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Airworthiness Directives; Engine Alliance 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 Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 turbofan engines. This AD requires a one-time eddy current inspection (ECI) of the engine fan hub blade slot bottom and blade slot front edge for cracks, a visual inspection of the engine fan hub for damage, and removal of parts if damage or defects are found that are outside serviceable limits. This AD was prompted by an uncontained failure of the engine fan hub. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective July 2, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 2, 2018.

We must receive comments on this AD by July 30, 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 Engine Alliance, 411 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: help24@pw.utc.com; website: www.engineallianceportal.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Start Printed Page 27892Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0501.

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-2018-0501; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the 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:

David Bethka, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7129; fax: 781-238-7199; email: david.bethka@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We received information concerning an uncontained engine fan hub failure that occurred on an EA GP7200-series turbofan engine. AD 2017-23-03 (82 FR 51979, November 9, 2017), requires visual inspections of all engine fan hubs for damage. This AD requires additional visual inspections of the EA GP7200-series engine fan hub beyond those required by AD 2017-23-03. This AD also requires an ECI that was not required by AD 2017-23-03. This condition, if not addressed, could result in an uncontained failure of the engine fan hub, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed EA Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018. The ASB describes procedures for ECI and visual inspection of the GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 engine fan hub. 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

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 a one-time ECI of the GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 engine fan hub blade slot bottom and blade slot front edge for cracks, a visual inspection of the engine fan hub for damage, and removal of the engine fan hub if damage or defects are found that are outside of serviceable limits.

Interim Action

We consider this AD interim action. An investigation to determine the cause of the failure is on-going and we may consider additional rulemaking if final action is identified.

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 the 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-2018-0501 and Product Identifier 2018-NE-19-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 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
ECI and visual inspection14 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1190$0$1190$0

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 Start Printed Page 27893Division, 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

2018-11-16 Engine Alliance: Amendment 39-19304 ; Docket No. FAA-2018-0501; Product Identifier 2018-NE-19-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective July 2, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 model turbofan engines with serial numbers (S/Ns) identified in Table 3 in Planning Information of Engine Alliance (EA) Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7230, Turbine Engine Compressor Section.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an uncontained failure of the engine fan hub. We are issuing this AD to detect defects, damage, and cracks that could result in an uncontained failure of the engine fan hub. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained failure of the engine fan hub, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD:

(1) For engine fan hubs at the low-pressure compressor (LPC) module assembly level:

(i) Perform a visual inspection of the engine fan hub, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, For Fan Hubs at LPC Module Assembly Level, paragraphs 1.A.(1), 1.A.(4), and 1.A.(6)(a), of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(ii) Perform an eddy current inspection (ECI) of the engine fan hub blade slot bottoms and front edges, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, For Fan Hubs at LPC Module Assembly Level, paragraphs 2.A and 2.B, of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(2) For engine fan hubs at the piece part level:

(i) Perform a visual inspection of the engine fan hub, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, For Fan Hubs at Piece Part Level, paragraphs 1.A.(1) and 1.A.(3), of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(ii) Perform an ECI of the engine fan hub blade slot bottoms and front edges, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, For Fan Hubs at Piece Part Level, paragraphs 2.A and 2.B, of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(3) For engine fan hubs installed in an engine (on-wing or off-wing):

(i) Perform a visual inspection of the engine fan hub, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, For Fan Hubs Installed in an Engine, paragraphs 1.C.(1), 1.C.(5), and 1.C.(7)(a), of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(ii) Perform an ECI of the engine fan hub blade slot bottoms and front edges, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, For Fan Hubs Installed in an Engine, paragraphs 1.D.(1) and 1.D.(2), of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(4) If the engine fan hub visual inspection reveals defects or damage to the engine fan hub that are found outside the serviceable limits specified in Table 4 in the Accomplishment Instructions of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018, remove the engine fan hub from service and replace with a part that is eligible for installation, prior to further flight.

(5) If the fan hub ECI results in a rejectable indication, per the Appendix, Added Data, of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018, remove the hub from service and replace with a part that is eligible for installation, prior to further flight.

(h) Credit for Previous Actions

You may take credit for the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD if you performed the inspection before the effective date of this AD, using EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, dated December 19, 2017, or EA ASB EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 1, dated January 19, 2018.

(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 David Bethka, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7129; fax: 781-238-7199; email: david.bethka@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) Engine Alliance Alert Service Bulletin EAGP7-A72-389, Revision No. 2, dated April 17, 2018.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For Engine Alliance service information identified in this AD, contact Engine Alliance, 411 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone: 800-565-0140; email: help24@pw.utc.com; website: www.engineallianceportal.com.

(4) You may view this service information at 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.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Start Printed Page 27894Administration (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 June 8, 2018.

Robert J. Ganley,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-12873 Filed 6-14-18; 8:45 am]

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