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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-8-70 and -70F Series 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:

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-8-70 and -70F series airplanes. This proposal would require repetitive inspections for cracking of the lower cargo doorjamb corners, and corrective action if necessary. For certain airplanes, this proposal would provide for optional terminating action for certain repetitive inspections. For certain other airplanes, this proposal would require modification of the lower cargo doorjamb corners. This action is necessary to detect and correct cracking in the lower cargo doorjamb corners, which could result in rapid decompression of the fuselage and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by January 2, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NM-133-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-Start Printed Page 64828nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2001-NM-133-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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jon Mowery, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5322; 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-133-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-133-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports of fatigue cracks in the fuselage skin in the lower cargo doorjamb corners on McDonnell Douglas Model DC-8-70 and -70F series airplanes. These cracks were discovered during inspections conducted as part of the Supplemental Inspection Document (SID) program required by AD 93-01-15, amendment 39-8469 (58 FR 5576, January 22, 1993). The cracks were found in areas that extend beyond the inspection areas of AD 93-01-15. Investigation revealed that the cracking was caused by fatigue-related stress. Such fatigue cracking, if not corrected, could result in rapid decompression of the fuselage and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed and approved McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC8-53-078, Revision 01, dated January 25, 2001, which describes procedures for various repetitive inspections for cracking of the lower cargo doorjamb corners, and corrective action if necessary. The service bulletin divides the effectivity into four groups of airplanes, based on the modification status of the lower cargo doorjamb corners. The service bulletin also describes procedures for certain airplanes for a modification of the lower cargo doorjamb corners, which, if accomplished, would eliminate the need for certain repetitive inspections. The manufacturer issued Revision 01 to revise the compliance schedules for certain inspections. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

We have identified Revision 01 of the service bulletin as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) with the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of AD 93-01-15.

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, except as discussed below. The proposed AD would also require that operators send us a report of the results of each inspection.

Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Bulletin

Although the service bulletin specifies that the manufacturer may be contacted for disposition of certain repair conditions, this proposal would require that those repairs be done per an FAA-approved method, or per data meeting the type certification basis of the airplane approved by a Boeing Company Designated Engineering Representative whom we have authorized to make such findings.

Cost Impact

There are about 264 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. We estimate that 244 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.

The proposed pre-modification inspections, if required, would take about 24 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of these proposed actions is estimated to be $1,560 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

The modification, if accomplished, would take about 520 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. The parts would cost about $25,000. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this action is estimated to be $58,800 per airplane.

The proposed post-modification inspections would take about 40 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of these proposed actions is estimated to be $634,400, or $2,600 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

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 Start Printed Page 64829time 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

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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:

Start Part

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 2001-NM-133-AD.

Applicability: Model DC-8-70 and -70F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as listed in McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC8-53-078, Revision 01, dated January 25, 2001.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To detect and correct cracking in the lower cargo doorjamb corners, which could result in rapid decompression of the fuselage and consequent reduced structural integrity of the airplane, accomplish the following:

Note 1:

This AD is related to AD 93-01-15, amendment 39-8469, and will affect Principal Structural Elements (PSEs) 53.08.042 and 53.08.043 of the DC-8 Supplemental Inspection Document (SID), Report L26-011, Volume II, Revision 7, dated April 1993.

Group 1 Airplanes: Inspections and Optional Terminating Action

(a) For airplanes identified as Group 1 in McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC8-53-078, Revision 01, dated January 25, 2001:

(1) Within 2,000 landings or 3 years after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, perform applicable inspections for cracking of the lower cargo doorjamb corners, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

(i) If no crack is detected during any inspection required by this paragraph: Repeat the inspections within the intervals specified in paragraph 1.E. of the service bulletin.

(ii) If any crack is detected during any inspection required by this paragraph: Repair before further flight in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

(2) Modification of the lower cargo doorjamb corners in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin terminates the repetitive inspection requirement of paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this AD.

(3) For airplanes repaired or modified in accordance with paragraph (a)(1)(ii) or (a)(2) of this AD: Within 17,000 landings after the repair or modification, perform an eddy current inspection for cracks of the doorjamb corners, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin (Drawing SN08530001). Repeat the inspection at intervals not to exceed 4,400 landings.

Group 2 Airplanes: Modification

(b) For airplanes identified as Group 2 in McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC8-53-078, Revision 01, dated January 25, 2001:

(1) Within 2,000 landings or 3 years after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, modify the lower cargo doorjamb corners in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

(2) Within 17,000 landings after the modification required by paragraph (b)(1) of this AD, perform applicable inspections for cracking of the doorjamb corners, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 4,400 landings.

Group 3 and Group 4 Airplanes: Inspections

(c) For airplanes identified as Group 3 and Group 4 in McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC8-53-078, Revision 01, dated January 25, 2001: Within 17,000 landings following accomplishment of the modification specified in the service bulletin, perform applicable inspections for cracking of the lower cargo doorjamb corners, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 4,400 landings.

All Airplanes: Repair Following Post-Modification Inspections

(d) If any cracking is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (a)(3), (b)(2), or (c) of this AD: Repair before further flight in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA; or per data meeting the type certification basis of the airplane approved by a Boeing Company Designated Engineering Representative (DER) who has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, to make such findings. For a repair method to be approved, the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

Credit for Prior Accomplishment

(e) Inspections done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC8-53-078, dated February 6, 1996, are acceptable for compliance with the applicable inspections required by this AD.

(f) Inspections and repairs specified in this AD of areas of PSEs 53.08.042 and 53.08.043 are acceptable for compliance with the applicable requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of AD 93-01-15. The remaining areas of the affected PSEs must be inspected and repaired as applicable, in accordance with AD 93-01-15.

Report

(g) At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD: Submit a report of the findings (both positive and negative) of each inspection required by this AD to the Manager, Los Angeles ACO. Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements contained in this AD and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.

(1) For an inspection done after the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 10 days after the inspection.

(2) For an inspection done before the effective date of this AD: Submit the report within 10 days after the effective date of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(h)(1) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, FAA, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) for this AD.

(2) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD, if it is approved by a Boeing DER who has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, to make such findings.

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Start Printed Page 64830

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 10, 2003.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-28607 Filed 11-14-03; 8:45 am]

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