Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 777-200 and -300 Series Airplanes, 37025-37028 [05-12635]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 28, 2005 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. 2001–NM–296–AD; Amendment 39–14171; AD 2005–13–34] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 777–200 and –300 Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Boeing Model 777– 200 and –300 series airplanes, that requires replacing existing ceiling and sidewall light connectors in the passenger cabin with new connectors, and follow-on actions. This action is necessary to prevent overheating of the light connectors, which could result in smoke and a possible fire in the passenger cabin. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition. DATES: Effective August 2, 2005. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 2, 2005. ADDRESSES: The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207. This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Binh V. Tran, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM– 130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 917–6485; fax (425) 917–6590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Boeing Model 777–200 and –300 series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on August 15, 2003 (68 FR 48833). That action proposed to require replacing existing ceiling and sidewall light connectors in the passenger cabin with new connectors, and follow-on actions. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:51 Jun 27, 2005 Jkt 205001 Explanation of New Relevant Service Information Since the issuance of the proposed AD, the FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–33–0019, Revision 1, dated March 11, 2004. (The proposed AD refers to Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–33–0019, dated July 19, 2001, as the appropriate source of service information for the proposed actions.) Revision 1 limits the effectivity listing to airplanes having line numbers 1 through 264 inclusive. (Connectors on airplanes with line numbers 265 and subsequent were modified and screened prior to delivery of those airplanes to ensure the connectors’ resistance to moisture contamination.) We have revised the applicability statement of this AD accordingly. The work instructions in Revision 1 of the service bulletin are essentially the same as those in the original issue. Accordingly, we have revised paragraph (a) of this AD to refer to Revision 1 of the service bulletin and to give credit for actions accomplished previously per the original issue of the service bulletin. We have also revised paragraph (b) of this AD to remove the reference to the applicable steps in Work Packages 1, 2, and 3 of the service bulletin. Since all steps in Work Packages 1, 2, and 3 of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–33–0019, Revision 1, must be done, there is no need to include this information in the AD. Comments Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. We have duly considered the comments received. Support for the Proposed AD One commenter supports the proposed AD. Request To Withdraw the Proposed AD One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, requests that we withdraw the proposed AD. The commenter notes that it has performed a comprehensive hazard assessment of the subject connectors and has concluded that a connector failure would not adversely affect the airplane’s capacity for continued safe flight and landing. The commenter states that the hazard assessment included a review of the materials adjacent to the subject connectors. This review shows that these materials do not propagate a flame and would not significantly affect the magnitude or duration of a potential connector failure. The commenter notes that the type of material adjacent to the connectors was also changed to an PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 37025 improved material at a certain line number during production. The commenter further explains that the reported connector failures were detected during troubleshooting of inoperative lighting or during airplane maintenance and, in all cases, short circuiting was limited by circuit breaker protection. Based on this information, the commenter concludes that the proposed AD is not justified. The commenter also expresses concern that the extensive rework associated with the proposed AD could be detrimental because the rework would increase the probability of latent system failures due to the large number of connectors in the airplane that must be reworked in an environment not conducive to such rework. After the comment period closed, we coordinated with the commenter on this issue. The commenter agrees that an unsafe condition exists, and that the proposed AD is an appropriate means of addressing it. Thus, we find that no change to the AD is necessary in this regard. Requests To Extend Compliance Time Several commenters request that we extend the proposed compliance time beyond the proposed 18 months. The commenters’ proposals for the extended compliance time range from 24 months to 6 years. The commenters justify their requests based on the scope of the necessary work, especially related to the amount of work associated with gaining access to the connectors (e.g., removing stowage bins and ceiling panels, which are not normally removed during minor maintenance visits). The commenters state that extending the compliance time would allow them to accomplish the proposed requirements during a scheduled heavy maintenance visit. Two commenters question the urgency of the unsafe condition (a factor that we considered in determining the compliance time, as explained in the proposed AD). These commenters have not experienced any connector failures in their fleets and thus conclude that an extension of the compliance time would not adversely affect safety. Another commenter suggests that we require the replacement of Priority ‘‘A+’’ and ‘‘A’’ connectors (as defined in Revision 01 of the referenced service bulletin) within 18 months, and the replacement of Priority ‘‘B’’ and ‘‘C’’ connectors within 6 years. One