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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 767 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 all Boeing Model 767 airplanes. This proposed AD would require repetitive replacement of the internal electrical feed-through connectors of the main fuel tank boost pumps. This proposed AD results from a report of cracking in the epoxy potting compound on the internal feed-through connector of the fuel boost pump in the area of the soldered wire connector lugs. We are proposing this AD to prevent a hazardous electrical path from the dry side to the wet side of the fuel boost pump through a cracked feed-through connector, which could create an ignition source on the wet side of the fuel boost pump and lead to subsequent explosion of the fuel tank.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 9, 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:

Judy Coyle, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 917-6497; 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-2007-28281; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-238-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 Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the DOT Start Printed Page 29283street 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 that, after close examination of the internal electrical circuit of the fuel boost pump, supplier tests revealed cracking in the epoxy potting compound on the feed-through connector in the area of the soldered wire connector lugs of several pumps. This condition, if not corrected, could allow a hazardous electrical path from the dry side to the wet side of the fuel boost pump through a cracked feed-through connector, which could create an ignition source on the wet side of the fuel boost pump and lead to subsequent explosion of the fuel tank.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletins 767-28A0095 (for Model 767-200, -300, and -300F airplanes) and 767-28A0096 (for Model 767-400ER airplanes), both dated September 15, 2005, which describe procedures for repetitively replacing the internal electrical feed-through connectors of the main fuel tank boost pumps with new feed-through connectors. This may be accomplished by replacing the fuel boost pump with a new fuel boost pump or with a modified and re-identified fuel boost pump having a new feed-through connector installed.

The alert service bulletins refer to Hamilton Sundstrand Alert Service Bulletin 5006003-28-A4, dated May 9, 2005, as an additional source of service information for replacing the feed-through connector of the fuel boost pump.

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 Boeing service information described previously.

Interim Action

We consider this proposed AD interim action. The manufacturer is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we may consider additional rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 941 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. This proposed AD would affect about 414 airplanes of U.S. registry, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour.

The proposed fuel boost pump replacement would take about 3 work hours per boost pump (4 boost pumps per airplane) or up to 12 work hours per airplane, per replacement cycle. The parts cost for replacement fuel boost pumps would be offset by returning the existing fuel boost pumps to the manufacturer for rework. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators to replace the fuel boost pumps is up to $397,440, or up to $960 per airplane, per replacement cycle.

If done, the proposed feed-through connector replacement would take about 3 work hours per connector (4 connectors per airplane) or up to 12 work hours per airplane, per replacement cycle. Required parts would cost $691 per connector (up to $2,764 per airplane). Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for U.S. operators to replace the feed-through connectors is up to $1,541,736, or up to $3,724 per airplane, per replacement cycle.

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:

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

Boeing: FAA-2007-28281; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-238-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by July 9, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all Boeing Model 767-200, -300, -300F, and -400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report of cracking in the epoxy potting compound on the internal feed-through connector of the fuel boost pump in the area of the soldered wire connector lugs. We are issuing this AD to prevent a hazardous electrical path from the dry side to the wet side of the fuel boost pump through a cracked feed-through connector, which could create an ignition source on the wet side of the fuel boost pump and lead to subsequent explosion of the fuel tank. Start Printed Page 29284

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.

Compliance Times

(f) At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-28A0095 or 767-28A0096; both dated September 15, 2005; as applicable.

(1) Within 96 months since the date of issuance of the original standard airworthiness certificate or the date of issuance of the original export certificate of airworthiness, or before the accumulation of 40,000 total flight hours, whichever comes first.

(2) Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD.

Replacement of Fuel Boost Pump Feed-Through Connector

(g) At the compliance time specified in paragraph (f) of this AD: Replace the feed-through connector of each fuel boost pump as described in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD. Repeat this replacement thereafter at intervals not to exceed 40,000 flight hours or 96 months, whichever comes first.

(1) Replace the fuel boost pump with a new fuel boost pump.

(2) Replace the fuel boost pump with a modified and re-identified fuel boost pump having a new feed-through connector installed.

Note 1:

Boeing Alert Service Bulletins 767-28A0095 and 767-28A0096 refer to Hamilton Sundstrand Alert Service Bulletin 5006003-28-A4, dated May 9, 2005, as a source of service information for replacing the feed-through connector and re-identifying the fuel boost pump.

Parts Installation

(h) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a fuel boost pump on any airplane, unless that pump meets the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(i)(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 May 17, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-10105 Filed 5-24-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P