Airworthiness Directives; Various Transport Category Airplanes Equipped With Auxiliary Fuel Tanks Installed in Accordance With Certain Supplemental Type Certificates, 62872-62876 [E8-25055]

Download as PDF 62872 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 22, 2008 / Rules and Regulations SUMMARY: This action updates the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) policy on noise limits for future civil supersonic aircraft to reflect current U.S. noise regulations. This action is intended to provide guidance on noise limits to manufacturers that are considering designs for supersonic aircraft. While technological advances in supersonic aircraft technology continue, many factors still will need to be addressed. At present, the FAA’s guidance for supersonic aircraft is the same as for subsonic, that the same noise certification limits apply for supersonic aircraft when flown in subsonic flight configurations. identified unsafe conditions for which the manufacturer has not provided corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. Ms. Laurette Fisher, Office of Environment and Energy (AEE–100), Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267–3561; facsimile (202) 267–5594; e-mail Laurette.fisher@faa.gov. Policy Statement DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ebenthall on PROD1PC60 with RULES Background The FAA last issued a noise policy statement for civil supersonic aircraft in 1994 (59 FR 39679, August 4, 1994). At that time, the noise standard in effect for new type certificate applications was Stage 3. On July 5, 2005, the FAA adopted a new noise standard for subsonic jet airplanes and subsonic transport category large airplanes. That standard, Stage 4, applies to any person filing an application for a new airplane type design on and after January 1, 2006. Since March 1973, supersonic flight over land by civil aircraft has been prohibited by regulation in the United States. The Concorde was the only civil supersonic airplane that offered service to the United States, and it is no longer in service. Interest in supersonic aircraft technology has not disappeared. Current research is dedicated toward reducing the impact of sonic booms before they reach the ground, in an effort to make overland flight acceptable. Recent research has produced promising results for low boom intensity, and has renewed interest in developing supersonic civil aircraft that could be considered environmentally acceptable for supersonic flight over land. Supersonic aircraft technologists, designers, and prospective manufacturers have approached the FAA and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for guidance on the feasibility of changing the current operational limitations. The U.S. regulation prohibits civil supersonic aircraft flight over land. Before the FAA can address a change in operational restrictions, it needs thorough research to serve as a basis for any regulatory decisions. Public involvement will be essential in defining an acceptable sonic boom requirement, and public participation would be part of any potential rulemaking process. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:16 Oct 21, 2008 Jkt 217001 The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is committed to aviation’s longstanding efforts to achieve increasingly effective noise abatement at its source. We anticipate that any future Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the FAA affecting the noise operating rules would propose that any future supersonic airplane produce no greater noise impact on a community than a subsonic airplane. Subsonic noise limits are prescribed in 14 CFR part 36. The latest noise limit in Part 36 is Stage 4, which applies to the development of future supersonic airplanes operating at subsonic speeds. Noise standards for supersonic operation will be developed as the unique operational flight characteristics of supersonic designs become known and the noise impacts of supersonic flight are shown to be acceptable. Issued in Washington, DC, on October 16, 2008. Carl Burleson, Director of Environment and Energy. [FR Doc. E8–25052 Filed 10–21–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2008–0298; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–316–AD; Amendment 39–15696; AD 2008–22–01] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Various Transport Category Airplanes Equipped With Auxiliary Fuel Tanks Installed in Accordance With Certain Supplemental Type Certificates SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for various transport category airplanes. This AD requires deactivation of PATS Aircraft, LLC, auxiliary fuel tanks. This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer, which Fmt 4700 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 (telephone 800–647–5527) is the 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: Mazdak Hobbi, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Branch, ANE– 171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone (516) 228–7330; fax (516) 794–5531. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Sfmt 4700 We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to various transport category airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on March 14, 2008 (73 FR 13803). That NPRM proposed to require deactivation of PATS Aircraft, LLC, auxiliary fuel tanks. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comments received from the 22 commenters. Withdraw NPRM Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: Frm 00022 Examining the AD Docket Discussion DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PO 00000 This AD is effective November 26, 2008. Air National Australia, Chartwell Aviation Services, Continent Aircraft Trust #720, and Boeing Executive Flight Operations (EFO) question the need for the rule. Air National Australia states that the installation of the PATS Aircraft, LLC (PATS), auxiliary fuel system (AFS) in its aircraft was completed in February 2007 and was verified to be in compliance with E:\FR\FM\22OCR1.SGM 22OCR1 ebenthall on PROD1PC60 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 22, 2008 / Rules and Regulations Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (SFAR 88). Air National Australia states that clearly the certification given to the supplemental type certificate (STC) in late January 2007 by the FAA would indicate that, at the time, the installation was compliant with the requirements of SFAR 88. Further, the guidance material in FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 25.981–1B, dated April 18, 2001, has not changed significantly since 2001. Therefore, Air National Australia concludes that the level of safety has not altered since the installation was seen to be compliant. Chartwell states that the service history of the PATS AFS does not support the drastic action proposed in the NPRM. Continent Aircraft Trust #720 states that there have been no Boeing Business Jet (BBJ)-related AFS anomalies that would justify deactivation of the tanks in such a short time. Boeing EFO has been informed by PATS that the technical changes to the existing fuel system are safety enhancements and not an imminent safety concern. The fact that there have been no reports of in-service findings on the Boeing airplanes to support immediate safety concerns leads Boeing EFO to this conclusion. However, Boeing EFO is not opposed to installing the safety enhancements to improve system reliability and to conform the design to an improved engineering standard. We infer that the commenters want us to withdraw the NPRM. We disagree. This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer, which identified unsafe conditions that need corrective actions to prevent fuel tank explosions. Although to date there has not been an explosion in PATS fuel tanks, the types of ignition sources identified by the manufacturer have resulted in catastrophic explosions in other fuel tanks. Preventing such an explosion was the objective of SFAR 88 and is not just a ‘‘safety enhancement.’’ However, we agree with Air National Australia that the installation for its fleet (STC ST 00936NY–D, Configuration 3) is compliant with SFAR 88. We have also revised Table 1 of this AD to specify that STC ST 00936NY–D, Configuration 3 is not affected by this AD. If an operator shows that corrective actions have been accomplished and its system complies with SFAR 88, deactivation of the auxiliary fuel tanks is not required. We find it necessary to issue the AD to address the identified unsafe condition. Extend Compliance Date The following commenters all request that we extend the compliance time for VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:16 Oct 21, 2008 Jkt 217001 deactivating the auxiliary fuel tanks: Peter J. Chapman, Amiri Flight, PATS, Prime Aviation, Limited Brands, Tracinda Corporation, Chartwell, Newsflight, Dobro Ltd., Saudi Oger Ltd., Sunrider Corporation, PrivatAir SA, Continent Aircraft Trust #720, NetJets Large Aircraft Company (LAC), Boeing, and Air National Australia. The commenters state that the compliance date in the NPRM of December 16, 2008, is disproportional to the risk. The commenters also point out, among other items that make the compliance date unworkable, that there is insufficient capacity within available overhaul facilities and an insufficient number of kits to accomplish the actions before the specified date. We agree with the commenters’ requests to extend the compliance date for deactivating the auxiliary fuel tanks and have revised paragraph (g) of the AD to extend the compliance date to December 16, 2009. This date will give operators adequate time to plan and schedule the modification in order to comply with this AD. Our intent was to coordinate the compliance time of the NPRM with the December 16, 2008, operations rule compliance date (see ‘‘Transport Airplane Fuel Tank System Design Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and Inspection Requirements’’ (66 FR 23086, May 7, 2001)). However, as the commenters noted, the lack of availability of kits and maintenance facilities makes that date impractical. We have decided to extend the compliance date by an additional 12 months to December 16, 2009. This change does not affect any other maintenance/inspection programs addressed by the fuel tank safety rule, and the compliance date for those items remains December 16, 2008. The December 16, 2009 date for this AD was chosen to balance the safety risk with the capability of operators to comply in a reasonable timeframe. Auxiliary Fuel Tanks Are Necessary for Operation Air National Australia, All Nippon Airways, the U.S. Air Force, Sunrider, Chartwell, Continent Aircraft Trust #720, NetJets LAC, and Boeing EFO emphasize that the PATS AFS is necessary to their operation. The commenters state that deactivation of the AFS will result in decreased utility, diminished market value, and increased fuel consumption due to less efficient routing. The need to make more fuel stops to fly the same mission profile could increase risk. In sum, deactivation would have a dramatic effect on the range of the aircraft and defeat the PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 62873 purpose of operating this type of aircraft in the fleet. As we stated in the NPRM, for operators who want to retain the longrange capability provided by these fuel tanks, we will consider approving alternative methods of compliance consisting of design changes and maintenance instructions found to comply with SFAR 88. We understand PATS might be developing such service information for at least some of the affected STCs, but it has not yet been submitted for our review and approval. We have not changed the AD in this regard. Revise the Applicability To Remove Certain STCs PATS, Limited Brands, Boeing, All Nippon Airways, and Amiri request that certain STCs be removed from the applicability listed in Table 1 of the NPRM. The commenters all suggest certain corrections to the list. Limited Brands states that, as written, the NPRM includes FAA-approved PATS SFAR 88compliant STCs. Boeing points out that the STC holder has determined that the specific STCs listed in its submission were developed and approved to section 25.981, amendment 25–102, of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.981, amendment 102). All Nippon Airways understands that STC ST01716NY–D is in compliance with SFAR 88 and is mistakenly listed in the NPRM. This STC is the updated version of STC ST00936NY–D, and complies with SFAR 88 and 14 CFR 25.981, amendment 102. We agree with the commenters’ request that certain STCs need to be removed from the applicability. We have determined that the following STCs listed in Table 1 of the NPRM are currently in compliance with SFAR 88 requirements: • ST01716NY–D • ST01650NY • ST01713NY–D • ST01552NY • ST00365NY–D, Configuration 5 • SA725NE–D, Configuration 7 We have revised Table 1 of the AD to remove these STCs. Operators should note that prior configurations of ST00365NY–D and SA725NE–D are still included in the applicability unless the operator has installed ST00365NY–D, Configuration 5, or SA725NE–D, Configuration 7, as applicable. Revise the Applicability Based on PATS Service Bulletin Implementation PATS Aircraft, Limited Brands, Boeing, All Nippon Airways, Boeing EFO, Amiri, and Chartwell request that we remove certain STCs from the E:\FR\FM\22OCR1.SGM 22OCR1 62874 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 22, 2008 / Rules and Regulations applicability listed in Table 1 of the NPRM. The commenters point out that the implementation of new PATS service bulletins would bring certain STCs into compliance with SFAR 88. We disagree with the request to remove certain STCs based on accomplishment of certain PATS service bulletins. Although service bulletins developed by PATS might modify an airplane for SFAR 88 compliance, the New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has not yet received the final version of the relevant service bulletins for approval. However, under the provisions of paragraph (h) of the AD, we will consider requests for approval of an alternative method of compliance based on these service bulletins if sufficient data are submitted to substantiate that the design change would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Change the Description of the Auxiliary Fuel Tanks PATS, Chartwell, and Air National Australia point out the description of the PATS auxiliary fuel tank is incorrect in the section of the NPRM titled ‘‘Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for PATS Aircraft, LLC, Auxiliary Fuel Tanks.’’ The commenters point out that PATS has never designed or certified a box and bladder tank. We infer that the commenters would like us to revise the description. We agree that the description in the NPRM requires clarification. Since that section of the preamble of the NPRM does not reappear in the final rule, no change to the final rule is necessary. However, we offer the following revision to the paragraph, suggested by PATS’ comment, as clarification: ebenthall on PROD1PC60 with RULES PATS’ typical auxiliary fuel system (AFS) consists of several interconnected auxiliary fuel cells located in the aircraft’s cargo holds. The cells are constructed of aluminum alloy with double walls and mounted on longitudinal rails attached to the aircraft’s frame. The inner walls serve as the fuel storage cell, and the outer walls serve as the fuel and fume-proof shroud around the cell. The two walls are separated by an openweave honeycomb structure bonded to the walls. The cells resemble aircraft cargo containers. The individual cells are usually arranged in two groups within the forward and aft lower cargo holds. These forward and VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:16 Oct 21, 2008 Jkt 217001 aft fuel cell groups operate independently as two separate tanks. Use PATS Service Bulletins for Deactivation Procedures PATS requests that we add certain service information to the AD. PATS states that operators who do not place an order for SFAR 88 service bulletins or who elect not to bring their AFS into compliance should deactivate their system using the procedures in the service bulletins that PATS is developing. We disagree. The service bulletins for deactivation have not been presented for review and approval by the Manager, New York ACO, FAA. Any operator who chooses to deactivate the tank must do the deactivation in accordance with paragraph (g) of this AD. That deactivation procedure could include, for example, performing procedures specified in the installation manual or returning the airplane to the configuration it was in prior to the PATS STC modification. If PATS submits service bulletins that meet the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, we would approve them as alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (h) of this AD. We have not changed the AD in this regard. Remove Reporting Requirement Limited Brands and Tracinda question the need for the report specified in paragraph (f) of the NPRM. Limited Brands states that it seems this information has already been complied with and/or should have been used in determining the effects of the NPRM and the condition of safety, and should have been used in the risk analysis evaluation. Tracinda questions the purpose of the report and states that the information should already be known for justification of the NPRM. We infer that the commenters are requesting that we remove the reporting requirement from this AD. We disagree. The submittal of reports by operators will assist the FAA in determining whether additional actions are needed to address the identified unsafe conditions and to determine whether the scope of corrective actions that might be proposed by PATS or others is PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 adequate. The required information can be obtained fairly easily and submitted without further cost to the operator. We have not changed the AD regarding this issue. Re-Evaluate Costs of Compliance Limited Brands requests that we revise the Costs of Compliance section of the NPRM. The commenter states that the cost estimates appear extremely low, and that the cost to each operator both in money and in loss of usage should be considered. The costs should also address other items like the cost to revise the manuals and support data, and access to areas of the airplane for deactivation. We disagree with the commenter’s request to include the additional items in the cost estimate. The cost information in an AD generally includes only the direct costs of the specific actions required by this AD. We recognize that, in doing the actions required by an AD, operators might incur incidental costs in addition to the direct costs. Those incidental costs, which might vary significantly among operators, are almost impossible to calculate. We have not changed the AD regarding this issue. Change AC Reference Boeing and Chartwell point out an incorrect title in Appendix A, paragraph (4), of the NPRM, for FAA AC 25–8. We have revised the AD to correct the title. 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 The following table provides the estimated costs for the 59 U.S.registered airplanes to comply with this AD. Based on these figures, the estimated costs for U.S. operators could be as high as $382,320 to prepare and report the deactivation procedures, and $212,400 to deactivate tanks. E:\FR\FM\22OCR1.SGM 22OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 22, 2008 / Rules and Regulations 62875 ESTIMATED COSTS Action Work hours Report .......................................................................................................... Preparation of tank deactivation procedure ................................................ Physical tank deactivation ........................................................................... Average labor rate per hour 1 80 30 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. 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), 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. You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of compliance in the AD Docket. 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 Adoption of the Amendment $80 80 80 Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: ■ None None $1,200 Individual cost $80, per STC. $6,400, per STC. $3,600, per airplane. PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD: ■ 2008–22–01 Various Transport Category Airplanes: Amendment 39–15696. Docket No. FAA–2008–0298; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–316–AD. Effective Date (a) This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective November 26, 2008. Affected ADs List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety. Parts (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to airplanes, certificated in any category and equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks installed in accordance with specified supplemental type certificates (STCs), as identified in Table 1 of this AD. TABLE 1—AFFECTED AIRPLANES Airplanes Boeing Boeing Boeing Boeing Model Model Model Model Auxiliary tank STC(s) 727 series airplanes .......................................................... 727–100 series airplanes .................................................. 727–200 series airplanes .................................................. 737–200 series airplanes .................................................. Boeing Model 737–200C series airplanes ............................................... Boeing Model 737–300 series airplanes .................................................. Boeing Model 737–400 series airplanes .................................................. ebenthall on PROD1PC60 with RULES Boeing Model 737–500 series airplanes .................................................. Boeing Model 737–700 series airplanes (increased gross weight) ......... Boeing Model 737–800 series airplanes .................................................. Boeing Model 757–200 series airplanes (without overwing doors) ......... Boeing Model 767–200 series airplanes .................................................. Bombardier Model CL–600–2B19 (Regional Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes. McDonnell Douglas Model DC–8–62 airplanes ....................................... McDonnell Douglas Model DC–9–33F airplanes ..................................... McDonnell Douglas Model DC–9–81 (MD–81) airplanes ........................ McDonnell Douglas Model DC–9–82 (MD–82) airplanes ........................ McDonnell Douglas Model DC–9–83 (MD–83) airplanes ........................ McDonnell Douglas Model DC–9–87 (MD–87) airplanes ........................ VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:16 Oct 21, 2008 Jkt 217001 PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 SA62NE, SA392NE, SA530NE. SA62NE, SA387NE, SA392NE, SA530NE, ST00466NY. SA84NE, SA387NE, SA450NE, SA496NE. SA83NE, SA725NE (unless installed with SA725NE–D, Configuration 7), SA1078NE, SA1265EA. SA725NE (unless installed with SA725NE–D, Configuration 7). SA500NE, SA542NE, SA553NE, SA714NE, SA725NE (unless installed with SA725NE–D, Configuration 7). SA553NE, SA725NE (unless installed with SA725NE–D, Configuration 7). SA725NE (unless installed with SA725NE–D, Configuration 7), ST00040NY, ST01337NY. ST00936NY–D (unless installed with Configuration 3), ST01650NY–D. ST01384NY, ST01384NY–D. SA979NE. ST00840NY. ST00365NY, ST00365NY–D (unless installed with Configuration 5). SA936NE. ST00605NY. ST00409NY. ST00409NY. ST00218AT, ST00409NY. ST00523NY. Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\22OCR1.SGM 22OCR1 62876 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 205 / Wednesday, October 22, 2008 / Rules and Regulations Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer, which identified potential unsafe conditions for which the manufacturer has not provided corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. (2) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. Compliance (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. Appendix A—Deactivation Criteria The auxiliary fuel tank deactivation procedure required by paragraph (g) of this AD should address the following actions. (1) Permanently drain auxiliary fuel tanks, and clear them of fuel vapors to eliminate the possibility of out-gassing of fuel vapors from the emptied auxiliary tank. (2) Disconnect all electrical connections from the fuel quantity indication system (FQIS), fuel pumps if applicable, float switches, and all other electrical connections required for auxiliary tank operation, and stow them at the auxiliary tank interface. (3) Disconnect all pneumatic connections if applicable, cap them at the pneumatic source, and secure them. (4) Disconnect all fuel feed and fuel vent plumbing interfaces with airplane original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tanks, cap them at the airplane tank side, and secure them in accordance with a method approved by the FAA; one approved method is specified in AC 25–8 Auxiliary Fuel System Installations. In order to eliminate the possibility of structural deformation during cabin decompression, leave open and secure the disconnected auxiliary fuel tank vent lines. (5) Pull and collar all circuit breakers used to operate the auxiliary tank. (6) Revise the weight and balance document, if required, and obtain FAA approval. (7) Amend the applicable sections of the applicable airplane flight manual (AFM) to indicate that the auxiliary fuel tank is deactivated. Remove auxiliary fuel tank operating procedures to ensure that only the OEM fuel system operational procedures are contained in the AFM. Amend the Limitations Section of the AFM to indicate that the AFM Supplement for the STC is not in effect. Place a placard in the flight deck indicating that the auxiliary tank is deactivated. The AFM revisions specified in this paragraph may be accomplished by inserting a copy of this AD into the AFM. (8) Amend the applicable sections of the applicable airplane maintenance manual to remove auxiliary tank maintenance procedures. (9) After the auxiliary fuel tank is deactivated, accomplish procedures such as leak checks and pressure checks deemed necessary before returning the airplane to service. These procedures must include verification that the airplane FQIS and fuel distribution systems have not been adversely affected. (10) Revise the instructions for continued airworthiness, as required, after deactivation. (11) Include with the operator’s proposed procedures any relevant information or Report (f) Within 45 days after the effective date of this AD, submit a report to the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA. The report must include the information listed in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD. Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements contained in this AD, and assigned OMB Control Number 2120– 0056. (1) The airplane registration and auxiliary tank STC number installed. (2) The usage frequency in terms of total number of flights per year and total number of flights per year for which the auxiliary tank is used. Prevent Usage of Auxiliary Fuel Tanks (g) Before December 16, 2009, deactivate the auxiliary fuel tanks, in accordance with a deactivation procedure approved by the Manager, New York ACO. Any auxiliary tank component that remains on the airplane must be secured and must have no effect on the continued operational safety and airworthiness of the airplane. Deactivation must not result in the need for additional instructions for continued airworthiness. Note 1: Appendix A of this AD provides criteria that should be included in the deactivation procedure. The proposed deactivation procedures should be submitted to the Manager, New York ACO, as soon as possible to ensure timely review and approval. ebenthall on PROD1PC60 with RULES Note 2: For technical information, contact Mazdak Hobbi, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Branch, ANE–171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone (516) 228–7330; fax (516) 794–5531. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (h)(1) The Manager, New York ACO, FAA, ATTN: Mazdak Hobbi, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Branch, ANE–171, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone (516) 228–7330; fax (516) 794– 5531; has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:16 Oct 21, 2008 Jkt 217001 Material Incorporated by Reference (i) None. PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 additional steps that are deemed necessary by the operator to comply with the deactivation and return the airplane to service. Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 9, 2008. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–25055 Filed 10–21–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2008–1084; Airspace Docket No. 08–ASO–17] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Dallas, GA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Direct final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This action establishes Class E Airspace at Dallas, GA. Airspace is needed to support new Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) that have been developed for Paulding County Airport. As a result, controlled airspace extending upward from 700 feet Above Ground Level (AGL) is needed to contain the SIAP and for Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) operations at Paulding County Airport. The operating status of the airport will change from Visual flight Rules (VFR) to include IFR operations concurrent with the publication of the SIAP. This action enhances the safety and airspace management of Paulding County Airport, Dallas, GA. DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, January 15, 2009. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments. Comments for inclusion in the Rules Docket must be received on or before December 8, 2008. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this rule to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001; Telephone: 1–800–647– 5527; Fax: 202–493–2251. You must identify the Docket Number FAA–2008– 1084; Airspace Docket No. 08–ASO–17, at the beginning of your comments. You E:\FR\FM\22OCR1.SGM 22OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 205 (Wednesday, October 22, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62872-62876]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-25055]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2008-0298; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-316-AD; 
Amendment 39-15696; AD 2008-22-01]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Various Transport Category Airplanes 
Equipped With Auxiliary Fuel Tanks Installed in Accordance With Certain 
Supplemental Type Certificates

