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Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain General Electric Company (GE) CF34-8C1, CF34-8C5, CF34-8C5A1, and CF34-8C5B1 engines. This AD requires an inspection of the bleed air manifold link rod assemblies and the supply, return, and drain fuel fittings on the operability bleed valve (OBV). This AD was prompted by an engine fire that occurred as a result of malfunctions related to the OBV. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective November 30, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of November 30, 2017.

We must receive comments on this AD by January 2, 2018.

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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this final rule, contact General Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, phone: 513-552-3272; fax: 513-552-3329; email: geae.aoc@ge.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, 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-2017-1000; 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 final rule, 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:

John Frost, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7756; fax: 781-238-7199; email: john.frost@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We learned that significant fuel leaks, some resulting in engine fires, have occurred on multiple occasions due to malfunctions related to the OBVs. These valves typically dump operability air into the bleed plenum attached to the engine inner nacelle. The fuel fitting threads have pulled out of the valve body which has led to significant fuel leaks on at least four occasions. On two occasions, these leaks resulted in uncontrolled fires, resulting in significant damage to one of the affected airplanes. This condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the OBV, engine fire, and damage to the airplane. We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed GE Service Bulletin (SB) CF34-8C-AL S/B 75-0019, Revision 01, dated October 24, 2017. The SB describes procedures for inspecting the OBV. 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.

Other Related Service Information

We reviewed GE CF34-8C SB 75-0019 R00, dated August 4, 2017. The SB describes procedures for inspecting the OBV.Start Printed Page 52831

FAA's Determination

We are issuing 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.

AD Requirements

This AD requires inspection of the bleed air manifold link rod assemblies and the supply, return, and drain fuel fittings on the OBVs.

Interim Action

We consider this AD interim action. We will consider further rulemaking action depending on the results of the investigation.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because the compliance time for the required action is shorter than the time necessary for the public to comment and for us to publish the final rule. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reason stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or arguments about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2017-1000 and Product Identifier 2017-NE-36-AD at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this final rule. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this final rule 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 final rule.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 1,282 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 OBV fittings1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85$0$85$108,970

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.

This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to engines, propellers, and associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division.

Regulatory Findings

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 that this AD:

(1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

(2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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.

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:

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

2017-23-06 General Electric Company: Amendment 39-19100; Docket No. FAA-2017-1000; Product Identifier 2017-NE-36-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective November 30, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to General Electric Company (GE) CF34-8C1, CF34-8C5, CF34-8C5A1, and CF34-8C5B1 engines with serial numbers: 965101 through 965670 inclusive; 194101 through 194999 inclusive; and 195101 through 195653 inclusive.Start Printed Page 52832

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7531, Compressor bleed governor.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an engine fire that occurred as a result of malfunctions related to the operability bleed valve (OBV). We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the OBV. The unsafe condition, if not corrected, could result in failure of the OBV, engine fire, and damage to the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

(1) Inspect the bleed air manifold link rod assemblies and the OBV supply, return, and drain fuel fittings within 500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD.

(2) Use the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.B., in GE Service Bulletin (SB) CF34-8C-AL S/B 75-0019 Revision 01, dated October 24, 2017, to do the inspection. Replace parts that fail this inspection according to the following criteria:

(i) Replace any OBV that fails the inspection with a part eligible for installation before further flight.

(ii) Replace any additional hardware that fails inspection within 50 flight cycles. The engine can be returned to service each day for up to the 50 flight cycles if the OBV rosan rings and fittings are examined each day for fuel leaks and looseness based on the criteria in Table 1 of GE SB CF34-8C-AL S/B 75-0019 Revision 01, dated October 24, 2017.

(3) The reporting instructions in paragraphs 3.B.(3), 3.B.(5)(e), 3.B.(6)(e), and 3.B.(8) of GE SB CF34-8C-AL S/B 75-0019 Revision 01, dated October 24, 2017, are not required by this AD.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

You may take credit for the actions that are required by paragraph (g) of this AD if you performed these actions before the effective date of this AD using GE CF34-8C SB 75-0019 R00, dated August 4, 2017.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, ECO Branch, 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 certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) of this AD. You may email your request to: ANE-AD-AMOC@faa.gov.

(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.

(j) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact John Frost, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7754; fax: 781-238-7199; email: john.frost@faa.gov.

(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) General Electric Company (GE) Service Bulletin CF34-8C-AL S/B 75-0019 Revision 01, dated October 24, 2017.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For GE service information identified in this AD, contact General Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, phone: 513-552-3272; fax: 513-552-3329; email: geae.aoc@ge.com.

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

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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 November 9, 2017.

Robert J. Ganley,

Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-24700 Filed 11-14-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P