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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model MD-90-30 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 all McDonnell Douglas Model MD-90-30 airplanes. This proposed AD would require a general visual inspection in the electrical/electronics (E/E) compartment for damage of the wire bundle and aft right radio rack structure at station 160.000, and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also require modifying the radio rack structure and wire bundle routing. This proposed AD is prompted by a report indicating that burnt wiring was discovered in the wire bundle at station 160.000 in the E/E compartment. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct chafing of the wire bundle at station 160.000 against the support bracket located on the aft right radio rack, which could lead to shorted or burnt wires and consequent smoke and fire in the E/E compartment.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 28, 2005.

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. This docket number is FAA-2004-19768; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2004-NM-184-AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Technical information: George Mabuni, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Start Printed Page 74464Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5341; 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-2004-19768; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-184-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 review 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 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 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 operator troubleshooting of a chronic “Stall Ind Failure” message on an MD-90-30 airplane, burnt wiring was discovered in the wire bundle at station 160.000 in the electrical/electronics (E/E) compartment. Operator investigation determined that this was caused by chafing of the wire bundle against the support bracket located on the aft right radio rack. The operator discovered the wire bundle riding the support bracket on 15 more airplanes and the manufacturer found similar riding and wire chafing on two more airplanes. In addition, the manufacturer's inspection revealed another location of wire chafing on the aft right radio rack. This condition, if not corrected, could lead to shorted or burnt wires and consequent smoke and fire in the E/E compartment.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD90-24A080, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2004. The service bulletin describes procedures for a general visual inspection in the electrical/electronics (E/E) compartment for damage of the wire bundle and aft right radio rack structure at station 160.000, and corrective actions if necessary. The corrective actions include repairing or replacing damaged wires and repairing any radio rack structural damage. The service bulletin also describes procedures for modifying the radio rack structure and rerouting the wire assembly. 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 “visual inspection” specified in the Boeing service bulletin is referred to as a “general visual inspection.” We have included the definition for a general visual inspection in Note 1 of this proposed AD.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 105 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. This proposed AD would affect about 21 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take about 5 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $3,479 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators is $79,884, or $3,804 per airplane.

Authority for This Rulemaking

The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority.

This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, “General requirements.” Under that section, the FAA is charged with promoting safety flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this AD.

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; Start Printed Page 74465

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

End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

Start Part

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-2004-19768; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-184-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive comments on this AD action by January 28, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all McDonnell Douglas Model MD-90-30 airplanes; certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by a report indicating that burnt wiring was discovered in the wire bundle at station 160.000 in the electrical/electronics (E/E) compartment. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafing of the wire bundle at station 160.000 against the support bracket located on the aft right radio rack, which could lead to shorted or burnt wires and consequent smoke and fire in the E/E compartment.

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

(f) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, perform a general visual inspection in the E/E compartment for damage of the wire bundle and aft right radio rack structure at station 160.000; do any applicable corrective actions; and modify the radio rack structure and reroute the wire assembly; by accomplishing all of the actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Alert Service Bulletin MD90-24A080, Revision 1, dated August 5, 2004.

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 November 26, 2004.

Kevin M. Mullin,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-27328 Filed 12-13-04; 8:45 am]

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