commenter also expresses concern about parts availability, in that the number of airplanes affected by the proposed AD and the relatively short compliance time could overburden the ceiling light supplier with a large E:\FR\FM\28JNR1.SGM 28JNR1 37026 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 28, 2005 / Rules and Regulations number of lights sent to them for modification. We agree that the compliance time for the requirements of this AD may be extended somewhat. We have reconsidered the urgency of the unsafe condition and the amount of work related to the required actions. We find that extending the compliance time from 18 months to 60 months will not adversely affect safety, and, for the majority of affected operators, will allow the required actions to be performed during regularly scheduled maintenance at a base where special equipment and trained maintenance personnel will be available if necessary. A 60-month compliance time will reduce the burden on affected operators, while at the same time addressing one of the manufacturer’s concerns, stated previously, that the rework associated with the connector replacement could increase the probability of latent system failures. We have revised paragraph (b) of this AD accordingly. Request To Limit Required Replacement of Connectors One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, requests that we limit the requirement to replace connectors to connectors that are prioritized ‘‘A+’’ and ‘‘A’’ (as defined in Revision 1 of the referenced service bulletin). The commenter notes that Revision 1 of the referenced service bulletin designates connectors with ‘‘A+’’ priority as those that have failed in service, and connectors with ‘‘A’’ priority as those that are in the same physical area and exposed to the same conditions as the failed connectors. (Connectors with ‘‘B’’ priority are those that are in the same physical areas as connectors with ‘‘A’’ priority, but that are not expected to be subject to the same environmental conditions (e.g., possible exposure to moisture) as connectors with ‘‘A’’ priority. Connectors with priority ‘‘C’’ are all other connectors in which 115volt power is present.) We acknowledge the manufacturer’s position with regard to known service problems. We also acknowledge our common interest in replacing all of the connectors. We have determined that all connectors, regardless of their location, have the potential to fail if they are contaminated by moisture. Also, these connectors are interchangeable, so it is possible that connectors with priority ‘‘C’’ could be removed and reinstalled in a location where they would merit priority ‘‘A+’’ or ‘‘A’’ replacement. For these reasons, we find that all connectors are subject to the same unsafe condition that is addressed by this AD. We find that requiring VerDate jul<14>2003 15:51 Jun 27, 2005 Jkt 205001 replacement of all connectors with improved connectors that are more resistant to moisture contamination will eliminate the unsafe condition and ensure the continued operating safety of the affected airplane fleet. As stated previously, we have agreed to extend the compliance time for the replacement of all connectors to 60 months, which the manufacturer has agreed will not impose an unnecessary burden on operators. No further change is necessary in this regard. Requests To Increase Estimate of Cost Impact Several commenters request that we revise the Cost Impact section of the proposed AD to increase the estimated number of work hours, as well as the estimated number of affected Model 777–200 series airplanes. Several commenters note that the referenced service bulletin estimates that 242 work hours per airplane will be needed to modify each Model 777–200 series airplane. One of these commenters explains that the time required for gaining access and closing up should be included as a specific cost of the proposed AD because the overhead bins and ceiling panels would not normally be removed at a maintenance visit corresponding to the proposed compliance time of 18 months. Another commenter notes that the estimate in the service bulletin of 242 work hours is low. Based on its past experience, the commenter estimates that 300 work hours per airplane will be necessary. We do not concur with the request to increase the estimated number of work hours. Section 1. G., ‘‘Manpower,’’ of the service bulletin states that 242 work hours per airplane will be needed to accomplish the actions that apply to Model 777–200 series airplanes. This total figure of 242 work hours includes 79 work hours for opening access and 91 work hours for closing access. We do not typically include the time for gaining access and closing up in the Cost Impact estimates in ADs. Thus, in this AD we estimate that 72 work hours will be needed to accomplish the required actions on each Model 777–200 series airplane. Regarding the commenter’s statement that the time for gaining access and closing up should be included because the overhead bins and ceiling panels would not normally be removed at a maintenance visit corresponding to the originally proposed compliance time of 18 months: As explained previously, we have revised the compliance time for this AD from 18 months to 60 months. This extension should allow the PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 majority of affected operators to accomplish the required actions at a scheduled heavy maintenance visit (when stowage bins and ceiling panels are removed). No additional change is necessary in this regard. Several commenters also note that the estimate that the proposed AD would affect 22 Model 777–200 series airplanes of U.S. registry is incorrect, and that there are actually 107 of these airplanes that would be affected by the proposed AD. We partially concur. We find that 74 Model 777–200 series airplanes will be affected by this AD. We also find that there are no affected Model 777–300 series airplanes currently on the U.S. Register. (The proposed AD identifies 86 affected Model 777–300 series airplanes.) We have revised the Cost Impact section of this AD accordingly. Other commenters request that we add cost estimates for additional