Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all McDonnell Douglas airplanes identified above. This proposed AD would require revising the airplane flight manual to provide the flightcrew with procedures to preclude dry running of the fuel pumps. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to prevent pump inlet friction (i.e., overheating or sparking) when the fuel pumps are continually run as the center wing fuel tank becomes empty, and/or electrical arc burnthrough, which could result in a fuel tank fire or explosion.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 6, 2009.
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. Start Printed Page 78679
- 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.
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:
William Bond, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5253; 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-2008-1324; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-101-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 Review, 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. We have received a report indicating that the fuel pumps of the center wing fuel tank and alternate fuel tank on McDonnell Douglas Model DC-8 airplanes could be subject to pump inlet friction (i.e., overheating or sparking) when the fuel pumps are continually run as the center wing fuel tank becomes empty, and/or electrical arc burnthrough. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in a fuel tank fire or explosion.
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 the(se) same type design(s). This proposed AD would require revising the Certificate Limitations section of the DC-8 Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) to provide the flightcrew with procedures to preclude dry running of the fuel pumps.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 156 airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD to the U.S. operators to be $12,480, or $80 per product.
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: Start Printed Page 78680
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.
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-2008-1324; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-101-AD.
Comments Due Date
(a) We must receive comments by February 6, 2009.
(c) This AD applies to all McDonnell Douglas airplanes identified in Table 1 of this AD, certificated in any category.
|(1) DC-8-51, DC-8-52, DC-8-53, and DC-8-55 airplanes.|
|(2) DC-8F-54 and DC-8F-55 airplanes.|
|(3) DC-8-61, DC-8-62, and DC-8-63 airplanes.|
|(4) DC-8-61F, DC-8-62F, and DC-8-63F airplanes.|
|(5) DC-8-71, DC-8-72, and DC-8-73 airplanes.|
|(6) DC-8-71F, DC-8-72F, and DC-8-73F airplanes.|
(d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent pump inlet friction (i.e., overheating or sparking) when the fuel pumps are continually run as the center wing fuel tank becomes empty, and/or electrical arc burnthrough, which could result in a fuel tank fire or explosion.
(e) Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.
Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) Revision
(f) Within 14 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the Certificate Limitations Section of the DC-8 AFM to include the following procedures that preclude dry running of fuel pumps and/or electrical arc burnthrough (This may be done by inserting a copy of this AD into the AFM):
“During level flight, the applicable alternate or center wing auxiliary tank boost pump switch must be placed in the OFF position no more than 5 minutes after the auto fill light is continuously illuminated. DO NOT reset any tripped fuel pump circuit breakers.”
Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)
(g)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, ATTN: William Bond, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles ACO, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5253; 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 December 12, 2008.
Michael J. Kaszycki,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. E8-30521 Filed 12-22-08; 8:45 am]
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