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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 all Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 turbofan engines with a certain high-pressure turbine (HPT) case installed. This AD requires removal of affected HPT stator cases (HPT cases) from service and their replacement with a part eligible for installation. This AD was prompted by the discovery of a quality escape at a manufacturing facility involving unapproved welds on HPT cases. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective November 23, 2018.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of November 23, 2018.

We must receive comments on this AD by December 24, 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 Start Printed Page 55817FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. 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-2018-0934.

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-2018-0934; 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:

Matthew Smith, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7735; fax: 781-238-7199; email: matthew.c.smith@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We learned from EA of a quality escape at one of their suppliers, AECC Aero Science and Technology Co., Ltd., which was performing welds on newly-manufactured components to correct errors introduced in their manufacturing process. These welds were not reviewed or approved by either EA or the FAA. EA's review of manufacturing records determined that these parts include HPT cases installed on EA GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 turbofan engines. These HPT cases are life limited. The unapproved repairs reduced the material capability of these HPT cases, which requires their removal prior to reaching their published Airworthiness Limitation Section life limit. This condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of the HPT case, engine fire, 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-A72-401, dated August 23, 2018; and EA Service Bulletin (SB) EAGP7-72-399, dated June 4, 2018. EA ASB EAGP7-A72-401 describes procedures for removing and replacing the affected HPT case, within the identified cycles. EA SB EAGP7-72-399 describes procedures for removing and replacing the affected HPT case within the specified part cycles since new or part cycles since overhaul. 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 removal of the affected HPT cases from service and their replacement with a part eligible for installation.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

No domestic operators use this product. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary. 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-2018-0934 and Product Identifier 2018-NE-35-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 zero 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
Replacement of the HPT case20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700$339,400$341,100$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 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.Start Printed Page 55818

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

2018-22-05 Engine Alliance: Amendment 39-19478; Docket No. FAA-2018-0934; Product Identifier 2018-NE-35-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective November 23, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270, GP7272, and GP7277 turbofan engines, with a high-pressure turbine (HPT) stator case (HPT case), part number (P/N) 2060M40G02 or 2137M29G01 installed, and with HPT case serial numbers (S/Ns) listed in Planning Information, Table 1, of EA Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) EAGP7-A72-401, dated August 23, 2018, and in Planning Information, Table 1, of EA Service Bulletin (SB) EAGP7-72-399, dated June 4, 2018.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by the discovery of a quality escape at a manufacturing facility performing unapproved welds on HPT cases. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT case. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in 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) For HPT cases listed in Planning Information, Table 1, of EA ASB EAGP7-A72-401, dated August 23, 2018, remove the affected HPT case from service within the cycles identified in Table 1 of EA SB EAGP7-A72-401 after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For HPT cases listed in Planning Information, Table 1, of EAGP7-72-399, dated June 4, 2018, remove the affected HPT cases from service, using the number of part cycles since new (PCSN) or part cycles since overhaul (PCSO), whichever is less, as specified in Table 1 to paragraph (g)(2) of this AD.

Table 1 to Paragraph (g)(2) of This AD—Compliance Times

PCSN or PCSORemove from service within these cycles after the effective date of this AD
Less than 1000150 cycles.
1001 to 2000125 cycles.
2001 to 3000100 cycles.
3001 to 400075 cycles.
4001 to 500050 cycles.
5001 or more25 cycles.

(3) Replace the removed HPT case with a part eligible for installation before further flight.

(h) Definitions

For the purpose of this AD, a “part eligible for installation” is any HPT case not identified in paragraph (c) of this AD or an HPT case listed in this AD that has been inspected and repaired by a method approved by the Manager, ECO Branch, FAA.

(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 Matthew Smith, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7735; fax: 781-238-7199; email: matthew.c.smith@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 (EA) Alert Service Bulletin EAGP7-A72-401, dated August 23, 2018.

(ii) EA Service Bulletin EAGP7-72-399, dated June 4, 2018.

(3) For 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 01803. 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 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 2, 2018.

Robert J. Ganley,

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

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-24386 Filed 11-7-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P