Federal Register: September 3, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 171)
DOCID: FR Doc 04-20123
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
CFR Citation: 14 CFR Part 39
Docket ID: [Docket No. FAA-2004-18994; Directorate Identifier 2003-NM-210-AD]
RIN ID: RIN 2120-AA64
NOTICE: PROPOSED RULES
ACTION: Airworthiness directives:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-14 and DC- 9-15 Airplanes; and Model DC-9-20, DC-9-30, DC-9-40, and DC-9-50 Series Airplanes
DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 18, 2004.
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD)
for certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC914 and DC915 airplanes; and
Model DC920, DC930, DC940, and DC950 series airplanes. This
proposed AD would require repetitive high frequency eddy current
inspections to detect cracks in the vertical radius of the upper cap of
the center wing rear spar, and repair if necessary. This proposed AD is
prompted by reports of cracks in the upper cap of the center wing rear
spar that resulted from stress corrosion. We are proposing this AD to
detect and correct cracking of the left or right upper cap of the
center rear spar, which could cause a possible fuel leak and structural failure of the upper cap, and result in
reduced structural integrity of the airplane.
Docket Management System (DMS)
The FAA has implemented new procedures for maintaining AD dockets electronically. As of May 17, 2004, new AD actions are posted on DMS and assigned a docket number. We track each action and assign a corresponding directorate identifier. The DMS AD docket number is in the form ``Docket No. FAA200499999.'' The Transport Airplane Directorate identifier is in the form ``Directorate Identifier 2004NM 999AD.'' Each DMS AD docket also lists the directorate identifier (``Old Docket Number'') as a crossreference for searching purposes. Comments Invited
We invite you to submit any written relevant data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA200418994; Directorate Identifier 2003NM210AD'' in the subject line of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments submitted by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments.
We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov , including any personal information you provide. We will
also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of that Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You can review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 1947778), or you can visit http://dms.dot.gov.
We are reviewing the writing style we currently use in regulatory documents. We are interested in your comments on whether the style of this document is clear, and your suggestions to improve the clarity of our communications that affect you. You can get more information about plain language at http://www.plainlanguage.gov.Examining the Docket
You can examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov , or in person at the Docket Management Facility office
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647 5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them. Discussion
We have received several reports of cracking of the upper cap of the center wing rear spar at station Xcw=58.500 on certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC9 airplanes. These airplanes had accumulated 20,100 to 76,183 total flight hours, and 25,150 to 88,029 total flight cycles. Investigation revealed that the cracks resulted from stress corrosion. This cracking of the left or right upper cap of the center wing rear spar, if not detected and corrected in a timely manner, could cause a possible fuel leak and structural failure of the upper cap, and result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.
Relevant Service Information
We have reviewed McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC957223, dated July 21, 2003. The service bulletin describes procedures for doing repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections of the left and right upper caps of the center wing rear spar at station Xcw=58.500, and contacting Boeing for repair instructions if any crack is found during the inspections. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.
FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD
We have evaluated all pertinent information and identified an
unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes
of this same type design. Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which
would require high frequency eddy current inspections, and corrective
actions if necessary, in accordance with the FAA. The proposed AD would
require you to use the service information described previously to
perform these actions, except as discussed under ``Difference Between the Proposed AD and the Service Bulletin.''
Difference Between the Proposed AD and the Service Bulletin
Although the service bulletin specifies that operators may contact the manufacturer for disposition of repair conditions, this proposed AD would require operators to repair those conditions per a method approved by the FAA.
Costs of Compliance
This proposed AD would affect about 396 airplanes of U.S. registry
and 963 airplanes worldwide. The proposed inspection would take about 3
work hours per airplane, per inspection cycle, at an average labor rate
of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the
proposed AD for U.S. operators is $77,220, or $195 per airplane, per inspection cycle.
We have 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. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 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.
We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this proposed AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety. The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.
Sec. 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):
McDonnell Douglas: Docket No. FAA200418994; Directorate Identifier 2003NM210AD.
Comments Due Date
(a) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive comments on this AD action by October 18, 2004.
(c) This AD applies to certain McDonnell Douglas Model DC914, DC915, DC921, DC931, DC932, DC932 (VC9C), DC932F, DC9
33F, DC934, DC934F, DC932F (C9A, C9B), DC941, and DC951
airplanes, certificated in any category; as listed in McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC957223, dated July 21, 2003.
(d) This AD was prompted by reports of cracks in the upper cap of the center wing rear spar that resulted from stress corrosion. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the left or right upper cap of the center rear spar, which could cause a possible fuel leak and structural failure of the upper cap, and result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.
(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.
(f) At the later of the times specified in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this AD: Do a high frequency eddy current inspection to detect cracks in the vertical radius of the upper cap of the center wing rear spar, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of McDonnell Douglas Service Bulletin DC957223, dated July 21, 2003.
(1) Before the accumulation of 25,000 total flight cycles. (2) Within 15,000 flight cycles or 5 years after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.
(g)(1) If no crack is found, then repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 15,000 flight cycles or 5 years, whichever occurs first.
(2) If any crack is found, before further flight, repair per a method approved by the Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA. For a repair method to be approved by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO, as required by this paragraph, the Manager's approval letter must specifically refer to this AD. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)
(h) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.
Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 20, 2004. Kevin M. Mullin,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 0420123 Filed 9204; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 491013U
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Technical Information: Wahib Mina, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 907124137; telephone (562) 6275324; fax (562) 6275210.
Plain Language Information: Marcia Walters, firstname.lastname@example.org.