actions. One commenter requests that we revise the cost estimate to include the work hours for modifying each light connector. We do not concur. We find that the light connectors may be modified by the operator or by a vendor. Thus, the time for modifying the light connectors may not be borne by the operator. No change is necessary in this regard. One commenter states that, to support the modification program, it will need to purchase an entire ship’s set of lights to create a rotating pool of light assemblies. This commenter requests that we increase the cost estimate to reflect this cost of $63,200. We do not concur. The need to create a rotating pool of light assemblies is a planning decision made by the individual operator. Not all operators will choose such a course of action; thus, the cost of additional light assemblies should not be attributable to this AD. No change is necessary in this regard. Another commenter requests that we revise the Cost Impact section of the proposed AD to include the cost of an oxygen leak detection test that it must accomplish following removal/ installation of stowage bins on airplanes equipped with gaseous oxygen systems. We do not concur. Not all airplanes subject to this AD are equipped with a gaseous oxygen system in the passenger cabin. Thus, not all airplanes will be subject to the cost of a test of such a system. Further, the estimated work hours needed for testing, as specified in Section 1.G., Manpower, of the service bulletin, are already included in the Cost Impact estimate specified in this AD. No change is necessary in this regard. E:\FR\FM\28JNR1.SGM 28JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 28, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Explanation of Additional Change to This AD We have revised the Note included in the proposed AD to correct the reference to Diehl Service Information Letter 3352–33–01/01, dated June 20, 2001, and to designate the note as ‘‘Note 1.’’ Conclusion After careful review of the available data, including the comments noted above, we have determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule with the changes previously described. We have determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD. Cost Impact There are approximately 264 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. We estimate that 74 Model 777–200 series airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD. For Model 777–200 series airplanes, it will take approximately 72 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required actions, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $4,631 per airplane. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators of Model 777–200 series airplanes to be $689,014, or $9,311 per airplane. There are currently no affected Model 777–300 series airplanes on the U.S. Register. However, if an affected Model 777–300 series airplane is placed on the U.S. Register in the future, it will take approximately 82 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required actions, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts will cost approximately $5,488 per airplane. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost impact of this AD to be $10,818 per affected Model 777–300 series airplane. The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this AD were not adopted. The cost impact figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform the specific actions actually required by the AD. These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other administrative actions. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue VerDate jul<14>2003 15:51 Jun 27, 2005 Jkt 205001 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 Impact The regulations adopted herein 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. Therefore, it is determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (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); 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. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows: I PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: I PO 00000 Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 § 39.13 37027 [Amended] 2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive: I 2005–13–34 Boeing: Amendment 39–14171. Docket 2001–NM–296–AD. Applicability: Model 777–200 and –300 series airplanes, certificated in any category, line numbers 001 through 264 inclusive. Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously. To prevent overheating of ceiling and sidewall light connectors, which could result in smoke and a possible fire in the passenger cabin, accomplish the following: Service Bulletin References (a) The following information pertains to the service bulletin referenced in this AD: (1) The term ‘‘service bulletin,’’ as used in this AD, means the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–33–0019, Revision 1, dated March 11, 2004. (2) Although the service bulletin referenced in this AD specifies to submit information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include such a requirement. (3) Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD per Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–33–0019, dated July 19, 2001, are acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions required by this AD. Replacement of Light Connectors (b) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace, with improved parts, the existing ceiling and sidewall light connectors and wire bundle connectors in the areas specified in the service bulletin; by accomplishing all actions in Work Packages 1, 2, and 3, of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. Note 1: Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–33–0019 refers to Diehl Service Information Letter 3352–33–01/01, dated June 20, 2001, as an additional source of service information for accomplishment of the connector replacements. Alternative Methods of Compliance (c) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD. Incorporation by Reference (d) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–33–0019, Revision 1, dated March 11, 2004. