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Following an airplane accident in which inadver-
tent thrust reverser deployment was considered
a major contributor, the aviation industry and
the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
adopted new criteria for evaluating the safety of
thrust reverser systems on commercial airplanes.
Several airplane models were determined to
be uncontrollable in some portions of the flight

envelope after inadvertent deployment of the PROGRAM MANAGER
thrust reverser. In response, Boeing and the BOEING COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES GROUP

FAA issued service bulletins and airworthiness AERO

directives, respectively, for mandatory inspec- 39

tions and installation of thrust reverser actuation
system locks on affected Boeing-designed
airplanes. Boeing and the FAA are issuing similar
documents for all models of the DC-10.
air seal, fairing, and the aft frame; MODIFICATION OF THE THRUST a proposed AD for the indication reverser. This allows operators to stock
B oeing has initiated a four-
phased safety enhancement
program for thrust reverser
The safety enhancement program
for the DC-10 is designed to improve
the reliability of the thrust reverser
system throughout the course of
and checks of the feedback rod-to-yoke
alignment, translating cowl auto-
restow function, position indication
for the overpressure shutoff valve,
in-flight lockout system function, and
The second phase of the DC-10 safety
enhancement program involves modify-
ing the thrust reverser indication light
system on all models of the DC-10.
An AD mandating the incorporation of
Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-78-060
is expected by the end of 2000.
neutral spare reversers and quickly
configure them for any engine position.
The basic design elements of the
thrust reverser locking system require
systems on all DC-10 airplanes. the modification of the throttle
four phases. Each phase increases fan reverser operation. system in the flight deck. All the indi-
The program is designed to ensure INSTALLATION OF THRUST module, the addition of lock-control
compliance with new criteria, estab- reliability approximately tenfold. Inspections of P&W-powered DC-10s
cators are placed on the center instru-
ment panel, so they can be monitored
3 REVERSER ACTUATION SYSTEM relay boxes, the modification of the
lished by the U.S. Federal Aviation 1. Repetitive inspections involve checking the stow latch, LOCKS FOR THE WING ENGINES thrust reversers to incorporate the
when the thrust reversers are in use.
Administration (FAA), for evaluat- of selected thrust reverser P-seal/bullnose seal, pneumatic drive The flight crew immediately will notice The third phase of the safety enhance- lock hardware (plus the modification
ing the safety of all thrust reversers unit latch, indication circuitry, running any indicator that does not light in ment program requires installation of the fan cowl doors on GE-powered
subsystems and hardware.
torque, in-flight lockout, and thrust the proper sequence and should flag of additional, independent locking DC-10s), and the addition of asso-
on commercial airplanes. According 2. Modification of the thrust reverser operation. systems for the thrust reversers on the ciated airplane wiring (see p. 43 for
to the new criteria, a thrust reverser it for maintenance before the next
reverser indication system. These inspections are further defined flight. This increases the reliability of wing engines (engine nos. 1 and 3). requirement details).
system is acceptable if an inad-
3. Installation of thrust reverser in Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-78A056 the thrust reverser system by reducing The installation of lock provisions on Once installed, the new thrust
vertent deployment is extremely and Middle River Aircraft Systems
actuation system locks for the the exposure time to possible latent the tail engine (engine no. 2) thrust reverser locking system will provide
improbable, if the airplane is con- Service Bulletins 78-2004 and 78-3001
wing engines. failures of the indication system. reverser is recommended to retain a third, totally independent, level of
trollable at any point in the flight for GE-powered DC-10s and Boeing
Boeing Service Bulletin DC10-78-060, interchangeability between the wing protection against inadvertent deploy-
envelope in the event of an inad- 4. Modification of command wires Service Bulletin DC10-78A057
released Dec. 17, 1999, recommends engine reversers and the tail engine ment. It will be a positive lock on
vertent deployment, or both. for the tail engine thrust reverser. for P&W-powered DC-10-40s. These
installation of these indication light
bulletins will be revised to include
systems on both GE- and P&W-powered
additional checks of modified indica-
DC-10s within 18 months of the
REPETITIVE INSPECTIONS OF and the repetitive inspections be done
tion systems and new locking systems.
The FAA issued a Notice of Proposed service bulletin’s publication date. LOCK INSTALLATION ON CF6 THRUST REVERSER
1 SELECTED THRUST REVERSER at intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight- Rulemaking (NPRM) in November 1999. In April 2000, the FAA issued an
SUBSYSTEMS AND HARDWARE hours or 18 months. The requirements An airworthiness directive (AD) NPRM, requesting comments on
Repetitive “health check” inspections apply to all models of the DC-10. mandating the repetitive inspections
involve checking and testing the thrust Checks for GE-powered DC-10s include is imminent.
reverser systems on all three engines a holding torque check of the pneuma-
of the DC-10. Boeing recommends that tic drive motor’s internal disc brake;
an initial inspection be accomplished an inspection of the translating cowl
within 1,500 flight-hours or 6 months



