Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the McDonnell Douglas airplanes listed above. This proposed AD would require modifying the fuel boost pumps for the center wing, and forward or aft auxiliary fuel tanks. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to prevent possible sources of ignition in a fuel tank caused by an electrical fault or uncommanded dry operation of the fuel boost pumps. An ignition source in the fuel tank could result in a fire or an explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 14, 2008.
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 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:
Serj Harutunian, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5254; fax (562) 627-5210.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
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-2008-0934; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-113-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.
The FAA has examined the underlying safety issues involved in fuel tank explosions on several large transport airplanes, including the adequacy of existing regulations, the service history of airplanes subject to those regulations, and existing maintenance practices for fuel tank systems. As a result of those findings, we issued a regulation titled “Transport Airplane Fuel Tank System Design Start Printed Page 50895Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and Inspection Requirements” (66 FR 23086, May 7, 2001). In addition to new airworthiness standards for transport airplanes and new maintenance requirements, this rule included Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (“SFAR 88,” Amendment 21-78, and subsequent Amendments 21-82 and 21-83).
Among other actions, SFAR 88 requires certain type design (i.e., type certificate (TC) and supplemental type certificate (STC)) holders to substantiate that their fuel tank systems can prevent ignition sources in the fuel tanks. This requirement applies to type design holders for large turbine-powered transport airplanes and for subsequent modifications to those airplanes. It requires them to perform design reviews and to develop design changes and maintenance procedures if their designs do not meet the new fuel tank safety standards. As explained in the preamble to the rule, we intended to adopt airworthiness directives to mandate any changes found necessary to address unsafe conditions identified as a result of these reviews.
In evaluating these design reviews, we have established four criteria intended to define the unsafe conditions associated with fuel tank systems that require corrective actions. The percentage of operating time during which fuel tanks are exposed to flammable conditions is one of these criteria. The other three criteria address the failure types under evaluation: Single failures, single failures in combination with a latent condition(s), and in-service failure experience. For all four criteria, the evaluations included consideration of previous actions taken that may mitigate the need for further action.
We have determined that the actions identified in this AD are necessary to reduce the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.
Boeing has determined a need to protect the fuel boost pump stator lead wires from contacting the pump rotor/shaft assembly. Lead wire contact and the resulting chafing may result in an ignition source (energized rotor assembly) being produced in the fuel boost pump inlet that could propagate into the fuel tank when the fuel boost pump inlet is not fully covered by fuel. Replacement of the fuel boost pumps will minimize the risk of potential ignition sources that may occur within the fuel tanks at critical fuel boost pump locations in the center wing, and forward or aft auxiliary fuel tanks. An ignition source in the fuel tank could result in a fire or an explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.
Relevant Service Information
We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletins DC9-28-212 (for Model DC-9-30, DC-9-40, and DC-9-50 series airplanes, and Model DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), DC-9-87 (MD-87), and MD-88 airplanes) and MD90-28-010, (for MD-90-30 airplanes), both dated February 22, 2008. The service bulletins describe procedures for modifying the fuel boost pumps for the center wing, and forward or aft auxiliary fuel tanks. The modification includes changing or replacing the boost pumps, as applicable. The change includes incorporating a stator lead wire position retention feature.
The Boeing service bulletins recommend concurrent accomplishment of the modification in Argo-Tech Service Bulletin 398000-28-2, dated November 8, 2007. The Argo-Tech Service Bulletin describes procedures for modifying the fuel boost pumps.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD
We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of these same type designs. This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the Boeing service information described previously.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 804 airplanes of U.S. registry. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with the modification specified in this proposed AD. The fleet cost is estimated to be between $1,246,200 and $13,087,512.
|Airplane group||Work hours||Average labor rate per hour||Parts||Cost per product|
|Group 1, Configurations 1 and 2||1||$80||Between $1,470 and $16,038||Between $1,550 and $16,118.|
|Group 2, Configurations 1 and 2; Group 7, Configuration 2||2||80||Between $1,470 and $16,038||Between $1,630 and $16,198.|
|Group 3, Configurations 1 and 2||3||80||Between $1,470 and $16,038||Between $1,710 and $16,278.|
|Group 4, Configurations 1 and 2||1||80||Between $1,470 and $16,038||Between $1,550 and $16,118.|
|Group 5, Configurations 1 and 2||2||80||Between $1,470 and $16,038||Between $1,630 and $16,198.|
|Group 6, Configurations 1 and 2; Group 8, Configurations 1 and 2||1||80||Between $1,470 and $16,038||Between $1,550 and $16,118.|
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.
We 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 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 Start Printed Page 50896
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.
You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of compliance in the AD Docket.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39End 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:
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:
McDonnell Douglas: Docket No. FAA-2008-0934; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-113-AD.
Comments Due Date
(a) We must receive comments by October 14, 2008.
(c) This AD applies to McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-31, DC-9-32, DC-9-32 (VC-9C), DC-9-32F, DC-9-32F (C-9A, C-9B), DC-9-33F, DC-9-34, DC-9-34F, DC-9-41, DC-9-51, DC-9-81 (MD-81), DC-9-82 (MD-82), DC-9-83 (MD-83), and DC-9-87 (MD-87), MD-88, and MD-90-30 airplanes; certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Service Bulletins DC9-28-212 and MD90-28-010, both dated February 22, 2008.
(d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent possible sources of ignition in a fuel tank caused by electrical fault or uncommanded dry operation of the fuel boost pumps. An ignition source in the fuel tank could result in a fire or an explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.
(e) Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.
(f) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD: Modify the fuel boost pumps for the center wing, and forward or aft auxiliary fuel tanks, as applicable, by doing all the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin DC9-28-212 or MD90-28-010, both dated February 22, 2008, as applicable.
Prior or Concurrent Action
(g) Prior to or concurrently with accomplishing the modification required by paragraph (f) of this AD: Do the modification specified in Argo-Tech Service Bulletin 398000-28-2, dated November 8, 2007.
Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)
(h)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, ATTN: Serj Harutunian, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5254; fax (562) 627-5210; has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using 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.
Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 21, 2008.
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. E8-20082 Filed 8-28-08; 8:45 am]
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