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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0932; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-014-AD]

RIN 2120-AA64

Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that during a test of the oxygen system, an operator found that the passenger oxygen masks did not properly flow oxygen, and that a loud noise occurred in the overhead area, which was caused by the flex line separating from the hard line due to a missing clamshell coupler. This proposed AD would require, for certain airplanes, performing a detailed inspection of certain areas of the airplane oxygen system to ensure clamshell couplers are installed and fully latched, and corrective actions if necessary. For all airplanes, this proposed AD would require performing and meeting the requirements of the low pressure leak test. We are proposing this AD to prevent the oxygen system flex line from separating from the hard line, which could cause an oxygen leak and a drop in the oxygen system pressure, resulting in improper flow of oxygen through the passenger masks and injury to passengers if emergency oxygen is needed.
DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 26, 2012.
ADDRESSES: *Federal eRulemaking Portal:Go tohttp://www.regulations.gov.Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

*Fax:202-493-2251.

*Mail:U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

*Hand Delivery:Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet athttp://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 proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in theADDRESSESsection. Comments will beavailable in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Monroe, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6457; fax: 425-917-6590; email:susan.l.monroe@faa.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under theADDRESSESsection. Include “Docket No. FAA-2012-0932; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-014-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, tohttp://www.regulations.gov,including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

We have received a report that during a test of the oxygen system, an operator found that the passenger oxygen masks did not properly flow oxygen and that a loud noise occurred in the overhead area, which was caused by the flex line separating from the hard line due to a missing clamshell coupler. This condition, if not corrected, could result in the oxygen system flex line from separating from the hard line, which could cause an oxygen leak and a drop in the oxygen system pressure, resulting in improper flow of oxygen through the passenger masks and injury to passengers if emergency oxygen is needed.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011. The service information describes, for certain airplanes, procedures for a detailed inspection of certain areas of the airplane oxygen system to ensure clamshell couplers are installed and fully latched, corrective actions if necessary; and, for all airplanes, performing and meeting the requirements of the low pressure leak test. The corrective action is installing or correctly latching the clamshell coupler.

FAA's Determination

We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Information

Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011, describes procedures for inspecting to determine if a clamshell coupler is installed, but it does not provide a corrective action if a clamshell coupler is not installed. This proposed AD would require installing a clamshell coupler if any clamshell coupler is not installed.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 6 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Detailed inspection and leak test 26 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,210 $0 $2,210 $13,260

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

    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

    We determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

    (2) Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),

    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

    (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

    PART 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 airworthiness directive (AD):

    The Boeing Company:Docket No. FAA-2012-0932; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-014-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 26, 2012.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series airplanes; certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report that during a test of the oxygen system, an operator found that the passenger oxygen masks did not properly flow oxygen and that a loud noise occurred in the overhead area, which was caused by the flex line separating from the hard line due to a missing clamshell coupler. We are issuing this AD to prevent the oxygen system flex line from separating from the hard line, which could cause an oxygen leak and a drop in the oxygen system pressure, resulting in improper flow of oxygen through the passenger masks and injury to passengers if emergency oxygen is needed.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD, do the applicable actions in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD.

    (1) For Groups 1-6, 8 and 9 airplanes, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011: Do a detailed inspection of certain areas of the airplane oxygen system to ensure clamshell couplers are installed and fully latched, and perform and meet the requirements of the low pressure leak test, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011.

    (2) For Group 7 airplanes, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011: Perform and meet the low pressure leak test, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011.

    (h) Corrective Action if Clamshell Coupler Is Not Fully Latched

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any clamshell coupler is not fully latched: Before further flight, latch the clamshell coupler, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-35-0024, dated September 1, 2011.

    (i) Corrective Action if Clamshell Coupler Is Not Installed

    If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any clamshell coupler is not installed: Before further flight, install a clamshell coupler.

    Note 1 to paragraph (i) of this AD:

    Guidance on installation of the clamshell coupler may be found in Subject 35-00-00, Oxygen, of Chapter 35, Oxygen, of Part II, Practices and Procedures, of the Boeing 777 Aircraft Maintenance Manual, Revision 65, May 5, 2012.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD. Information may be emailed to:9-ANM-Seattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov.

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Susan Monroe, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6457; fax: 425-917-6590; email: susan.l.monroe@faa.gov.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 4, 2012. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.