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. To get copies of this service information, go to Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207. To inspect copies of this service information, go to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, E:\FR\FM\28JNR1.SGM 28JNR1 37028 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 123 / Tuesday, June 28, 2005 / Rules and Regulations call (202) 741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal_register/ code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Effective Date (e) This amendment becomes effective on August 2, 2005. Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 21, 2005. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–12635 Filed 6–27–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P This AD requires both visual and dye penetrant inspections of the elevator torque tube assembly for cracks. If a crack is found, this AD requires replacement with a modified assembly that incorporates a steel doubler. This AD also requires replacement of the modified elevator torque tube assembly every 300 hours time-in-service or 18 months (whichever occurs first). Need for the Correction This correction is needed to ensure that the affected airplane model is correct and to eliminate misunderstanding in the field. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Correction of Publication Federal Aviation Administration I 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2005–21357; Directorate Identifier 2005–CE–29–AD; Amendment 39– 14136; AD 2005–12–20] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Lancair Company Model LC41–550FG Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; correction AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document makes a correction to Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2005–12–20, which was published in the Federal Register on June 20, 2005 (70 FR 35370), and applies to certain The Lancair Company (Lancair) Model LC41–550FG airplanes. We incorrectly referenced the affected airplane model as LC41–550F in the applicability section. The correct airplane model is LC41–550FG. This action corrects the regulatory text. DATES: The effective date of this AD remains June 21, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jeffrey Morfitt, Program Manager, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4065; telephone: (425) 917–6405; facsimile: (425) 917– 6590. Accordingly, the publication of June 20, 2005 (70 FR 35370), of Amendment 39–14136; AD 2005–12–20, which was the subject of FR Doc. 05–11880, is corrected as follows: § 39.13 [Corrected] On page 35371, in section 39.13 [Amended], in paragraph (c), replace Model LC41–550F with Model LC41– 550FG. Action is taken herein to correct this reference in AD 2005–12–20 and to add this AD correction to section 39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.13). The effective date remains June 21, 2005. Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 20, 2005. Kim Smith, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 05–12676 Filed 6–27–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Federal Aviation Administration This amendment to 14 CFR part 71 establishes Class D airspace at Front Range Airport, Denver CO. An Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) is under construction at Front Range Airport, Denver, CO, which will meet criteria for Class D airspace. The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this regulation: (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); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket FAA 2005–20248; Airspace Docket 05–AWP–1] Establish Class D Airspace; Front Range Airport, Denver, CO On June 10, 2005, FAA issued AD 2005–12–20, Amendment 39–14136 (70 FR 35370, June 20, 2005), which applies to certain The Lancair Company (Lancair) Model LC41–550FG airplanes. We incorrectly referenced the affected airplane model as LC41–550F. The correct airplane model is LC41–550FG. This action corrects the regulatory text. SUMMARY: This rule will establish Class D airspace at Front Range Airport, Denver, CO. An Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) is being constructed at Front Range Airport, Denver, CO, which will meet criteria for Class D airspace. Class D airspace is required when the ATCT is open, and to contain and protect Standard Instrument Approach 15:51 Jun 27, 2005 Jkt 205001 On March 11, 2005, the FAA proposed to amend Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 71 (CFR part 71) to establish Class D airspace at Front Range Airport, Denver, CO, (70 FR 12161). An Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) is under construction at Front Range Airport, Denver CO, which will meet criteria for Class D airspace. The Class D airspace area will be effective during periods that the ATCT is open. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rule making proceeding by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received. Class D airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000 of FAA Order 7400.9M dated August 30, 2004, and effective September 16, 2004, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class D airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in that Order. The Rule Discussion VerDate jul<14>2003 History DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Procedures (SIAPs) and other Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action would establish Class D airspace extending upward from the surface to 8,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL) within a 5.1 nautical mile radius of the airport. DATES: Effective Date: 0901 UTC, August 4, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Tonish, Federal Aviation Administration, Western Terminal Operations, 15000 Aviation Boulevard, Lawndale, CA 90261; telephone (310) 725–6539. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\28JNR1.SGM 28JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 123 (Tuesday, June 28, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37025-37028]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-12635]



