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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, -10F, -15, -30, -30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), -40, and -40F Airplanes; and Model MD-10-10F and -30F 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.

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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 certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, -10F, -15, -30, -30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), -40, and -40F airplanes; and certain Model MD-10-10F and -30F airplanes. This proposal would require inspections for cracking and corrosion of the bolt assemblies and bushings on the hinge fittings of the inboard and outboard flaps of the left and right wings, and follow-on and corrective actions. This action is necessary to prevent failure of the bolt and bushing that attach the hinge fitting to the flap, which could result in loss of the flap and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by July 25, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-164-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-164-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 or 2000 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; or at the FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ron Atmur, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5224; fax (562) 627-5210.

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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 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-164-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter. Start Printed Page 34558

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-164-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports indicating failure of the bolts and bushings that attach the hinge fittings to the inboard and outboard flaps on certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10 airplanes. In two cases, the failure was in the radius area of the bolt head; in one case, the failure was in the threaded portion of the bolt; in another case, both the head and threaded end had failed. Additional failures occurred in the lubrication hole in the middle of the shank. The cause of these failures has been attributed to hydrogen embrittlement. Subsequent to installation of new hinge bolts with improved corrosion protection, the corrosion and failures continued to occur.

In addition, multiple reports have been received from operators of corrosion on the bolt and bushing. Investigation revealed that a lack of lubrication caused the initiation of corrosion, and the corrosion led to the stress corrosion failure of the bolt and bushing. The bolt and bushing provide a fail-safe mechanism at the flap hinge pivot point. Such conditions, if not corrected, could result in failure of the bolts and bushings that attach the hinge fitting to the flap, which could result in loss of the flap and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-57A148, Revision 01, dated August 13, 2002, which describes procedures for magnetic particle and visual inspections for cracking and corrosion of the outboard pivot bolt assemblies and bushings on the hinge fittings of the inboard flaps of the left and right wings. The service bulletin also describes procedures for follow-on actions and repair of any discrepancy found, as follows:

  • Condition 1—No cracking or corrosion found: Option 1—Reinstall each existing bushing, replace each existing pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from corrosion-resistant steel, and lubricate the assembly. Option 2—Reinstall each existing bushing and pivot bolt assembly, lubricate the assembly, repeat the lubrication at the intervals specified, and do repetitive ultrasonic inspections of each assembly for cracking at the intervals specified.
  • Condition 2—Corrosion on bolt and/or bushing: Option 1—Replace each affected bushing with a new equivalent part, replace each affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from corrosion-resistant steel, and lubricate the assembly. Option 2—Repair the existing bushing and pivot bolt assembly and reinstall them, lubricate the assembly, repeat the lubrication at the intervals specified, and do repetitive ultrasonic inspections of each assembly for cracking at the intervals specified.
  • Condition 3—Cracks in bolt and/or bushing: Option 1—Replace each affected bushing with a new equivalent part, replace each affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from corrosion-resistant steel, and lubricate the assembly. Option 2—Replace each affected bushing and pivot bolt assembly with new equivalent parts, lubricate the assembly, repeat the lubrication at the intervals specified, and do repetitive ultrasonic inspections of each assembly for cracking at the intervals specified.

We also have reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-57A117, Revision 01, dated July 23, 2002, which describes procedures for magnetic particle and visual inspections for cracking and corrosion of the pivot bolt assemblies on the hinge fitting of the outboard flaps of the left and right wings. The service bulletin also describes procedures for follow-on actions and repair of any discrepancy found, as follows:

  • Condition 1—No cracking or corrosion found: Option 1—Replace each existing pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from multi-phase material, and lubricate the assembly. Option 2—Reinstall each pivot bolt assembly, lubricate the assembly, repeat the lubrication at the intervals specified, and do repetitive ultrasonic inspections of each assembly for cracking at the intervals specified.
  • Condition 2—Corrosion on bolt: Option 1—Replace each affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from multi-phase material, and lubricate the assembly. Option 2—Repair the existing pivot bolt assembly and reinstall, lubricate the assembly, repeat the lubrication at the intervals specified, and do repetitive ultrasonic inspections of each assembly for cracking at the intervals specified.
  • Condition 3—Cracks in bolt: Option 1—Replace each affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from multi-phase material, and lubricate the assembly. Option 2—Replace each affected pivot bolt assembly with a new equivalent part, lubricate the assembly, repeat the lubrication at the intervals specified, and do repetitive ultrasonic inspections of each assembly for cracking at the intervals specified.

Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletins 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 require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin described previously.

Changes to 14 CFR part 39/Effect on the Proposed AD

On July 10, 2002, the FAA issued a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs the FAA's airworthiness directives system. The regulation now includes material that relates to altered products, special flight permits, and alternative methods of compliance. Because we have now included this material in part 39, we no longer need to include it in each individual AD.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 402 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 297 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

It would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed initial inspections, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed inspections on U.S. operators is estimated to be $17,820, or $60 per airplane.

