Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 727 Airplanes, 65678-65681 [E7-22814]

Download as PDF 65678 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 225 Friday, November 23, 2007 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2007–0223; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–156–AD] Examining the AD Docket RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 727 Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). ebenthall on PROD1PC69 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Boeing Model 727 series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires repetitive inspections to detect cracks and loose brackets of the elevator rear spar, and corrective actions if necessary. The existing AD also provides for an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. This proposed AD would reduce the repetitive intervals of the inspections, mandate the previously optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections, and no longer allow stop-drilling. This proposed AD results from new reports of cracks, elongated fastener holes, and loose fittings of the elevator rear spar. We are proposing this AD to prevent cracking of the elevator rear spar at the tab hinge locations, which could cause excessive freeplay of the elevator control tab and possible tab flutter, and consequent loss of control of the airplane. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 7, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may send comments 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– VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:52 Nov 21, 2007 Jkt 214001 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207. You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at https:// www.regulations.gov; 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 proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 917–6577; fax (425) 917–6590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2007–0223; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–156–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to https:// 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. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Discussion On March 12, 1996, we issued AD 96– 06–05, amendment 39–9542 (61 FR 11529, March 21, 1996), for certain Boeing Model 727 series airplanes. That AD requires repetitive inspections to detect cracks and loose brackets of the elevator rear spar and repair if necessary, and provides an optional terminating modification for the inspections. That AD was prompted by reports of cracking in the spar radii at the tab hinge location of the elevator rear spar. We issued that AD to prevent cracking in elements of the elevator rear spar assembly, which could result in excessive freeplay of the elevator control tab and possible tab flutter. Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued Since we issued AD 96–06–05, we have received reports of additional cracks, elongated fastener holes, and loose fittings on airplanes on which the repetitive detailed inspections required by that AD have been initiated. We have determined that the existing long-term repetitive detailed inspections do not provide an acceptable level of safety. This determination, along with a better understanding of the human factors associated with numerous continual inspections, has led us to consider placing less emphasis on inspections and more emphasis on design improvements. Therefore, we have determined that it is necessary to reduce the repetitive intervals of certain inspections and to require replacement of the elevator rear spar with a new elevator rear spar and new support fittings to adequately address the identified unsafe condition of this proposed AD. In addition, we have determined that the stop-drilling required by AD 96–06– 05 does not provide an adequate level of safety. Therefore, in this proposed AD, stop-drilling of cracks of the elevator rear spar assembly is no longer considered to be an acceptable method of repair. Relevant Service Information We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, Revision 1, dated March 2, 2000. (We referred to the original release of the service bulletin in AD 96–06–05 as the appropriate source of service information for the required actions.) The repetitive detailed inspections, stop-drill if necessary, and E:\FR\FM\23NOP1.SGM 23NOP1 65679 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 225 / Friday, November 23, 2007 / Proposed Rules optional terminating action (i.e., replacement of the elevator rear spar with a new elevator rear spar and support fittings) are identical to those actions specified in the original service bulletin. Revision 1 changes the part accountability paragraph and the list of airplane operators. No more work is necessary on airplanes changed per the original release of the service information, if the optional terminating action was done. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD We have evaluated all pertinent information and identified an unsafe condition that is likely to develop on other airplanes of the same type design. For this reason, we are proposing this AD, which would supersede AD 96–06– 05 and would retain the requirements of the existing AD. This proposed AD would also require accomplishing the actions specified in service information described previously, except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between the Proposed AD and Service Information.’’ Differences Between the Proposed AD and Service Information Paragraph 1.A, ‘‘Effectivity,’’ of Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, Revision 1, contains an error in that it identifies only Model 727–100 and –200 series airplanes as the affected airplanes. Although Model 727, 727C, 727–100C, and 727–200F series airplanes were inadvertently omitted from that paragraph, those airplanes were identified by variable numbers in the effectivity listing. Therefore, the applicability of this proposed AD would affect Model 727, 727C, 727–100, 727– 100C, 727–200, and 727–200F series airplanes. As discussed previously, this proposed AD would require replacement of the elevator rear spar with a new elevator rear spar and support fittings, which would terminate the repetitive inspection requirements. The service information provides the terminating action as an option. Where the service information describes stop-drilling as an interim method of repair, this proposed AD would not permit stop-drilling as an interim method of repair. As discussed previously, we have determined that, for the purposes of this proposed AD, stopdrilling does not provide an adequate level of safety. Additionally, the service information recommends that certain repetitive inspection intervals be done within 1,600 flight hours or within 18 months, whichever occurs first. This proposed AD would require a repetitive interval not to exceed 1,600 flight hours for those inspections. Calendar time (i.e., ‘‘18 months’’) is not appropriate for addressing problems associated with fatigue such as the cracking addressed by this proposed AD. The determination that calendar time is not appropriate for addressing problems associated with fatigue also was addressed in the preamble of AD 96–06–05. We have coordinated these differences with Boeing. Change to Existing AD This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 96–06–05. Since AD 96–06–05 was issued, the AD format has been revised, and certain paragraphs have been rearranged. As a result, the corresponding paragraph identifiers have changed in this proposed AD, as listed in the following table: REVISED PARAGRAPH IDENTIFIERS Requirement in AD 96–06–05 paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph (a) ............ (b) ............ (c) ............ (d) ............ (e) ............ (f) ............. (g) ............ Corresponding requirement in this proposed AD paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph paragraph (f). (g). (h). (i). (j). (k). (l). We have revised the applicability of the existing AD to identify model designations as published in the most recent type certificate data sheet for the affected models. In addition, we have revised the applicability of the existing AD to refer to the latest service bulletin (i.e., Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55– 0089, Revision 1), and refer to affected models not identified in the referenced service bulletin, as discussed previously. We have changed all references to a ‘‘visual inspection’’ in AD 96–06–05 to ‘‘detailed inspection’’ in this proposed AD. We also added a new note defining that inspection and renumbered subsequent notes. Costs of Compliance There are about 815 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this proposed AD. ESTIMATED COSTS Action Work hours Detailed Inspection (required by AD 96–06–05). Terminating action (new proposed action). Average labor rate per hour ebenthall on PROD1PC69 with PROPOSALS Fleet cost $80 None ......................... $1,360, per inspection cycle. 448 $609,280, per inspection cycle. 416 80 $14,975 .................... $48,255 .................... 448 $21,618,240. 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. 14:52 Nov 21, 2007 Number of U.S.-registered airplanes 17 Authority for This Rulemaking VerDate Aug<31>2005 Cost per airplane Parts Jkt 214001 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 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order E:\FR\FM\23NOP1.SGM 23NOP1 65680 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 225 / Friday, November 23, 2007 / Proposed Rules 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 that the 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); 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 proposed 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, Safety. The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39–9542 (61 FR 11529, March 21, 1996) and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Boeing: Docket No. FAA–2007–0223; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–156–AD. Comments Due Date (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by January 7, 2008. ebenthall on PROD1PC69 with PROPOSALS Affected ADs (b) This AD supersedes AD 96–06–05. Applicability (c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 727, 727C, 727–100, 727–100C, 727–200, and 727–200F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, Revision 1, dated March 2, 2000. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from new reports of cracks, elongated fastener holes, and loose VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:52 Nov 21, 2007 Jkt 214001 fittings of the elevator rear spar. We are issuing this AD to prevent cracking of the elevator rear spar at the tab hinge locations, which could cause excessive freeplay of the elevator control tab and possible tab flutter, 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. Requirements of AD 96–06–05 Repetitive Inspections and Follow-On Actions (f) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described in Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0085, dated August 31, 1984 (specified as terminating action in AD 84– 22–02, amendment 39–4951), has not been accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by AD 84–22–02 have not been initiated: Prior to the accumulation of 8,000 total flight hours since date of manufacture, or within 300 flight hours after April 22, 1996 (the effective date of AD 96–06–05), whichever occurs later, perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995. Then accomplish the follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspections, stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with that service bulletin, at the times specified as follows: Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is: ‘‘An intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning and elaborate procedures may be required.’’ Note 2: AD 84–22–02 pertains to the onepiece elevator rear spar. (1) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,600 flight hours. (2) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. Repetitive Inspections and Follow-On Actions (g) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described in Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0085, dated August 31, 1984 (specified as terminating action in AD 84– 22–02), has not been accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by AD 84–22– 02 have been initiated: Accomplish either paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable. (1) If no crack has been detected as a result of inspections required by AD 84–22–02: Within 1,600 flight hours after the last PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 inspection required by that AD, perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in accordance with the Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with that service bulletin, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified as follows: (i) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,600 flight hours. (ii) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. (2) If any crack has been stop-drilled in accordance with AD 84–22–02, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. (h) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described in Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0085, dated August 31, 1984 (specified as terminating action in AD 84–22–02, amendment 39–4951), has been accomplished: Within 4,000 flight hours after April 22, 1996, perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspections, stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with that service bulletin, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified as follows: (1) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of this AD. (2) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. (i) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described in Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–087, dated June 20, 1986 (specified as terminating action in AD 87–24–03, amendment 39–5769), has not been accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by AD 87–24–03 have not been initiated: Accomplish the requirements of paragraph (i)(1) of this AD at the earliest of the times specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD. Note 3: AD 87–24–03 pertains to the twopiece elevator rear spar. (1) Perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, at the earliest of the times specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, and in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with that service bulletin, at the times specified as follows: E:\FR\FM\23NOP1.SGM 23NOP1 ebenthall on PROD1PC69 with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 225 / Friday, November 23, 2007 / Proposed Rules (i) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of this AD. (ii) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. (2) Accomplish the initial detailed inspection required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD at the earliest of the following times: (i) Prior to the accumulation of 27,000 total flight hours since date of manufacture, or within 4,000 flight hours after December 24, 1987 (the effective date of AD 87–24–03), whichever occurs later; or (ii) Prior to the accumulation of 12,000 total flight hours since date of manufacture, or within 4,000 flight hours after April 22, 1996, whichever occurs later; or (iii) Prior to the accumulation of 27,300 total flight hours since date of manufacture, or within 300 flight hours after April 22, 1996, whichever occurs later. (j) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described in Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–087, dated June 20, 1986 (specified as terminating action in AD 87–24–03), has not been accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by AD 87–24–03 have been initiated: Accomplish either paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD, as applicable. (1) If no crack has been detected as a result of inspections required by AD 87–24–03: Within 4,000 flight hours after the last inspection required by that AD, perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995, except as provided by paragraph (m) of this AD. Accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with that service bulletin, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified as follows: (i) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of this AD. (ii) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any inspection required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. (2) If any crack has been detected and stopdrilled in accordance with AD 87–24–03, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD. (k) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described in Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–087, dated June 20, 1986 (specified as terminating action in AD 87–24–03), has been accomplished: Within 4,000 flight hours after April 22, 1996, perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in accordance with VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:52 Nov 21, 2007 Jkt 214001 Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with the service bulletin, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified as follows: (1) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of this AD. (2) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in that paragraph. (l) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled in accordance with paragraph (f)(2), (g)(1)(ii), (g)(2), (h)(2), (i)(1)(ii), (j)(1)(ii), (j)(2), or (k)(2) of this AD, accomplish the following, except as provided by paragraphs (o) and (p) of this AD: (1) Within 1,600 flight hours after stopdrilling, perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, and accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., stopdrilling, modification) in accordance with the service bulletin. If any crack growth is detected after stop-drilling, prior to further flight, modify the elevator rear spar in accordance with Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplishment of this modification constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirements of this AD. (2) Within 3,200 flight hours after stopdrilling, modify the elevator rear spar in accordance with Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplishment of this modification constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection requirements of this AD. New Actions Required by This AD New Service Information (m) As of the effective date of this AD, use only the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, Revision 1, dated March 2, 2000, to do the repetitive detailed inspections required by this AD. Certain Repetitive Inspections at Reduced Intervals (n) For airplanes being inspected at intervals not to exceed 4,000 flight hours in accordance with paragraphs (h)(1), (i)(1)(i), (j)(1)(i), and (k)(1) of this AD: As of the effective date of this AD, do those inspections within 1,600 flight hours since the last detailed inspection or 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 1,600 flight hours. Replacement of Cracked Rear Spars/Loose Brackets (p) As of the effective date of this AD, if any cracked rear spar or loose bracket is detected during any inspection required by this AD, before further flight, do the replacement specified in paragraph (q) of this AD. Terminating Replacement (q) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the elevator rear spar with a new elevator rear spar and support fittings, in accordance with Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, Revision 1, dated March 2, 2000. Accomplishing the replacement constitutes terminating action for the requirements of this AD. (r) Accomplishing the replacement before the effective date of this AD in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727–55–0089, dated June 29, 1995, is considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding action specified in paragraph (q) of this AD. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (s)(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) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. 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. (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. (4) AMOCs approved previously in accordance with AD 96–06–05 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD. Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 7, 2007. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E7–22814 Filed 11–21–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Stop-Drilling Prohibited (o) As of the effective date of this AD, stopdrilling required by paragraphs (f) through (l) inclusive of this AD is prohibited. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65681 E:\FR\FM\23NOP1.SGM 23NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 225 (Friday, November 23, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65678-65681]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-22814]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 225 / Friday, November 23, 2007 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 65678]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2007-0223; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-156-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 727 Airplanes