[[Page 37025]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. 2001-NM-296-AD; Amendment 39-14171; AD 2005-13-34]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 777-200 and -300 Series 
Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD), 
applicable to certain Boeing Model 777-200 and -300 series airplanes, 
that requires replacing existing ceiling and sidewall light connectors 
in the passenger cabin with new connectors, and follow-on actions. This 
action is necessary to prevent overheating of the light connectors, 
which could result in smoke and a possible fire in the passenger cabin. 
This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES: Effective August 2, 2005.
    The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in 
the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as 
of August 2, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The service information referenced in this AD may be 
obtained from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, 
Washington 98124-2207. This information may be examined at the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules 
Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Binh V. Tran, Aerospace Engineer, 
Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft 
Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-
4056; telephone (425) 917-6485; fax (425) 917-6590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal 
Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an airworthiness 
directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Boeing Model 777-200 and -
300 series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on August 
15, 2003 (68 FR 48833). That action proposed to require replacing 
existing ceiling and sidewall light connectors in the passenger cabin 
with new connectors, and follow-on actions.

Explanation of New Relevant Service Information

    Since the issuance of the proposed AD, the FAA has reviewed and 
approved Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-33-0019, 
Revision 1, dated March 11, 2004. (The proposed AD refers to Boeing 
Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-33-0019, dated July 19, 2001, as 
the appropriate source of service information for the proposed 
actions.) Revision 1 limits the effectivity listing to airplanes having 
line numbers 1 through 264 inclusive. (Connectors on airplanes with 
line numbers 265 and subsequent were modified and screened prior to 
delivery of those airplanes to ensure the connectors' resistance to 
moisture contamination.) We have revised the applicability statement of 
this AD accordingly.
    The work instructions in Revision 1 of the service bulletin are 
essentially the same as those in the original issue. Accordingly, we 
have revised paragraph (a) of this AD to refer to Revision 1 of the 
service bulletin and to give credit for actions accomplished previously 
per the original issue of the service bulletin. We have also revised 
paragraph (b) of this AD to remove the reference to the applicable 
steps in Work Packages 1, 2, and 3 of the service bulletin. Since all 
steps in Work Packages 1, 2, and 3 of Boeing Special Attention Service 
Bulletin 777-33-0019, Revision 1, must be done, there is no need to 
include this information in the AD.

Comments

    Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate 
in the making of this amendment. We have duly considered the comments 
received.

Support for the Proposed AD

    One commenter supports the proposed AD.

