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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes. This proposal would require a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in various areas of the airplane; and corrective actions, if necessary. This action is necessary to prevent electrical arcing and/or heat damaged wires due to improper wire installations during manufacture and/or maintenance of the airplane, and consequent fire and smoke in various areas of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by September 11, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-36-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9 a.m. and 3 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: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-36-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 the proposed rule 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 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.

Start Further Info

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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed 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 above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received.

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 proposed 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 proposed 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 summarizing each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this notice must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-36-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRMs

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-36-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

As part of its practice of re-examining all aspects of the service experience of a particular aircraft whenever an accident occurs, the FAA has become aware of several incidents of damaged wire insulation and chafed wires in various areas on McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes. Investigation revealed that the cause of such damage and chafing may be attributed to improper wire installations during manufacture and/or maintenance of the airplane. This condition, if not corrected, could result in electrical arcing and/or heat damaged wires, and consequent fire and smoke in the various areas of the airplane.

These incidents are not considered to be related to an accident that occurred off the coast of Nova Scotia involving a McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplane. The cause of that accident is still under investigation.

Other Related Rulemaking

The FAA, in conjunction with Boeing and operators of Model MD-11 series airplanes, is continuing to review all Start Printed Page 46219aspects of the service history of those airplanes to identify potential unsafe conditions and to take appropriate corrective actions. This airworthiness directive (AD) is one of a series of actions identified during that process. The process is continuing and the FAA may consider additional rulemaking actions as further results of the review become available.

The FAA has previously issued AD 2000-11-02, amendment 39-11750 (65 FR 34341, May 26, 2000), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F, and DC-10-40 series airplanes, and Model MD-11 and 11F series airplanes. That AD currently requires a determination be made of whether, and at what locations, metallized polyethyleneteraphthalate (MPET) insulation blankets are installed, and replacement of MPET insulation blankets with new insulation blankets. The FAA recommends that the actions required by this proposed AD be accomplished immediately after accomplishing the replacement required by AD 2000-11-02. This proposed AD would not affect the current requirements of AD 2000-11-02.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved the following service bulletins:

  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-171, dated April 4, 2000;
  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-170, dated April 12, 2000;
  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-167, dated April 4, 2000;
  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-165, dated April 4, 2000;
  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-163, dated April 4, 2000;
  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-188, dated April 28, 2000;
  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-161, dated April 10, 2000; and
  • McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-162, dated April 10, 2000.

These service bulletins describe procedures for a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in various areas (i.e., center, aft, and forward cargo compartments; aft, forward, and mid cabin passenger compartment; flight compartment; forward drop ceiling; center accessory compartment; and main avionics compartment) of the airplane; and corrective actions, if necessary. The corrective actions include: repairing cracked, split, or torn wiring insulation; installing a certain size clamp; adjusting or replacing sta-straps; repositioning certain wires or clamps; replacing or repairing certain wires or terminals; and tightening sta-straps, clamps, terminals, and wire bundles. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

Explanation of Requirements of Proposed Rule

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other products of this same type design, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins described previously, except as discussed below.

Differences Between the Proposed AD and Relevant Service Information

Paragraphs 3.B.3.K. and 3.B.3.P of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletins described previously do NOT provide instructions for accomplishing corrective actions for certain discrepancies that are detected. Therefore, the FAA finds that the following corrective actions must be accomplished, if necessary, to address the identified unsafe condition of the proposed AD:

  • If any screw terminal of the flag lug bus bar is loose, before further flight, retorque to 10 to 11 inch-pounds.
  • If no gap between the wire bundle and blanket can be seen when pressure is applied to the blanket, before further flight, reposition wires or clamping so that a gap can been seen when pressure is applied to the blanket.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 182 Model MD-11 series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 60 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

It would take approximately 10 work hours per airplane to accomplish each of the six inspections specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), and (a)(6) of this proposed AD, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of these indicated inspections proposed by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $216,000, or $3,600 per airplane.

It would take approximately 5 work hours per airplane to accomplish the inspection specified in paragraph (a)(7) of this proposed AD, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this indicated inspection proposed by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $18,000, or $300 per airplane.

