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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and Model MD-88 Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and Model MD-88 airplanes. This proposal would require replacement of certain freeze protection ribbon heaters in the lavatory water supply system, and flushing, cleaning, and sterilizing the potable water system; disconnecting, coiling, and stowing the wiring of the freeze protection ribbon heater; or removal of freeze protection heaters. This action is necessary to prevent failure of freeze protection ribbon heaters, which could result in the charring, scorching, smoking, and shorting out of freeze protection ribbon heaters in the lavatory water supply system. This condition, if not corrected, could also result in electrical arcing of freeze protection ribbon heaters, leading to fire and damage to water lines and components under the lavatory sink. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by January 20, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-NM-215-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-215-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:

Cheyenne Del Carmen, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5338; 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-215-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. 2002-NM-215-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports of charring, scorching, smoking, and shorting out of freeze protection ribbon heaters in the lavatory water supply system of certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and MD-88 airplanes. We also received reports of burning and scorching to water lines and components under the lavatory sink. Investigation revealed that the freeze protection ribbon heaters were failing. This condition, if not corrected, could result in electrical arcing of freeze protection ribbon heaters, leading to fire and damage to water lines and components under the lavatory sink.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-25A381, dated August 5, 2002. This service bulletin describes procedures for replacing the existing freeze protection ribbon heater in the lavatory water supply system with a new, reidentified heater hose assembly, and flushing, cleaning, and sterilizing the potable water system; disconnecting, coiling, and stowing the wiring of the freeze protection ribbon heater in the lavatory water supply system; or removing the freeze protection ribbon heater from the lavatory water supply system. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the Boeing service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-25A381 refers to Jamco Corporation Service Bulletin MD080-25-829, dated February 14, 2002, as an additional source of service information for instructions on replacing the existing freeze protection ribbon heater with a new, reidentified heater hose assembly for Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and MD-88 airplanes.Start Printed Page 67979

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 Boeing service bulletin described previously.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 1,180 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 724 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, and that each airplane has approximately 3 lavatories, and that the average 1 labor rate is $65 per work hour. Table 1 shows the estimated cost impact, based upon the action taken, for airplanes affected by this proposed AD.

Table 1.—Cost Impact

ActionWork hours per lavatoryParts cost per lavatoryCost per lavatoryTotal cost
Replace the existing freeze protection ribbon heater with a new, reidentified heater hose assemply; and flush, clean, and sterilize the potable water system; or6$2,344 to $3,208 (Depending on lavoratory module configuration)$2,734 to $3,598 (Depending on lavoratory module configuration)$5,938,248 to $7,814,856 (Depending on lavatory module configuration) or $8,202 to $10,794 per airplane.
Disconnect, coil, and stow the wiring of the freeze protection ribbon heater; or2$0$130$282,360 or $390 per airplane.
Remove the freeze protection ribbon heater3$0$195$423,540 or $585 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 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 2002-NM-215-AD.

Applicability: Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and MD-88 airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-25A381, dated August 5, 2002; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of freeze protection ribbon heaters, which could result in the charring, scorching, smoking, and shorting out of freeze protection ribbon heaters in the lavatory water supply system and could also result in electrical arcing of freeze protection ribbon heaters, leading to fire and damage to water lines and components under the lavatory sink; accomplish the following:

Corrective Actions

(a) Within 18 months of the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of this AD per the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-25A381, dated August 5, 2002.

(1) Replace the existing freeze protection ribbon heater in the lavatory water supply system with a new, reidentified heater hose assembly. Flush, clean, and sterilize the potable water system; or

(2) Disconnect, coil, and stow the wiring of the freeze protection ribbon heater in the lavatory water supply system; or

(3) Remove the freeze protection ribbon heater from the lavatory water supply system.

Note 1:

Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD80-25A381 refers to Jamco Corporation Service Bulletin MD080-25-829, dated February 14, 2002, as an additional source of service information for instructions on replacing the existing freeze protection ribbon heater with a new, reidentified heater hose assembly for Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and Model MD-88 airplanes.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(b) 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 November 28, 2003.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-30218 Filed 12-4-03; 8:45 am]

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