Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 767-300 Series Airplanes Modified by Supplemental Type Certificate ST01783AT-D

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 adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to all Boeing Model 767-300 series airplanes modified by Supplemental Type Certificate ST01783AT-D. This proposal would require modifying the in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and revising the airplane flight manual. This action is necessary to ensure that the flight crew is able to remove electrical power from the IFE system when necessary and is advised of appropriate procedures for such action. Inability to remove power from the IFE system during a non-normal or emergency situation could result in inability to control smoke or fumes in the airplane flight deck or cabin. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by February 18, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-54-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. 2002-NM-54-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 TIMCO Engineered Systems, Inc., 623 Radar Road, Greensboro, North Carolina 27410. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert Chupka, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Flight Test Branch, ACE-116A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (770) 703-6070; fax (770) 703-6097.

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 Start Printed Page 309written 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 2002-NM-54-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. 2002-NM-54-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently completed a review of in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems certified by supplemental type certificate (STC) and installed on transport category airplanes. The review focused on the interface between the IFE system and airplane electrical system, with the objective of determining if any unsafe conditions exist with regard to the interface. STCs issued between 1992 and 2000 were considered for the review.

The type of IFE systems considered for review were those that contain video monitors (cathode ray tubes or liquid crystal displays; either hanging above the aisle or mounted on individual seat backs or seat trays), or complex circuitry (i.e., power supplies, electronic distribution boxes, extensive wire routing, relatively high power consumption, multiple layers of circuit protection, etc.). In addition, in-seat power supply systems that provide power to more than 20 percent of the total passenger seats were also considered for the review. The types of IFE systems not considered for review include systems that provide only audio signals to each passenger seat, ordinary in-flight telephone systems (e.g., one telephone handset per group of seats or bulkhead-mounted telephones), systems that only have a video monitor on the forward bulkhead(s) (or a projection system) to provide passengers with basic airplane and flight information, and in-seat power supply systems that provide power to less than 20 percent of the total passenger seats.

Items considered during the review include the following:

  • Can the electrical bus(es) supplying power to the IFE system be deenergized when necessary without removing power from systems that may be required for continued safe flight and landing?
  • Can IFE system power be removed when required without pulling IFE system circuit breakers (i.e., is there a switch (dedicated to the IFE system or a combination of loads) located in the flight deck or cabin that can be used to remove IFE power?)?
  • If the IFE system requires changes to flight crew procedures, has the airplane flight manual (AFM) been properly amended?
  • If the IFE system requires changes to cabin crew procedures, have they been properly amended?
  • Does the IFE system require periodic or special maintenance?

In all, approximately 180 IFE systems approved by STC were reviewed by the FAA. The review results indicate that potential unsafe conditions exist on some IFE systems installed on various transport category airplanes. These conditions can be summarized as:

  • Electrical bus(es) supplying power to the IFE system cannot be deenergized when necessary without removing power from systems that may be required for continued safe flight and landing.
  • Power cannot be removed from the IFE system when required without pulling IFE system circuit breakers (i.e., there is no switch dedicated to the IFE system or combination of systems for the purpose of removing power).
  • Installation of the IFE system has affected crew (flight crew and/or cabin crew) procedures, but the procedures have not been properly revised.

FAA's Determination

As part of its review of IFE systems, the FAA has determined that an unsafe condition exists on all Boeing Model 767-300 series airplanes modified by STC ST01783AT-D. The IFE system on these airplanes is connected to an electrical bus that cannot be deactivated without also removing power from airplane systems necessary for safe flight and landing. There is no other means to remove power from the IFE system. Additionally, the airplane manufacturer's published flight crew and cabin crew emergency procedures do not advise the flight crew and cabin crew that power cannot be removed from the IFE system. This condition, if not corrected, could result in inability to remove power from the IFE system during a non-normal or emergency situation, and consequent inability to control smoke or fumes in the airplane flight deck or cabin.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved TIMCO Service Bulletin TSB-767-23-009, Revision IR, dated August 22, 2001. That service bulletin describes procedures for modifying the IFE system by installing two new relays to control power inputs to the IFE system, and a new circuit breaker to protect the wiring of the IFE system. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

The FAA also has reviewed and approved TIMCO AFM Supplement TIM-AFM-01035, dated March 13, 2002, which revises the procedures under the heading “Electrical Smoke or Fire” in the “Emergency Procedures” section of the AFM to provide instructions for the cabin crew to remove power from the various components of the IFE system in an emergency.

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 require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin described previously. The proposed AD also would require revising procedures to be followed in the event of smoke or fire in the airplane by including the information in the AFM supplement Start Printed Page 310described previously. Accomplishment of these actions is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

In developing an appropriate compliance time for this action, the FAA considered not only the degree of urgency associated with addressing the subject unsafe condition, but the amount of time necessary to accomplish the proposed actions, and the practical aspect of accomplishing the proposed actions within an interval of time that parallels normal scheduled maintenance for the affected operators. In consideration of these factors, the FAA has determined that 18 months after the effective date of this AD represents an appropriate interval of time allowable wherein an acceptable level of safety can be maintained.