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness 
directive (AD) that applies to certain Boeing Model 727 series 
airplanes. The existing AD currently requires repetitive inspections to 
detect cracks and loose brackets of the elevator rear spar, and 
corrective actions if necessary. The existing AD also provides for an 
optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. This 
proposed AD would reduce the repetitive intervals of the inspections, 
mandate the previously optional terminating action for the repetitive 
inspections, and no longer allow stop-drilling. This proposed AD 
results from new reports of cracks, elongated fastener holes, and loose 
fittings of the elevator rear spar. We are proposing this AD to prevent 
cracking of the elevator rear spar at the tab hinge locations, which 
could cause excessive freeplay of the elevator control tab and possible 
tab flutter, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 7, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to https://
www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing 
Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at https://
www.regulations.gov; 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 proposed AD, the regulatory 
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the 
ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly 
after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 
917-6577; fax (425) 917-6590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address 
listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2007-0223; 
Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-156-AD'' at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We 
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend 
this proposed AD because of those comments.
    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to https://
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

    On March 12, 1996, we issued AD 96-06-05, amendment 39-9542 (61 FR 
11529, March 21, 1996), for certain Boeing Model 727 series airplanes. 
That AD requires repetitive inspections to detect cracks and loose 
brackets of the elevator rear spar and repair if necessary, and 
provides an optional terminating modification for the inspections. That 
AD was prompted by reports of cracking in the spar radii at the tab 
hinge location of the elevator rear spar. We issued that AD to prevent 
cracking in elements of the elevator rear spar assembly, which could 
result in excessive freeplay of the elevator control tab and possible 
tab flutter.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 96-06-05, we have received reports of additional 
cracks, elongated fastener holes, and loose fittings on airplanes on 
which the repetitive detailed inspections required by that AD have been 
initiated. We have determined that the existing long-term repetitive 
detailed inspections do not provide an acceptable level of safety. This 
determination, along with a better understanding of the human factors 
associated with numerous continual inspections, has led us to consider 
placing less emphasis on inspections and more emphasis on design 
improvements. Therefore, we have determined that it is necessary to 
reduce the repetitive intervals of certain inspections and to require 
replacement of the elevator rear spar with a new elevator rear spar and 
new support fittings to adequately address the identified unsafe 
condition of this proposed AD.
    In addition, we have determined that the stop-drilling required by 
AD 96-06-05 does not provide an adequate level of safety. Therefore, in 
this proposed AD, stop-drilling of cracks of the elevator rear spar 
assembly is no longer considered to be an acceptable method of repair.

Relevant Service Information

    We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, Revision 1, 
dated March 2, 2000. (We referred to the original release of the 
service bulletin in AD 96-06-05 as the appropriate source of service 
information for the required actions.) The repetitive detailed 
inspections, stop-drill if necessary, and

[[Page 65679]]

optional terminating action (i.e., replacement of the elevator rear 
spar with a new elevator rear spar and support fittings) are identical 
to those actions specified in the original service bulletin. Revision 1 
changes the part accountability paragraph and the list of airplane 
operators. No more work is necessary on airplanes changed per the 
original release of the service information, if the optional 
terminating action was done. Accomplishing the actions specified in the 
service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe 
condition.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

    We have evaluated all pertinent information and identified an 
unsafe condition that is likely to develop on other airplanes of the 
same type design. For this reason, we are proposing this AD, which 
would supersede AD 96-06-05 and would retain the requirements of the 
existing AD. This proposed AD would also require accomplishing the 
actions specified in service information described previously, except 
as discussed under ``Differences Between the Proposed AD and Service 
Information.''

