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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F Airplanes; and Model MD-11 and MD-11F 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, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F airplanes; and Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes. This proposal would require replacement of the left and right number one passenger door bolted lower seal-to-retainer and girt bar view window assemblies with new, double-flush riveted assemblies. This action is intended to prevent the number one passenger door slide from inflating before it has cleared the slide cover, which could result in the slide being unusable during an emergency evacuation and consequent injury to passengers or airplane crewmembers. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by November 3, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-NM-07-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington. 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. 2003-NM-07-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.Start Printed Page 54683

The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from the 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:

Ken Sujishi, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5353; 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 2003-NM-07-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. 2003-NM-07-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports of the number one passenger door slide not deploying properly when the door was activated on two McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 airplanes. Although the exact cause of the improper deployment has not been determined, it may be possible for the inflation lanyard of the evacuation slide to hang up on the ends of certain fasteners. These fasteners are used in the door bottom seal-to-retainer assembly and the view window assembly. If the lanyard hangs up on the fasteners as the passenger door moves upward during emergency use, it may be possible for the slide to begin inflating before it has cleared the slide cover. This action is intended to prevent the number one passenger door slide from inflating before it has cleared the slide cover, which could result in the slide being unusable during an emergency evacuation and consequent injury to passengers or airplane crewmembers.

The subject area on certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F airplanes is almost identical to that on the affected Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes. Therefore, all of these models may be subject to the same unsafe condition.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-25A378 dated November 27, 2002 (for Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F series airplanes). The FAA has also reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A262, Revision 01, dated February 11, 2003 (for Model MD-11 and MD-11F series airplanes). These service bulletins describe procedures for replacing the passenger door seal and view window retainer assemblies on the door lower cover with new, double-flush riveted assemblies. 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 applicable 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 (AMOCs). Because we have now included this material in part 39, only the office authorized to approve AMOCs is identified in each individual AD.

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 350 Model DC-10 airplanes, and approximately 195 Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 263 Model DC-10 airplanes and 81 Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

The following table shows the estimated cost impact for airplanes affected by this proposed AD: Start Printed Page 54684

Table.—Cost Impact

ModelWork hours (estimated)Labor cost per airplane (estimated)Parts cost per airplane (estimated)Maximum fleet cost (estimated)
DC-10 and MD-10 airplanes2$130$6,024$1,618,502
MD-11 and -11F airplanes1656,024493,209

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.

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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:

McDonnell Douglas: Docket 2003-NM-07-AD.

Applicability: Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-25A378, dated November 27, 2002; and Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes, as listed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A262, Revision 01, dated February 11, 2003; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent the number one passenger door slide from inflating before it has cleared the slide cover, which could result in the slide being unusable during an emergency evacuation and consequent injury to passengers or airplane crewmembers, accomplish the following:

Replacement

(a) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the left and right number one passenger door bolted lower seal-to-retainer and girt bar view window assemblies with the new, double-flush riveted assemblies, per the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-25A378, dated November 27, 2002 (for Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F airplanes), or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A262, Revision 01, dated February 11, 2003 (for Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes); as applicable.

Replacements Accomplished Per Previous Issue of Service Bulletin

(b) Replacements accomplished before the effective date of this AD per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-25A262, dated November 27, 2002, are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding action specified in 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.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 11, 2003.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-23821 Filed 9-17-03; 8:45 am]

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