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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F, 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.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

SUMMARY:

This document revises an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F, MD-11, and MD-11F airplanes, that would have required repetitive operation of the exterior emergency door handle of the forward passenger door to determine if binding exists in the exterior emergency control handle mechanism, and corrective action, if necessary. This new action revises the proposed rule by requiring revised procedures for the operational test. The actions specified by this new proposed AD are intended to prevent failure of the forward passenger doors to operate properly in an emergency condition, which could delay an emergency evacuation and possibly result in injury to passengers and flightcrew. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by May 17, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2001-NM-359-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. 2001-NM-359-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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ken Sujishi, Aerospace Engineer; Cabin Safety, Mechanical, and Environmental Branch; ANM-150L; FAA; Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office; 3960 Paramount Boulevard; Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5353; 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 2001-NM-359-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. 2001-NM-359-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to add an airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F, MD-11, and MD-11F airplanes, was published as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register on November 12, 2003 (68 FR 64006). That NPRM would have required repetitive operation of the exterior emergency door handle of the forward passenger door to determine if binding exists in the exterior emergency control handle mechanism, and corrective action if necessary. That NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that the exterior emergency function of one forward passenger door was inoperative. That condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the forward passenger doors to operate properly in an emergency condition, which could delay an emergency Start Printed Page 20843evacuation and possibly result in injury to passengers and flightcrew.

Actions Since Issuance of Previous Proposal

Since the issuance of that NPRM, the manufacturer has updated the service information to specify revised procedures for the operational test of the exterior emergency door handle mechanism of the forward passenger door.

We have reviewed and approved Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-52-046, Revision 03, dated October 27, 2004 (for Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes); and Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-52-221, Revision 02, dated October 27, 2004 (for Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F airplanes). Both service bulletins describe procedures for repetitive functional testing of the exterior emergency door handle of the forward passenger door to determine if binding exists in the exterior emergency control handle mechanism, and corrective actions if necessary. Corrective actions consist of replacing existing steel bearings with new, corrosion resistant bearings. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition, except as discussed under “Differences Between Proposed Rule and Service Bulletins.”

Other Related Rulemaking

Operators should note that a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), docket identifier 2004-NM-241-AD, applicable to certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, MD-10-30F, MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes, was published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2005 (70 FR 17618). That NPRM proposed to require repetitive operation of the exterior emergency door handle of the mid, overwing, and aft passenger doors to determine if binding exists in the exterior emergency control handle mechanism, and corrective actions if necessary. That NPRM is related to this proposed AD.

Differences Between Proposed Rule and Service Bulletins

Operators should note that, although the service bulletins include a procedure to replace the lower torque shaft bearings, this proposed AD does not mandate such replacement. Replacement of the lower torque shaft bearings does not address the identified unsafe condition of this AD.

We have changed the manufacturer name on the service bulletins cited in this proposed AD from McDonnell Douglas to Boeing to reflect current guidelines established by the Office of the Federal Register for material incorporated by reference.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. Several comments were submitted; however, the subjects of those comments have all been addressed by the revised service information. Therefore, those comments are not addressed in this proposed AD.

Conclusion

Since this change revises and clarifies the actions of the originally proposed rule, the FAA has determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 604 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 396 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the proposed repetitive operation of the exterior emergency door handle of the forward passenger door, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $25,740, or $65 per airplane, per operation.

The cost impact figure discussed above is 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 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 2001-NM-359-AD.

Applicability: Model MD-11 and MD-11F airplanes; as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin MD11-52-046, Revision 03, dated October 27, 2004; and Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-15, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KC-10A and KDC-10), DC-10-40, DC-10-40F, MD-10-10F, and MD-10-30F airplanes; as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-52-221, Revision 02, dated October 27, 2004; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent failure of the forward passenger doors to operate properly in an emergency condition, which could delay an emergency evacuation and possibly result in injury to passengers and flightcrew, accomplish the following:

Functional Test

(a) Within 6,000 flight hours or 18 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, perform a functional test of the exterior emergency control handle assemblies Start Printed Page 20844of the forward passenger doors, by doing all actions specified in Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin.

(1) If the functional test reveals no noisy operation or binding: At intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight hours or 18 months, whichever occurs later, repeat the functional test until the terminating action of paragraph (b) of this AD has been accomplished.

(2) If any functional test required by this AD reveals noisy operation or binding: Prior to further flight, replace the steel bearings with bearings made from corrosion-resistant material, in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

Optional Terminating Action

(b) Accomplishment of the actions required by paragraph (a)(2) of this AD constitutes terminating action for the repetitive tests required by paragraph (a)(1) of this AD.

Actions Accomplished Per Previous Issue of Service Bulletin

(c) Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD in accordance with the Boeing service bulletins listed in Table 2 of this AD are considered acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this AD.

Table 2.—Boeing Service Bulletins

Boeing service bulletinRevisionDate of issue
DC10-52-221OriginalNov. 5, 2001.
DC10-52-2211May 6, 2002.
MD11-52-046OriginalNov. 5, 2001.
MD11-52-0461May 6, 2002.
MD11-52-0462Oct. 8, 2002.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

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

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 13, 2005.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-8094 Filed 4-21-05; 8:45 am]

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