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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan Engines

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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 all General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B engines. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of a center vent tube (CVT) failure leading to a loss of oil pressure and subsequent in-flight engine shutdown. This proposed AD would require removal of the Air/Oil Extension Ducts, part numbers (P/N) 2332M85P01 or 2331M25G03. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 14, 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: 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 NPRM, 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 and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

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-2018-0224; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-5527) is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington MA; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: chris.mcguire@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-2018-0224; Product Identifier 2018-NE-01-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 were prompted to issue this NPRM based upon a report of a CVT failure leading to a loss of oil pressure and subsequent in-flight engine shutdown. During the event, the CVT failed due to oil leaking into the fan mid shaft, resulting in coking on the seal Start Printed Page 18748assembly and overpressurization of the CVT. This condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

Related Service Information

We reviewed GE GEnx-1B Service Bulletin (SB) 72-0331 R01, dated August 21, 2017. The SB describes procedures for replacing air/oil extension ducts, P/N 2332M85P01 or 2331M25G03, with an extension duct 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 removal of an affected extension duct and replacing it with a part eligible for installation.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 97 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Replacement of Extension Duct4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340$16,270$16,610$1,611,170

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

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, 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-2018-0224; Product Identifier 2018-NE-01-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by June 14, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B64, -1B64/P1, -1B64/P2, -1B67, -1B67/P1, -1B67/P2, -1B70, -1B70/75/P1, -1B70/75/P2, -1B70/P1, -1B70/P2, -1B70C/P1, -1B70C/P2, -1B74/75/P1, -1B74/75/P2 engines with Air/Oil Extension Duct, part number (P/N) 2332M85P01 or 2331M25G03, installed.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7250, Turbine Section.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of a center vent tube (CVT) failure. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the CVT. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

At the next engine shop visit after the effective date of this AD, remove air/oil extension ducts, P/N 2332M85P01 or 2331M25G03, and replace with a part eligible for installation.

(h) Definition

For the purpose of this AD, an “engine shop visit” is the induction of an engine into the shop for maintenance involving the separation of pairs of major mating engine case flanges, except for the following situations, which do not constitute an engine shop visit:

(1) Separation of engine flanges solely for the purposes of transportation of the engine without subsequent maintenance.

(2) Separation of engine flanges solely for the purpose of replacing the fan or propulsor without subsequent maintenance.Start Printed Page 18749

(i) Installation Prohibition

After the effective date of this AD, do not install an Air/Oil Extension Duct, P/N 2332M85P01 or 2331M25G03, into a fan mid shaft Assembly.

(j) 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 (k)(1) of this AD.

(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.

(k) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Christopher McGuire, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington MA; phone: 781-238-7120; fax: 781-238-7199; email: chris.mcguire@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this 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 and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

Start Signature

Issued in Burlington, MA, on April 25, 2018.

Robert J. Ganley,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-09010 Filed 4-27-18; 8:45 am]

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