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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 747-400F Series 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), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing Model 747-400F series airplanes. This proposed AD would require installing drains and drain tubes to eliminate water accumulation in the dripshield above the M826 Card File in the main equipment center. This proposed AD results from a report that water from the dripshield entered the card file and damaged a circuit card, causing the AFT CARGO FIRE MSG message to be illuminated and resulting in an air turn back. We are proposing this AD to prevent water from entering the card file and damaging a circuit card. Failure of one or more of the 15 fuel system circuit cards in the card file could cause loss of fuel management, which could cause unavailability of fuel. Failure of one or more of the 35 fire detection circuit cards could cause a false message of a fire, or no message of a fire when there is a fire.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 22, 2007.

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.
  • 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.

Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207, for the service information identified in this proposed AD.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marcia Smith, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 917-6484; fax (425) 917-6590.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 in the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number “FAA-2006-26726; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-205-AD” at the beginning 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 received 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 may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Examining the Docket

You may 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 Start Printed Page 665Management 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 Docket Management System receives them.

Discussion

We have received a report of the AFT CARGO FIRE MSG message illuminating in the cockpit of a Boeing Model 747-400F series airplane, resulting in an air turn back. An investigation revealed no signs of actual fire. Investigation found water dripping onto and around the dripshield located over the M826 Card File in the main equipment center at station 400. Due to the amount of water, the dripshield was not able to prevent water from entering the card file and damaging a circuit card. Circuit cards subject to damage in that location are fire detection, fuel system, and electrical system cards. This condition, if not corrected, could result in water entering the card file and damaging a circuit card. Failure of one or more of the 15 fuel system circuit cards in the card file could cause loss of fuel management, which could cause unavailability of fuel. Failure of one or more of the 35 fire detection circuit cards could cause a false message of a fire, or no message of a fire when there is a fire.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-25A3370, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2006. The alert service bulletin describes procedures for installing two drains and drain tubes in the dripshield above the M826 Card File. 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. For this reason, we are proposing this AD, which would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 86 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this proposed AD.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourPartsCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.-registered airplanesFleet cost
Installation8$80$822$1,46221$30,702

Authority for This Rulemaking

Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to issue rules on aviation safety. 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.

We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701, “General requirements.” Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe 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 rulemaking action.

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 and placed it in the AD docket. 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:

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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Boeing: Docket No. FAA-2006-26726; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-205-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by February 22, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 747-400F series airplanes, certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-25A3370, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2006.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report that water from the dripshield entered the card file and damaged a circuit card, causing the AFT CARGO FIRE MSG message to be illuminated and resulting in an air turn back. We are issuing this AD to prevent water from entering the card file and damaging a circuit card. Failure of one or more of the 15 fuel system circuit cards in the card file could cause loss of fuel management, which could cause unavailability of fuel. Failure of one or more of the 35 fire detection circuit cards could cause a false message of a fire, or no message of a fire when there is a fire. Start Printed Page 666

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.

Installation

(f) Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, install two drains and drain tubes in the dripshield above the M826 Card File over the nose wheel left side in the main equipment center at station 400, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-25A3370, Revision 1, dated April 27, 2006.

Installation According to Previous Issue of Service Bulletin

(g) Installing the drains and drain tubes is also acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (f) of this AD if done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-25A3370, dated September 8, 2005.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(h)(1) The Manager, Seattle 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.

(2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 12, 2006.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-22535 Filed 1-5-07; 8:45 am]

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