Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 777 Airplanes, 33856-33859 [E7-11676]

Download as PDF 33856 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 20, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 60730A, dated March 14, 2006; or Revision 1, dated May 9, 2006. FAA AD Differences Note: This AD differs from the MCAI and/ or service information as follows: No Differences. Other FAA AD Provisions (g) The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Todd Thompson, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–1175; (425) 227–1149. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAAapproved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service. (3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120–0056. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Related Information (h) Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2006– 0342, dated November 9, 2006; and BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Modification Service Bulletin SB.25–495–60730A, dated March 14, 2006; or Revision 1, dated May 9, 2006; for related information. Material Incorporated by Reference (i) You must use BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Modification Service Bulletin SB.25– 495–60730A, dated March 14, 2006; or BAE Systems (Operations) Limited Modification Service Bulletin SB.25–495–60730A, Revision 1, dated May 9, 2006; to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact British Aerospace Regional Aircraft American Support, 13850 Mclearen Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. (3) You may review copies at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:14 Jun 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 8, 2007. Stephen P. Boyd, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–11675 Filed 6–19–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2006–25973; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–178–AD; Amendment 39–15109; AD 2007–13–05] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 777 Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Boeing Model 777 airplanes. This AD requires repetitive measurements of the freeplay of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This AD also requires repetitive lubrication of the elevator, rudder, and rudder tab components. This AD results from reports of freeplayinduced vibration of unbalanced control surfaces. Excessive freeplay of control surfaces can cause unacceptable airframe vibration during flight. The potential for vibration of the control surface should be avoided because the point of transition from vibration to divergent flutter is unknown. We are issuing this AD to prevent flutter, which can cause damage to the control surface structure and consequent loss of control of the airplane. DATES: This AD becomes effective July 25, 2007. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of July 25, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, Room PL–401, Washington, DC. Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Washington 98124–2207, for service information identified in this AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dennis Stremick, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 917–6450; fax (425) 917–6590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Examining the Docket You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647–5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Discussion The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to all Boeing Model 777 airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2006 (71 FR 58323). That NPRM proposed to require repetitive measurements of the freeplay of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. That NPRM also proposed to require repetitive lubrication of the elevator, rudder, and rudder tab components. Comments We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments received. Support for the NPRM Boeing and United Airlines support the contents of the NPRM. Request To Accomplish Repetitive Actions at the Later of the Compliance Times United Airlines requests that we revise the compliance times for the repetitive freeplay measurements and lubrication to specify doing those actions at the later of the proposed compliance times (i.e., whichever occurs later). Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, recommends repeating the freeplay measurement at intervals of 12,000 flight hours or 36 months, whichever occurs first, and repeating the lubrication at intervals of 5,000 flight hours or 16 months, whichever occurs first. As justification, United E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 20, 2007 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Airlines states that the change would allow operators to accomplish the actions within the thresholds specified in the Boeing 777 Maintenance Planning Document (MPD). We disagree with allowing operators to perform the repetitive actions at the later of the compliance times. Accomplishing the repetitive freeplay measurements and lubrication at the compliance times specified in the MPD has not prevented the unsafe condition from occurring in service on other Boeing airplane models that incorporate the same design features. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this action, we considered the urgency associated with the subject unsafe condition, the practical aspect of accomplishing the required actions within an interval of time that corresponds to the normal scheduled maintenance for most affected operators, and the recommendation of the manufacturer. However, according to the provisions of paragraph (j) of this AD, we may approve requests to adjust the compliance time if the request includes data that substantiate that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Request To Revise Compliance Times British Airways and United Airlines request that we revise the compliance times for the repetitive freeplay measurements and lubrication to match the times in the Boeing 777 MPD. Both commenters state that the MPD requires the freeplay measurement at intervals of 18,000 flight hours and requires the lubrication at intervals of 6,000 flight hours or 560 days. As justification, British Airways states the following: (1) It has been performing these tasks in accordance with the Boeing 777 MPD with no adverse findings for its fleet, (2) it uses BMS 3–33 grease for the lubrication, which improves service life over MIL–PRF–23827C, and (3) Boeing has not reported any freeplay issues on Model 777 airplanes or provided justification for recommending different intervals in the service bulletin. British Airways also states that it considers the MPD intervals adequate and that mandating the intervals in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777– 27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, would not significantly improve safety. We disagree with revising the compliance times. Accomplishing the required freeplay measurements and lubrication at the compliance times specified in the MPD has not prevented the unsafe condition from occurring in service on other Boeing airplane models that incorporate the same design VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:14 Jun 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 features. Further, Boeing has advised us that it intends to pursue revising the MPD task to reflect the compliance times specified in this AD at the next revision cycle of the document. We have determined that the compliance times specified in the service bulletin will ensure an acceptable level of safety. However, according to the provisions of paragraph (j) of this AD, we may approve requests to adjust the compliance time if the request includes data that prove that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of safety. No change to this AD is necessary in this regard. Request for Credit for Accomplishment of Certain MPD Tasks Air China asks if accomplishment of Tasks 12–002–01, 12–004–00, 27–240– 00, and 27–430–00 of the Boeing 777 MPD is acceptable for compliance with the initial freeplay check and lubrication. United Airlines also requests that airplanes maintained in accordance with these tasks be considered in compliance. We do not agree to allow the MPD tasks as an acceptable source of service information for accomplishing the freeplay measurement. We find that neither appropriate procedures nor applicable limits are, at this time, specified in the MPD tasks that describe accomplishing the inspections and lubrication. Thus, the MPD tasks are not adequate to ensure that an acceptable level of safety is maintained. However, according to the provisions of paragraph (j) of this AD, we may approve a request of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) if data are presented to substantiate that the actions provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Request To Publish Service Information The Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) states that, typically, ADs are based on service information originating with the type certificate holder or its suppliers. MARPA adds that manufacturer service documents are privately authored instruments generally having copyright protection against duplication and distribution. MARPA notes that when a service document is incorporated by reference into a public document, such as an AD, it loses its private, protected status and becomes a public document. MARPA adds that if a service document is used as a mandatory element of compliance, it should not simply be referenced, but should be incorporated into the regulatory document; by definition, public laws must be public, which means they cannot rely upon PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 33857 private writings. MARPA adds that incorporated by reference service documents should be made available to the public by publication in the Department of Transportation’s Docket Management System (DMS), keyed to the action that incorporates them. MARPA notes that the stated purpose of the incorporation by reference method is brevity, to keep from expanding the Federal Register needlessly by publishing documents already in the hands of the affected individuals; traditionally, ‘‘affected individuals’’ means aircraft owners and operators, who are generally provided service information by the manufacturer. MARPA adds that a new class of affected individuals has emerged, since the majority of aircraft maintenance is now performed by specialty shops instead of aircraft owners and operators. MARPA notes that this new class includes maintenance and repair organizations, component servicing and repair shops, parts purveyors and distributors, and organizations manufacturing or servicing alternatively certified parts under section 21.303 (‘‘Replacement and modification parts’’) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.303). MARPA adds that the concept of brevity is now nearly archaic as documents exist more frequently in electronic format than on paper. Therefore, MARPA asks that the service document deemed essential to the accomplishment of the NPRM be incorporated by reference into the regulatory instrument and published in DMS. We acknowledge MARPA’s comment concerning incorporation by reference. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) requires that documents that are necessary to accomplish the requirements of the AD be incorporated by reference during the final rule phase of rulemaking. This AD incorporates by reference the document necessary for the accomplishment of the requirements mandated by this AD. Further, we point out that while documents that are incorporated by reference do become public information, they do not lose their copyright protection. For that reason, we advise the public to contact the manufacturer to obtain copies of the referenced service information. In regard to the commenter’s request to post the service bulletin on DMS, we are currently in the process of reviewing issues surrounding the posting of service bulletins on DMS as part of an AD docket. Once we have thoroughly examined all aspects of this issue and have made a final determination, we will consider whether our current practice needs to be revised. No change E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1 33858 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 20, 2007 / Rules and Regulations to this AD is necessary in response to this comment. and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed. Conclusion Costs of Compliance We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety estimated costs, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour, for U.S. operators to comply with this AD. There are about 695 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The following table provides the ESTIMATED COSTS Action Work hours Number of U.S.registered airplanes Cost per airplane 4 17 4 7 3 5 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. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Measurement of elevators ................ Lubrication of elevators ..................... Measurement of rudder ..................... Lubrication of rudder ......................... Measurement of rudder tab .............. Lubrication of rudder tab ................... We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation. Regulatory Findings We have determined that 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; (2) Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) 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. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:14 Jun 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 $320, per measurement cycle .......... $1,360, per lubrication cycle ............ $320, per measurement cycle .......... $560, per lubrication cycle ............... $240, per measurement cycle .......... $400, per lubrication cycle ............... List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Fleet cost 145 145 145 145 145 145 $46,400, per measurement cycle. $197,200, per lubrication cycle. $46,400, per measurement cycle. $81,200, per lubrication cycle. $34,800, per measurement cycle. $58,000, per lubrication cycle. vibration during flight. The potential for vibration of the control surface should be avoided because the point of transition from vibration to divergent flutter is unknown. We are issuing this AD to prevent flutter, which can cause damage to the control surface structure and consequent loss of control of the airplane. Compliance Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done. Repetitive Measurements I PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): I 2007–13–05 Boeing: Amendment 39–15109. Docket No. FAA–2006–25973; Directorate Identifier 2006–NM–178–AD. Effective Date (a) This AD becomes effective July 25, 2007. Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to all Boeing Model 777–200, –200LR, –300, and –300ER series airplanes, certificated in any category. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from reports of freeplay-induced vibration of unbalanced control surfaces. Excessive freeplay of control surfaces can cause unacceptable airframe PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (f) At the applicable times specified in Tables 1, 2, and 3 of paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD: Measure the freeplay of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab; and do all related investigative and corrective actions before further flight; by accomplishing all the actions specified in Parts 1, 3, and 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, as applicable. Repeat the measurements and related investigative and corrective actions thereafter at the interval specified in Table 1, 2, or 3 of the service bulletin, as applicable. Repetitive Lubrication (g) At the applicable times specified in Tables 1, 2, and 3 of paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD: Lubricate the elevator components, rudder components, and rudder tab components, by accomplishing all the actions specified in Parts 2, 4, and 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27– 0062, dated July 18, 2006, as applicable. Repeat the lubrication thereafter at the interval specified in Table 1, 2, or 3 of the service bulletin, as applicable. E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 118 / Wednesday, June 20, 2007 / Rules and Regulations Concurrent Compliance Times (h) If a freeplay measurement of a specified part required by paragraph (f) of this AD and a lubrication of the same part required by paragraph (g) of this AD are due at the same time or will be accomplished during the same maintenance visit, the freeplay measurement and all related investigative and corrective actions must be done before the lubrication is accomplished. Exceptions to Compliance Times (i) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, recommends an initial compliance threshold of ‘‘Within 36 months after the date on this service bulletin’’ for Parts 1, 3, and 5 of the service bulletin, this AD requires an initial compliance threshold of ‘‘within 36 months after the effective date of this AD.’’ Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, recommends an initial compliance threshold of ‘‘Within 16 months after the date on this service bulletin’’ for Parts 2, 4, and 6 of the service bulletin, this AD requires an initial compliance threshold of ‘‘within 16 months after the effective date of this AD.’’ Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Material Incorporated by Reference (k) You must use Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777–27–0062, dated July 18, 2006, to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this document in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207, for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741– 6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/ federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html. 17:14 Jun 19, 2007 Jkt 211001 BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2006–23803; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–238–AD; Amendment 39–15108; AD 2007–13–04] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 747–400, 747–400D, and 747– 400F Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD), which applies to all Boeing Model 747– 400, –400D, and –400F series airplanes. That AD currently requires revising the airplane flight manual (AFM) to require the flightcrew to maintain certain minimum fuel levels in the center fuel tanks, and to prohibit the use of the horizontal stabilizer fuel tank. This new AD requires installing new integrated display system (IDS) software; and also requires revising the AFM to include procedures to prevent dry operation of the center wing and horizontal stabilizer fuel tanks, for maintaining minimum fuel levels, and for de-fueling fuel tanks. For certain airplanes, this new AD also requires removing certain program pin ground wires of the IDS. This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to reduce the potential for ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane. SUMMARY: (j)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. (2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office. (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD, if it is approved by an Authorized Representative for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Delegation Option Authorization Organization who has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD. VerDate Aug<31>2005 Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 11, 2007. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–11676 Filed 6–19–07; 8:45 am] This AD becomes effective July 25, 2007. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of July 25, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov or in person at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 33859 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC. Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207, for service information identified in this AD. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sulmo Mariano, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM–140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 917–6501; fax (425) 917–6590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Examining the Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Operations office (telephone (800) 647– 5527) is located on the ground floor of the West Building at the DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Discussion The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that supersedes AD 2002–24–52, amendment 39–12993 (68 FR 14, January 2, 2003). The existing AD applies to certain Boeing Model 747–400, 747–400D, and 747–400F series airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on February 8, 2006 (71 FR 6404). That NPRM proposed to continue to require revising the airplane flight manual (AFM) to require the flightcrew to maintain certain minimum fuel levels in the center fuel tanks, and to prohibit the use of the horizontal stabilizer fuel tank. That NPRM also proposed to require installing new integrated display software (IDS) in the integrated display units and electronic flight instrument system/engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS) interface units (EIUs) of the flight deck. In addition, that NPRM proposed to require revising the AFM to include procedures to prevent dry operation of the center wing and horizontal stabilizer fuel tanks; for maintaining minimum fuel levels; and for de-fueling fuel tanks. For certain airplanes, that NPRM also proposed to require removing G13 pin ground wires of a certain wire integration unit of the EIUs at certain connector locations. Comments We have considered the following comments on the NPRM. Request To Supersede Another AD Japan Airlines requests that paragraph (b) of the NPRM be revised to supersede E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 118 (Wednesday, June 20, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33856-33859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-11676]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2006-25973; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-178-AD; 
Amendment 39-15109; AD 2007-13-05]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 777 Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Boeing Model 777 airplanes. This AD requires repetitive measurements of 
the freeplay of the right and left elevators, rudder, and rudder tab, 
and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This AD 
also requires repetitive lubrication of the elevator, rudder, and 
rudder tab components. This AD results from reports of freeplay-induced 
vibration of unbalanced control surfaces. Excessive freeplay of control 
surfaces can cause unacceptable airframe vibration during flight. The 
potential for vibration of the control surface should be avoided 
because the point of transition from vibration to divergent flutter is 
unknown. We are issuing this AD to prevent flutter, which can cause 
damage to the control surface structure and consequent loss of control 
of the airplane.