Clarification of Airplane Model Designation

While TIMCO Service Bulletin TSB-767-23-009, Revision IR, and TIMCO AFM Supplement TIM-AFM-01035 specify that they are effective for “Boeing Model 767-300ER” series airplanes, this proposed AD would apply to Boeing Model 767-300 series airplanes. The model designation in this proposed AD is consistent with the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected model.

Other Relevant Rulemaking

The FAA has previously issued several ADs that address unsafe conditions and require corrective actions similar to those that would be required by the proposed AD. These other ADs, and the airplane models and STCs to which they apply, are as follows:

Model/Series—STC Number—AD Reference—
Airbus A340-211ST0902AC-DAD 2001-18-01, amendment 39-12427 (66 FR 46939, September 10, 2001).
Boeing 737-300ST00171SEAD 2001-14-10, amendment 39-12321 (66 FR 36455, July 12, 2001).
Boeing 737-700ST09100AC-D ST09104AC-D ST09105AC-D ST09106AC-DAD 2001-14-12, amendment 39-12323 (66 FR 36452, July 12, 2001).
Boeing 747-100 and -200SA8622SWAD 2001-14-11, amendment 39-12322 (66 FR 36453, July 12, 2001).
Boeing 747-100 and -200ST00196SEAD 2001-16-19, amendment 39-12388 and (66 FR 43068, August 17, 2001)
Boeing 747-400SA8843SWAD 2001-14-15, amendment 12326 (66 FR 36447, July 12, 2001).
Boeing 747SPST09097AC-DAD 2001-14-14, amendment 39-12325 (66 FR 36449, July 12, 2001).
Boeing 757-200SA1727GLAD 2001-14-01, amendment 39-12311 (66 FR 36149, July 11, 2001).
Boeing 767-200SA4998NMAD 2001-16-21, amendment 39-12390 (66 FR 43072, August 17, 2001).
Boeing 767-200SA5134NMAD 2001-16-20, amendment 39-12389 (66 FR 43066, August 17, 2001).
Boeing 767-200ST09022AC-DAD 2001-14-13, amendment 39-12324 (66 FR 36450, July 12, 2001).
Boeing 767-300SA5765NM SA5978NMAD 2001-16-17, amendment 39-12386 (66 FR 42937, August 16, 2001).
Boeing 767-300SA7019NM-DAD 2001-18-08, amendment 39-12434 (66 FR 46517, September 6, 2001).
Boeing 767-300ST00118SEAD 2001-14-04, amendment 39-12314 (66 FR 36699, July 13, 2001).
Boeing 767-300ST00157SEAD 2001-16-18, amendment 39-12387 (66 FR 43070, August 17, 2001).
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 and DC-9-83SA8026NMAD 2001-14-02, amendment 39-12312 (66 FR 36456, July 12, 2001).
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30SA8452SWAD 2001-16-22, amendment 39-12391 (66 FR 43074, August 17, 2001).
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30ST00054SEAD 2001-13-03, amendment 39-12313 (66 FR 36150, July 11, 2001).

Cost Impact

There are approximately 37 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 37 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

It would take approximately 66 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed modification, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed modification on U.S. operators is estimated to be $146,520, or $3,960 per airplane.

It would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed AFM revision, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AFM revision on U.S. operators is estimated to be $2,220, or $60 per airplane.

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

Start Part Start Printed Page 311

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 adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Boeing: Docket 2002-NM-54-AD.

Applicability: Model 767-300 series airplanes modified by Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01783AT-D, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been otherwise 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 (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: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To ensure that the flight crew is able to remove electrical power from the in-flight entertainment (IFE) system when necessary and is advised of appropriate procedures for such action, accomplish the following:

Modification and Airplane Flight Manual Revision

(a) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, accomplish paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD.

(1) Modify the IFE system installed on the airplane by installing two new relays and a new circuit breaker, according to TIMCO Service Bulletin TSB-767-23-009, Revision IR, dated August 22, 2001.

(2) Revise the procedures under “Electrical Smoke or Fire” in the “Emergency Procedures” section of the airplane flight manual (AFM) to include TIMCO AFM Supplement TIM-AFM-01035, dated March 13, 2002. When the information in that AFM supplement has been incorporated into the FAA-approved general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be incorporated into the AFM, and the AFM supplement may be removed from the AFM.

Part Installation

(b) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install an IFE system according to STC ST01783AT-D on any airplane, unless the IFE system is modified and the AFM is revised according to this AD.

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, Atlanta 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, Atlanta ACO.

Note 2:

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

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 accomplished.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 26, 2002.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-14 Filed 1-2-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P