Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines

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 General Electric Company (GE) GE90-110B1 and -115B turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by multiple events of a leaking variable bypass valve (VBV) actuator fuel supply tube. This proposed AD would require replacement of this VBV actuator fuel supply tube with a part eligible for installation. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the affected fuel supply tube, fuel leakage, engine fire, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 23, 2013.

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 General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, One Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: geae.aoc@ge.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jason Yang, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7747; fax: 781-238-7199; email: jason.yang@faa.gov.

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 proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2013-0499; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-20-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 multiple reports of a leaking VBV actuator fuel supply tube, part number (P/N) 2165M22P01, installed on GE90-110B1 and -115B turbofan engines. One of the leaks led to an under cowl engine fire. The vibratory excitation frequency of this VBV actuator fuel supply tube mode shape is within the frequency range generated by the engine during cruise. Because the tube's end weld is a high stress concentration location, the tube can and has cracked in this area and eventually failed due to high-cycle fatigue. This proposed AD, therefore, requires replacement of the affected VBV Start Printed Page 44900actuator fuel supply tube with a part eligible for installation.

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 replacement of the VBV actuator fuel supply tube, P/N 2165M22P01, with a part eligible for installation.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD would affect about 59 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about eight hours per engine to replace the VBV actuator fuel supply tube. The cost of this part is about $14,310. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $884,410.

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 to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, 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.

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

End Part Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part

General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA-2013-0499; Directorate Identifier 2013-NE-20-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by September 23, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to General Electric Company (GE) GE90-110B1 and -115B turbofan engines with variable bypass valve (VBV) actuator fuel supply tube, part number (P/N) 2165M22P01, installed.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by multiple events of a leaking VBV actuator fuel supply tube. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the affected fuel supply tube, fuel leakage, engine fire, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(2) At the next shop visit, after the effective date of this AD, replace the VBV actuator fuel supply tube, P/N 2165M22P01, with a part eligible for installation.

(f) Definition

For the purpose of this AD, a shop visit is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance or overhaul. The separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transporting the engine without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

(g) Installation Prohibition

After the effective date of this AD, do not install a VBV actuator fuel supply tube, P/N 2165M22P01, onto any engine.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Use the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request.

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Jason Yang, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7747; fax: 781-238-7199; email: jason.yang@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, One Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: geae.aoc@ge.com.

(3) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on July 17, 2013.

Thomas A. Boudreau,

Acting Directorate Assistant Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-17884 Filed 7-24-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P