DATES: This AD becomes effective July 25, 2007.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of July 25, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://
dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, 
Room PL-401, Washington, DC.
    Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, 
Washington 98124-2207, for service information identified in this AD.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dennis Stremick, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 
917-6450; fax (425) 917-6590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Examining the Docket

    You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the 
Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management 
Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office 
(telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif 
Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section.

Discussion

    The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 
CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to all Boeing Model 777 
airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on October 
3, 2006 (71 FR 58323). That NPRM proposed to require repetitive 
measurements of the freeplay of the right and left elevators, rudder, 
and rudder tab, and related investigative and corrective actions if 
necessary. That NPRM also proposed to require repetitive lubrication of 
the elevator, rudder, and rudder tab components.

Comments

    We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the 
development of this AD. We have considered the comments received.

Support for the NPRM

    Boeing and United Airlines support the contents of the NPRM.

Request To Accomplish Repetitive Actions at the Later of the Compliance 
Times

    United Airlines requests that we revise the compliance times for 
the repetitive freeplay measurements and lubrication to specify doing 
those actions at the later of the proposed compliance times (i.e., 
whichever occurs later). Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-
27-0062, dated July 18, 2006, recommends repeating the freeplay 
measurement at intervals of 12,000 flight hours or 36 months, whichever 
occurs first, and repeating the lubrication at intervals of 5,000 
flight hours or 16 months, whichever occurs first. As justification, 
United

[[Page 33857]]

Airlines states that the change would allow operators to accomplish the 
actions within the thresholds specified in the Boeing 777 Maintenance 
Planning Document (MPD).
    We disagree with allowing operators to perform the repetitive 
actions at the later of the compliance times. Accomplishing the 
repetitive freeplay measurements and lubrication at the compliance 
times specified in the MPD has not prevented the unsafe condition from 
occurring in service on other Boeing airplane models that incorporate 
the same design features. In developing an appropriate compliance time 
for this action, we considered the urgency associated with the subject 
unsafe condition, the practical aspect of accomplishing the required 
actions within an interval of time that corresponds to the normal 
scheduled maintenance for most affected operators, and the 
recommendation of the manufacturer. However, according to the 
provisions of paragraph (j) of this AD, we may approve requests to 
adjust the compliance time if the request includes data that 
substantiate that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable 
level of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Revise Compliance Times

    British Airways and United Airlines request that we revise the 
compliance times for the repetitive freeplay measurements and 
lubrication to match the times in the Boeing 777 MPD. Both commenters 
state that the MPD requires the freeplay measurement at intervals of 
18,000 flight hours and requires the lubrication at intervals of 6,000 
flight hours or 560 days. As justification, British Airways states the 
following: (1) It has been performing these tasks in accordance with 
the Boeing 777 MPD with no adverse findings for its fleet, (2) it uses 
BMS 3-33 grease for the lubrication, which improves service life over 
MIL-PRF-23827C, and (3) Boeing has not reported any freeplay issues on 
Model 777 airplanes or provided justification for recommending 
different intervals in the service bulletin. British Airways also 
states that it considers the MPD intervals adequate and that mandating 
the intervals in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, 
dated July 18, 2006, would not significantly improve safety.
    We disagree with revising the compliance times. Accomplishing the 
required freeplay measurements and lubrication at the compliance times 
specified in the MPD has not prevented the unsafe condition from 
occurring in service on other Boeing airplane models that incorporate 
the same design features. Further, Boeing has advised us that it 
intends to pursue revising the MPD task to reflect the compliance times 
specified in this AD at the next revision cycle of the document. We 
have determined that the compliance times specified in the service 
bulletin will ensure an acceptable level of safety. However, according 
to the provisions of paragraph (j) of this AD, we may approve requests 
to adjust the compliance time if the request includes data that prove 
that the new compliance time would provide an acceptable level of 
safety. No change to this AD is necessary in this regard.

Request for Credit for Accomplishment of Certain MPD Tasks

    Air China asks if accomplishment of Tasks 12-002-01, 12-004-00, 27-
240-00, and 27-430-00 of the Boeing 777 MPD is acceptable for 
compliance with the initial freeplay check and lubrication. United 
Airlines also requests that airplanes maintained in accordance with 
these tasks be considered in compliance.
    We do not agree to allow the MPD tasks as an acceptable source of 
service information for accomplishing the freeplay measurement. We find 
that neither appropriate procedures nor applicable limits are, at this 
time, specified in the MPD tasks that describe accomplishing the 
inspections and lubrication. Thus, the MPD tasks are not adequate to 
ensure that an acceptable level of safety is maintained. However, 
according to the provisions of paragraph (j) of this AD, we may approve 
a request of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) if data are 
presented to substantiate that the actions provide an acceptable level 
of safety. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Publish Service Information

