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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:

The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-15-04, which applies to certain General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80A, CF6-80A1, CF6-80A2, CF6-80A3, CF6-80C2A1, CF6-80C2A2, CF6-80C2A3, CF6-80C2A5, CF6-80C2A5F, CF6-80C2A8, CF6-80C2B1, CF6-80C2B1F, CF6-80C2B2, CF6-80C2B2F, CF6-80C2B4, CF6-80C2B4F, CF6-80C2B5F, CF6-80C2B6, CF6-80C2B6F, CF6-80C2B6FA, CF6-80C2B7F, CF6-80C2D1F, CF6-80C2L1F, and CF6-80C2K1F model turbofan engines. AD 2018-15-04 requires ultrasonic inspection (UI) of high-pressure turbine (HPT) stage 1 and stage 2 disks. Since we issued AD 2018-15-04, GE determined the need to expand the population of affected disks. This proposed AD would retain the required inspections while expanding the population of affected disks. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 23, 2020.

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 https://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, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, United States; phone: (513) 552-3272; email: aviation.fleetsupport@ae.ge.com; website: www.ge.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. 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 https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2020-0557; 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, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Scott Stevenson, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: (781) 238-7132; fax: (781) 238-7199; email: Scott.M.Stevenson@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2020-0557; Project Identifier AD-2020-00541-E” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this proposed AD.

Confidential Business Information

Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as “PROPIN.” The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Scott Stevenson, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.Start Printed Page 35025

Discussion

The FAA issued AD 2018-15-04, Amendment 39-19336 (83 FR 43739, August 28, 2018), (“AD 2018-15-04”), for certain GE CF6-80A, CF6-80A1, CF6-80A2, CF6-80A3, CF6-80C2A1, CF6-80C2A2, CF6-80C2A3, CF6-80C2A5, CF6-80C2A5F, CF6-80C2A8, CF6-80C2B1, CF6-80C2B1F, CF6-80C2B2, CF6-80C2B2F, CF6-80C2B4, CF6-80C2B4F, CF6-80C2B5F, CF6-80C2B6, CF6-80C2B6F, CF6-80C2B6FA, CF6-80C2B7F, CF6-80C2D1F, CF6-80C2L1F, and CF6-80C2K1F model turbofan engines. AD 2018-15-04 requires a UI of HPT stage 1 and 2 disks. AD 2018-15-04 resulted from an uncontained failure of a HPT stage 2 disk that resulted in a fire. The FAA issued AD 2018-15-04 to prevent failure of the HPT stage 1 and the HPT stage 2 disks, uncontained HPT disk release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

Actions Since AD 2018-15-04 Was Issued

Since the FAA issued AD 2018-15-04, GE determined that additional serial-numbered HPT stage 1 and stage 2 disks should be included in the population of affected disks. GE therefore issued revisions to its service information to include the additional affected disks.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed GE CF6-80C2 Service Bulletin (SB) 72-1562 R04, dated May 29, 2019. The SB describes procedures for UI of CF6-80C2 turbofan engine HPT stage 1 and 2 disks. The FAA also reviewed GE CF6-80A SB 72-0869 R02, dated May 29, 2019. The SB describes procedures for UI of CF6-80A turbofan engine HPT stage 2 disks. 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

The FAA is proposing this AD because the agency 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 retain all the requirements of AD 2018-15-04. This proposed AD would expand the population of affected disks to include additional serial-numbered HPT stage 1 and stage 2 disks.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 1,512 engines installed on airplanes, of U.S. registry.

The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Ultrasonic Inspection of HPT disk10 work-hours × $85 per hour = $850$0$850$1,285,200

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these replacements:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Replace CF6-80C2 HPT Stage 1 disk0.25 work-hours × $85 per hour = $21.25$799,700$799,721.25
Replace CF6-80C2 HPT Stage 2 disk0.25 work-hours × $85 per hour = $21.25364,600364,621.25
Replace CF6-80A HPT Stage 2 disk0.25 work-hours × $85 per hour = $21.25344,000344,021.25

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.

The FAA is 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

The FAA has 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 that the proposed regulation:

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

(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(3) 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 Start Printed Page 35026

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 removing Airworthiness Directive AD 2018-15-04, Amendment 39-19336 ( 83 FR 43739, August 28, 2018), and adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part

General Electric Company: Docket No. FAA-2020-0557; Project Identifier AD-2020-00541-E.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by July 23, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2018-15-04, Amendment 39-19336 (83 FR 43739, August 28, 2018).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to General Electric Company (GE) CF6-80A, CF6-80A1, CF6-80A2, CF6-80A3, CF6-80C2A1, CF6-80C2A2, CF6-80C2A3, CF6-80C2A5, CF6-80C2A5F, CF6-80C2A8, CF6-80C2B1, CF6-80C2B1F, CF6-80C2B2, CF6-80C2B2F, CF6-80C2B4, CF6-80C2B4F, CF6-80C2B5F, CF6-80C2B6, CF6-80C2B6F, CF6-80C2B6FA, CF6-80C2B7F, CF6-80C2D1F, CF6-80C2L1F, and CF6-80C2K1F model turbofan engines with high-pressure turbine (HPT) disks with serial numbers listed in Tables 1 and 2 of Appendix A in GE CF6-80C2 Service Bulletin (SB) 72-1562 R04, dated May 29, 2019; and Table 1 of Appendix A in GE CF6-80A SB 72-0869 R02, dated May 29, 2019.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an uncontained failure of an HPT stage 2 disk. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT stage 1 disk (CF6-80C2 engines) and the HPT stage 2 disk (CF6-80C2 and CF6-80A engines). The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in an uncontained HPT disk release, 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

(1) After the effective date of this AD, perform an ultrasonic inspection for cracks in HPT stage 1 and 2 disks on the CF6-80C2 turbofan engine at each piece-part exposure using the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.A.(2), in GE CF6-80C2 SB 72-1562 R04, dated May 29, 2019.

(2) After the effective date of this AD, perform an ultrasonic inspection for cracks in HPT stage 2 disks on the CF6-80A turbofan engine at each piece-part exposure using the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraph 3.A.(2), in GE CF6-80A SB 72-0869 R02, dated May 29, 2019.

(3) If any disk fails the inspection required by paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this AD, replace the disk before further flight.

(h) Non-Required Actions

The reporting requirements specified in the Accomplishment Instructions, paragraphs 3.A.(2)(c) and 3.A.(2)(f), of CF6-80C2 SB 72-1562 R04, dated May 29, 2019, are not required by this AD.

(i) Definition

For the purpose of this AD, “piece-part exposure” of the HPT stage 1 or stage 2 disk is separation of that HPT disk from its mating rotor parts within the HPT rotor module (thermal shield and HPT stage 1 and stage 2 disk, respectively).

(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. 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.

(k) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Scott Stevenson, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: (781) 238-7132; fax: (781) 238-7199; email: Scott.M.Stevenson@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact General Electric Company, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215, United States; phone: (513) 552-3272; email: aviation.fleetsupport@ae.ge.com; website: www.ge.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759.

Start Signature

Issued on June 1, 2020.

Lance T. Gant,

Director, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-12157 Filed 6-5-20; 8:45 am]

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