It would take approximately 2 work hours per flap, to accomplish the proposed replacement, at an average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $2,982 for the outboard flap, and $2,825 for the inboard flap. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed replacement on U.S. operators is estimated to be $1,795,959, or $6,047 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 Start Printed Page 34559cost 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.

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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:

Boeing: Docket 2002-NM-164-AD.

Applicability: Model DC-10-10, -10F, -15, -30, -30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), -40, and -40F airplanes; and Model MD-10-10F and -30F airplanes; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of the bolts and bushings that attach the hinge fitting to the flap, which could result in loss of the flap and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Initial General Visual and Magnetic Particle Inspections

(a) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD: Do initial general visual and magnetic particle inspections for cracking and corrosion of the pivot bolt assemblies and bushings on the hinge fittings of the inboard and outboard flaps of the left and right wings, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-57A148, Revision 01, dated August 13, 2002; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-57A117, Revision 01, dated July 23, 2002; as applicable. Before further flight, do the applicable follow-on and corrective actions required by paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), and (a)(3) of this AD.

Note 1:

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.”

Follow-on and Corrective Actions

(1) If no cracking or corrosion is found: Before further flight, do the actions specified in either (a)(1)(i) or (a)(1)(ii) of this AD per Condition 1 of the Work Instructions of the applicable service bulletin.

(i) Do the actions specified in Option 1 of Condition 1 per the applicable service bulletin. The actions include (for the inboard flaps) reinstalling each existing bushing, replacing each existing pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from corrosion-resistant steel, and lubricating the assembly; (for the outboard flaps) replacing each existing pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from multi-phase material, and lubricating the assembly.

(ii) Do the actions specified in Option 2 of Condition 1 per the applicable service bulletin. The actions include (for the inboard flaps) reinstalling the existing bushing and pivot bolt assembly, lubricating the assembly, repeating the lubrication at the intervals specified, and doing repetitive ultrasonic inspections of the assembly for cracking at the intervals specified; (for the outboard flaps) reinstalling the pivot bolt assembly, lubricating the assembly, repeating the lubrication at the intervals specified, and doing repetitive ultrasonic inspections of the assembly for cracking at the intervals specified. Accomplishment of paragraph (a)(1)(i) terminates the requirements of this paragraph.

(2) If corrosion is found: Before further flight, do the actions specified in either (a)(2)(i) or (a)(2)(ii) of this AD per Condition 2 of the Work Instructions of the applicable service bulletin.

(i) Do the actions specified in Option 1 of Condition 2 per the applicable service bulletin. The actions include (for the inboard flaps) replacing the affected bushing with a new equivalent part, replacing the affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from corrosion-resistant steel, and lubricating each assembly; (for the outboard flaps) replacing the affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from multi-phase material, and lubricating each assembly.

(ii) Do the actions specified in Option 2 of Condition 2 per the applicable service bulletin. The actions include (for the inboard flaps) repairing and re-installing the existing bushing and affected pivot bolt assembly, lubricating each assembly, repeating the lubrication at the intervals specified, and doing repetitive ultrasonic inspections of the assembly for cracking at the intervals specified; (for the outboard flaps) repairing and installing the existing pivot bolt assembly, lubricating each assembly, repeating the lubrication at the intervals specified, and doing repetitive ultrasonic inspections of the assembly for cracking, at the intervals specified. Do the inspections until paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this AD has been done.

(3) If cracking is found: Before further flight, do the actions specified in either paragraph (a)(3)(i) or (a)(3)(ii) of this AD per Condition 3 of the Work Instructions of the applicable service bulletin.

(i) Do the actions specified in Option 1 of Condition 3 per the applicable service bulletin. The actions include (for the inboard flaps) replacing the affected bushing with a new equivalent part, replacing the affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from corrosion-resistant steel, and lubricating each assembly; (for the outboard flaps) replacing the affected pivot bolt assembly with a new assembly made from multi-phase material, and lubricating each assembly.

(ii) Do the actions specified in Option 2 of Condition 3 per the applicable service bulletin. The actions include (for the inboard flaps) replacing the affected bushing and pivot bolt assembly with new equivalent parts, lubricating each assembly, repeating the lubrication at the intervals specified, and doing repetitive ultrasonic inspections of the assembly for cracking at the intervals specified; (for the outboard flaps) replacing the affected pivot bolt assembly with a new equivalent part, lubricating each assembly, repeating the lubrication at the intervals specified, and doing repetitive ultrasonic inspections of the assembly for cracking at the intervals specified. Do the inspections until paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this AD has been done.

Credit for Actions Done per Previous Issue of Service Bulletins

(b) Accomplishment of the specified actions before the effective date of this AD per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-57A148, dated June 14, 2002; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-57A117, dated February 11, 1991; is considered acceptable Start Printed Page 34560for compliance with the applicable requirements of paragraph (a) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(c) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 4, 2003.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-14525 Filed 6-9-03; 8:45 am]

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