It would take approximately 12 work hours per airplane to accomplish the inspection specified in paragraph (a)(8) of this proposed AD, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this indicated inspection proposed by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $43,200, or $720 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the proposed requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this proposed AD were not adopted. The cost impact figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform the specific actions actually required by the AD. These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other administrative actions.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations proposed herein would 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 proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this proposed regulation (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) if promulgated, 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 copy of the draft regulatory evaluation prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects Start Printed Page 46220

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

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

McDonnell Douglas: Docket 2000-NM-36-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 series airplanes, manufacturer's fuselage numbers 0447 through 0449 inclusive, 0451 through 0464 inclusive, 0466 through 0489 inclusive, 0491 through 0517 inclusive, 0519 through 0552 inclusive, 0554 through 0556 inclusive, 0557, 0558 through 0633 inclusive, and 0635; 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 (e) 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.

Note 2:

The FAA recommends that the actions required by this proposed AD be accomplished immediately after accomplishing the replacement of metallized polyethyleneteraphthalate (MPET) insulation blankets, as required by AD 2000-11-02, amendment 39-11750 (65 FR 34341, May 26, 2000).

To prevent electrical arcing and/or heat damaged wires due to improper wire installations during manufacture and/or maintenance of the airplane, and consequent fire and smoke in various areas of the airplane, accomplish the following:

One-Time Detailed Visual Inspection

(a) Within 5 years after the effective date of this AD, accomplish the actions specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), and (a)(8) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) For all airplanes: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the center and aft cargo compartments from stations Y=1521.000 to Y=2007.000, in accordance with paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-171, dated April 4, 2000.

Note 3:

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.”

(2) For all airplanes: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the forward cargo compartment from stations Y=595.000 to Y=6-73.500, in accordance with the paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-170, dated April 12, 2000.

(3) For all airplanes: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the forward passenger compartment from stations Y=5-11.000 to Y=2007.000, in accordance with the paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-167, dated April 4, 2000.

(4) For all airplanes: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the forward passenger compartment from stations Y=756.000 to Y=1501.000, in accordance with the paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-165, dated April 4, 2000.

(5) For all airplanes: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the forward passenger compartment from stations Y=465.000 to Y=755.000, in accordance with the paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-163, dated April 4, 2000.

(6) For all airplanes: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the flight compartment and forward drop ceilings areas from stations Y=275.000 to Y=464.000, in accordance with the paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-188, dated April 28, 2000.

(7) For airplanes having manufacturer's fuselage numbers 0447 through 0449 inclusive, 0451 through 0464 inclusive, 0466 through 0489 inclusive, 0491 through 0517 inclusive, 0519 through 0552 inclusive, 0554 through 0556 inclusive, 0557, 0558 through 0633 inclusive: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the center accessory compartment from stations Y=6-50.000 to Y=1179.000, in accordance with the paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-161, dated April 10, 2000.

(8) For airplanes having manufacturer's fuselage numbers 0447 through 0449 inclusive, 0451 through 0464 inclusive, 0466 through 0489 inclusive, 0491 through 0517 inclusive, 0519 through 0552 inclusive, 0554 through 0556 inclusive, 0557, 0558 through 0633 inclusive: Perform a one-time detailed visual inspection to detect discrepancies of all electrical wiring installations in the main avionics compartment from stations Y=275.000 to Y=464.000, in accordance with the paragraph 3.B., “Work Instructions,” of the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-162, dated April 10, 2000.

Corrective Action

(b) If any discrepancy is detected during the inspection required by paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), (a)(7), or (a)(8) of this AD, before further flight, accomplish the applicable corrective action(s) in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the following applicable service bulletins, except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this AD, as applicable:

(1) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-171, dated April 4, 2000;

(2) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-170, dated April 12, 2000;

(3) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-167, dated April 4, 2000;

(4) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-165, dated April 4, 2000;

(5) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-163, dated April 4, 2000;

(6) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-188, dated April 28, 2000;

(7) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-161, dated April 10, 2000; or

(8) McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin MD11-24-162, dated April 10, 2000.

Note 4:

Where there are differences between the AD and the referenced service bulletins, the AD prevails.

(c) If no gap between the wire bundle and blanket can be seen when pressure is applied to the blanket, before further flight, reposition wires or clamps so that a gap can been seen when pressure is applied to the blanket.

(d) If any screw terminal of the flag lug bus bar is loose, before further flight, retorque to 10 to 11 inch-pounds.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(e) 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 5:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of Start Printed Page 46221compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Los Angeles ACO.

Special Flight Permit

(f) 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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 14, 2000.

John J. Hickey,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 00-18400 Filed 7-26-00; 8:45 am]

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