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for various 
transport category airplanes. This AD requires deactivation of PATS 
Aircraft, LLC, auxiliary fuel tanks. This AD results from fuel system 
reviews conducted by the manufacturer, which identified unsafe 
conditions for which the manufacturer has not provided corrective 
actions. We are issuing this AD to prevent the potential of ignition 
sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel 
vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the 
airplane.

DATES: This AD is effective November 26, 2008.

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 (telephone 800-647-5527) is the 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: Mazdak Hobbi, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe and Propulsion Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft 
Certification Office, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New 
York 11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; fax (516) 794-5531.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to 
various transport category airplanes. That NPRM was published in the 
Federal Register on March 14, 2008 (73 FR 13803). That NPRM proposed to 
require deactivation of PATS Aircraft, LLC, auxiliary fuel tanks.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. We considered the comments received from the 22 commenters.

Withdraw NPRM

    Air National Australia, Chartwell Aviation Services, Continent 
Aircraft Trust 720, and Boeing Executive Flight Operations 
(EFO) question the need for the rule. Air National Australia states 
that the installation of the PATS Aircraft, LLC (PATS), auxiliary fuel 
system (AFS) in its aircraft was completed in February 2007 and was 
verified to be in compliance with

[[Page 62873]]

Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 88 (SFAR 88). Air National 
Australia states that clearly the certification given to the 
supplemental type certificate (STC) in late January 2007 by the FAA 
would indicate that, at the time, the installation was compliant with 
the requirements of SFAR 88. Further, the guidance material in FAA 
Advisory Circular (AC) 25.981-1B, dated April 18, 2001, has not changed 
significantly since 2001. Therefore, Air National Australia concludes 
that the level of safety has not altered since the installation was 
seen to be compliant.
    Chartwell states that the service history of the PATS AFS does not 
support the drastic action proposed in the NPRM. Continent Aircraft 
Trust 720 states that there have been no Boeing Business Jet 
(BBJ)-related AFS anomalies that would justify deactivation of the 
tanks in such a short time. Boeing EFO has been informed by PATS that 
the technical changes to the existing fuel system are safety 
enhancements and not an imminent safety concern. The fact that there 
have been no reports of in-service findings on the Boeing airplanes to 
support immediate safety concerns leads Boeing EFO to this conclusion. 
However, Boeing EFO is not opposed to installing the safety 
enhancements to improve system reliability and to conform the design to 
an improved engineering standard.
    We infer that the commenters want us to withdraw the NPRM. We 
disagree. This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the 
manufacturer, which identified unsafe conditions that need corrective 
actions to prevent fuel tank explosions. Although to date there has not 
been an explosion in PATS fuel tanks, the types of ignition sources 
identified by the manufacturer have resulted in catastrophic explosions 
in other fuel tanks. Preventing such an explosion was the objective of 
SFAR 88 and is not just a ``safety enhancement.'' However, we agree 
with Air National Australia that the installation for its fleet (STC ST 
00936NY-D, Configuration 3) is compliant with SFAR 88. We have also 
revised Table 1 of this AD to specify that STC ST 00936NY-D, 
Configuration 3 is not affected by this AD. If an operator shows that 
corrective actions have been accomplished and its system complies with 
SFAR 88, deactivation of the auxiliary fuel tanks is not required. We 
find it necessary to issue the AD to address the identified unsafe 
condition.

