[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 31 (Friday, February 14, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8386-8388]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-02865]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0063; Product Identifier 2020-NE-01-AD; Amendment 
39-19838; AD 2020-01-55]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; General Electric Company 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 
certain General Electric Company (GE) GE90-110B1 and GE90-115B model 
turbofan engines. This AD was sent previously as an emergency AD to all 
known U.S. owners and operators of the GE GE90-110B1 and GE90-115B 
model turbofan engines with certain engine serial numbers. This AD 
requires the removal from service of the interstage seal, part number 
2505M72P01 or 2448M33P01, from the affected engines. This AD was 
prompted by a recent event involving an uncontained high-pressure 
turbine (HPT) failure that resulted in an aborted takeoff. The FAA is 
issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective March 2, 2020 to all persons except those 
persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2020-
01-55, issued on January 17, 2020, which contained the requirements of 
this amendment.
    The FAA must receive comments on this AD by March 30, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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-2020-
0063; 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 Docket Operations is listed 
above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after 
receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew C. 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

    On January 17, 2020, the FAA issued Emergency AD 2020-01-55, which 
requires the removal from service of the interstage seal, part number 
2505M72P01 or 2448M33P01, from certain serial-numbered GE90-110B1 and 
GE90-115B model turbofan engines. That emergency AD was sent previously 
to all known U.S. owners and operators of these affected engines. That 
action was prompted by investigative findings of an event that occurred 
on October 20, 2019, in which a Boeing Model 777-300ER airplane, 
powered by GE GE90-115B model turbofan engines, experienced an 
uncontained HPT failure resulting in an aborted takeoff. This 
condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained HPT failure, 
release of high-energy debris, damage to the engine, damage to the 
airplane, and possible loss of the airplane.

FAA's Determination

    The FAA is issuing 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.

AD Requirements

    This AD requires the removal from service of the interstage seal, 
part number 2505M72P01 or 2448M33P01, from the affected engines.

Interim Action

    The FAA considers this AD interim action. The root cause of the HPT 
failure is still being investigated and the FAA will consider further 
rulemaking depending on the results of the investigation.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that required the immediate adoption of 
Emergency AD 2020-01-55, issued on January 17, 2020, to all known U.S. 
owners and operators of these engines. The FAA found that the risk to 
the flying public justified waiving notice and comment prior to 
adoption of this rule because the interstage seal must be removed 
within 5 flight cycles from the effective date of AD 2020-01-55. 
Therefore, the FAA finds good cause that notice and opportunity for 
prior public comment are impracticable. Additionally, the FAA has found 
the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment 
prior to adoption of this rule because no domestic operators use this 
product. It is unlikely that the FAA will receive any adverse comments

[[Page 8387]]

or useful information about this AD from U.S. operators. Therefore, the 
FAA finds good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public 
comment are unnecessary. These conditions still exist and the AD is 
hereby published in the Federal Register as an amendment to section 
39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.13) to make it 
effective to all persons. For the reasons 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-2020-
0063 and Product Identifier 2020-NE-01-AD at the 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.
    Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in 
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 
11.35, 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 AD.

Confidential Business Information

    Confidential Business Information (CBI) is commercial or financial 
information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by 
its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), 
CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to 
this AD contain commercial or financial information that is customarily 
treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is 
relevant or responsive to this AD, it is important that you clearly 
designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your 
submission containing CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked 
submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed 
in the public docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be 
sent to Matthew Smith, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 
District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803. Any commentary that the FAA 
receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in 
the public docket for this rulemaking.

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
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Cost per      Cost on U.S.
                Action                         Labor cost           Parts cost        product        operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Remove interstage seal................  100 work-hours x $85 per        $509,600        $518,100              $0
                                         hour = $8,500.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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):

2020-01-55 General Electric Company: Amendment 39-19838; Docket No. 
FAA-2020-0063; Product Identifier 2020-NE-01-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective March 2, 2020 to all persons except those 
persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 
2020-01-55, issued on January 17, 2020, which contained the 
requirements of this amendment.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) GE90-110B1 
and GE90-115B model turbofan engines with engine serial number 
907150, 907152, 907176, 907179,

[[Page 8388]]

907192, 907266, 907270, 907301, 907320, 907337, 907344, 907370, 
907371, 907405, 907686, or 907687.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7250, Turbine 
Section.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by investigative findings from an event 
involving an uncontained high-pressure turbine (HPT) failure, 
resulting in debris penetrating the fuselage and the other engine. 
The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT. The unsafe 
condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained HPT 
failure, release of high-energy debris, damage to the engine, damage 
to the airplane, and possible loss of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

    Within 5 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, 
remove from service the interstage seal, part number 2505M72P01 or 
2448M33P01, with serial number GWN0PDTR, GWN0PE7T, GWN0PGEL, 
GWN0PL3N, GWN0PEFH, GWN0R4H0, GWN0R4GW, GWN0R8G8, GWN0RAD1, 
GWN0RDNM, GWN0RCMT, GWN0RJ69, GWN0RHRM, GWN0RN5A, GWN0W153, or 
GWN0W03P.

(h) 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 (i) 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.

(i) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Matthew C. Smith, 
Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, 
Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7735; fax: 781-238-7199; Email: 
[email protected].

(j) Material Incorporated by Reference

    None.


    Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on February 7, 2020.
Robert J. Ganley,
Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-02865 Filed 2-13-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P