Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model DC-10-10 and MD-10-10F airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that the safe life limit on certain main landing gear (MLG) upper torque link bolts is reduced significantly due to incorrect fabrication. This proposed AD would require replacing certain MLG upper torque link bolts with a new or serviceable part. We are proposing this AD to prevent damage to the MLG and consequent damage to airplane structure, which could adversely affect the airplane's continued safe flight and landing.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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: Deliver to Mail address above 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, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; 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, WA. 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 (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nenita Odesa, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: (562) 627-5234; fax: (562) 627-5210; email: nenita.odesa@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2012-0680; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-247-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 a report that the safe life limit on certain MLG upper torque link bolts is reduced significantly due to incorrect fabrication. This condition, if not corrected, could result in damage to the MLG and consequent damage to airplane structure, which could adversely affect the airplane's continued safe flight and landing.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-32A260, dated September 30, 2011. The service information describes procedures for replacing certain MLG upper torque link bolts with a new or serviceable part.

Explanation of Proposed Compliance Time

Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-32A260, dated September 30, 2011, specifies a compliance time of “before further flight or before 6,590 flight cycles from installation,” for replacing the MLG upper torque link bolt. This proposed AD would change the compliance time to “within 6,590 flight cycles from bolt installation or within 180 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.” We have determined that this compliance time would provide adequate time for the actions to be done without grounding airplanes.

FAA's Determination

We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 17 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Bolt Replacement2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170$9,340$9,510$161,670

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),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(4) 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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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

[Amended]

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2012-0680; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-247-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by August 27, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model DC-10-10 and MD-10-10F airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-32A260, dated September 30, 2011.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted a report that the safe life limit on certain main landing gear (MLG) upper torque link bolts is reduced significantly due to incorrect fabrication. We are issuing this AD to prevent damage to the MLG and consequent damage to airplane structure, which could adversely affect the airplane's continued safe flight and landing.

(f) Compliance

Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

(g) Modification

For airplanes having any bolts identified in paragraph 3.B.1. of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-32A260, dated September 30, 2011: Within 6,590 flight cycles from bolt installation or within 180 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Replace the MLG upper torque link bolt with a new or serviceable bolt, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-32A260, dated September 30, 2011.

(h) Parts Installation

As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a bolt identified in paragraph 3.B.1. of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC10-32A260, dated September 30, 2011, on any airplane.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Airplane Certification Office (ACO), ANM-120L, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

(3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by The Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and 14 CFR 25.571, Amendment 45, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(j) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Nenita Odesa, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: (562) 627-5234; fax: (562) 627-5210; email: nenita.odesa@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; email dse.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, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on July 5, 2012.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-16963 Filed 7-10-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P