Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KDC-10), DC-10-40, and DC-10-40F airplanes. This proposed AD would require installing a support bracket and coupler on the left and right wing-to-fuselage transition, and metallic overbraid on the left and right leading edge wire assembly. This proposed AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer, as well as reports that the fuel quantity system was affected by lightning-induced transients. We are proposing this AD to prevent lightning-induced transients to the fuel quantity indication system, which could cause voltage levels to go beyond original design levels between fuel tank probes and structure, and become a potential ignition source at the fuel tank, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 23, 2010.
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, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, California 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; e-mail email@example.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.
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 (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5262; 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-2010-0672; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-047-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 Start Printed Page 38944standards 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.
Also, we received reports that the fuel quantity system was affected by lightning- induced transients. The fiberglass leading edge fairing at the wing root created an electrical discontinuity in the metal shielding provided by the wing structure. As rapidly changing lightning currents flow in the leading edge gap region during a nose-to-wing- tip strike, rapidly changing electromagnetic fields are created in the gap region. Boeing investigations have determined that these fields cause electrical transients to be inducted indirectly into the wiring of the fuel quantity indication system. Installing side entry wire braid sleeving on fuel probe wires in the root region of each wing will minimize lightning-induced transients to the fuel quantity indication system. Such transients could result in voltage levels going beyond original design levels between fuel tank probes and structure and becoming a potential ignition source for the fuel tank.
Relevant Service Information
We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-262, Revision 1, dated June 9, 2010. The service bulletin describes procedures for installing a support bracket and coupler on the left and right wing-to-fuselage transition, and installing metallic overbraid on the left and right wing leading edge wire assemblies.
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.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 61 airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 28 work-hours per product to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $999 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD to the U.S. operators to be $206,119, or $3,379 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:
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 Corporation: Docket No. FAA-2010-0672; Directorate Identifier 2010-NM-047-AD.
Comments Due Date
(a) We must receive comments by August 23, 2010.
(c) This AD applies to McDonnell Douglas Corporation Model DC-10-10, DC-10-10F, DC-10-30, DC-10-30F (KDC-10), DC-10-40, and DC-10-40F airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-262, Revision 1, dated June 9, 2010.
(d) Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28: Fuel.Start Printed Page 38945
(e) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. The Federal Aviation Administration is issuing this AD to prevent lightning-induced transients to the fuel quantity indication system, which could cause voltage levels to go beyond original design levels between fuel tank probes and structure and become a potential ignition source at the fuel tank, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the airplane.
(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.
(g) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, install a support bracket and coupler on the left and right wing-to-fuselage transition, and metallic overbraid on the left and right leading edge wire assembly, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-262, Revision 1, dated June 9, 2010.
Installation According to Previous Issue of Service Bulletin
(h) Installing a support bracket and coupler on the left and right wing-to-fuselage transition, and metallic overbraid on the left and right leading edge wire assembly, is also acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD if done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-28-262, dated January 6, 2010.
Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)
(i)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 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: Samuel Lee, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5262; fax (562) 627-5210.
(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.
Issued in Renton, Washington on June 29, 2010.
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-16515 Filed 7-6-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P