Extend Compliance Date

    The following commenters all request that we extend the compliance 
time for deactivating the auxiliary fuel tanks: Peter J. Chapman, Amiri 
Flight, PATS, Prime Aviation, Limited Brands, Tracinda Corporation, 
Chartwell, Newsflight, Dobro Ltd., Saudi Oger Ltd., Sunrider 
Corporation, PrivatAir SA, Continent Aircraft Trust 720, 
NetJets Large Aircraft Company (LAC), Boeing, and Air National 
Australia. The commenters state that the compliance date in the NPRM of 
December 16, 2008, is disproportional to the risk. The commenters also 
point out, among other items that make the compliance date unworkable, 
that there is insufficient capacity within available overhaul 
facilities and an insufficient number of kits to accomplish the actions 
before the specified date.
    We agree with the commenters' requests to extend the compliance 
date for deactivating the auxiliary fuel tanks and have revised 
paragraph (g) of the AD to extend the compliance date to December 16, 
2009. This date will give operators adequate time to plan and schedule 
the modification in order to comply with this AD. Our intent was to 
coordinate the compliance time of the NPRM with the December 16, 2008, 
operations rule compliance date (see ``Transport Airplane Fuel Tank 
System Design Review, Flammability Reduction and Maintenance and 
Inspection Requirements'' (66 FR 23086, May 7, 2001)). However, as the 
commenters noted, the lack of availability of kits and maintenance 
facilities makes that date impractical. We have decided to extend the 
compliance date by an additional 12 months to December 16, 2009. This 
change does not affect any other maintenance/inspection programs 
addressed by the fuel tank safety rule, and the compliance date for 
those items remains December 16, 2008. The December 16, 2009 date for 
this AD was chosen to balance the safety risk with the capability of 
operators to comply in a reasonable timeframe.

Auxiliary Fuel Tanks Are Necessary for Operation

    Air National Australia, All Nippon Airways, the U.S. Air Force, 
Sunrider, Chartwell, Continent Aircraft Trust 720, NetJets 
LAC, and Boeing EFO emphasize that the PATS AFS is necessary to their 
operation. The commenters state that deactivation of the AFS will 
result in decreased utility, diminished market value, and increased 
fuel consumption due to less efficient routing. The need to make more 
fuel stops to fly the same mission profile could increase risk. In sum, 
deactivation would have a dramatic effect on the range of the aircraft 
and defeat the purpose of operating this type of aircraft in the fleet.
    As we stated in the NPRM, for operators who want to retain the 
long-range capability provided by these fuel tanks, we will consider 
approving alternative methods of compliance consisting of design 
changes and maintenance instructions found to comply with SFAR 88. We 
understand PATS might be developing such service information for at 
least some of the affected STCs, but it has not yet been submitted for 
our review and approval. We have not changed the AD in this regard.

Revise the Applicability To Remove Certain STCs

    PATS, Limited Brands, Boeing, All Nippon Airways, and Amiri request 
that certain STCs be removed from the applicability listed in Table 1 
of the NPRM. The commenters all suggest certain corrections to the 
list. Limited Brands states that, as written, the NPRM includes FAA-
approved PATS SFAR 88-compliant STCs. Boeing points out that the STC 
holder has determined that the specific STCs listed in its submission 
were developed and approved to section 25.981, amendment 25-102, of the 
Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.981, amendment 102). All Nippon 
Airways understands that STC ST01716NY-D is in compliance with SFAR 88 
and is mistakenly listed in the NPRM. This STC is the updated version 
of STC ST00936NY-D, and complies with SFAR 88 and 14 CFR 25.981, 
amendment 102.
    We agree with the commenters' request that certain STCs need to be 
removed from the applicability. We have determined that the following 
STCs listed in Table 1 of the NPRM are currently in compliance with 
SFAR 88 requirements:
     ST01716NY-D
     ST01650NY
     ST01713NY-D
     ST01552NY
     ST00365NY-D, Configuration 5
     SA725NE-D, Configuration 7
    We have revised Table 1 of the AD to remove these STCs. Operators 
should note that prior configurations of ST00365NY-D and SA725NE-D are 
still included in the applicability unless the operator has installed 
ST00365NY-D, Configuration 5, or SA725NE-D, Configuration 7, as 
applicable.

Revise the Applicability Based on PATS Service Bulletin Implementation

    PATS Aircraft, Limited Brands, Boeing, All Nippon Airways, Boeing 
EFO, Amiri, and Chartwell request that we remove certain STCs from the

[[Page 62874]]

applicability listed in Table 1 of the NPRM. The commenters point out 
that the implementation of new PATS service bulletins would bring 
certain STCs into compliance with SFAR 88.
    We disagree with the request to remove certain STCs based on 
accomplishment of certain PATS service bulletins. Although service 
bulletins developed by PATS might modify an airplane for SFAR 88 
compliance, the New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has 
not yet received the final version of the relevant service bulletins 
for approval. However, under the provisions of paragraph (h) of the AD, 
we will consider requests for approval of an alternative method of 
compliance based on these service bulletins if sufficient data are 
submitted to substantiate that the design change would provide an 
acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Change the Description of the Auxiliary Fuel Tanks

    PATS, Chartwell, and Air National Australia point out the 
description of the PATS auxiliary fuel tank is incorrect in the section 
of the NPRM titled ``Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for PATS 
Aircraft, LLC, Auxiliary Fuel Tanks.'' The commenters point out that 
PATS has never designed or certified a box and bladder tank.
    We infer that the commenters would like us to revise the 
description. We agree that the description in the NPRM requires 
clarification. Since that section of the preamble of the NPRM does not 
reappear in the final rule, no change to the final rule is necessary. 
However, we offer the following revision to the paragraph, suggested by 
PATS' comment, as clarification:

    PATS' typical auxiliary fuel system (AFS) consists of several 
interconnected auxiliary fuel cells located in the aircraft's cargo 
holds. The cells are constructed of aluminum alloy with double walls 
and mounted on longitudinal rails attached to the aircraft's frame. 
The inner walls serve as the fuel storage cell, and the outer walls 
serve as the fuel and fume-proof shroud around the cell. The two 
walls are separated by an open-weave honeycomb structure bonded to 
the walls. The cells resemble aircraft cargo containers. The 
individual cells are usually arranged in two groups within the 
forward and aft lower cargo holds. These forward and aft fuel cell 
groups operate independently as two separate tanks.

