2018-11416. Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes  

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    AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 727C, 727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by the results of a fleet survey, which revealed cracking in bulkhead frame webs at a certain body station. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the bulkhead frame web at a certain body station and applicable on-condition actions. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 13, 2018.

    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 http://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 NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0452.Start Printed Page 24434

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0452; 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 NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5232; fax: 562-627-5210; email: george.garrido@faa.gov.

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    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 the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2018-0452; Product Identifier 2017-NM-150-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://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 indicating that the results of a fleet survey of retired 737 airplanes revealed cracking in the bulkhead frame web at the upper lobe of the station (STA) 259.5 bulkhead frame webs. Two web cracks, measuring 0.45 inch and 1.7 inches, were found at the outer chord fastener locations between stringer (S)-11R and S-12R. A subsequent review of fleet data sources revealed additional crack findings on other 737 airplanes in the left and right side frame webs between S-11 and S-12. Fleet findings have been reported on a total of 5 airplanes with a range of between 60,640 and 73,655 total flight cycles. Such cracking may lead to subsequent failure of the skin and cockpit window surround structure, and could result in rapid decompression. No cracks have been reported on Model 727 airplanes but Model 727 and Model 737 airplanes have a similar frame installation at STA 259.5.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB, dated October 12, 2017. The service information describes procedures for repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections and low frequency eddy current inspections for cracks of the STA 259.5 bulkhead frame web from the first stiffener above S-10 to S-13, on the left and right sides of the airplane, and applicable on-condition actions. 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

    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 accomplishment of the actions identified in the Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB, dated October 12, 2017, described previously, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.

    For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0452.

    Explanation of Requirements Bulletin

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directives Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (AD ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement is a process for annotating which steps in the service information are “required for compliance” (RC) with an AD. Boeing has implemented this RC concept into Boeing service bulletins.

    In an effort to further improve the quality of ADs and AD-related Boeing service information, a joint process improvement initiative was worked between the FAA and Boeing. The initiative resulted in the development of a new process in which the service information more clearly identifies the actions needed to address the unsafe condition in the “Accomplishment Instructions.” The new process results in a Boeing Requirements Bulletin, which contains only the actions needed to address the unsafe condition (i.e., only the RC actions).

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 106 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs for Required Actions

    ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
    Inspections41 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,485 per inspection cycle$0$3,485 per inspection cycle$369,410 per inspection cycle.

    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 Start Printed Page 24435that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    This proposed 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 transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

    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.

    Start List of Subjects

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    • Air transportation
    • Aircraft
    • Aviation safety
    • Incorporation by reference
    • Safety
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    The Proposed Amendment

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

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    PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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    1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.

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    [Amended]
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    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

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    The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2018-0452; Product Identifier 2017-NM-150-AD.

    (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by July 13, 2018.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 727C, 727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by the results of a fleet survey which revealed cracking in bulkhead frame webs at a certain body station. We are issuing this AD to address cracking in the station 259.5 bulkhead frame web from the first stiffener above stringer S-10 to S-13. Such cracking may lead to subsequent failure of the skin and cockpit window surround structure, and could result in rapid decompression.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Required Actions

    Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in the “Compliance” paragraph of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB, dated October 12, 2017, do all applicable actions identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB, dated October 12, 2017.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    Guidance for accomplishing the actions required by this AD can be found in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 727-53A0235, dated October 12, 2017, which is referred to in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB, dated October 12, 2017.

    (h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where Boeing Alert Requirements Service Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB, dated October 12, 2017, uses the phrase “the original issue date of Requirements Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 727-53A0235 RB, dated October 12, 2017, specifies contacting Boeing, this AD requires repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (i) Special Flight Permit

    Special flight permits, as described in Section 21.197 and Section 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199), may be issued to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished, but concurrence by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, FAA, is required before issuance of the special flight permit.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO 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)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-LAACO-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.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5232; fax: 562-627-5210; email: george.garrido@faa.gov.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

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    Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 14, 2018.

    Dionne Palermo,

    Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

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    [FR Doc. 2018-11416 Filed 5-25-18; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

Document Information

Published:
05/29/2018
Department:
Transportation Department
Agency:
Federal Aviation Administration
EntryType:
Proposed Rule
Action:
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
Document Number:
2018-11416
Dates:
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 13, 2018.
Pages:
24433-24435 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
Docket No. FAA-2018-0452, Product Identifier 2017-NM-150-AD
RIN:
2120-AA64: Airworthiness Directives
RINLinks:
https://www.federalregister.gov/regulations/2120-AA64/airworthiness-directives
SectionNoes:
39.13
Topics:
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety
PDF File:
2018-11416.pdf
Supporting Documents:
» Supporting AD Documents
CFR: (1)
14 CFR 39.13