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Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Model RB211 Turbofan Engines

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 revises an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to Rolls-Royce plc (RR) model RB211-535E4-37, RB211-535E4-B-37, and RB211-535E4-B-75 turbofan engines. The existing AD will become effective on June 20, 2003, and requires removal from service of certain high pressure (HP) turbine discs before they reach newly established life limits. This amendment requires the same actions, but removes the model RB211-535E4-37 turbofan engine from the applicability. This revision to the existing AD is prompted by further data gathering by the FAA that demonstrates that the model RB211-535E4-37 turbofan engine is not affected by machining-induced cracking within the currently published life of the HP turbine disc. The actions specified in this AD are intended to prevent machining-induced cracking of the HP turbine disc which could cause an uncontained HP turbine disc failure and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

Effective June 20, 2003.

Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before August 4, 2003.

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-12-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 Start Printed Page 33359p.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.

Information regarding this action may be examined, by appointment, at the FAA, New England Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ian Dargin, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine and Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803-5299, telephone (781) 238-7178; fax (781) 238-7199.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On May 9, 2003, the FAA issued AD 2003-10-03, Amendment 39-13148 (68 FR 26481, May 16, 2003), to require removal from service of certain HP turbine discs in RR model RB211-535E4-37, RB211-535E4-B-37, and RB211-535E4-B-75 turbofan engines, before the discs reach newly established life limits. That action was prompted by the manufacturer's inspections and analysis of HP turbine discs that have accumulated high cycles. That AD will become effective on June 20, 2003.

The FAA is revising this amendment to remove the model RB211-535E4-37 turbofan engine from the applicability. The FAA has received additional details of the engineering analysis based on field inspection data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the aviation authority for the U.K., and has determined that the model RB211-535E4-37 turbofan engine is not affected by machining-induced cracking within the currently published life of the HP turbine disc. This revised AD will be effective on June 20, 2003, in order to reduce the burden on operators.

Bilateral Airworthiness Agreement

This engine model is manufactured in the U.K. and is type certificated for operation in the United States under the provisions of section 21.29 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.29) and the applicable bilateral airworthiness agreement. Pursuant to this bilateral airworthiness agreement, the CAA has kept the FAA informed of the situation described above. The FAA has examined the findings of the CAA, reviewed all available information, and determined that AD action is necessary for products of this type design that are certificated for operation in the United States.

FAA's Determination of an Unsafe Condition and Required Actions

Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other RR model RB211-535E4-B-37 and RB211-535E4-B-75 turbofan engines of the same type design, this AD is being issued to prevent machining-induced cracking of the HP turbine disc which could cause an uncontained HP turbine disc failure and damage to the airplane. This AD requires removal from service of certain HP turbine discs before they reach newly established life limits.

Immediate Adoption of This AD

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 unnecessary, 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 should 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.

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 action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2002-NE-12-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.

Regulatory Analysis

This final 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 final rule.

The FAA has determined that this regulation is an emergency regulation that must be issued immediately to correct an unsafe condition in aircraft, and 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

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.

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing Amendment 39-13148 (

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2003-10-03R1 Rolls-Royce plc: Amendment 39-13182. Docket No. 2002-NE-12-AD.

Applicability: This airworthiness directive (AD) is applicable to Rolls-Royce plc (RR) model RB211-535E4-B-37 and RB211-535E4-B-75 turbofan engines with high Start Printed Page 33360pressure (HP) turbine disc, P/N UL10323, UL27680, and UL27681, installed. These engines are installed on, but not limited to Boeing 757 and Tupolev Tu204 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 (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: Compliance with this AD is required as indicated, unless already done.

To prevent machining-induced cracking of the HP turbine disc, which could cause an uncontained HP turbine disc failure and damage to the airplane, do the following:

(a) Remove HP turbine discs P/Ns UL27680 and UL27681 from service before accumulating 15,000 cycles-since-new (CSN).

(b) Remove HP turbine discs P/N UL10323 from service before accumulating 14,800 CSN.

(c) After the effective date of this AD, do not install any HP turbine disc P/N UL27680 or UL27681 that exceeds 15,000 CSN, or any HP turbine disc P/N UL10323 that exceeds 14,800 CSN.

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, 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 Engine Certification Office.

Special Flight Permits

(e) 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.

Effective Date

(f) This amendment becomes effective on June 20, 2003.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on May 29, 2003.

Francis A. Favara,

Acting Manager, Engine and Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-13973 Filed 6-3-03; 8:45 am]

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