Differences Between the Proposed AD and Service Information

    Paragraph 1.A, ``Effectivity,'' of Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-
0089, Revision 1, contains an error in that it identifies only Model 
727-100 and -200 series airplanes as the affected airplanes. Although 
Model 727, 727C, 727-100C, and 727-200F series airplanes were 
inadvertently omitted from that paragraph, those airplanes were 
identified by variable numbers in the effectivity listing. Therefore, 
the applicability of this proposed AD would affect Model 727, 727C, 
727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes.
    As discussed previously, this proposed AD would require replacement 
of the elevator rear spar with a new elevator rear spar and support 
fittings, which would terminate the repetitive inspection requirements. 
The service information provides the terminating action as an option.
    Where the service information describes stop-drilling as an interim 
method of repair, this proposed AD would not permit stop-drilling as an 
interim method of repair. As discussed previously, we have determined 
that, for the purposes of this proposed AD, stop-drilling does not 
provide an adequate level of safety.
    Additionally, the service information recommends that certain 
repetitive inspection intervals be done within 1,600 flight hours or 
within 18 months, whichever occurs first. This proposed AD would 
require a repetitive interval not to exceed 1,600 flight hours for 
those inspections. Calendar time (i.e., ``18 months'') is not 
appropriate for addressing problems associated with fatigue such as the 
cracking addressed by this proposed AD. The determination that calendar 
time is not appropriate for addressing problems associated with fatigue 
also was addressed in the preamble of AD 96-06-05.
    We have coordinated these differences with Boeing.

Change to Existing AD

    This proposed AD would retain all requirements of AD 96-06-05. 
Since AD 96-06-05 was issued, the AD format has been revised, and 
certain paragraphs have been rearranged. As a result, the corresponding 
paragraph identifiers have changed in this proposed AD, as listed in 
the following table:

                      Revised Paragraph Identifiers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             Corresponding  requirement
        Requirement in AD 96-06-05              in this  proposed AD
------------------------------------------------------------------------
paragraph (a).............................  paragraph (f).
paragraph (b).............................  paragraph (g).
paragraph (c).............................  paragraph (h).
paragraph (d).............................  paragraph (i).
paragraph (e).............................  paragraph (j).
paragraph (f).............................  paragraph (k).
paragraph (g).............................  paragraph (l).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We have revised the applicability of the existing AD to identify 
model designations as published in the most recent type certificate 
data sheet for the affected models. In addition, we have revised the 
applicability of the existing AD to refer to the latest service 
bulletin (i.e., Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, Revision 1), and 
refer to affected models not identified in the referenced service 
bulletin, as discussed previously.
    We have changed all references to a ``visual inspection'' in AD 96-
06-05 to ``detailed inspection'' in this proposed AD. We also added a 
new note defining that inspection and renumbered subsequent notes.

Costs of Compliance

    There are about 815 airplanes of the affected design in the 
worldwide fleet. The following table provides the estimated costs for 
U.S. operators to comply with this proposed AD.

                                                                     Estimated Costs
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                   Number of U.S.-
               Action                  Work hours     Average labor          Parts            Cost per airplane      registered          Fleet cost
                                                      rate per hour                                                   airplanes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Detailed Inspection (required by AD              17             $80  None.................  $1,360, per                       448  $609,280, per
 96-06-05).                                                                                  inspection cycle.                      inspection cycle.
Terminating action (new proposed                416              80  $14,975..............  $48,255..............             448  $21,618,240.
 action).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order

[[Page 65680]]

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 that the 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); 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 proposed 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, Safety.

The Proposed Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

    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]

    2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends Sec.  39.13 by 
removing amendment 39-9542 (61 FR 11529, March 21, 1996) and adding the 
following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Boeing: Docket No. FAA-2007-0223; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-
156-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by January 
7, 2008.

Affected ADs

    (b) This AD supersedes AD 96-06-05.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 727, 727C, 727-100, 727-
100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes, certificated in any 
category, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, 
Revision 1, dated March 2, 2000.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from new reports of cracks, elongated 
fastener holes, and loose fittings of the elevator rear spar. We are 
issuing this AD to prevent cracking of the elevator rear spar at the 
tab hinge locations, which could cause excessive freeplay of the 
elevator control tab and possible tab flutter, 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.

