[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 184 (Friday, September 21, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 58471-58473]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23443]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-1017; Directorate Identifier 2012-NE-30-AD; 
Amendment 39-17203; AD 2012-19-08]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company Turbofan 
Engines

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for General 
Electric Company GEnx-1B54, GEnx-1B58, GEnx-1B64, GEnx-1B67, GEnx-1B70, 
GEnx-1B54/P1, GEnx-1B58/P1, GEnx-1B64/P1, GEnx-1B67/P1, GEnx-1B70/P1, 
GEnx-1B70/72/P1, GEnx-1B70/75/P1, GEnx-1B74/75/P1, GEnx-1B75/P1, GEnx-
2B67, and GEnx-2B67B turbofan engines. This AD requires initial and 
repetitive ultrasonic inspections (UI) of certain part number (P/N) fan 
mid shafts (FMS) for cracks. This AD was prompted by a report of an FMS 
failure and a report of a crack found in another FMS. We are issuing 
this AD to prevent failure of the FMS resulting in one or more engine 
failure(s) and possible loss of the airplane.

DATES: This AD is effective September 21, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of September 21, 
2012.
    We must receive comments on this AD by October 22, 2012.

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 AD, contact General 
Electric Company, GE-Aviation, Room 285, 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 
45215, phone: (513) 552-3272; email: geae.aoc@ge.com. You may view this 
service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New 
England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the 
availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. 
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Gray, Aerospace Engineer, Engine 
Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New 
England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7742; fax: 
781-238-7199; email: james.e.gray@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    On July 28, 2012, we received a report of a GEnx-1B engine failure 
installed on a Boeing 787 (B787) airplane. Boeing was conducting 
routine ground testing of the B787, before aircraft delivery. During a 
taxi test, one engine's FMS fractured just aft of the coupling nut. The 
low-pressure turbine (LPT) rotor shifted axially backwards, resulting 
in LPT blade and vane clashing. The LPT case contained the failure and 
debris was released out the tailpipe. There was no engine overspeed as 
the LPT rotor remained coupled to the fan rotor at the FMS spline. On 
August 14, 2012, we received a second report concerning the GEnx 
engine, this time about an FMS, installed in a GEnx-1B engine, that was 
found cracked during an on-wing UI. This condition, if not corrected, 
could result in failure of the FMS resulting in one or more engine 
failure(s) and possible loss of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

    We reviewed GE Service Bulletin (SB) No. GEnx-1B S/B 72-0107, 
Revision 2, dated September 14, 2012, and SB No. GEnx-2B S/B 72-0091, 
Revision 1, dated September 14, 2012. The SBs describe procedures for 
performing UI inspections of FMS P/N 2331M20G02, P/N 2332M81G01, and P/
N 2332M33G01.

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 accomplishing the actions specified in the service 
information described previously, except as discussed under 
``Differences Between the AD and the Service Information.''

Differences Between the AD and the Service Information

    The SBs require an initial FMS inspection within 30 days of the SB 
date. This AD requires an initial FMS inspection before further flight.

Interim Action

    We consider this AD interim action. Root cause is still under 
investigation, but the failure of the FMS is likely due to 
environmentally assisted cracking; a type of corrosive cracking that is 
time-dependent.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies 
waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule based on the 
reported engine failure, the crack find, and that the root

[[Page 58472]]

cause is still somewhat unknown. We therefore determined that a 
repetitive inspection interval needed to be established. The repetitive 
inspection interval is less than the time it would take to process a 
proposed AD. Therefore, we find that notice and opportunity for prior 
public comment are impracticable and 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 AD. Send your comments to an address listed under 
the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2012-1017 and 
Directorate Identifier 2012-NE-30-AD at the beginning of your comments. 
We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, 
environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will consider all 
comments received by the closing date and may amend this AD 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 AD.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD will affect 11 GE GEnx turbofan engines 
installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it will 
take about 9 work-hours per engine to perform the UI of the FMS, and 
that the average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. The estimated cost of 
one set of inspection tooling is $105,000. Based on these figures, we 
estimate the total cost of this AD to U.S. operators to be $113,415.

