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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Pratt & Whitney JT8D-200 Series Turbofan Engines

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:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Pratt & Whitney (PW) JT8D-200 series turbofan engines. This proposal would require the installation of stops on the fan exit guide vane case. This proposal is prompted by reports of the flange between the fan duct case and the fan exit guide vane case separating due to a fan blade fracture event. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent the flange between the fan duct case and the fan exit guide vane case from separating due to a fan blade failure. Separations of that flange could result in damage to the airplane.

DATES:

Comments must be received by September 9, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NE-11-AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299. Comments may be inspected at this location, by appointment, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: “9-ane-adcomment@faa.gov”. Comments sent via the Internet must contain the docket number in the subject line.

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Pratt & Whitney, 400 Main St., East Hartford, CT 06108; telephone (860) 565-6600, fax (860) 565-4503. This information may be examined, by appointment, at the FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher Spinney, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299; telephone (781) 238-7175, fax (781) 238-7199.

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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 should 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.

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 2002-NE-11-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of NPRM's

Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the Start Printed Page 45681FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NE-11-AD, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports of the flange between the fan duct case and the fan exit guide vane case separating due to fan blade fracture events on PW JT8D-209, -217, -217A, -217C, and “219 series turbofan engines. This proposal would require a one-time installation of stops on engines that do not incorporate a fan exit guide vane case and fan duct assembly with improved durability and impact resistance, part number 805919 or 815377. This proposal is prompted by a number of reports of fan case flange separation, one of which occurred in July 2001 when a JT8D powered MD-80 was required to make an emergency landing after experiencing a fan blade fracture, resulting in fan case flange separation and high aircraft vibrations. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent the flange between the fan duct case and the fan exit guide vane case from separating due to a fan blade failure. This condition, if not corrected, could result in damage to the airplane.

Manufacturer's Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved the technical contents of PW JT8D-200 Series Service Bulletin No. 6100, Revision 2 dated December 9, 1998. That SB describes the procedures for installing stops on the fan exit guide vane case, to restrict axial separation of the case in the event of a case fracture.

FAA's Determination of an Unsafe Condition and Proposed Actions

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other PW JT8D-209, -217, -217A, -217C, and “219 series turbofan engines, the proposed AD would require installation of stops on the fan exit guide vane case at the next shop visit in accordance with PW SB No. 6100, Revision 2, dated December 9, 1998.

Economic Analysis

There are approximately 1,346 PW JT8D-200 series engines of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 821 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD. The FAA also estimates that it would take approximately 1.5 work hours per engine to perform the proposed actions, and that the average labor rate is $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $5,200 per engine. Based on these figures, the total cost of the proposed AD to U.S. operators is estimated to be $4,343,090.

Regulatory Analysis

This proposed rule does not have federalism implications, as defined in Executive Order 13132, because it 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. Accordingly, the FAA has not consulted with state authorities prior to publication of this proposed rule.

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:

Pratt & Whitney: Docket No. 2002-NE-11-AD.

Applicability

This airworthiness directive (AD) is applicable to Pratt & Whitney (PW) JT8D-209, -217, -217A, -217C, and -219 series turbofan engines that do not incorporate the fan exit guide vane case and fan duct assembly with improved durability and impact resistance, part numbers 805919 or 815377. These engines are installed on, but not limited to McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and series airplanes.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each engine 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 engines 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 (c) 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

Compliance with this AD is required, unless already done.

To prevent the flange between the fan duct and the fan exit guide vane from separating due to a fan blade failure, which could result in damage to the airplane, do the following:

Installation of Hardware

(a) At the next shop visit after the effective date of this AD, install stops on the fan exit guide vane case in accordance with paragraphs 2.A. through 2.C.(1) of the Accomplishment Instructions of PW JT8D-200 Series SB No. 6100, Revision 2, dated December 9, 1998.

Definitions

(b) For the purposes of this AD, a shop visit is defined as an engine removal, where engine maintenance entails separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges or the removal of a disk, hub, or spool at a maintenance facility that is capable of compliance with the instructions of this AD, regardless of other planned maintenance.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(c) 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, Engine Certification Office (ECO). Operators must submit their request through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, ECO.

Note 2:

Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this airworthiness directive, if any, may be obtained from the ECO.

Special Flight Permits

(d) 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 done.

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Start Printed Page 45682

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on July 1, 2002.

Jay J. Pardee,

Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-17296 Filed 7-9-02; 8:45 am]

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