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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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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:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes, that requires an initial general visual inspection of the power feeder cables of the integrated drive generator (IDG) and the fuel feed lines of engine pylons No. 1 and No. 3 on the wings for proper clearance and damage; corrective actions if necessary; and repetitive general visual inspections and a terminating action for the repetitive inspections. This action is necessary to prevent potential chafing of the power feeder cables of the IDG in engine pylons No. 1 and No. 3 on the wings, and consequent arcing on the fuel lines in the engine pylons and possible fuel fire. 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 Airplanes, 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, Start Printed Page 2658California 90712; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Start Further Info

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 June 18, 2003 (68 FR 36520). That action proposed to require an initial general visual inspection of the power feeder cables of the integrated drive generator (IDG) and the fuel feed lines of engine pylons No. 1 and No. 3 on the wings for proper clearance and damage; corrective actions if necessary; and repetitive general visual inspections and a terminating action for the repetitive inspections.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the comment received.

Request To Allow Accomplishment of Previous Service Bulletin Revision

One commenter requests that actions accomplished before the effective date of the AD, per Revision 01 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, dated August 22, 2001, be considered acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD. The commenter also asks whether, when an AD mandates a service bulletin that contains the statement “No more work is necessary on airplanes changed as shown in Revision 01 of the service bulletin,” it can assume that the AD allows actions to be accomplished per the earlier revision of the service bulletin.

The FAA partially agrees. We agree that actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD per Revision 01 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, dated August 22, 2001, are acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD. Because paragraph (e) of this AD already provides this option, no change to the final rule is necessary in this regard.

We do not agree that an operator may assume that the AD allows actions to be accomplished per an earlier revision of the service bulletin when the service bulletin includes the statement that “No more work is necessary on airplanes changed as shown in Revision * * * of the service bulletin.” The AD must specifically address whether or not a previous version of a service bulletin will satisfy the intent of the AD. No change to the final rule is necessary in this regard.

Explanation of Changes Made to the Proposed AD

For clarification, the FAA has revised the definition of a “general visual inspection” in this final rule.

We have also revised the citation for Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, dated August 22, 2001, to correctly cite the issue date of that service bulletin.

Conclusion

After careful review of the available data, including the comment noted above, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the changes previously described. The FAA has determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Changes to 14 CFR Part 39/Effect on the 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. However, for clarity and consistency in this final rule, we have retained the language of the NPRM regarding that material.

Increase in Labor Rate

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 195 Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 74 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this, that it will take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the required inspection, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $4,810, or $65 per airplane, per inspection cycle.

It will take approximately 4 work hours per airplane to accomplish the terminating action, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $91 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this terminating action is estimated to be $25,974, or $351 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are 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. 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. Manufacturer warranty remedies may 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 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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2004-01-17 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-13431. Docket 2001-NM-164-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 and -11F airplanes, as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 02, dated May 31, 2002; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent potential chafing of the power feeder cables of the integrated drive generator (IDG) in engine pylons No. 1 and No. 3 on the wings, and consequent arcing on the fuel lines in the engine pylons and possible fuel fire, accomplish the following:

Note 1:

Boeing has issued Information Notice MD11-54A011 R02 IN 02, dated July 11, 2002. The information notice informs operators of a typographical error for the string tie part number (P/N) specified in the Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 02. The service bulletin specifies string tie P/N 190L0F21G/A; the correct P/N is 109 LOF 21G/A.

Initial Inspection

(a) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, do a general visual inspection of the power feeder cables of the IDG and the fuel feed lines of engine pylons No. 1 and No. 3 on the wings for proper clearance and damage, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 02, dated May 31, 2002.

Note 2:

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 from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to enhance visual access to all exposed surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight 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.”

Condition 1: Proper Clearance and No Damage

(b) If proper clearance exists and no damage is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, do the action(s) specified in paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of this AD, as applicable, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 02, dated May 31, 2002.

(1) For Group 1 and Group 2 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Repeat the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD every 6 months until the modification required by paragraph (b)(2) or (b)(3) of this AD, as applicable, has been done.

(2) For Group 1 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, install the brackets to support the IDG harness, and install new clamps on the power feeder cables of the IDG of the No. 1 and No. 3 pylons.

(3) For Group 2 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the existing fairlead with a new clamp, and install new tape.

Condition 2: Improper Clearance and No Damage

(c) If improper clearance exists and no damage is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, do the action(s) specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, as applicable, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 02, dated May 31, 2002.

(1) For Group 1 and Group 2 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Before further flight, reposition cables, and repeat the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD every 6 months until the modification required by paragraph (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this AD, as applicable, has been done.

(2) For Group 1 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, install the brackets to support the IDG harness, and install new clamps on the power feeder cables of the IDG of engine pylons No. 1 and No. 3.

(3) For Group 2 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the existing fairlead with a new clamp, and install new tape.

Condition 3: Improper Clearance and Damage Detected

(d) If improper clearance exists and any damage is detected during any inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, do the action(s) specified in paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of this AD, as applicable, per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 02, dated May 31, 2002.

(1) For Group 1 and Group 2 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Before further flight, reposition cables; repair damage or replace damaged cables or fuel feed lines with new or serviceable cables or fuel feed lines; and repeat the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD every 6 months until the modification required by paragraph (d)(2) or (d)(3) of this AD, as applicable, has been done.

(2) For Group 1 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, install the brackets to support the IDG harness, and install new clamps on the power feeder cables of the IDG of engine pylons No. 1 and No. 3.

(3) For Group 2 airplanes identified in the service bulletin: Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the existing fairlead with a new clamp, and install new tape.

Credit for Earlier Service Bulletin

(e) Accomplishment of the actions specified in this AD before the effective date of this AD per Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 01, dated August 22, 2001, is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

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

Incorporation by Reference

(g) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-54A011, Revision 02, dated May 31, 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 Airplanes, 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 90712; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Effective Date

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

Start Signature

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. 04-762 Filed 1-16-04; 8:45 am]

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