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Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 and -11F Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

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ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes, that requires revising the wire connection stackups for the terminal strip of the generator feeder tail compartment of the auxiliary power unit (APU), and removing a nameplate, as applicable. For certain airplanes, this AD also requires replacing the terminal strips and revising the terminal hardware stackup for the feeder of the center cargo loading system. This action is necessary to prevent arcing damage to the terminal strips and damage to the adjacent structure, which could result in smoke and/or fire in the center and/or aft cargo compartments. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective February 24, 2004.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of February 24, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes was published in the Federal Register on July 24, 2003 (68 FR 43693). That action proposed to require revising the wire connection stackups for the terminal strip of the generator feeder tail compartment of the auxiliary power unit (APU), and removing a nameplate, as applicable. For certain airplanes, that action also proposed to require replacing the terminal strips and revising the terminal hardware stackup for the feeder of the center cargo loading system.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. No comments were submitted in response to the proposal or the FAA's determination of the cost to the public.

Editorial Clarification

The FAA has revised the spelling of a word from “namplate” to “nameplate” in this AD.

Conclusion

The FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the change described previously. The FAA has determined that this change will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of this AD.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 154 Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. We estimate that 67 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately between 1 and 2 work hours per airplane (depending on the airplane configuration) to accomplish the required actions, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $102 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to between $11,189 and $15,544, or between $167 and $232 per airplane (depending on the airplane configuration).

The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this AD were not adopted. However, for affected airplanes within the period under the warranty agreement, we have been advised that the manufacturer has committed previously to its customers that it will bear the cost of replacement parts. We also have been advised that manufacturer warranty remedies are available for labor costs associated with accomplishing the actions required by this AD. Therefore, the future economic cost impact of this AD may be less than the cost impact figure indicated above.

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 adopted herein will 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 final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) 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 final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from 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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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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2004-01-16 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-13430. Docket 2001-NM-161-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes, as listed in McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A173, Start Printed Page 2661Revision 02, dated May 2, 2002; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent arcing damage to the terminal strips and damage to the adjacent structure, which could result in smoke and/or fire in the center and/or aft cargo compartments, accomplish the following:

For Group 1 and Group 2 Airplanes: Revise Wire Connection Stackups, Remove Nameplate, and Inspect for Damage

(a) For Group 1 and Group 2 airplanes listed in McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A173, Revision 02, dated May 2, 2002: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD per the service bulletin. Although the service bulletin references a reporting requirement in paragraph 4, “Appendix,” such reporting is not required by this AD.

(1) Revise the wire connection stackups for the terminal strip of the generator feeder tail compartment of the auxiliary power unit (APU), and remove the nameplate, as applicable.

(2) Do a general visual inspection to detect arcing damage of the surrounding structure, adjacent system components, and electrical cables in the center cargo and aft cargo compartments.

Note:

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 under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or drop-light, 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.”

For Group 2 Airplanes: Replace Terminal Strips, Revise Terminal Hardware Stackup, Remove Nameplate, and Inspect for Damage

(b) For Group 2 airplanes listed in McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A173, Revision 02, dated May 2, 2002: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this AD per the service bulletin. Although the service bulletin references a reporting requirement in paragraph 4, “Appendix,” such reporting is not required by this AD.

(1) Replace the terminal strips and revise the terminal hardware stackup for the feeder of the center cargo loading system, and remove the nameplate, as applicable.

(2) Do a general visual inspection to detect arcing damage of the surrounding structure, adjacent system components, and electrical cables in the center cargo and aft cargo compartments.

Corrective Action if Necessary

(c) If any damage is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (a) or (b) of this AD, before further flight, repair damage or replace the damaged part with a new part, per McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A173, Revision 02, dated May 2, 2002. If the type of structural material that has been damaged is not covered in the structural repair manual, repair per a method approved by the Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA. Although the service bulletin references a reporting requirement in paragraph 4, “Appendix,” such reporting is not required by this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

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

Incorporation by Reference

(e) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD11-24A173, Revision 02, dated May 2, 2002. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies 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). Copies may be inspected 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; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Effective Date

(f) This amendment becomes effective on February 24, 2004.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 2, 2004.

Kevin M. Mullin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 04-761 Filed 1-16-04; 8:45 am]

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