Requirements of AD 96-06-05

Repetitive Inspections and Follow-On Actions

    (f) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described 
in Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0085, dated August 31, 1984 
(specified as terminating action in AD 84-22-02, amendment 39-4951), 
has not been accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by 
AD 84-22-02 have not been initiated: Prior to the accumulation of 
8,000 total flight hours since date of manufacture, or within 300 
flight hours after April 22, 1996 (the effective date of AD 96-06-
05), whichever occurs later, perform a detailed inspection to detect 
cracks and loose hinge brackets of the elevator rear spar in the 
area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in 
accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, dated June 29, 
1995. Then accomplish the follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive 
inspections, stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with that 
service bulletin, at the times specified as follows:

    Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is: 
``An intensive examination of a specific item, installation, or 
assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available 
lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good 
lighting at an intensity deemed appropriate. Inspection aids such as 
mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be necessary. Surface cleaning 
and elaborate procedures may be required.''


    Note 2: AD 84-22-02 pertains to the one-piece elevator rear 
spar.

    (1) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 1,600 flight hours.
    (2) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any 
inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements 
of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of 
this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

Repetitive Inspections and Follow-On Actions

    (g) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described 
in Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0085, dated August 31, 1984 
(specified as terminating action in AD 84-22-02), has not been 
accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by AD 84-22-02 
have been initiated: Accomplish either paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of 
this AD, as applicable.
    (1) If no crack has been detected as a result of inspections 
required by AD 84-22-02: Within 1,600 flight hours after the last 
inspection required by that AD, perform a detailed inspection to 
detect cracks and loose brackets of the elevator rear spar in the 
area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in 
accordance with the Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, dated June 
29, 1995. Accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, 
stop-drilling, modification) in accordance with that service 
bulletin, except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the 
times specified as follows:
    (i) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 1,600 flight hours.
    (ii) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of 
any inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the 
requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by 
paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of 
this AD.
    (2) If any crack has been stop-drilled in accordance with AD 84-
22-02, accomplish the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, 
except as provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times 
specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.
    (h) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described 
in Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0085, dated August 31, 1984 
(specified as terminating action in AD 84-22-02, amendment 39-4951), 
has been accomplished: Within 4,000 flight hours after April 22, 
1996, perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge 
brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and 
lower edges at the shear plate, in accordance with Boeing Service 
Bulletin 727-55-0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplish follow-on 
actions (i.e., repetitive inspections, stop-drilling, modification) 
in accordance with that service bulletin, except as provided by 
paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified as follows:
    (1) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of 
this AD.
    (2) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any 
inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements 
of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of 
this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.
    (i) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described 
in Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-087, dated June 20, 1986 
(specified as terminating action in AD 87-24-03, amendment 39-5769), 
has not been accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by 
AD 87-24-03 have not been initiated: Accomplish the requirements of 
paragraph (i)(1) of this AD at the earliest of the times specified 
in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD.

    Note 3: AD 87-24-03 pertains to the two-piece elevator rear 
spar.

    (1) Perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose 
hinge brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper 
and lower edges at the shear plate, at the earliest of the times 
specified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, and in accordance with 
Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplish 
follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, stop-drilling, 
modification) in accordance with that service bulletin, at the times 
specified as follows:

[[Page 65681]]

