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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

This document revises an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 airplanes, that would have required a one-time detailed visual inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires; and corrective action, if necessary. That earlier proposed AD also would have required an inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires; repair if necessary; installation of a grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through; replacement of the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocation of the support clamp of the wire bundle; as applicable. That proposal was prompted by the FAA's determination that the existing support bracket and the location of the support clamp of the wire bundle may not adequately preclude the wire bundle contained in the feed-through behind the first observer's station from contacting the bottom portion of the feed-through. This new action revises the proposed rule by specifying new corrective actions. The actions specified by this new proposed AD are intended to prevent such contact, which could cause cable chafing, electrical arcing, smoke, or fire in the cockpit.

DATES:

Comments must be received by August 18, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NM-57-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. 2001-NM-57-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 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brett Portwood, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5350; fax (562) 627-5210.

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 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 2001-NM-57-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. 2001-NM-57-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to add an airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 airplanes, was published as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (hereafter referred to as “the original NPRM”) in the Federal Register on October 5, 2001 Start Printed Page 43687(66 FR 50917). The original NPRM would have superseded AD 2000-03-13, amendment 39-11572 (65 FR 8028, February 17, 2000) to require a one-time detailed visual inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires, and repair, if necessary. The original NPRM also would have required installing a grommet around the lower edge of the feed-through; replacing the support bracket with a new bracket; and relocating the support clamp of the wire bundle; as applicable. The original NPRM also expanded the applicability of the existing AD to include additional airplanes. The original NPRM was prompted by the FAA's determination that the existing support bracket and the location of the support clamp of the wire bundle may not adequately preclude the wire bundle contained in the feed-through behind the first observer's station from contacting the bottom portion of the feed-through. That condition, if not corrected, could cause cable chafing, electrical arcing, smoke, or fire in the cockpit.

Actions Since Issuance of the Original NPRM

Since the issuance of the original NPRM, the FAA has reviewed and approved Revision 03 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, dated September 11, 2002. This revision incorporate engineering procedures released subsequent to the issuance of Revision 02 of the service bulletin, which was referenced in the original NPRM as the appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the proposed actions. The revised procedures involve installing and relocating a new bracket due to interference of existing potted inserts when installing the bracket per Revision 02 of the service bulletin. We have revised this supplemental NPRM to specify these new procedures and to include reference to Revision 03 of the service bulletin as the appropriate source of service information.

Comments

Due consideration has been given to the single comment received in response to the original NPRM:

One commenter notes that the original NPRM states, “The manufacturer has committed previously to its customers that it will bear the cost of replacement parts.” The commenter states that this is not quite accurate, and that Boeing warranty remedies are available for MD-11 airplanes in warranty as of September 1, 1992.

From this comment, we infer that the commenter is requesting that the Cost Impact section of the original NPRM be revised. We concur and have revised the supplemental NPRM accordingly.

Explanation of Change to Applicability

We have revised the applicability of the original NRPM to identify model designations as published in the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected models.

Conclusion

Since the change to include the revised procedures expands the scope of the original NPRM, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

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 AD system. This regulation now includes material that relates to altered products, special flight permits, and alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs). However, for clarity and consistency in this final rule, we have retained the language of the NPRM regarding that material.

Change to Labor Rate Estimate

We have reviewed the figures we have used over the past several years to calculate AD costs to operators. To account for various inflationary costs in the airline industry, we find it necessary to increase the labor rate used in these calculations from $60 per work hour to $65 per work hour. The cost impact information, below, reflects this increase in the specified hourly labor rate.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 193 Model MD-11 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. We estimate that 62 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this supplemental NPRM.

The new actions that are proposed in this AD action would take approximately 2 work hours per airplane to accomplish, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts would cost $407. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed requirements of this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $33,294, or $537 per airplane.

The cost impact figure discussed above is 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 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. The manufacturer may cover the cost of replacement parts associated with this proposed AD, subject to warranty conditions. Manufacturer warranty remedies may also be available for labor costs associated with this proposed AD. As a result, the costs attributable to the proposed AD may be less than stated above.

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

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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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Start Printed Page 43688
[Amended]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

McDonnell Douglas: Docket 2001-NM-57-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 03, dated September 11, 2002; 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)(1) 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 the wire bundle contained in the feed-through from contacting the bottom of the feed-through, which could cause cable chafing, electrical arcing, and smoke or fire in the cockpit, accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 1 year after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time detailed inspection of the wire bundle installation behind the first observer's station to detect damaged or chafed wires per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 03, dated September 11, 2002.

Note 2:

For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is defined as: “An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.”

Condition 1: No Damaged or Chafed Wire

(b) If no damaged or chafed wire is detected during the detailed inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, before further flight, revise the wire bundle support clamp installation per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 03, dated September 11, 2002.

Condition 2: Any Damaged or Chafed Wire

(c) If any damaged or chafed wire is detected during the detailed inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, before further flight, repair wiring, and revise the wire bundle support clamp installation, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A041, Revision 03, dated September 11, 2002.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(d)(1) 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.

(2) Alternative methods of compliance, approved previously in accordance with AD 2000-03-13, amendment 39-11572, are approved as alternative methods of compliance with this AD.

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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 17, 2003.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-18789 Filed 7-23-03; 8:45 am]

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