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Airworthiness Directives; Rolls-Royce plc Turbofan Engines

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A, Trent 1000-C, Trent 1000-D, Trent 1000-E, Trent 1000-G, and Trent 1000-H turbofan engines. This AD requires initial and repetitive inspections of affected high-pressure turbine (HPT) blades for cracks. This AD was prompted by high engine vibration due to HPT blade deterioration resulting in operational disruptions. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective March 14, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 14, 2017.

We must receive comments on this AD by April 13, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

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.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-40, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE24 8BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-249936; email: http://www.rolls-royce.com/​contact/​civil_​team.jsp;​ Internet: https://customers.rolls-royce.com/​public/​rollsroycecare. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9510.

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-2016-9510; or in person at the Docket Operations office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI), regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The 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:

Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: robert.green@faa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety, and we did not precede it by notice and opportunity for public comment. We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2016-9510; Directorate Identifier 2016-NE-28-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this 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 with FAA personnel concerning this AD.

Discussion

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD 2016-0215, dated October 27, 2016 (referred to hereinafter as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

Occurrences were reported involving high engine vibration indication experienced during climb. Subsequent investigation of affected engines identified damage to some high pressure turbine (HPT) blades. These events have been attributed to cracks, which originated at the tip of the leading edge, and at the mid-height pressure surface, of the HPT blades. Investigation also determined that HPT blades Part Number (P/N) FW63853 (corresponding to RR Service Bulletin (SB) SB 72-G275 modification standard) are affected by this phenomenon. Four occurrences have been reported within the last two years.

This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to high vibration indication and commanded in-flight shut-down, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

You may obtain further information by examining the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-9510.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

RR has issued Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) Trent 1000 72-J039, Revision 3, dated October 14, 2016. The NMSB describes procedures to conduct a borescope inspection for cracks on the leading edge of the HPT blade. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This AD

This product has been approved by the aviation authority of the United Kingdom, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the European Community, EASA has notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design. This AD requires initial and repetitive inspections of affected HPT blades for cracks.

FAA's Determination of the Effective Date

No domestic operators use this product. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary and that good Start Printed Page 11802cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 0 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Inspection of the HPT blades1.5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $127 per inspection$0$127$0 per inspection

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 AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 AD:

(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

Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 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]
Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part

2017-02-01 Rolls-Royce plc: Amendment 39-18780; Docket No. FAA-2016-9510; Directorate Identifier 2016-NE-28-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective March 14, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Trent 1000-A, Trent 1000-C, Trent 1000-D, Trent 1000-E, Trent 1000-G, and Trent 1000-H turbofan engines with high-pressure turbine (HPT) blades, part number (P/N) FW63853, installed.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) 7250, Turbine/Turboprop Engine/Turbine Section.

(e) Reason

This AD was prompted by high engine vibration due to HPT blade deterioration resulting in operational disruptions. We are issuing this AD to prevent HPT blade failure, loss of engine thrust control, and reduced control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(1) Perform an initial inspection of each HPT blade before exceeding the following, whichever occurs later:

(i) 1,750 engine flight cycles (FCs) since new or 11,000 engine flight hours (FHs) since new, whichever occurs first; or

(ii) 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

(2) Thereafter, perform repetitive inspections of the HPT blades at intervals not to exceed 250 engine FCs or 1,125 engine FHs, whichever occurs first.

(3) Use the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3, of RR Non-Modification Service Bulletin (NMSB) Trent 1000 72-J039, Revision 3, dated October 14, 2016, to perform the inspections.

(4) If any crack is found during any inspection, follow the applicable corrective action and reduced follow-on inspection interval as defined in the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.A.(3), of RR NMSB Trent 1000 72-J039, Revision 3, dated October 14, 2016.

(g) Installation Prohibition

After the effective date of this AD, do not install an HPT blade, P/N FW63853, on any engine.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

You may take credit for inspections and corrective action that are required by paragraph (f) of this AD, if you performed these actions and corrective action before the effective date of this AD, using RR NMSB Trent 1000 72-J039, Revision 2, or earlier versions.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for 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.

(j) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Robert Green, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: robert.green@faa.gov.

(2) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2016-0215, dated October 27, 2016, for more information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2016-9510.Start Printed Page 11803

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Rolls-Royce plc (RR) Non-Modification Service Bulletin Trent 1000 72-J039, Revision 3, dated October 14, 2016.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For RR service information identified in this AD, contact Rolls-Royce plc, Corporate Communications, P.O. Box 31, Derby, England, DE24 8BJ; phone: 011-44-1332-242424; fax: 011-44-1332-249936; email: http://www.rolls-royce.com/​contact/​civil_​team.jsp;​ Internet: https://customers.rolls-royce.com/​public/​rollsroycecare.

(4) You may view this service information at FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

(5) You may view this service information at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on January 11, 2017.

Colleen M. D'Alessandro,

Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 2017-03739 Filed 2-24-17; 8:45 am]

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