Request To Withdraw the Proposed AD

    One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, requests that we withdraw 
the proposed AD. The commenter notes that it has performed a 
comprehensive hazard assessment of the subject connectors and has 
concluded that a connector failure would not adversely affect the 
airplane's capacity for continued safe flight and landing. The 
commenter states that the hazard assessment included a review of the 
materials adjacent to the subject connectors. This review shows that 
these materials do not propagate a flame and would not significantly 
affect the magnitude or duration of a potential connector failure. The 
commenter notes that the type of material adjacent to the connectors 
was also changed to an improved material at a certain line number 
during production. The commenter further explains that the reported 
connector failures were detected during troubleshooting of inoperative 
lighting or during airplane maintenance and, in all cases, short 
circuiting was limited by circuit breaker protection. Based on this 
information, the commenter concludes that the proposed AD is not 
justified. The commenter also expresses concern that the extensive 
rework associated with the proposed AD could be detrimental because the 
rework would increase the probability of latent system failures due to 
the large number of connectors in the airplane that must be reworked in 
an environment not conducive to such rework.
    After the comment period closed, we coordinated with the commenter 
on this issue. The commenter agrees that an unsafe condition exists, 
and that the proposed AD is an appropriate means of addressing it. 
Thus, we find that no change to the AD is necessary in this regard.

Requests To Extend Compliance Time

    Several commenters request that we extend the proposed compliance 
time beyond the proposed 18 months. The commenters' proposals for the 
extended compliance time range from 24 months to 6 years. The 
commenters justify their requests based on the scope of the necessary 
work, especially related to the amount of work associated with gaining 
access to the connectors (e.g., removing stowage bins and ceiling 
panels, which are not normally removed during minor maintenance 
visits). The commenters state that extending the compliance time would 
allow them to accomplish the proposed requirements during a scheduled 
heavy maintenance visit. Two commenters question the urgency of the 
unsafe condition (a factor that we considered in determining the 
compliance time, as explained in the proposed AD). These commenters 
have not experienced any connector failures in their fleets and thus 
conclude that an extension of the compliance time would not adversely 
affect safety. Another commenter suggests that we require the 
replacement of Priority ``A+'' and ``A'' connectors (as defined in 
Revision 01 of the referenced service bulletin) within 18 months, and 
the replacement of Priority ``B'' and ``C'' connectors within 6 years. 
One commenter also expresses concern about parts availability, in that 
the number of airplanes affected by the proposed AD and the relatively 
short compliance time could overburden the ceiling light supplier with 
a large

[[Page 37026]]

number of lights sent to them for modification.
    We agree that the compliance time for the requirements of this AD 
may be extended somewhat. We have reconsidered the urgency of the 
unsafe condition and the amount of work related to the required 
actions. We find that extending the compliance time from 18 months to 
60 months will not adversely affect safety, and, for the majority of 
affected operators, will allow the required actions to be performed 
during regularly scheduled maintenance at a base where special 
equipment and trained maintenance personnel will be available if 
necessary. A 60-month compliance time will reduce the burden on 
affected operators, while at the same time addressing one of the 
manufacturer's concerns, stated previously, that the rework associated 
with the connector replacement could increase the probability of latent 
system failures. We have revised paragraph (b) of this AD accordingly.

Request To Limit Required Replacement of Connectors

    One commenter, the airplane manufacturer, requests that we limit 
the requirement to replace connectors to connectors that are 
prioritized ``A+'' and ``A'' (as defined in Revision 1 of the 
referenced service bulletin). The commenter notes that Revision 1 of 
the referenced service bulletin designates connectors with ``A+'' 
priority as those that have failed in service, and connectors with 
``A'' priority as those that are in the same physical area and exposed 
to the same conditions as the failed connectors. (Connectors with ``B'' 
priority are those that are in the same physical areas as connectors 
with ``A'' priority, but that are not expected to be subject to the 
same environmental conditions (e.g., possible exposure to moisture) as 
connectors with ``A'' priority. Connectors with priority ``C'' are all 
other connectors in which 115-volt power is present.)
    We acknowledge the manufacturer's position with regard to known 
service problems. We also acknowledge our common interest in replacing 
all of the connectors. We have determined that all connectors, 
regardless of their location, have the potential to fail if they are 
contaminated by moisture. Also, these connectors are interchangeable, 
so it is possible that connectors with priority ``C'' could be removed 
and reinstalled in a location where they would merit priority ``A+'' or 
``A'' replacement. For these reasons, we find that all connectors are 
subject to the same unsafe condition that is addressed by this AD. We 
find that requiring replacement of all connectors with improved 
connectors that are more resistant to moisture contamination will 
eliminate the unsafe condition and ensure the continued operating 
safety of the affected airplane fleet. As stated previously, we have 
agreed to extend the compliance time for the replacement of all 
connectors to 60 months, which the manufacturer has agreed will not 
impose an unnecessary burden on operators. No further change is 
necessary in this regard.

