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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-81, -82, -83, and -87 Series Airplanes, and Model MD-88 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the supersedure of an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-81, -82, -83, and -87 series airplanes, and Model MD-88 airplanes, that currently requires an inspection to detect damage, burn marks, or discoloration at certain electrical plugs and receptacles of the sidewall lighting in the passenger cabin, and correction of discrepancies. That AD also requires modification of the electrical connectors, which terminates the inspection requirement. That action was prompted by reports of failures of the electrical connectors in the sidewall fluorescent lighting, which resulted in smoke or lighting interruption in the passenger cabin. This action would expand the applicability of the existing AD to include additional airplanes. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent failures of the electrical connectors, which could result in poor socket/pin contact, excessive heat, electrical arcing, and subsequently, connector burn through and smoke and/or fire in the passenger cabin.

DATES:

Comments must be received by July 20, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-163-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-163-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: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024). This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the the FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Elvin Wheeler, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712; telephone (562) 627-5344; 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 action may be changed in light of the comments received. Start Printed Page 30096

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-163-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-163-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

On September 7, 1995, the FAA issued AD 95-19-09, amendment 39-9371 (60 FR 48639, September 20, 1995), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-81, -82, -83, and -87 series airplanes, and Model MD-88 airplanes, to require an inspection to detect damage, burn marks, or discoloration at certain electrical plugs and receptacles of the sidewall lighting in the passenger cabin, and correction of discrepancies. That AD also requires modification of the electrical connectors, which terminates the inspection requirement. That action was prompted by reports of failures of the electrical connectors in the sidewall fluorescent lighting, which resulted in smoke or lighting interruption in the passenger cabin. The requirements of that AD are intended to prevent failures of the electrical connectors, which could result in poor socket/pin contact, excessive heat, electrical arcing, and subsequently, connector burn through and smoke in the passenger cabin.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous Rule

Since the issuance of that AD, the FAA has reviewed and approved McDonnell Douglas MD-80 Service Bulletin 33-99, Revision 02, dated December 15, 1995, and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-33A099, Revision 03, dated January 27, 2000. The inspection, replacement, if necessary, and modification procedures described in these revisions are essentially identical to those in Revision 01 of the service bulletin, which was referenced in AD 95-19-09 as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the required actions in that AD. However, Revision 02 of the service bulletin added additional airplanes to the effectivity listing that are subject to the identified unsafe condition. Accomplishment of the actions specified in these 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 supersede AD 95-19-09 to continue to require an inspection to detect damage, burn marks, or discoloration at certain electrical plugs and receptacles of the sidewall lighting in the passenger cabin, and correction of discrepancies. The proposed AD also would continue to require modification of the electrical connectors, which would terminate the inspection requirement. In addition, the proposed AD would expand the applicability of the existing AD to include additional airplanes. The actions would be required to be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletins described previously.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 970 Model DC-9-81, -82, -83, and -87 series airplanes, and Model MD-88 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 470 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

The actions that are proposed in this AD action would take approximately between 24 and 31 work hours per airplane to accomplish, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $1,199 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed requirements of this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be between $1,240,330, and $1,437,730, or between $2,639, and $3,059 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the current or proposed requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this 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

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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:

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
Start Printed Page 30097
[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-9371 (60 FR 48639, September 20, 1995), and by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD), to read as follows:

McDonnell Douglas: Docket 2000-NM-163-AD. Supersedes AD 95-19-09, Amendment 39-9371.

Applicability: Model DC-9-81, -82, -83, and -87 series airplanes, and Model MD-88 airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-33A099, Revision 03, dated January 27, 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 (d) 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:

Actions required by this AD that were done before the effective date of this AD per McDonnell Douglas MD-80 Service Bulletin 33-99, Revision 1, dated February 23, 1995, or Revision 02, dated December 15, 1995, are considered acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD.

To prevent failures of the electrical connectors, which could result in poor socket/pin contact, excessive heat, electrical arcing, and subsequently, connector burn through and smoke and/or fire in the passenger cabin, accomplish the following:

General Visual Inspection

(a) At the applicable time indicated in Table 1 of this AD, do a general visual inspection to detect damage, burn marks, or black or brown discoloration caused by electrical arcing at electrical plugs, having part number (P/N) MS3126F-15P, and receptacles, having P/N MS3124E-15S, of the sidewall lighting in the passenger cabin, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-33A099, Revision 03, dated January 27, 2000.

Table 1

Affected airplanesCompliance time
(1) DC-9-81, -82, -83, and -87 series airplanes, and MD-88 airplanes, serial numbers 49614, 49626 through 49632 inclusive, 49668, and 49707Within 18 months after October 5, 1995 (the effective date of AD 95-19-09).
(2) Other than those airplanes identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this ADWithin 18 months after the effective date of this AD.

Note 3:

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.”

Corrective Action

(b) If any discrepancy is found during the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, before further flight, replace the damaged connectors, pins, sockets, or wire with new parts, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-33A099, Revision 03, dated January 27, 2000.

Modification

(c) At the applicable time indicated in Table 1 of this AD, modify the electrical connectors of the sidewall lighting in the passenger cabin, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-33A099, Revision 03, dated January 27, 2000. Accomplishment of this modification constitutes compliance with the requirements of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(d) 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 4:

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

Special Flight Permits

(e) 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 May 25, 2001.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-14005 Filed 6-4-01; 8:45 am]

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