Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to all Lockheed Model L-1011-385 series airplanes. This proposal would require a visual inspection of the fuel level control switch, the fuel level control switch wiring harness, and the wiring harness conduit for damage, wear or chafing, broken or missing O-rings, or indications of electrical arcing. The proposal would also require replacement of a certain conduit in the fuel level control switch wiring harness, installation of electrical sleeving over the fuel level control switch wiring harness, and installation of the modified fuel level control switch. These actions are intended to prevent chafing of the fuel level control switch wiring harness, which could cause arcing and result in a fire in the fuel tank.
Comments must be received by December 4, 2000.
Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-41-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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-41-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted Start Printed Page 62652in 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 Lockheed Martin Aircraft & Logistics Center, 120 Orion Street, Greenville, South Carolina 29605. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Atlanta ACO, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tom Peters, Program Manager, ACE-116A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (770) 703-6063; fax (770) 703-6097.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
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-41-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-41-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.
Following an incident of chafing of electrical power wires and subsequent arcing through a conduit inside a fuel tank on another manufacturer's transport airplane, the FAA requested that airplane manufacturers perform a survey of electrical power wires routed in conduits inside fuel tanks of high-time airplanes. As part of the resulting survey, 41 wiring harnesses of the fuel level control switch were removed and inspected. Of these, two harnesses showed signs of damage to the insulation around the wires. This condition, if not corrected, could result in chafing of the wiring harness of the fuel level control switch, which could cause arcing and result in a fire in the fuel tank.
Explanation of Relevant Service Information
The FAA has reviewed and approved Lockheed Service Bulletin 093-28-094, dated March 3, 2000, which describes procedures for inspecting the fuel level control switch, the fuel level control switch wiring harness, and the wiring harness conduit for visible damage, wear or chafing, broken or missing O-rings, or indications of electrical arcing. The service bulletin also describes procedures for replacement of a certain conduit in the fuel level control switch wiring harness, installation of electrical sleeving over the fuel level control switch wiring harness, and installation of the fuel level control switch which has been so modified. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin 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 bulletin described previously, except as discussed below.
Differences Between Proposed Rule and Service Bulletin
Operators should note that, although the service bulletin recommends accomplishing the inspection, installation, and replacement actions “at the earliest opportunity where manpower and facilities are available,” the FAA has determined that such an indefinite compliance schedule 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 schedule of regular inspections and maintenance. In light of all of these factors, the FAA finds a twelve-month compliance time for initiating the required actions to be warranted, in that it represents an appropriate interval for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety.
There are approximately 235 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 117 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 19 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspection, replacement, and installation, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $200 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $156,780, or $1,340 per airplane.
The cost impact figure discussed above is 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.
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 Start Printed Page 62653various 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 39End List of Subjects
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:
2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:
Lockheed: Docket 2000-NM-41-AD.
Applicability: All Model L-1011-385 series airplanes; 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 (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 of the fuel level control switch wiring harness, which could cause arcing and result in a fire in the fuel tank, accomplish the following:
Inspection, Replacement, and Installation
(a) Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD: Verify the part number (P/N) of the wiring harness conduit and perform a general visual inspection of the fuel level control switch, the fuel level control switch wiring harness, and the wiring harness conduit to detect any visible damage, any wear or chafing, broken or missing O-rings, or indications of electrical arcing, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions in Lockheed Service Bulletin 093-28-094, dated March 3, 2000.
For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is defined as: “A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or drop-light, and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.”
(1) If a conduit with P/N 97590-121 is installed: Prior to further flight, install sleeving over each fuel level control switch wiring harness and install the modified fuel level control switch, in accordance with the service bulletin.
(2) If any conduit other than with P/N 97590-121 is installed: Prior to further flight, replace the conduit with one having P/N 97590-121, install sleeving over each fuel level control switch wiring harness, and install the modified fuel level control switch, in accordance with the service bulletin.
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, 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.
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
(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.
Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 13, 2000.
Donald L. Riggin,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 00-26879 Filed 10-18-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P