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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 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.

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 MD-11 series airplanes, that currently requires a one-time detailed visual inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires; and corrective action, if necessary. This action would require an inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires, and repair, if necessary. This action also would require installing a grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through; replacing the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocating the support clamp of the wire bundle; as applicable. The proposed AD also expands the applicability of the existing AD to include additional airplanes. This proposal is prompted by the FAA's determination that the existing support bracket and the location of the support clamp of the wire bundle may not adequately preclude the wire bundle contained in the feed-through behind the first observer's station from contacting the bottom portion of the feed-through. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent such contact, which could cause cable chafing, electrical arcing, smoke, or fire in the cockpit.

DATES:

Comments must be received by November 19, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NM-57-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: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2001-NM-57-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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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 2001-NM-57-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. 2001-NM-57-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

On February 10, 2000, the FAA issued AD 2000-03-13, amendment 39-11572 (65 FR 8028, February 17, 2000), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 series airplanes, to require a one-time detailed visual inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires; and corrective action, if necessary. That action was prompted by a report indicating that the wire bundle contained in the feed-through behind the first observer's station was contacting the bottom portion of the feed-through. The requirements of that AD are intended to prevent such contact, which could cause cable chafing, electrical arcing, smoke, or fire in the cockpit.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous Rule

Since the issuance of AD 2000-03-13, the FAA, in conjunction with Boeing, has determined that the existing support bracket and the location of the support clamp of the wire bundle may not adequately preclude the wire bundle contained in the feed-through behind the first observer's station from contacting the bottom portion of the feed-through.Start Printed Page 50918

Boeing also has informed the FAA that it inadvertently excluded several airplane manufacturer's fuselage numbers from the effectivity listing of McDonnell Douglas Alert Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 01, dated April 26, 1999, which was referenced in AD 2000-03-13 as the appropriate source of service information. The FAA has determined that these excluded airplanes are subject to the same unsafe condition addressed in this proposed AD.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 02, dated April 11, 2001, which describes procedures for a one-time detailed visual inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires, and repair, if necessary. The service bulletin also describes procedures for installing a grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through; replacing the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocating the support clamp of the wire bundle; 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 supersede AD 2000-03-13 to require a one-time detailed visual inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires, and repair, if necessary. The proposed AD also would require installing a grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through; replacing the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocating the support clamp of the wire bundle; as applicable. The proposed AD also expands the applicability of the existing AD to include additional airplanes. The actions would be required to be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletin described previously.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 193 Model MD-11 series airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 62 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

The new actions that are proposed in this AD action would take approximately 2 work hours per airplane to accomplish, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. The manufacturer has committed previously to its customers that it will bear the cost of replacement parts. As a result, the cost of those parts is not attributable to this proposed AD. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed requirements of this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $7,440, or $120 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is 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

End 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:

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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
[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-11572 (65 FR 8028, February 17, 2000), and by adding a new airworthiness directive (AD), to read as follows:

McDonnell Douglas: Docket 2001-NM-57-AD. Supersedes AD 2000-03-13, Amendment 39-11572.

Applicability: Model MD-11 series airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 02, dated April 11, 2001; 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)(1) 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 the wire bundle contained in the feed-through from contacting the bottom of the feed-through, which could cause cable chafing, electrical arcing, and smoke or fire in the cockpit; accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 1 year after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time detailed visual inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires, in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 02, dated April 11, 2001.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed visual inspection is defined as: “An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.”

Condition 1: No Damaged or Chafed Wire

(b) If no damaged or chafed wire is detected during the detailed visual inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this AD, as applicable, per Boeing Alert Service Start Printed Page 50919Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 02, dated April 11, 2001.

(1) For airplanes identified as Group 1 in the service bulletin: Replace the support bracket with a new bracket, and relocate the support clamp of the wire bundle, per Figure 3 of the service bulletin. The grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through must be installed as indicated in Figure 3 of the service bulletin.

(2) For airplanes identified as Group 2 in the service bulletin: Install a grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through; replace the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocate the support clamp of the wire bundle, per Figure 2 of the service bulletin.

Condition 2: Any Damaged or Chafed Wire

(c) If any damaged or chafed wire is detected during the detailed visual inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this AD, as applicable, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 02, dated April 11, 2001.

(1) For airplanes identified as Group 1 in the service bulletin: Repair wiring; replace the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocate the support clamp of the wire bundle, per Figure 3 of the service bulletin. The grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through must be installed as indicated in Figure 3 of the service bulletin.

(2) For airplanes identified as Group 2 in the service bulletin: Repair wiring; install grommet around lower edge of the feed-through; replace the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocate the support clamp of the wire bundle, per Figure 2 of the service bulletin.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(d)(1) 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 Angeles ACO.

(2) Alternative methods of compliance, approved previously in accordance with AD 2000-03-13, amendment 39-11572, are approved as alternative methods of compliance with this AD.

Special Flight Permits

(e) 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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 1, 2001.

Charles Huber,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-25069 Filed 10-4-01; 8:45 am]

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