Use PATS Service Bulletins for Deactivation Procedures

    PATS requests that we add certain service information to the AD. 
PATS states that operators who do not place an order for SFAR 88 
service bulletins or who elect not to bring their AFS into compliance 
should deactivate their system using the procedures in the service 
bulletins that PATS is developing.
    We disagree. The service bulletins for deactivation have not been 
presented for review and approval by the Manager, New York ACO, FAA. 
Any operator who chooses to deactivate the tank must do the 
deactivation in accordance with paragraph (g) of this AD. That 
deactivation procedure could include, for example, performing 
procedures specified in the installation manual or returning the 
airplane to the configuration it was in prior to the PATS STC 
modification. If PATS submits service bulletins that meet the 
requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, we would approve them as 
alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) in accordance with the 
provisions of paragraph (h) of this AD. We have not changed the AD in 
this regard.

Remove Reporting Requirement

    Limited Brands and Tracinda question the need for the report 
specified in paragraph (f) of the NPRM. Limited Brands states that it 
seems this information has already been complied with and/or should 
have been used in determining the effects of the NPRM and the condition 
of safety, and should have been used in the risk analysis evaluation. 
Tracinda questions the purpose of the report and states that the 
information should already be known for justification of the NPRM.
    We infer that the commenters are requesting that we remove the 
reporting requirement from this AD. We disagree. The submittal of 
reports by operators will assist the FAA in determining whether 
additional actions are needed to address the identified unsafe 
conditions and to determine whether the scope of corrective actions 
that might be proposed by PATS or others is adequate. The required 
information can be obtained fairly easily and submitted without further 
cost to the operator. We have not changed the AD regarding this issue.

Re-Evaluate Costs of Compliance

    Limited Brands requests that we revise the Costs of Compliance 
section of the NPRM. The commenter states that the cost estimates 
appear extremely low, and that the cost to each operator both in money 
and in loss of usage should be considered. The costs should also 
address other items like the cost to revise the manuals and support 
data, and access to areas of the airplane for deactivation.
    We disagree with the commenter's request to include the additional 
items in the cost estimate. The cost information in an AD generally 
includes only the direct costs of the specific actions required by this 
AD. We recognize that, in doing the actions required by an AD, 
operators might incur incidental costs in addition to the direct costs. 
Those incidental costs, which might vary significantly among operators, 
are almost impossible to calculate. We have not changed the AD 
regarding this issue.

Change AC Reference

    Boeing and Chartwell point out an incorrect title in Appendix A, 
paragraph (4), of the NPRM, for FAA AC 25-8. We have revised the AD to 
correct the title.

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

    The following table provides the estimated costs for the 59 U.S.-
registered airplanes to comply with this AD. Based on these figures, 
the estimated costs for U.S. operators could be as high as $382,320 to 
prepare and report the deactivation procedures, and $212,400 to 
deactivate tanks.

[[Page 62875]]



                                                 Estimated Costs
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Average
               Action                 Work hours   labor rate     Parts                Individual cost
                                                    per hour
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Report.............................            1          $80         None  $80, per STC.
Preparation of tank deactivation              80           80         None  $6,400, per STC.
 procedure.
Physical tank deactivation.........           30           80       $1,200  $3,600, per airplane.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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), 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.
    You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of 
compliance in the AD Docket.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

0
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 AD:

2008-22-01 Various Transport Category Airplanes: Amendment 39-15696. 
Docket No. FAA-2008-0298; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-316-AD.

Effective Date

    (a) This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective November 26, 
2008.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to airplanes, certificated in any category 
and equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks installed in accordance with 
specified supplemental type certificates (STCs), as identified in 
Table 1 of this AD.

                       Table 1--Affected Airplanes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Airplanes                      Auxiliary tank STC(s)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boeing Model 727 series airplanes......  SA62NE, SA392NE, SA530NE.
Boeing Model 727-100 series airplanes..  SA62NE, SA387NE, SA392NE,
                                          SA530NE, ST00466NY.
Boeing Model 727-200 series airplanes..  SA84NE, SA387NE, SA450NE,
                                          SA496NE.
Boeing Model 737-200 series airplanes..  SA83NE, SA725NE (unless
                                          installed with SA725NE-D,
                                          Configuration 7), SA1078NE,
                                          SA1265EA.
Boeing Model 737-200C series airplanes.  SA725NE (unless installed with
                                          SA725NE-D, Configuration 7).
Boeing Model 737-300 series airplanes..  SA500NE, SA542NE, SA553NE,
                                          SA714NE, SA725NE (unless
                                          installed with SA725NE-D,
                                          Configuration 7).
Boeing Model 737-400 series airplanes..  SA553NE, SA725NE (unless
                                          installed with SA725NE-D,
                                          Configuration 7).
Boeing Model 737-500 series airplanes..  SA725NE (unless installed with
                                          SA725NE-D, Configuration 7),
                                          ST00040NY, ST01337NY.
Boeing Model 737-700 series airplanes    ST00936NY-D (unless installed
 (increased gross weight).                with Configuration 3),
                                          ST01650NY-D.
Boeing Model 737-800 series airplanes..  ST01384NY, ST01384NY-D.
Boeing Model 757-200 series airplanes    SA979NE.
 (without overwing doors).
Boeing Model 767-200 series airplanes..  ST00840NY.
Bombardier Model CL-600-2B19 (Regional   ST00365NY, ST00365NY-D (unless
 Jet Series 100 & 440) airplanes.         installed with Configuration
                                          5).
McDonnell Douglas Model DC-8-62          SA936NE.
 airplanes.
McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-33F         ST00605NY.
 airplanes.
McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-81 (MD-81)  ST00409NY.
 airplanes.
McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-82 (MD-82)  ST00409NY.
 airplanes.
McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-83 (MD-83)  ST00218AT, ST00409NY.
 airplanes.
McDonnell Douglas Model DC-9-87 (MD-87)  ST00523NY.
 airplanes.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 62876]]

