[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 134 (Thursday, July 12, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41045-41047]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15893]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0104; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-279-AD; 
Amendment 39-17107; AD 2012-13-05]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain 
The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series 
airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that a fire 
originated near the first officer's area, which caused extensive damage 
to the flight deck. This AD requires replacing the low-pressure oxygen 
hoses with non-conductive low-pressure oxygen hoses in the flight 
compartment. We are issuing this AD to prevent electrical current from 
passing through the low-pressure oxygen hose internal anti-collapse 
spring, which can cause the low-pressure oxygen hose to melt or burn, 
and a consequent oxygen-fed fire in the flight compartment.

DATES: This AD is effective August 16, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of August 16, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 
P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207; telephone 206-
544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced service 
information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind 
Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356. For information on the availability 
of this material at the FAA, call (425) 227-1221.

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 address for the 
Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Monroe, Aerospace Engineer, 
Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle 
Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-
3356; phone: 425-917-6457; fax: 425-917-6590; email: 
[email protected].

[[Page 41046]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. 
That NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 8, 2012 (77 FR 
6518). That NPRM proposed to require replacing the low-pressure oxygen 
hoses with non-conductive low-pressure oxygen hoses in the flight 
compartment.

Relevant Service Information

    Since we issued the NPRM (77 FR 6518, February 8, 2012), Boeing has 
issued Alert Service Bulletin 777-35A0027, Revision 1, dated April 19, 
2012. This service information was issued to remove airplanes from the 
effectivity that have had certain changes incorporated in production, 
update warranty information, and material price information. No 
additional work is necessary for airplanes changed in accordance with 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-35A0027, dated December 15, 2011. We 
have changed the final rule to reference Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 
777-35A0027, Revision 1, dated April 19, 2012. Additionally, we have 
updated the Costs of Compliance section of the final rule regarding the 
parts cost and warranty information.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. The following presents the comments received on the proposal 
(77 FR 6518, February 8, 2012) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM (77 FR 6518, February 8, 2012)

    The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) stated it supports the NPRM 
(77 FR 6518, February 8, 2012).

Request To Shorten Compliance Time

    The ALPA requested we shorten the compliance time for the 
replacement of the oxygen hoses from 18 months to 12 months. The 
commenter based this request on the impact that an oxygen fed fire on 
the flight deck would have on flight safety.
    We disagree. In developing the proposed compliance time, we 
considered the safety implications, parts availability, and normal 
maintenance schedules for the timely accomplishment of replacement of 
the oxygen hoses. Further, the proposed compliance time is in keeping 
with the manufacturers' recommended compliance time. In consideration 
of all these factors, operators are always permitted to accomplish the 
requirements of an AD at a time earlier than the specified compliance 
time. If additional data are presented that would justify a shorter 
compliance time, we may consider further rulemaking on this issue. We 
have not changed the AD in this regard.

Request To Increase Compliance Time

    United Airlines requested we increase the compliance time for the 
replacement of the oxygen hoses from 18 months to 24 months. The 
commenter stated that based on parts availability and its normal 
maintenance schedule, it believes that 24 months would be an 
appropriate interval for the timely accomplishment of the actions while 
maintaining an adequate level of safety.
    We disagree with increasing the compliance time. As stated 
previously, in developing the proposed compliance time, we considered 
the safety implications, parts availability, and normal maintenance 
schedules for a timely accomplishment of replacement of the oxygen 
hoses. Further, the proposed compliance time is in keeping with the 
manufacturers' recommended compliance time. However, under the 
provisions of paragraph (i) of the final rule, we may approve requests 
for adjustments to the compliance time if data are submitted to 
substantiate that such an adjustment would provide an acceptable level 
of safety. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Request To Add Applicability Language

    Boeing requested that we add language to paragraph (h) of the NPRM 
(77 FR 6518, February 8, 2012), stating that this paragraph applies 
only to any airplane ``affected by this AD.''
    We do not agree with the commenter's request. The applicability 
statement in all AD actions lists all airplanes affected by that AD. 
All of the requirements stated in an AD are applicable only to the 
airplanes listed in the applicability. We find no justification for 
making the requested change. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Request for Clarification of Parts Installation Requirement

    American Airlines (American) requested clarification of the 
requirement in paragraph (h) of the NPRM (77 FR 6518, February 8, 2012) 
that prohibits installing certain oxygen hoses after the effective date 
of the AD. American stated that the compliance time of paragraph (h) of 
the NPRM is prior to the compliance date of the low-pressure oxygen 
hose removal, and if a maintenance procedure is accomplished which 
would require the removal of the low-pressure oxygen hose, the same 
low-pressure oxygen hose cannot be re-installed.
    We agree to clarify the requirement. Once we have determined that 
an unsafe condition exists, we generally specify not to allow that 
condition to be introduced into the fleet. Although the word 
``install'' is generally considered to be broader than the word 
``replace,'' for this AD operators can interpret it as meaning 
``replace'' while remaining within the intent of the ``Parts 
Installation'' paragraph (paragraph (h) of this AD). By simply 
reinstalling a part removed during maintenance, the operator is not 
``installing'' a different part. Therefore, removing a part to gain 
access and then reinstalling that same part for other maintenance 
activities not associated with the AD is acceptable. We have not 
changed the AD in this regard.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
the AD with the changes described previously.
    We also determined that these changes will not increase the 
economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 169 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
               Action                        Labor cost           Parts cost        product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Replacement.........................  18 work-hours x $85 per          $1,066           $2,596         $438,724
                                       hour = $1,530.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 41047]]

     According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this AD may be 
covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected 
individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected 
individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost 
estimate.

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):

2012-13-05 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-17107; Docket No. FAA-
2012-0104; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-279-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective August 16, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -
300, -300ER, and 777F series airplanes; certificated in any 
category; as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-
35A0027, Revision 1, dated April 19, 2012.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association 
(ATA) of America Code 35, Oxygen.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that a fire 
originated near the first officer's area, which caused extensive 
damage to the flight deck. We are issuing this AD to prevent 
electrical current from passing through the low-pressure oxygen hose 
internal anti-collapse spring, which can cause the low-pressure 
oxygen hose to melt or burn, and a consequent oxygen-fed fire in the 
flight compartment.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement

    Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace 
the low-pressure oxygen hoses with non-conductive low-pressure 
oxygen hoses in the flight compartment, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-
35A0027, dated December 15, 2011, or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 
777-35A0027, Revision 1, dated April 19, 2012.

(h) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install in 
the airplane flight compartment oxygen system on any airplane, a 
low-pressure oxygen hose having part number 57034-81220, 57034-
81320, or 57034-91100.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
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 ACO, send it to the 
attention of the person identified in the Related Information 
section of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected].
    (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 Susan Monroe, 
Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, 
ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind 
Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: (425) 917-6457; fax: (425) 
917-6590; email: [email protected].

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) You must use the following service information to do the 
actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The 
Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference (IBR) of the following service information under 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-35A0027, dated December 
15, 2011.
    (ii) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-35A0027, Revision 1, 
dated April 19, 2012.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, Boeing 
Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. 
Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207; telephone 206-
544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.
    (3) You may review copies of the referenced service information 
at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., 
Renton, WA 98057-3356. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call (425) 227-1221.
    (4) You may also review copies of the 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.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 21, 2012.
John Piccola,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-15893 Filed 7-11-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P