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.

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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
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]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2012-19-08 General Electric Company: Amendment 39-17203; Docket No. 
FAA-2012-1017; Directorate Identifier 2012-NE-30-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective September 21, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to:
    (1) General Electric Company (GE) GEnx-1B54, GEnx-1B58, GEnx-
1B64, GEnx-1B67, GEnx-1B70, GEnx-1B54/P1, GEnx-1B58/P1, GEnx-1B64/
P1, GEnx-1B67/P1, GEnx-1B70/P1, GEnx-1B70/72/P1, GEnx-1B70/75/P1, 
GEnx-1B74/75/P1, and GEnx-1B75/P1 turbofan engines with fan mid 
shaft (FMS) part number (P/N) 2331M20G02 or P/N 2332M81G01, 
installed; and
    (2) GE GEnx-2B67 and GEnx-2B67B turbofan engines with FMS P/N 
2332M33G01, installed.

(d) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of an FMS failure and a report 
of a crack found in another FMS. We are issuing this AD to prevent 
failure of the FMS resulting in one or more engine failure(s) and 
possible loss of the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(f) Ultrasonic Inspections (UIs)

    (1) Perform an initial UI for cracks in the FMS before further 
flight.
    (2) Thereafter, perform repetitive UIs for cracks in the FMS 
within every 90 days since-last-inspection.
    (3) Remove any cracked FMS from service before further flight.
    (4) For engines listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this AD, use 
paragraphs 3.A and 3.B.(1) through 3.B.(9) of the Accomplishment 
Instructions of GE Service Bulletin (SB) No. GEnx-1B S/B 72-0107, 
Revision 2, dated September 14, 2012, to do the inspections.
    (5) For engines listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this AD, use 
paragraphs 3.A and 3.B.(1) through 3.B.(9) of the Accomplishment 
Instructions of GEnx-2B S/B 72-0091, Revision 1, dated September 14, 
2012, to do the inspections.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs 
to this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your 
request.

(h) Credit for Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service 
Information

    (1) For engines listed in paragraph (c)(1) of this AD, if you 
performed the initial inspection before the effective date of this 
AD using GE SB No. GEnx-1B S/B 72-0107, dated August 17, 2012, or 
Revision 1, dated August 24, 2012, you met the requirement of 
paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.
    (2) For engines listed in paragraph (c)(2) of this AD, if you 
performed the initial inspection before the effective date of this 
AD using GE SB No. GEnx-2B S/B 72-0091, dated August 22, 2012, you 
met the requirement of paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.
    (3) For engines listed in paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this 
AD, if an initial inspection was performed before the effective date 
of this AD using GE Field Engineering Instruction (FEI) GEnx-1B No. 
2012-014 Fan Mid Shaft Inspection, or FEI GEnx-2B No. 2012-017 Fan 
Mid Shaft Inspection, you met the requirement of paragraph (f)(1) of 
this AD.

[[Page 58473]]

(i) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact James Gray, 
Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & 
Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 
01803; phone: 781-238-7742; fax: 781-238-7199; email: 
james.e.gray@faa.gov.

(j) 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) General Electric Company Service Bulletin No. GEnx-1B S/B 
72-0107, Revision 2, dated September 14, 2012.
    (ii) General Electric Company Service Bulletin No. GEnx-2B S/B 
72-0091, Revision 1, dated September 14, 2012.
    (3) For General Electric Company 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: 
geae.aoc@ge.com.
    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & 
Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, 
MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, 
call 781-238-7125.
    (5) You may view this service information 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.

    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on September 17, 2012.
Diane M. Cook,
Acting Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-23443 Filed 9-20-12; 8:45 am]
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