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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, and MD-10-30F 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 revise an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies 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, and DC-10-40F airplanes. The existing AD currently requires installing or replacing with improved parts, as applicable, the bonding straps between the metallic frame of the fillet and the wing leading edge ribs, on both the left and right sides of the airplane. This proposed AD would revise the applicability to clarify the identity of the affected airplanes. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks in the event of a severe lightning strike, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 28, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, 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).

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2007-0186; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-226-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

On July 21, 2006, we issued AD 2006-16-03, amendment 39-14703 (71 FR 43962, August 3, 2006), for 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, and DC-10-40F airplanes. That AD requires installing or replacing with improved parts, as applicable, the bonding straps between the metallic Start Printed Page 63837frame of the fillet and the wing leading edge ribs, on both the left and right sides of the airplane. That AD resulted from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We issued that AD to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks in the event of a severe lightning strike, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

The applicability of AD 2006-16-03 does not specifically identify Model MD-10-10F and MD-10-30F airplanes by model name. However, those airplanes (converted from Model DC-10 series airplanes) are identified by manufacturer's fuselage numbers in the effectivity listing of McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Service Bulletins 53-109, Revision 4, dated October 7, 1992; and 53-111, Revision 3, dated August 24, 1992. And those service bulletins were referenced in the applicability of AD 2006-16-03.

We have been informed that Boeing is considering revising the service bulletins to, among other things, update the effectivity to clarify the identity of the affected airplanes. If the service bulletins are revised, we might consider approving each as a general alternative method of compliance for the requirements of AD 2006-16-03.

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 revise AD 2006-16-03 and retain its requirements. This proposed AD would clarify the applicability by specifically identifying McDonnell Douglas Model MD-10-10F and MD-10-30F airplanes (converted from Model DC-10 series airplanes) in addition to the airplane models already identified in the AD.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 457 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. This proposed AD would affect about 280 airplanes of U.S. registry. The actions of this proposed AD would add no additional economic burden to the existing requirements of AD 2006-16-03. The current costs for this AD are repeated for the convenience of affected operators, as follows:

The required actions take between 9 and 17 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Required parts cost between $3,720 and $4,169 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the AD is between $4,440 and $5,529 per airplane, or between $1,243,200 and $1,548,120 for the U.S.-registered fleet.

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 place it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

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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 removing amendment 39-14703 (71 FR 43962, August 3, 2006) and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

McDonnell Douglas: Docket No. FAA-2007-0186; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-226-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by December 28, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD revises AD 2006-16-03.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to 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, and DC-10-40F airplanes, and MD-10-10F and MD-10-30F airplanes that have been converted from Model DC-10 series airplanes; certificated in any category; with manufacturer's fuselage numbers as identified in the applicable service bulletin listed in Table 1 of this AD.

Table 1.—Service Bulletins

McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Service Bulletin—Revision—Dated—For airplanes with—
53-1094October 7, 1992Extended wing-to-fuselage fillets.
53-1113August 24, 1992Conventional wing-to-fuselage fillets.
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Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks in the event of a severe lightning strike, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of 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.

Installation or Replacement

(f) Within 7,500 flight hours or 60 months after September 7, 2006 (the effective date of AD 2006-16-03), whichever occurs earlier: Install or replace with improved parts, as applicable, the bonding straps between the metallic frame of the fillet and the wing leading edge ribs, on both the left and right sides of the airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin identified in Table 1 of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

(2) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

(3) AMOCs approved previously in accordance with AD 2006-16-03 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 5, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-22090 Filed 11-9-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P