Requests To Increase Estimate of Cost Impact

    Several commenters request that we revise the Cost Impact section 
of the proposed AD to increase the estimated number of work hours, as 
well as the estimated number of affected Model 777-200 series 
airplanes.
    Several commenters note that the referenced service bulletin 
estimates that 242 work hours per airplane will be needed to modify 
each Model 777-200 series airplane. One of these commenters explains 
that the time required for gaining access and closing up should be 
included as a specific cost of the proposed AD because the overhead 
bins and ceiling panels would not normally be removed at a maintenance 
visit corresponding to the proposed compliance time of 18 months. 
Another commenter notes that the estimate in the service bulletin of 
242 work hours is low. Based on its past experience, the commenter 
estimates that 300 work hours per airplane will be necessary.
    We do not concur with the request to increase the estimated number 
of work hours. Section 1. G., ``Manpower,'' of the service bulletin 
states that 242 work hours per airplane will be needed to accomplish 
the actions that apply to Model 777-200 series airplanes. This total 
figure of 242 work hours includes 79 work hours for opening access and 
91 work hours for closing access. We do not typically include the time 
for gaining access and closing up in the Cost Impact estimates in ADs. 
Thus, in this AD we estimate that 72 work hours will be needed to 
accomplish the required actions on each Model 777-200 series airplane.
    Regarding the commenter's statement that the time for gaining 
access and closing up should be included because the overhead bins and 
ceiling panels would not normally be removed at a maintenance visit 
corresponding to the originally proposed compliance time of 18 months: 
As explained previously, we have revised the compliance time for this 
AD from 18 months to 60 months. This extension should allow the 
majority of affected operators to accomplish the required actions at a 
scheduled heavy maintenance visit (when stowage bins and ceiling panels 
are removed). No additional change is necessary in this regard.
    Several commenters also note that the estimate that the proposed AD 
would affect 22 Model 777-200 series airplanes of U.S. registry is 
incorrect, and that there are actually 107 of these airplanes that 
would be affected by the proposed AD. We partially concur. We find that 
74 Model 777-200 series airplanes will be affected by this AD. We also 
find that there are no affected Model 777-300 series airplanes 
currently on the U.S. Register. (The proposed AD identifies 86 affected 
Model 777-300 series airplanes.) We have revised the Cost Impact 
section of this AD accordingly.
    Other commenters request that we add cost estimates for additional 
actions. One commenter requests that we revise the cost estimate to 
include the work hours for modifying each light connector. We do not 
concur. We find that the light connectors may be modified by the 
operator or by a vendor. Thus, the time for modifying the light 
connectors may not be borne by the operator. No change is necessary in 
this regard.
    One commenter states that, to support the modification program, it 
will need to purchase an entire ship's set of lights to create a 
rotating pool of light assemblies. This commenter requests that we 
increase the cost estimate to reflect this cost of $63,200. We do not 
concur. The need to create a rotating pool of light assemblies is a 
planning decision made by the individual operator. Not all operators 
will choose such a course of action; thus, the cost of additional light 
assemblies should not be attributable to this AD. No change is 
necessary in this regard.
    Another commenter requests that we revise the Cost Impact section 
of the proposed AD to include the cost of an oxygen leak detection test 
that it must accomplish following removal/installation of stowage bins 
on airplanes equipped with gaseous oxygen systems. We do not concur. 
Not all airplanes subject to this AD are equipped with a gaseous oxygen 
system in the passenger cabin. Thus, not all airplanes will be subject 
to the cost of a test of such a system. Further, the estimated work 
hours needed for testing, as specified in Section 1.G., Manpower, of 
the service bulletin, are already included in the Cost Impact estimate 
specified in this AD. No change is necessary in this regard.

