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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

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ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B turbofan engine models. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of GEnx-1B engine oil loss. This proposed AD would require removal and replacement of the non-conforming ball valve in the oil filler cap. We are proposing this AD to prevent loss of engine oil, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 17, 2015.

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, 1 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 01803. 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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1658; 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: chris.mcguire@faa.gov.

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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-2015-1658; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-18-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 propose to adopt a new AD for all GE GEnx-1B turbofan engine models. This proposed AD was prompted by multiple reports of engine oil loss and resultant flight plan diversions. The root cause of the engine oil loss is a non-conforming ball valve in the secondary seal of the oil filler cap. The non-conforming ball valve may prevent correct sealing and lead to oil leakage. This proposed AD would require removal and replacement of the non-conforming ball valve in the oil filler cap. This condition, if not corrected, could result in loss of engine oil, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

Related Service Information

We reviewed GE GEnx-1B Service Bulletin (SB) No. 79-0022, Revision 1, dated May 13, 2015. The SB describes procedures for removing and replacing the ball valve in the oil filler cap.

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 removal and replacement of the non-conforming ball valve in the oil filler cap.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 86 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will take about 1 hour per engine to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. We estimate that replacement parts would cost $11 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of the proposed AD to U.S. operators to be $8,256.

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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
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The Proposed Amendment

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

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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

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

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General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-1658; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-18-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by August 17, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B model turbofan engines with oil filler cap, part number (P/N) 2349M62G01, installed, that does not contain any of the following markings after the P/N on the oil filler cap: “P/M BALL PP”, or “RW”, or “79-0022”.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of GEnx-1B engine oil loss. We are issuing this AD to prevent loss of engine oil, which could lead to failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(1) Within 360 cycles in service after the effective date of this AD, remove the ball valve, P/N 2349M68P01, from affected oil filler cap and replace with a part eligible for installation.

(2) Reserved.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs to this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: ANE-AD-AMOC@faa.gov.

(g) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: chris.mcguire@faa.gov.

(2) GE GEnx-1B SB No. 79-0022, Revision 1, dated May 13, 2015 can be obtained from GE using the contact information in paragraph (g)(3) of this proposed AD.

(3) For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact General Electric Company, GE Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215; phone: 513-552-3272; email: geae.aoc@ge.com.

(4) 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.

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Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on June 4, 2015.

Robert J. Ganley,

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

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[FR Doc. 2015-14695 Filed 6-16-15; 8:45 am]

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