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Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 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; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 airplanes, that currently requires repetitive general visual inspections of the power feeder cables, terminal strip, fuseholder, and fuses of the galley load control unit (GLCU) within the No. 3 bay electrical power center to detect damage; and corrective actions, if necessary. That AD also currently requires replacement of the electrical wiring of the galley in the electrical power center in bays 1, 2, and 3 with larger gage cable assemblies, which terminates the repetitive inspections. This amendment removes the replacement requirement and reinstates the repetitive inspections and corrective actions if necessary. This amendment is prompted by information from the airplane manufacturer that accomplishment of the replacement required by the existing AD could result in additional wire chafing damage in the electrical power center (EPC) due to insufficient clearance from structure. The actions specified in this AD are intended to prevent such chafing, and consequent arcing and smoke and fire in the EPC, and to prevent damage to the wire assembly terminal lugs and overheating of the power feeder cables on the No. 3 and No. 4 galley load control unit, which could result in smoke and fire in the center accessory compartment.

DATES:

Effective September 16, 2002.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications, as listed in the regulations, was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of January 4, 2000 (64 FR 71001, December 20, 1999).

Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before October 29, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-195-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-iarcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2002-NM-195-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 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 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Technical Information: 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.

Other Information: Sandi Carli, Airworthiness Directive Technical Writer/Editor; telephone (425) 687-4243, fax (425) 227-1232. Questions or comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: sandi.carli@faa.gov. Questions or comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On July 2, 2002, the FAA issued AD 2002-14-05, amendment 39-12805 (67 FR 47640, July 19, 2002), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 airplanes, to require repetitive general visual inspections of the power feeder cables, terminal strip, fuseholder, and fuses of the galley load control unit (GLCU) within the No. 3 bay electrical power center to detect damage; and corrective actions, if necessary. That AD also requires replacement of the Start Printed Page 55717electrical wiring of the galley in the electrical power center in bays 1, 2, and 3 with larger gage cable assemblies, which terminates the repetitive inspections. That action was prompted by the FAA's determination that further rulemaking action was necessary to mandate the terminating action. The actions required by that AD are intended to prevent damage to the wire assembly terminal lugs and overheating of the power feeder cables on the No. 3 and 4 GLCU, which could result in smoke and fire in the center accessory compartment.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous AD

Since the issuance of AD 2002-14-05, the airplane manufacturer has informed the FAA that accomplishment of the replacement specified in Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-24-184, dated February 22, 2001, which is required by paragraph (c) of that AD, could result in additional wire chafing damage in the electrical power center (EPC) due to insufficient clearance from structure. Such chafing, if not corrected, could cause arcing and consequent smoke and fire in the electrical power center. Boeing also has informed us that it is planning to revise Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-24-184.

FAA's Determination

In light of the identified unsafe condition, we have determined that the replacement required by paragraph (c) of AD 2002-14-05 is no longer acceptable as terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of that AD, and that those repetitive inspections must continue to be done, until a new terminating action is developed, approved, and available.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

We previously reviewed and approved McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A160, Revision 01, dated November 11, 1999, which describes procedures for repetitive general visual inspections of the power feeder cables, terminal strip, fuseholder, and fuses of the GLCU within the No. 3 bay electrical power center; and corrective actions, if necessary. The corrective actions include replacement of power feeder cables, fuseholder, and/or fuses, as applicable, with new parts.

We also previously reviewed and approved McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A160, dated August 30, 1999, which describes the same procedures as Revision 01 of the service bulletin. However, the inspection is only accomplished once, rather than repetitively. Therefore, this service bulletin is also provided as a source of accomplishment instructions for the required general visual inspections and corrective actions.

Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

Explanation of Requirements of Rule

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of this same type design, this AD supersedes AD 2002-14-05 to require repetitive general visual inspections of the power feeder cables, terminal strip, fuseholder, and fuses of the GLCU within the No. 3 bay electrical power center to detect damage; and corrective actions, if necessary. The actions will be required to be accomplished in accordance with the service bulletins described previously.

Interim Action

This is considered to be interim action. The airplane manufacturer has advised that it currently is developing a replacement that will address the unsafe condition addressed by this AD. Once this replacement is developed, approved, and available, we may consider additional rulemaking.

Determination of Rule's Effective Date

Since a situation exists that requires the immediate adoption of this regulation, it is found that notice and opportunity for prior public comment hereon are impracticable, and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

Although this action is in the form of a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and, thus, was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment, comments are invited on this rule. Interested persons are invited to comment on this 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 under the caption ADDRESSES. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments will be considered, and this rule may be amended in light of the comments received. Factual information that supports the commenter's ideas and suggestions is extremely helpful in evaluating the effectiveness of the AD action and determining whether additional rulemaking action would be needed.

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 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 rule that might suggest a need to modify the 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 that summarizes each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this AD will be filed in the Rules Docket.

Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this rule must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2002-NM-195-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

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.

The FAA has determined that this regulation is an emergency regulation that must be issued immediately to correct an unsafe condition in aircraft, and that it is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866. It has been determined further that this action involves an emergency regulation under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). If it is determined that this emergency regulation otherwise would be significant under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures, a final regulatory evaluation will be prepared and placed in the Rules Docket. A copy of it, if filed, 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 removing amendment 39-12805 (

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2002-17-06 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-12872. Docket 2002-NM-195-AD. Supersedes AD 2002-14-05, Amendment 39-12805.

Applicability: Model MD-11 airplanes, as listed in Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-24-184, dated February 22, 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) 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 damage to the wire assembly, and consequent arcing and smoke and fire in the electrical power center, and to prevent damage to the wire assembly terminal lugs and overheating of the power feeder cables on the No. 3 and No. 4 galley load control unit (GLCU), which could result in smoke and fire in the center accessory compartment, accomplish the following:

Initial Inspection

(a) Do a general visual inspection of the power feeder cables, terminal strip, fuseholder, and fuses of the GLCU within the No. 3 bay electrical power center to detect damage (i.e., discoloration of affected parts or loose attachments), per McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A160, dated August 30, 1999; or Revision 01, dated November 11, 1999; at the applicable time specified in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this AD.

(1) For airplanes on which the replacement required by paragraph (c) of AD 2002-14-05, amendment 39-12805, has been done: Inspect within 60 days after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For airplanes on which the replacement required by paragraph (c) of AD 2002-14-05 has NOT been done: Inspect within 600 flight hours from the last inspection required by AD 2002-14-05, or within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

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 from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to enhance visual access to all exposed surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight 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.”

No Damage Detected: Repetitive Inspections

(b) If no damage is detected during any inspection required by this AD, repeat the general visual inspection every 600 flight hours.

Damage Detected: Replacement and Repetitive Inspections

(c) If any damage is detected during any inspection required by this AD, before further flight, replace the power feeder cables, fuseholder, and/or fuses, as applicable, with new parts, per McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A160, dated August 30, 1999; or Revision 01, dated November 11, 1999. Repeat the general visual inspection every 600 flight hours.

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 3:

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 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

(f) The actions shall be done in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A160, dated August 30, 1999; or McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A160, Revision 01, dated November 11, 1999. The incorporation by reference of those documents was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of January 4, 2000 (64 FR 71001, December 20, 1999). 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

(g) This amendment becomes effective on September 16, 2002.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 23, 2002.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-22127 Filed 8-29-02; 8:45 am]

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