Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. This proposal would require removing the two existing escape ropes in the flight compartment; installing new escape ropes, bags, and placards; and replacing the nylon straps with new straps; as applicable. This action is necessary to ensure that flight crew members safely reach the ground from a flight compartment window in the event of an emergency evacuation. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.
Comments must be received by March 2, 2001.
Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-116-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-116-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 Airplane Group, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jim Cashdollar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-2785; fax (425) 227-1181.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 action 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 action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-116-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-116-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.
The FAA has received a report indicating that the escape ropes provided at the flight deck windows on certain Model 767 series airplanes are too short when the airplane is in a tail-tip condition [i.e., airplane resting on one main landing gear (MLG), the engine on the side of the collapsed MLG, and the aft fuselage]. The length of the end of the existing ropes is approximately 101/2 to 121/2 feet above the ground when the airplane is in a tail-tip condition. To establish the appropriate length of an escape rope, all conditions of a collapsed landing gear must be considered to determine how high the flight deck windows will be above the ground. When the length of the 767 escape ropes was established, it was assumed that the engine on the same side of the airplane as a collapsed MLG would shear off of the wing due to the weight of the airplane. However, service experience has shown that the engines on both sides of the airplane can remain attached when an MLG collapses. If this condition were to occur, the height of the flight deck windows would be higher than originally calculated, and thus, the escape ropes at the flight deck windows would be too short if a tail-tip condition occurs. This condition, if not corrected, could prevent flight crew members from safely reaching the ground from a flight compartment window in the event of an emergency evacuation.
Explanation of Relevant Service Information
The FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-25A0265, dated May 27, 1999, which describes procedures for removing the two existing escape ropes in the flight compartment; installing new escape ropes, bags, and placards; and replacing Start Printed Page 3516the nylon straps with new straps; as applicable. 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.
There are approximately 321 Model 767 series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 136 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $4,718 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $649,808, or $4,778 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 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
- Air transportation
- Aviation safety
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:
Boeing: Docket 2000-NM-116-AD.
Applicability: Model 767 series airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-25A0265, dated May 27, 1999; 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 ensure that flight crew members safely reach the ground from a flight compartment window in the event of an emergency evacuation, accomplish the following:
(a) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD, as applicable, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-25A0265, dated May 27, 1999.
(1) For all airplanes: Remove the two existing escape ropes and install new escape ropes, bags, and placards, as applicable, in the flight compartment.
(2) For airplanes having serial numbers 1 through 107 inclusive; on which Boeing Service Bulletin 767-25-0149, dated March 7, 1991 has been accomplished; or on which neither Boeing Service Bulletin 767-25-0149, dated March 7, 1991, nor 767-25A0242, dated October 31, 1996, has been accomplished: Replace the nylon straps with new straps.
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, Seattle 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, Seattle ACO.
Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Seattle ACO.
Special Flight Permit
(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 January 9, 2001.
Donald L. Riggin,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 01-1238 Filed 1-12-01; 8:45 am]
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