    The Modification and Replacement Parts Association (MARPA) states 
that, typically, ADs are based on service information originating with 
the type certificate holder or its suppliers. MARPA adds that 
manufacturer service documents are privately authored instruments 
generally having copyright protection against duplication and 
distribution. MARPA notes that when a service document is incorporated 
by reference into a public document, such as an AD, it loses its 
private, protected status and becomes a public document. MARPA adds 
that if a service document is used as a mandatory element of 
compliance, it should not simply be referenced, but should be 
incorporated into the regulatory document; by definition, public laws 
must be public, which means they cannot rely upon private writings. 
MARPA adds that incorporated by reference service documents should be 
made available to the public by publication in the Department of 
Transportation's Docket Management System (DMS), keyed to the action 
that incorporates them. MARPA notes that the stated purpose of the 
incorporation by reference method is brevity, to keep from expanding 
the Federal Register needlessly by publishing documents already in the 
hands of the affected individuals; traditionally, ``affected 
individuals'' means aircraft owners and operators, who are generally 
provided service information by the manufacturer. MARPA adds that a new 
class of affected individuals has emerged, since the majority of 
aircraft maintenance is now performed by specialty shops instead of 
aircraft owners and operators. MARPA notes that this new class includes 
maintenance and repair organizations, component servicing and repair 
shops, parts purveyors and distributors, and organizations 
manufacturing or servicing alternatively certified parts under section 
21.303 (``Replacement and modification parts'') of the Federal Aviation 
Regulations (14 CFR 21.303). MARPA adds that the concept of brevity is 
now nearly archaic as documents exist more frequently in electronic 
format than on paper. Therefore, MARPA asks that the service document 
deemed essential to the accomplishment of the NPRM be incorporated by 
reference into the regulatory instrument and published in DMS.
    We acknowledge MARPA's comment concerning incorporation by 
reference. The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) requires that 
documents that are necessary to accomplish the requirements of the AD 
be incorporated by reference during the final rule phase of rulemaking. 
This AD incorporates by reference the document necessary for the 
accomplishment of the requirements mandated by this AD. Further, we 
point out that while documents that are incorporated by reference do 
become public information, they do not lose their copyright protection. 
For that reason, we advise the public to contact the manufacturer to 
obtain copies of the referenced service information.
    In regard to the commenter's request to post the service bulletin 
on DMS, we are currently in the process of reviewing issues surrounding 
the posting of service bulletins on DMS as part of an AD docket. Once 
we have thoroughly examined all aspects of this issue and have made a 
final determination, we will consider whether our current practice 
needs to be revised. No change

[[Page 33858]]

to this AD is necessary in response to this comment.

Conclusion

    We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the 
comments received, and determined that air safety and the public 
interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

    There are about 695 airplanes of the affected design in the 
worldwide fleet. The following table provides the estimated costs, at 
an average labor rate of $80 per work hour, for U.S. operators to 
comply with this AD.

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                             Number of
                                                                               U.S.-
               Action                  Work hours     Cost per airplane      registered         Fleet cost
                                                                             airplanes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Measurement of elevators............            4  $320, per measurement            145  $46,400, per
                                                    cycle.                                measurement cycle.
Lubrication of elevators............           17  $1,360, per lubrication          145  $197,200, per
                                                    cycle.                                lubrication cycle.
Measurement of rudder...............            4  $320, per measurement            145  $46,400, per
                                                    cycle.                                measurement cycle.
Lubrication of rudder...............            7  $560, per lubrication            145  $81,200, per
                                                    cycle.                                lubrication cycle.
Measurement of rudder tab...........            3  $240, per measurement            145  $34,800, per
                                                    cycle.                                measurement cycle.
Lubrication of rudder tab...........            5  $400, per lubrication            145  $58,000, per
                                                    cycle.                                lubrication cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 have determined that 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;
    (2) Is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and
    (3) 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.
    We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to 
comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES 
section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

0
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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends Sec.  39.13 by 
adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

2007-13-05 Boeing: Amendment 39-15109. Docket No. FAA-2006-25973; 
Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-178-AD.

