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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes. This proposed AD would require inspecting the power feeder cables of the auxiliary power unit (APU) for chafing damage, and accomplishing any related corrective action. This proposed AD also would require modifying the drain line of the fuel feed shroud of the horizontal stabilizer. This proposed AD is prompted by a report of the drain line of the fuel feed shroud riding on the power feeder cables of the APU. We are proposing this AD to prevent chafing of the power feeder cables of the APU, which could result in electrical arcing to adjacent structure and consequent fire in the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 22, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD.

  • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590.
  • By fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024).

You can examine the contents of this AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., room PL-401, on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, Washington, DC.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Technical information: Samuel Lee, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5262; fax (562) 627-5210.

Plain language information: Marcia Walters, marcia.walters@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Docket Management System (DMS)

The FAA has implemented new procedures for maintaining AD dockets electronically. As of May 17, 2004, new AD actions are posted on DMS and assigned a docket number. We track each action and assign a corresponding directorate identifier. The DMS AD docket number is in the form “Docket No. FAA-2004-99999.” The Transport Airplane Directorate identifier is in the form “Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-999-AD.” Each DMS AD docket also lists the directorate identifier (“Old Docket Number”) as a cross-reference for searching purposes.

Comments Invited

We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2004-19262; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-54-AD” in the subject line of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments submitted by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of that Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You can Start Printed Page 59838review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you can visit http://dms.dot.gov.

We are reviewing the writing style we currently use in regulatory documents. We are interested in your comments on whether the style of this document is clear, and your suggestions to improve the clarity of our communications that affect you. You can get more information about plain language at http://www.faa.gov/​language and http://www.plainlanguage.gov.

Examining the Docket

You can examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Discussion

We have received a report indicating that, during a scheduled maintenance period, an operator found the drain line of the fuel feed shroud riding on the power feeder cables of the auxiliary power unit (APU) on a Model MD-11 airplane. Inspections of the operator's fleet revealed that the majority of the airplanes had the same condition. Further investigation revealed that many of the clamps, brackets, and fuel feed drain lines were distorted and bent from the original delivered condition, causing chafing damage to the power feeder cables of the APU. This chafing could result in electrical arcing to adjacent structure and consequent fire in the airplane.

Similar Airplanes

The subject area on certain McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11F airplanes is identical to that on the affected McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 airplanes. Therefore, all of these airplanes may be subject to the same unsafe condition.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-28A119, including Appendix A, dated June 3, 2003. The service bulletin describes procedures for inspecting the power feeder cables of the APU for chafing damage, and related corrective action. The related corrective action includes repairing or replacing the power feeder cables if any damage is found that is outside the limits specified in the service bulletin.

The service bulletin also describes procedures for modifying the drain line of the fuel feed shroud of the horizontal stabilizer.

Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

We have evaluated all pertinent information and identified an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of this same type design. Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

Clarification of Inspection Terminology

In this proposed AD, the “inspection” specified in the referenced service bulletin is referred to as a “general visual inspection.” We have included the definition for a general visual inspection in a note in the proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

This proposed AD would affect about 195 airplanes worldwide and 85 airplanes of U.S. registry.

The proposed inspection would take about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $5,525, or $65 per airplane.

The proposed modification would take about 3 work hours per airplane (including the functional test), at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Parts cost would be minimal. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $16,575, or $195 per airplane.

Regulatory Findings

We have determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD 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.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the 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. 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.

We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

McDonnell Douglas: Docket No. FAA-2004-19262; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-54-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive comments on this AD action by November 22, 2004.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to McDonnell Douglas Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes, certificated in any category; as listed in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD11-28A119, dated June 3, 2003.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by a report of the drain line of the fuel feed shroud riding on the power feeder cables of the auxiliary power unit (APU). We are issuing this AD to prevent chafing of the power feeder cables of the APU, which could result in electrical arcing to adjacent structure and consequent fire in the airplane.

Compliance

(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Inspection/Related Corrective Action/Modification

(f) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD: Do the actions required by paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD by doing all the actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Start Printed Page 59839Service Bulletin MD11-28A119, including Appendix A, dated June 3, 2003.

(1) Accomplish a general visual inspection of the power feeder cables of the APU for chafing damage. Do any related corrective action before further flight.

(2) Modify the drain line of the fuel feed shroud of the horizontal stabilizer (including a functional test after accomplishing the modification).

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: “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 ensure visual access to all 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.”

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 29, 2004.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-22471 Filed 10-5-04; 8:45 am]

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