and ignition sources, to ensure that any fire event is rapidly communicated to the crew.

The FAA does not concur with the commenter's suggestion. The final rule requires replacement of the upper and lower reading lights of the affected crew rest area with a redesigned light fixture to preclude a possible flammable condition as stated previously in the preamble. In addition, due to the current design of the forward crew rest area and its close proximity to the cockpit, the flight crew would detect smoke or fire in the forward crew rest compartment. Therefore, no change to the final rule is necessary in this regard.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comments noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 71 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 14 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the required replacement, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $238 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $4,172, or $298 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is 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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2000-14-12 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-11822. Docket 99-NM-246-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 series airplanes, as listed in McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A233, dated June 9, 1999; 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 a possible flammable condition, which could result in smoke and fire in the forward crew rest area, accomplish the following:

Replacement

(a) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the upper and lower reading lights in the forward crew rest area with a redesigned light fixture, in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A233, dated June 9, 1999.

Note 2:

McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A233 refers to AIM Aviation Service Incorporated Service Bulletin AIM-MD11-25-2, Revision C, dated March 8, 1999; as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the replacement of the upper and lower reading lights in the forward crew rest area.

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 used 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 3:

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 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

(d) The replacement shall be done in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A233, dated June Start Printed Page 446749, 1999. 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 August 23, 2000.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 11, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-18040 Filed 7-18-00; 8:45 am]

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