Effective Date

    (a) This AD becomes effective July 25, 2007.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to all Boeing Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, 
and -300ER series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from reports of freeplay-induced vibration 
of unbalanced control surfaces. Excessive freeplay of control 
surfaces can cause unacceptable airframe vibration during flight. 
The potential for vibration of the control surface should be avoided 
because the point of transition from vibration to divergent flutter 
is unknown. We are issuing this AD to prevent flutter, which can 
cause damage to the control surface structure and consequent loss of 
control of the airplane.

Compliance

    (e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this 
AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the 
actions have already been done.

Repetitive Measurements

    (f) At the applicable times specified in Tables 1, 2, and 3 of 
paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of Boeing Special Attention Service 
Bulletin 777-27-0062, dated July 18, 2006, except as provided by 
paragraph (i) of this AD: Measure the freeplay of the right and left 
elevators, rudder, and rudder tab; and do all related investigative 
and corrective actions before further flight; by accomplishing all 
the actions specified in Parts 1, 3, and 5 of the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-
0062, dated July 18, 2006, as applicable. Repeat the measurements 
and related investigative and corrective actions thereafter at the 
interval specified in Table 1, 2, or 3 of the service bulletin, as 
applicable.

Repetitive Lubrication

    (g) At the applicable times specified in Tables 1, 2, and 3 of 
paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of Boeing Special Attention Service 
Bulletin 777-27-0062, dated July 18, 2006, except as provided by 
paragraph (i) of this AD: Lubricate the elevator components, rudder 
components, and rudder tab components, by accomplishing all the 
actions specified in Parts 2, 4, and 6 of the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-
0062, dated July 18, 2006, as applicable. Repeat the lubrication 
thereafter at the interval specified in Table 1, 2, or 3 of the 
service bulletin, as applicable.

[[Page 33859]]

Concurrent Compliance Times

    (h) If a freeplay measurement of a specified part required by 
paragraph (f) of this AD and a lubrication of the same part required 
by paragraph (g) of this AD are due at the same time or will be 
accomplished during the same maintenance visit, the freeplay 
measurement and all related investigative and corrective actions 
must be done before the lubrication is accomplished.

Exceptions to Compliance Times

    (i) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-27-0062, 
dated July 18, 2006, recommends an initial compliance threshold of 
``Within 36 months after the date on this service bulletin'' for 
Parts 1, 3, and 5 of the service bulletin, this AD requires an 
initial compliance threshold of ``within 36 months after the 
effective date of this AD.'' Where Boeing Special Attention Service 
Bulletin 777-27-0062, dated July 18, 2006, recommends an initial 
compliance threshold of ``Within 16 months after the date on this 
service bulletin'' for Parts 2, 4, and 6 of the service bulletin, 
this AD requires an initial compliance threshold of ``within 16 
months after the effective date of this AD.''

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (j)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in 
accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.
    (2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with Sec.  
39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the 
appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards 
Certificate Holding District Office.
    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be 
used for any repair required by this AD, if it is approved by an 
Authorized Representative for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes 
Delegation Option Authorization Organization who has been authorized 
by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair 
method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis 
of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this 
AD.

Material Incorporated by Reference

    (k) You must use Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 777-
27-0062, dated July 18, 2006, to perform the actions that are 
required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director 
of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of 
this document in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. 
Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, 
Washington 98124-2207, for a copy of this service information. You 
may review copies at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 
Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives 
and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the 
availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or 
go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-
locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 11, 2007.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-11676 Filed 6-19-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P