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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Model G-IV Series Airplanes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 Gulfstream Model G-IV series airplanes. For certain airplanes this proposal would require installation of an additional indicator located on the pilot's instrument panel in primary view of the flight crew. The indicator would inform the flight crew that the airplane main batteries are powering the direct current (DC) essential bus which supplies power to vital communication and navigation equipment. For certain other airplanes, this proposal would require the EICAS (Engine Instruments/Caution Advisory System) to be used for this indication. This action is necessary to ensure that the flight crew is aware that an electrical system failure has occurred and that the airplane main batteries are powering the essential DC bus. If the flight crew is unaware of this situation, action to stop depletion of the airplane batteries will not be taken, and critical communications and navigation equipment could fail. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by November 27, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-101-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: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-101-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 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, P.O. Box 2206, M/S D-10, Savannah, Georgia 31402-9980. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Neil Berryman, Aerospace Engineer, ACE-116A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (770) 703-6066; fax (770) 703-6097.

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-101-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-101-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The FAA has received a report of the loss of normal electrical power to the essential direct current (DC) bus going undetected by the flight crew. The bus provides power to vital systems, such as aircraft flight displays, communication and navigation equipment, the thrust reverser control, the auxiliary power unit, and fire extinguishing systems. In the event of a problem with the power supply, the bus will automatically switch to the airplane's main batteries to keep these vital systems operating. Operation on battery power is for a short time and is intended only to allow time to land the airplane.

Following a problem with the power supply to the DC essential bus, the flight crew may not be aware of the switch to battery power or the subsequent depletion of the batteries, because the relevant caution lights are located on the overhead instrument panel, rather than in the flight crew's primary line of sight.

This condition, if not corrected, could lead to the flight crew being unaware that depletion of the airplane batteries is occurring, which could result in failure Start Printed Page 60592of the vital equipment normally powered by the DC essential bus.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved Gulfstream Customer Bulletin No. 102A, dated February 1, 2000; Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B, dated January 26, 2000; and Aircraft Service Change No. 327B AM1 (Amendment 1), dated August 28, 2000, which describe procedures for modifications to inform the flight crew when the aircraft batteries are powering the essential (DC) bus.

For airplanes having SPZ 8400, the procedures describe modification of the EICAS (Engine Instruments/Caution Advisory System) to replace the existing blue message with an amber indicating light. For airplanes not having the SPZ 8400, the procedures describe modification of the pilot's instrument panel to add an amber indicating light. All airplanes will also have an audible tone when the indicating system is activated. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the customer bulletin and aircraft service changes 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 customer bulletin and aircraft service changes described previously.

Cost Impact

The FAA estimates that 292 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. There will be no charge for required parts for the modification. The cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators depends upon whether the airplane has the SPZ 400, whether the airplane has the production equivalent of Aircraft Service Change No. 327, and whether the operator has performed earlier Aircraft Service Changes No. 327 or No. 327A, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1.—Cost Impact of Performing Aircraft Service Change No. 327B or No. 327B AM1 (Amendment 1)

Airplane has the SPZ 8400Airplane does not have the SPZ 8400
Airplane has production equivalent of Aircraft Service Change No. 327:
Time (in work-hours)3668
Cost/airplane (in $)2,1604,080
Operator has performed Aircraft Service Change No. 327
Time (in work-hours)2428
Cost/airplane (in $)1,4401,680
Operator has performed Aircraft Service Change No. 327ANo time estimate givenNo time estimate given.

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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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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:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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]

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

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation: Docket 2000-NM-101-AD.

Applicability: Model G-IV series airplanes, serial numbers 1000 through 1359 inclusive, 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 (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 that the flight crew is aware that an electrical system failure may have occurred and that the main airplane batteries are powering the direct current (DC) essential bus, accomplish the following: Start Printed Page 60593

Modifications

(a) Within 12 months after the effective date if this AD, for airplanes equipped with the SPZ 8400: Perform paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) If the airplane has the production equivalent of Aircraft Service Change No. 327, install the new indicator light and the audible tone, in accordance with Gulfstream Customer Bulletin No. 102A, dated February 1, 2000; and Modification Instructions A, J through L, and P of Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B, dated January 26, 2000.

(2) If the operator has performed Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327 but not Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327A, install the new indicator light and the audible tone, in accordance with Gulfstream Customer Bulletin No. 102A, dated February 1, 2000; Modification Instructions A through E of Gulfsteam Aircraft Service Change No. 327B AM1, dated August 28, 2000; and Modification Instruction P of Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B, dated January 26, 2000.

Note 2:

Modification Instruction E in Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B AM1 is the same as Modification Instruction P in Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B.

(3) If the operator has performed Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327A, ensure that all ground wires from connectors 95A1P2B and 95A2P2B are removed or rerouted in accordance with Gulfstream Customer Bulletin No. 102A, dated February 1, 2000; and Figure 6 of Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B, dated January 26, 2000.

(b) Within 12 months after the effective date if this AD, for airplanes not equipped with the SPZ 400: Perform paragraph (b)(1), (b)(2), or (b)(3) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) If the operator has not performed Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327, install the new indicator light and the audible tone, in accordance with Gulfstream Customer Bulletin No. 102A, dated February 1, 2000; and Modification Instructions A, B through I, and P of Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B, dated January 26, 2000.

(2) If the operator has performed Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327, install the new indicator light and the audible tone, in accordance with Gulfstream Customer Bulletin No. 102A, dated February 1, 2000; and Modification Instructions A, M through O, and P of Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B dated January 26, 2000.

(3) If the operator has performed Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 27A, ensure that wire P9052C22 is rerouted and is connected in accordance with Gulfstream Customer Bulletin No. 102A, dated February 1, 2000; and Figure 7 of Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B, dated January 26, 2000.

Note 3:

Page 1 of Gulfstream Aircraft Service Change No. 327B incorrectly refers to Figure 5; Figure 7 is the correct figure.

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, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Atlanta ACO.

Note 4:

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

Special Flight Permits

(d) 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.

Start Signature

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

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-26095 Filed 10-11-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P