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the thrust reverser actuation system on the P&W-powered
REVERSER LOCK system to the new thrust reverser 7 Wing pressure feedthroughs are
on each half of the reverser, and it DC-10-40 within five years. CF6-6/-50 LOCK INSTALLATION locking system. installed on the right and left sides
will unlock only when the reverse- Boeing anticipates that the of the center accessory compartment.
3 The upper main circuit breaker panel
thrust levers are moved toward the FAA will issue an NPRM, The complete thrust reverser locking Wiring is installed from the terminal
is modified to provide power to the
reverser deploy position. The existing requesting comments on system for DC-10s comprises two locks for boards in the center accessory
new system.
in-flight lockout system is modified to a proposed AD for the addi- each thrust reverser and is installed compartment, through the wing
prevent unlocking of the new locking tion of the thrust reverser for the wing engines. Lock provisions, 4 Relay boxes are installed in the right pressure feedthroughs, along the
system, even if the deploy command locking system on DC-10-40 rather than the complete locking system, and left tunnel areas adjacent to the leading edge of the wing to a
is given in flight. The in-flight lockout airplanes. are installed on the tail engine thrust lower forward cargo compartment. disconnect at the pylon.
system will retain its current function reverser. These installations are accom-
of preventing operation of the air MODIFICATION 5 Terminal boards are installed on the 8 Wiring is installed from the discon-
plished as follows:
motor. The wiring for the new system 4 OF COMMAND WIRES right and left sides of the center nect at the wing, forward through the
consists of dedicated wire bundles FOR THE TAIL 1 The throttle module in the flight accessory compartment. The new ded- pylon, to the pylon junction box.
ENGINE THRUST REVERSER deck pedestal is modified to add new icated wire bundles in the wing lead-
with complete separation from existing
ing edge terminate at this point.
9 Wiring is installed on the wing
thrust reverser command wiring. switches on all three reverse-thrust
The fourth and final phase engine from the pylon junction box
levers. This keeps the feel and forces
Service bulletins and ADs have been, of the safety enhancement 6 Wiring is installed from the throttle to the thrust reverser halves.
or will be, released for both GE- and identical for all three throttle and
program involves separat- module, forward relay panel, and the
P&W-powered DC-10s. reverse-thrust levers to the flight crew.
upper main circuit breaker panel to a
10 The wing engine thrust reversers
ing the command wires are modified to add the locks and
Only the switches on the wing engine
of the tail engine thrust disconnect at station 475. Wiring is
GE-powered DC-10s. In February reverse-thrust levers are wired. Wire associated wiring and hardware.
reverser from the aft acces- installed on the left and right sides
support brackets are added in the ped-
2000, Boeing released Service Bulletins sory compartment through of the fuselage from the disconnect 11 On GE-powered DC-10s, the pylon
DC10-78-061 and DC10-78-062, estal, adjacent to the throttle module.
pylon no. 2. This is designed to the relay boxes, and from the is modified and pneumatic tubing is
recommending installation of the to reduce the possibility of 2 The forward relay panel is modified to relay boxes to the terminal boards in installed; fan cowls are modified to
new locking system on all GE-powered an inadvertent deployment connect the existing in-flight lockout the center accessory compartment. provide clearance for the new locks.
DC-10 airplanes within five years. In of the tail engine thrust reverser as flight crew’s ability to control the
April 2000, the FAA issued an NPRM, a result of electrical failure in both airplane.
requesting comments on a proposed AD thrust reverser command circuits. Editor’s note: All Boeing-designed airplanes currently
for the addition of the thrust reverser
Boeing will issue Service Bulletin in production comply with the new FAA thrust reverser
locking system on all GE-powered safety requirements; Boeing-designed airplanes in service
DC-10 airplanes. An AD mandating DC10-78-066 by the end of 2000,
are being retrofitted with additional locking devices. On
the incorporation of Boeing Service recommending the modification of
Douglas-designed airplanes, the twinjets (DC-9, MD-80,
Bulletins DC10-78-061 and DC10-78-062 the wire harness within five years. MD-90, and 717) require no modification; the MD-11
is expected by the end of 2000. The FAA is expected to issue an NPRM requires periodic checks and separation of the thrust
requesting comments on a proposed reverser command circuits; the DC-8 is currently under
P&W-powered DC-10s. Boeing will AD on this subject for all models of evaluation, but no modifications are expected.

release Service Bulletins DC10-78-063 DC-10 airplanes.

and DC10-78-064 in the first quarter In addition to the four phases above,
of 2001. The bulletins will recommend Boeing has revised the Flight Crew SUMMARY
installation of the new locking system Operations Manual for DC-10s to
recommend that Each phase of the four-phased
the flight crew safety enhancement program
disengage the for the DC-10 thrust reverser
autothrottle in the increases the reliability of the
event of any indi- system approximately tenfold.
cation of thrust Because each individual phase
reverser irregulari- provides an independent
ties, including any benefit, Boeing recommends
indication lights that the operators implement
illuminated in flight. each phase as soon as certified
The recommenda-
by the FAA. Completion of
tion is based on
simulator testing
the enhancement program will
that showed having ensure compliance to the new
autothrottle on FAA safety criteria for thrust
during an inadver- reverser systems on commercial
tent deployment airplanes.
diminished the


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