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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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:

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 DC-10 series airplanes. This proposal would require a general visual inspection to detect chafing or damage of the feeder cables of the external ground power in the forward cargo compartment between certain fuselage stations; and repair, if necessary. This proposal also would require installation of spiral wrap on the feeder cables of the external ground power. This action is necessary to prevent chafing of the feeder cables during removal of the sump panels of the cargo floor, which could result in electrical arcing and damage to adjacent structure, and consequent smoke and/or fire in the forward cargo compartment. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by January 16, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-148-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-148-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, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Natalie Phan-Tran, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5343; fax (562) 627-5210.

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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-148-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-148-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 that the feeder cable of the external ground power failed on McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10 series airplanes. The cause of this failure is attributed to cables being chafed during prior removal of the sump panels of the cargo floor, which resulted in electrical arcing and damage to adjacent structure. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in smoke and/or fire in the forward cargo compartment.

Other Related Rulemaking

The FAA, in conjunction with Boeing and operators of Model DC-10 series airplanes, is continuing to review all aspects of the service history of those airplanes to identify potential unsafe conditions and to take appropriate corrective actions. This proposed 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.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin DC10-24A147, Revision 02, dated March 6, 2000. The service bulletin describes procedures for a general visual inspection to detect chafing or damage of the feeder cables of the external ground power in the forward cargo compartment between fuselage stations Y=879.000 and Y=1019.000 left of centerline; and repair, if necessary. The service bulletin also describes procedures for installation of spiral wrap on the feeder cables of the external ground power. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition. Start Printed Page 71077

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.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 260 Model DC-10 series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 171 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

For Groups 1, 2, and 3 airplanes, it would take approximately 5 work hours per airplane (including gaining and closing access) to accomplish the proposed inspection, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed inspection AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $300 per airplane.

For Group 1 airplanes, it would take approximately 2 work hours per airplane (including gaining and closing access) to accomplish the proposed installation, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $140 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed installation AD on U.S. operators of Group 1 airplanes is estimated to be $260 per airplane.

For Group 2 airplanes, it would take approximately 3 work hours per airplane (including gaining and closing access) to accomplish the proposed installation, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $140 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed installation AD on U.S. operators of Group 2 airplanes is estimated to be $320 per airplane.

For Group 3 airplanes, it would take approximately 4 work hours per airplane (including gaining and closing access) to accomplish the proposed installation, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $140 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed installation AD on U.S. operators of Group 3 airplanes is estimated to be $380 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.

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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:

McDonnell Douglas: Docket 2000-NM-148-AD.

Applicability: Model DC-10 series airplanes, as listed in McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin DC10-24A147, Revision 02, dated March 6, 2000; 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 chafing of the feeder cables during removal of the sump panels of the cargo floor, which could result in electrical arcing and damage to adjacent structure, and consequent smoke and/or fire in the forward cargo compartment, accomplish the following:

Inspection, Installation of Spiral Wrap, and Repair, If Necessary

(a) Within 1 year after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD per McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin DC10-24A147, Revision 02, dated March 6, 2000.

(1) Do a general visual inspection to detect chafing or damage of the feeder cables of the external ground power in the forward cargo compartment between fuselage stations Y=879.000 and Y=1019.000 left of centerline. If any chafing or damage is detected, before further flight, repair the feeder cables of the external ground power and adjacent structure.

Note 2:

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.”

(2) Install spiral wrap on the feeder cables of the external ground power.

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. 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 Angles ACO.

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Special Flight Permit

(c) 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.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 22, 2000.

Donald L. Riggin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 00-30444 Filed 11-28-00; 8:45 am]

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