[[Page 37027]]

Explanation of Additional Change to This AD

    We have revised the Note included in the proposed AD to correct the 
reference to Diehl Service Information Letter 3352-33-01/01, dated June 
20, 2001, and to designate the note as ``Note 1.''

Conclusion

    After careful review of the available data, including the comments 
noted above, we have determined that air safety and the public interest 
require the adoption of the rule with the changes previously described. 
We have determined that these changes will neither increase the 
economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Cost Impact

    There are approximately 264 airplanes of the affected design in the 
worldwide fleet. We estimate that 74 Model 777-200 series airplanes of 
U.S. registry will be affected by this AD.
    For Model 777-200 series airplanes, it will take approximately 72 
work hours per airplane to accomplish the required actions, at an 
average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts will cost 
approximately $4,631 per airplane. Based on these figures, we estimate 
the cost impact of this AD on U.S. operators of Model 777-200 series 
airplanes to be $689,014, or $9,311 per airplane.
    There are currently no affected Model 777-300 series airplanes on 
the U.S. Register. However, if an affected Model 777-300 series 
airplane is placed on the U.S. Register in the future, it will take 
approximately 82 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required 
actions, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts 
will cost approximately $5,488 per airplane. Based on these figures, we 
estimate the cost impact of this AD to be $10,818 per affected Model 
777-300 series airplane.
    The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions 
that no operator has yet accomplished any of the requirements of this 
AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the 
future if this AD were not adopted. The cost impact figures discussed 
in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform 
the specific actions actually required by the AD. These figures 
typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to 
gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other 
administrative actions.

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 Impact

    The regulations adopted herein 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. Therefore, it 
is determined that this final rule does not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (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); 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. A final evaluation has been prepared for this action 
and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained 
from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption 
ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

0
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of 
the Federal Aviation Regulations (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. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive:

2005-13-34 Boeing: Amendment 39-14171. Docket 2001-NM-296-AD.

    Applicability: Model 777-200 and -300 series airplanes, 
certificated in any category, line numbers 001 through 264 
inclusive.
    Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished 
previously.
    To prevent overheating of ceiling and sidewall light connectors, 
which could result in smoke and a possible fire in the passenger 
cabin, accomplish the following:

Service Bulletin References

    (a) The following information pertains to the service bulletin 
referenced in this AD:
    (1) The term ``service bulletin,'' as used in this AD, means the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service 
Bulletin 777-33-0019, Revision 1, dated March 11, 2004.
    (2) Although the service bulletin referenced in this AD 
specifies to submit information to the manufacturer, this AD does 
not include such a requirement.
    (3) Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD 
per Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-33-0019, dated 
July 19, 2001, are acceptable for compliance with the corresponding 
actions required by this AD.

Replacement of Light Connectors

    (b) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD: 
Replace, with improved parts, the existing ceiling and sidewall 
light connectors and wire bundle connectors in the areas specified 
in the service bulletin; by accomplishing all actions in Work 
Packages 1, 2, and 3, of the Accomplishment Instructions of the 
service bulletin.


    Note 1: Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-33-0019 
refers to Diehl Service Information Letter 3352-33-01/01, dated June 
20, 2001, as an additional source of service information for 
accomplishment of the connector replacements.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

    (c) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, Seattle 
Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, is authorized to approve 
alternative methods of compliance for this AD.

Incorporation by Reference

    (d) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions shall be 
done in accordance with Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 
777-33-0019, Revision 1, dated March 11, 2004. This incorporation by 
reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in 
accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. To get copies of 
this service information, go to Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. 
Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. To inspect copies of this 
service information, go to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or to the National 
Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the 
availability of this material at the NARA,

[[Page 37028]]

call (202) 741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_
register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html.

Effective Date

    (e) This amendment becomes effective on August 2, 2005.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 21, 2005.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 05-12635 Filed 6-27-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P