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the 
manufacturer, which identified potential unsafe conditions for which 
the manufacturer has not provided corrective actions. We are issuing 
this AD to prevent the potential of ignition sources inside fuel 
tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could 
result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

Compliance

    (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.

Report

    (f) Within 45 days after the effective date of this AD, submit a 
report to the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
FAA. The report must include the information listed in paragraphs 
(f)(1) and (f)(2) of this AD. Under the provisions of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements 
contained in this AD, and assigned OMB Control Number 2120-0056.
    (1) The airplane registration and auxiliary tank STC number 
installed.
    (2) The usage frequency in terms of total number of flights per 
year and total number of flights per year for which the auxiliary 
tank is used.

Prevent Usage of Auxiliary Fuel Tanks

    (g) Before December 16, 2009, deactivate the auxiliary fuel 
tanks, in accordance with a deactivation procedure approved by the 
Manager, New York ACO. Any auxiliary tank component that remains on 
the airplane must be secured and must have no effect on the 
continued operational safety and airworthiness of the airplane. 
Deactivation must not result in the need for additional instructions 
for continued airworthiness.

    Note 1: Appendix A of this AD provides criteria that should be 
included in the deactivation procedure. The proposed deactivation 
procedures should be submitted to the Manager, New York ACO, as soon 
as possible to ensure timely review and approval.


    Note 2: For technical information, contact Mazdak Hobbi, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Branch, ANE-171, FAA, 
New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, 
Suite 410, Westbury, New York 11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; fax 
(516) 794-5531.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (h)(1) The Manager, New York ACO, FAA, ATTN: Mazdak Hobbi, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Propulsion Branch, ANE-171, FAA, 
New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, New York 
11590; telephone (516) 228-7330; fax (516) 794-5531; has the 
authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the 
procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.
    (2) To request a different method of compliance or a different 
compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. 
Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC 
applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA 
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local 
FSDO.

Material Incorporated by Reference

    (i) None.

Appendix A--Deactivation Criteria

    The auxiliary fuel tank deactivation procedure required by 
paragraph (g) of this AD should address the following actions.
    (1) Permanently drain auxiliary fuel tanks, and clear them of 
fuel vapors to eliminate the possibility of out-gassing of fuel 
vapors from the emptied auxiliary tank.
    (2) Disconnect all electrical connections from the fuel quantity 
indication system (FQIS), fuel pumps if applicable, float switches, 
and all other electrical connections required for auxiliary tank 
operation, and stow them at the auxiliary tank interface.
    (3) Disconnect all pneumatic connections if applicable, cap them 
at the pneumatic source, and secure them.
    (4) Disconnect all fuel feed and fuel vent plumbing interfaces 
with airplane original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tanks, cap them 
at the airplane tank side, and secure them in accordance with a 
method approved by the FAA; one approved method is specified in AC 
25-8 Auxiliary Fuel System Installations. In order to eliminate the 
possibility of structural deformation during cabin decompression, 
leave open and secure the disconnected auxiliary fuel tank vent 
lines.
    (5) Pull and collar all circuit breakers used to operate the 
auxiliary tank.
    (6) Revise the weight and balance document, if required, and 
obtain FAA approval.
    (7) Amend the applicable sections of the applicable airplane 
flight manual (AFM) to indicate that the auxiliary fuel tank is 
deactivated. Remove auxiliary fuel tank operating procedures to 
ensure that only the OEM fuel system operational procedures are 
contained in the AFM. Amend the Limitations Section of the AFM to 
indicate that the AFM Supplement for the STC is not in effect. Place 
a placard in the flight deck indicating that the auxiliary tank is 
deactivated. The AFM revisions specified in this paragraph may be 
accomplished by inserting a copy of this AD into the AFM.
    (8) Amend the applicable sections of the applicable airplane 
maintenance manual to remove auxiliary tank maintenance procedures.
    (9) After the auxiliary fuel tank is deactivated, accomplish 
procedures such as leak checks and pressure checks deemed necessary 
before returning the airplane to service. These procedures must 
include verification that the airplane FQIS and fuel distribution 
systems have not been adversely affected.
    (10) Revise the instructions for continued airworthiness, as 
required, after deactivation.
    (11) Include with the operator's proposed procedures any 
relevant information or additional steps that are deemed necessary 
by the operator to comply with the deactivation and return the 
airplane to service.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 9, 2008.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. E8-25055 Filed 10-21-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P