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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP 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), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Model 747 airplanes. This proposed AD would require inspecting to verify the part number of the low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system installed under the oxygen mask stowage boxes in the flight deck, and replacing the flex-hose with a new non-conductive low-pressure flex-hose if necessary. This proposed AD results from reports of low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system that burned through due to inadvertent electrical current from a short circuit in the audio select panel. We are proposing this AD to prevent inadvertent electrical current, which can cause the low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system to melt or burn, causing oxygen system leakage and smoke or fire.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 8, 2010.

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, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; e-mail me.boecom@boeing.com; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221 or 425-227-1152.

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:

Robert Hettman, 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) 917-6457; fax (425) 917-6590.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

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-2010-0045; Directorate Identifier Start Printed Page 36592009-NM-085-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

We have received reports of low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system that burned through due to inadvertent electrical current from a short circuit in the audio select panel on a Model 757 airplane. An electrical current went through the support structure to the flight crew mask stowage box and through the low-pressure oxygen hose. This caused the spring inside the low-pressure oxygen hose to act as an electrical conductor and heat up, causing the hose to burn through. This condition, if not corrected, could result in the low-pressure flex-hose of the crew oxygen system melting or burning, causing oxygen system leakage and smoke or fire.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 747-35A2101, Revision 1, dated May 15, 2003. The service bulletin describes procedures for replacing the existing low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system installed under the oxygen mask stowage boxes in the flight deck with new non-conductive low-pressure flex-hoses of the oxygen system.

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 service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Bulletin.”

Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Bulletin

Although Boeing Service Bulletin 747-35A2101, Revision 1, dated May 15, 2003, recommends accomplishing the replacement “at the earliest opportunity when manpower, material and facilities are available,” we have determined that this imprecise compliance time would not address the identified unsafe condition in a timely manner. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this proposed AD, we considered not only the manufacturer's recommendation, but the degree of urgency associated with addressing the subject unsafe condition, the average utilization of the affected fleet, and the time necessary to perform the modifications. In light of all of these factors, we find a compliance time of 36 months for completing the required actions to be warranted, in that it represents an appropriate interval of time for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety. This difference has been coordinated with Boeing.

Other Rulemaking

The oxygen mask installations on certain Model 737, 757, and 767 airplanes are almost identical to those on the affected Model 747 airplanes. Therefore, all of these airplanes may be subject to the identified unsafe condition. We are considering similar rulemaking related to the identified unsafe condition for certain Model 737, 757, and 767 airplanes.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 211 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 $16,880, 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.

Regulatory Findings

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

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 39

End 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:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

End Authority
[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2010-0045; Directorate Identifier 2009-NM-085-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) We must receive comments by March 8, 2010.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes, certificated in any category; line numbers 1 through 1229 inclusive.Start Printed Page 3660

Subject

(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 35: Oxygen.

Unsafe Condition

(e) This AD results from reports of low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system that burned through due to inadvertent electrical current from a short circuit in the audio select panel. The Federal Aviation Administration is issuing this AD to prevent inadvertent electrical current, which can cause the low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system to melt or burn, resulting in oxygen system leakage and smoke or fire.

Compliance

(f) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Inspection

(g) Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, do an inspection to determine whether any low-pressure flex-hose of the crew oxygen system installed under the oxygen mask stowage box in the flight deck has a part number identified in Table 1 of this AD. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number of the low-pressure flex-hoses of the crew oxygen system can be conclusively determined from that review.

(1) For any hose having a part number identified in Table 1 of this AD, before further flight, replace the hose with a new or serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-35A2101, Revision 1, dated May 15, 2003.

(2) For any hose not having a part number identified in Table 1 of this AD, no further action is required by this paragraph.

Table 1—Applicable Part Numbers

Boeing specification part numberEquivalent hydraflow part number
60B50059-1938001-19
60B50059-2038001-20
60B50059-6038001-60
60B50059-6238001-62
60B50059-6938001-69
60B50059-7038001-70
60B50059-8138001-81
60B50059-9438001-94
60B50059-9538001-95
60B50059-10138001-101
60B50059-12938001-129

Parts Installation

(h) As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a crew oxygen hose with a part number identified in Table 1 of this AD on any airplane.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(i)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Robert Hettman, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 917-6457; fax (425) 917-6590. Or, e-mail information to 9-ANM-Seattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov.

(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 principal maintenance inspector (PMI) or principal avionics inspector (PAI), as appropriate, or lacking a principal inspector, your local Flight Standards District Office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 8, 2010.

Stephen P. Boyd,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2010-1175 Filed 1-21-10; 8:45 am]

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