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Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes, that requires an inspection of the upper avionics circuit breaker panel at the main observer's station to detect damage of the wires and to verify the correct routing of the wire bundles; corrective actions, if necessary; and installation of a new clamp, spacer, and sta-straps. This action is necessary to prevent chafing in the upper avionics circuit breaker panel of the main observer's station, which could result in arcing and consequent smoke and/or fire in the cockpit. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective September 26, 2001.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 26, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brett Portwood, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5350; fax (562) 627-5210.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on February 20, 2001 (66 FR 10851). That action proposed to require an inspection of the upper avionics circuit breaker panel at the main observer's station to detect damage of the wires and to verify the correct routing of the wire bundles; corrective actions, if necessary; and installation of a new clamp, spacer, and sta-straps.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the comments received.

Address Change for Obtaining Service Information

The airplane manufacturer states that the referenced department name, number, and mail code of the address for obtaining service information are incorrect in the proposed AD. The correct address is Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024). The airplane manufacturer requests that the proposed AD be revised accordingly. The FAA agrees and has revised this address in the final rule. 1

Revise Requirements of Paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of Proposed AD

One commenter requests that the requirements for adjusting the wire routing (i.e., loosening of clamps and replacing sta-straps) specified in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of the proposed AD be deleted, and that a requirement to install individual spacers or sleeves be added. The commenter states that the adjustment cannot be done according to the drawings as recommended in the referenced service bulletin without a big expenditure of work. The commenter also states that the adjustment may cause disruption of the wire bundles and introduce new possibilities for wire chafing.

The FAA does not agree. We find that adjusting the wire routing, as required by paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of the AD, further minimizes the possibility of wire damage and adequately addresses the identified unsafe condition. However, under the provision of paragraph (b) of the final rule, we may consider requests for approval of an alternative method of compliance if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that such a design change would provide an acceptable level of safety.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comments noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the change previously described. The FAA has determined that this change will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.Start Printed Page 44042

Cost Impact

There are approximately 185 Model MD-11 series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 59 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 5 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts will be supplied by the airplane manufacturer at no cost to the operators. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $17,700, or $300 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the 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 adopted herein will 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 final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) 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 final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from 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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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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2001-17-09 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-12400. Docket 2000-NM-189-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 series airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A179, Revision 01, dated October 31, 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 in the upper avionics circuit breaker panel of the main observer's station, which could result in arcing and consequent smoke and/or fire in the cockpit, accomplish the following:

Inspection, Installation, and Corrective Actions, If Necessary

(a) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, do the action(s) specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A179, Revision 01, dated October 31, 2000.

(1) A general visual inspection of the upper avionics circuit breaker panel at the main observer's station to detect damage of the wires and to verify the correct routing of the wire bundles.

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.”

(i) If any damaged wire is found, before further flight, repair it or replace it with new wiring.

(ii) If any incorrect wire routing is found, before further flight, loosen clamps and replace the sta-straps with new sta-straps.

(2) Install a new clamp to the AES9101 wire bundle and wire support bar, and install a new spacer and sta-straps.

Note 3:

Accomplishment of the actions specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A179, dated August 10, 2000, before the effective date of this AD, is considered acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD.

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 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

(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.

Incorporation by Reference

(d) The actions shall be done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A179, Revision 01, including Appendix A, dated October 31, 2000. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies 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). Copies may be inspected 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; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Effective Date

(e) This amendment becomes effective on September 26, 2001.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 14, 2001.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-20936 Filed 8-21-01; 8:45 am]

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