Airworthiness Directives; Engine Alliance Turbofan Engines

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 249 (Monday, December 30, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 249 (Monday, December 30, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 71770-71772]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27889]
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2019-0912; Product Identifier 2019-NE-33-AD; Amendment
39-21011; AD 2019-25-13]
RIN 2120-AA64
Airworthiness Directives; Engine Alliance Turbofan Engines
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
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SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all
Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270 and GP7277 model turbofan engines with a
certain low-pressure compressor (LPC) 1st-stage fan blade installed.
This AD requires an ultrasonic inspection of the affected LPC 1st-stage
fan blades and replacement of any affected fan blades that fail the
inspection. This AD was prompted by a report of an in-flight shutdown
(IFSD) of an engine due to the fracture of multiple fan blades. The FAA
is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective January 14, 2020.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 14,
2020.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by February 13, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this final rule, contact
Engine Alliance, 411 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT, 06118; phone: 800-
565-0140; email: [email protected]; website:
www.engineallianceportal.com. You may view this service information at
the FAA, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue,
Burlington, MA 01803. For information on the availability of this
material at the FAA, call 781-238-7759. It is also available on the
internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating
Docket No. FAA-2019-0912.
Examining the AD Docket
    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-
0912; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains
this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and
other information. The street address for the Docket Operations is
listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after
receipt.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew Smith, Aerospace Engineer, ECO
Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-
238-7735; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Discussion
    The FAA received a report of an IFSD that occurred during a revenue
flight on March 10, 2019. The IFSD resulted from the fracture of two
LPC 1st-stage fan blades. After an analysis of these fractures, the
manufacturer determined the fan blades experienced cracks that
originated on the internal surface of the convex airfoil and propagated
to the point of failure. The cracks originated in a microtexture area
that can result in a low-cycle fatigue debit that may allow a crack to
initiate and propagate to failure. This condition, if not addressed,
could result in uncontained fan blade release, damage to the engine,
and damage to the airplane. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
    The FAA reviewed EA Service Bulletin (SB) EAGP7-A72-426, dated
September 30, 2019. The SB describes procedures for performing an
ultrasonic inspection of the LPC 1st-stage fan blades. This service
information is reasonably available because the interested parties have
access to it through their normal course of business or by the means
identified in the ADDRESSES section.
FAA's Determination
    The FAA is issuing this AD because the FAA evaluated all the
relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same
type design.
AD Requirements
    This AD requires an ultrasonic inspection of the affected LPC 1st-
stage fan blades and replacement of any affected fan blades that fail
the inspection.
Interim Action
    The FAA considers this AD interim action. The root cause of the LPC
1st-stage fan blade fracture is still undetermined and the FAA will
consider further rulemaking depending on the results of the
investigation.
FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date
    Since there are currently no domestic operators of this product,
notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are
unnecessary. In addition, for the reason stated above, the FAA finds
that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than
30 days.
Comments Invited
    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight
safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public
comment. However, the FAA invites you to send any written data, views,
or arguments about this final rule. Send your comments to an address
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2019-
0912 and Product Identifier 2019-NE-33-AD at the
[[Page 71771]]
beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on
the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of
this final rule. The FAA will consider all comments received by the
closing date and may amend this final rule because of those comments.
    The FAA will post all comments received, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide.
The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this final rule.
Regulatory Flexibility Act
    The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without notice and comment,
RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
    The FAA estimates that this AD affects 0 engines installed on
airplanes of U.S. registry.
    The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
                                                 Estimated Costs
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                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on U.S.
                Action                         Labor cost           Parts cost        product        operators
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Perform ultrasonic inspection for one   8 work-hours x $85 per                $0            $680              $0
 set of blades.                          hour = $680.
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    The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary
replacements that would be required based on the results of the
inspection. The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft
that might need these replacements:
                                               On-Condition Costs
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                                                                                                     Cost per
                    Action                                 Labor cost               Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Replace fan blade.............................  4 work-hours x $85 per hour =           $190,000        $190,340
                                                 $340.
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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.
    The FAA is 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.
    This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the
Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by
FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is
normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but
during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the
authority to issue ADs applicable to engines, propellers, and
associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards
Branch, Policy and Innovation Division.
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, and
    (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
reference, Safety.
Adoption of the Amendment
    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.
Sec.  39.13  [Amended]
0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness
directive (AD):
2019-25-13 Engine Alliance: Amendment 39-21011; Docket No. FAA-2019-
0912; Product Identifier 2019-NE-33-AD.
(a) Effective Date
    This AD is effective January 14, 2020.
(b) Affected ADs
    None.
(c) Applicability
    This AD applies to Engine Alliance (EA) GP7270 and GP7277 model
turbofan engines with low-pressure compressor (LPC) 1st-stage fan
blades, part number (P/N) 5700531, 5702931, 5702931CL1, or
5702931CL2, installed.
(d) Subject
    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7230, Turbine Engine
Compressor Section.
(e) Unsafe Condition
    This AD was prompted by a report of an in-flight shutdown of an
engine due to the fracture of multiple LPC 1st-stage fan blades. The
FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the fan blade. The
unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained fan
blade release, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.
[[Page 71772]]
(f) Compliance
    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified,
unless already done.
(g) Required Actions
    (1) For engines with affected LPC 1st-stage fan blades that have
3,250 or more flight cycles (FCs) since new as of the effective date
of this AD, within 250 FCs after the effective date of this AD,
perform an ultrasonic inspection of the LPC 1st-stage fan blades in
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions, ``For Fan Blades
Installed In An Engine,'' paragraph 1, or ``For Fan Blades Not
Installed In an Engine,'' paragraph 1, as applicable, of EA Service
Bulletin (SB) EAGP7-A72-426, dated September 30, 2019.
    (2) If the ultrasonic inspection of the affected fan blades
results in a rejectable ultrasonic indication, remove the fan blade
from service and replace with a part eligible for installation
before further flight.
    Note 1 to paragraph (g)(2): Guidance on determining a rejectable
ultrasonic indication can be found in Non-Destructive Inspection
Procedure, NDIP-1205, Revision 1--GP7000 1st Stage LPC Rotor (Fan)
Blade Assembly Airfoil Ultrasonic Inspection for Cracks (Fan Blades
installed or uninstalled), (``NDIP-1205''), dated September 23,
2019.
(h) No Reporting Requirement
    No reporting requirement contained within NDIP-1205 is required
by this AD.
(i) Credit for Previous Actions
    You may take credit for the ultrasonic inspection required by
paragraph (g)(1) of this AD if you performed the inspection before
the effective date of this AD using NDIP-1205, Revision 1, dated
September 23, 2019, or Original Issue, dated August 30, 2019.
(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)
    (1) The Manager, ECO Branch, 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
certification office, send it to the attention of the person
identified in paragraph (k) of this AD. You may email your request
to: [email protected].
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding
district office.
(k) Related Information
    For more information about this AD, contact Matthew Smith,
Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue,
Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7735; fax: 781-238-7199; email:
[email protected].
(l) Material Incorporated by Reference
    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Engine Alliance (EA) Service Bulletin EAGP7-A72-426, dated
September 30, 2019.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) For EA service information identified in this AD, contact
Engine Alliance, 411 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118; phone:
800-565-0140; email: [email protected]; website:
www.engineallianceportal.com.
    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine and
Propeller Standards Branch, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA
01803. For information on the availability of this material at the
FAA, call 781-238-7759.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at
NARA, email: [email protected], or go to: https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.
    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on December 12, 2019.
Robert J. Ganley,
Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification
Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-27889 Filed 12-27-19; 8:45 am]
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