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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 75952

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80C2 and CF6-80E1 turbofan engines. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of a burn-through of the accessory heat shield during an accessory compartment fire leading to an engine fire. This proposed AD would require replacing the accessory heat shield assembly. We are proposing this AD to prevent high-temperature gas ingestion into the accessory compartment, engine fire, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 5, 2016.

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: aviation.fleetsupport@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 by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4344; 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:

Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7147; fax: 781-238-7199; email: herman.mak@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 NPRM. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4344; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-32-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM 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 NPRM.

Discussion

We received reports of a burn-through of the accessory heat shield during an engine fire leading to an accessory compartment fire. A fire burns through the accessory heat shield and ignites the integrated drive generator (IDG), which supports further combustion. The existing accessory heat shield assembly leaves a large area above the sensitive accessories, such as the IDG and the main fuel pump, without adequate protection. A total of five events have occurred. This condition, if not corrected, could result in high-temperature gas ingestion into the accessory compartment, which could lead to engine fire and damage to the airplane.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed GE Service Bulletin (SB) No. CF6-80C2 S/B 72-1520, dated September 22, 2015 and GE SB No. CF6-80E1 S/B 72-0525, dated September 22, 2015. These SBs describe the procedures for removing and replacing the accessory heat shield assembly. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or see ADDRESSES for other ways to access this service information.

Other Related Service Information

We reviewed GE SB No. CF6-80C2 S/B 72-1523, dated September 22, 2015. The SB describes procedures for removing and replacing the accessory heat shield assembly.

FAA's Determination

We are proposing this NPRM 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 NPRM would require replacing the accessory heat shield assembly.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 935 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 5 hours per engine to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Parts would cost about $1,832 per engine. Based on these figures, we estimate the total cost of this Start Printed Page 75953proposed AD to U.S. operators to be $2,110,295.

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

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
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-2015-4344; Directorate Identifier 2015-NE-32-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by February 5, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80C2 and CF6-80E1 turbofan engines.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of a burn-through of the accessory heat shield during an accessory compartment fire leading to an engine fire. We are issuing this AD to prevent high-temperature gas ingestion into the accessory compartment, engine fire, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(1) For CF6-80C2 engines, at the next engine shop visit after the effective date of this AD, remove from service the accessory heat shield assembly. Use Table 1 of GE Service Bulletin (SB) No. CF6-80C2 S/B 72-1520, dated September 22, 2015 to identify the part numbers (P/Ns) that require removal from service. Install an accessory heat shield assembly eligible for installation.

(2) For CF6-80E1 engines, at the next engine shop visit after the effective date of this AD, remove from service the accessory heat shield assembly. Use Table 1 of GE SB No. CF6-80E1 S/B 72-0525, dated September 22, 2015 to identify the P/Ns that require removal from service. Install an accessory heat shield assembly eligible for installation.

(f) Installation Prohibition

After the effective date of this AD, do not install any accessory heat shield assembly with a P/N listed in Table 1 of GE SB No. CF6-80C2 S/B 72-1520, dated September 22, 2015 or Table 1 of GE SB No. CF6-80E1 S/B 72-0525, dated September 22, 2015, into any engine.

(g) Definition

For the purpose of this AD, an engine shop visit is defined as the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine flanges, except that the separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transportation without subsequent engine maintenance does not constitute an engine shop visit.

(h) 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.

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7147; fax: 781-238-7199; email: herman.mak@faa.gov.

(2) GE SB No. CF6-80C2 S/B 72-1520, dated September 22, 2015; GE SB No. CF6-80C2 S/B 72-1523, dated September 22, 2015; and GE SB No. CF6-80E1 S/B 72-0525, dated September 22, 2015 can be obtained from GE using the contact information in paragraph (i)(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: aviation.fleetsupport@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.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on November 25, 2015.

Colleen M. D'Alessandro,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2015-30716 Filed 12-4-15; 8:45 am]

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