    (i) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of 
this AD.
    (ii) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of 
any inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the 
requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by 
paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of 
this AD.
    (2) Accomplish the initial detailed inspection required by 
paragraph (i)(1) of this AD at the earliest of the following times:
    (i) Prior to the accumulation of 27,000 total flight hours since 
date of manufacture, or within 4,000 flight hours after December 24, 
1987 (the effective date of AD 87-24-03), whichever occurs later; or
    (ii) Prior to the accumulation of 12,000 total flight hours 
since date of manufacture, or within 4,000 flight hours after April 
22, 1996, whichever occurs later; or
    (iii) Prior to the accumulation of 27,300 total flight hours 
since date of manufacture, or within 300 flight hours after April 
22, 1996, whichever occurs later.
    (j) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described 
in Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-087, dated June 20, 1986 
(specified as terminating action in AD 87-24-03), has not been 
accomplished and the repetitive inspections required by AD 87-24-03 
have been initiated: Accomplish either paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of 
this AD, as applicable.
    (1) If no crack has been detected as a result of inspections 
required by AD 87-24-03: Within 4,000 flight hours after the last 
inspection required by that AD, perform a detailed inspection to 
detect cracks and loose brackets of the elevator rear spar in the 
area along the upper and lower edges at the shear plate, in 
accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, dated June 29, 
1995, except as provided by paragraph (m) of this AD. Accomplish 
follow-on actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, stop-drilling, 
modification) in accordance with that service bulletin, except as 
provided by paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified as 
follows:
    (i) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of 
this AD.
    (ii) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of 
any inspection required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, accomplish 
the requirements of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by 
paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of 
this AD.
    (2) If any crack has been detected and stop-drilled in 
accordance with AD 87-24-03, accomplish the requirements of 
paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of 
this AD, at the times specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.
    (k) For airplanes on which the modification or repair described 
in Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-087, dated June 20, 1986 
(specified as terminating action in AD 87-24-03), has been 
accomplished: Within 4,000 flight hours after April 22, 1996, 
perform a detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge 
brackets of the elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and 
lower edges at the shear plate, in accordance with Boeing Service 
Bulletin 727-55-0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplish follow-on 
actions (i.e., repetitive inspection, stop-drilling, modification) 
in accordance with the service bulletin, except as provided by 
paragraph (o) of this AD, at the times specified as follows:
    (1) Repeat the detailed inspection thereafter at intervals not 
to exceed 4,000 flight hours, except as provided by paragraph (n) of 
this AD.
    (2) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled as a result of any 
inspection required by this paragraph, accomplish the requirements 
of paragraph (l) of this AD, except as provided by paragraph (o) of 
this AD, at the times specified in that paragraph.
    (l) If any crack is detected and stop-drilled in accordance with 
paragraph (f)(2), (g)(1)(ii), (g)(2), (h)(2), (i)(1)(ii), 
(j)(1)(ii), (j)(2), or (k)(2) of this AD, accomplish the following, 
except as provided by paragraphs (o) and (p) of this AD:
    (1) Within 1,600 flight hours after stop-drilling, perform a 
detailed inspection to detect cracks and loose hinge brackets of the 
elevator rear spar in the area along the upper and lower edges at 
the shear plate, and accomplish follow-on actions (i.e., stop-
drilling, modification) in accordance with the service bulletin. If 
any crack growth is detected after stop-drilling, prior to further 
flight, modify the elevator rear spar in accordance with Part II of 
the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-
0089, dated June 29, 1995. Accomplishment of this modification 
constitutes terminating action for the repetitive inspection 
requirements of this AD.
    (2) Within 3,200 flight hours after stop-drilling, modify the 
elevator rear spar in accordance with Part II of the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, dated June 29, 
1995. Accomplishment of this modification constitutes terminating 
action for the repetitive inspection requirements of this AD.

New Actions Required by This AD

New Service Information

    (m) As of the effective date of this AD, use only the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, 
Revision 1, dated March 2, 2000, to do the repetitive detailed 
inspections required by this AD.

Certain Repetitive Inspections at Reduced Intervals

    (n) For airplanes being inspected at intervals not to exceed 
4,000 flight hours in accordance with paragraphs (h)(1), (i)(1)(i), 
(j)(1)(i), and (k)(1) of this AD: As of the effective date of this 
AD, do those inspections within 1,600 flight hours since the last 
detailed inspection or 6 months after the effective date of this AD, 
whichever occurs later, and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 
1,600 flight hours.

Stop-Drilling Prohibited

    (o) As of the effective date of this AD, stop-drilling required 
by paragraphs (f) through (l) inclusive of this AD is prohibited.

Replacement of Cracked Rear Spars/Loose Brackets

    (p) As of the effective date of this AD, if any cracked rear 
spar or loose bracket is detected during any inspection required by 
this AD, before further flight, do the replacement specified in 
paragraph (q) of this AD.

Terminating Replacement

    (q) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, 
replace the elevator rear spar with a new elevator rear spar and 
support fittings, in accordance with Part II of the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, Revision 1, 
dated March 2, 2000. Accomplishing the replacement constitutes 
terminating action for the requirements of this AD.
    (r) Accomplishing the replacement before the effective date of 
this AD in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 727-55-0089, 
dated June 29, 1995, is considered acceptable for compliance with 
the corresponding action specified in paragraph (q) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (s)(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) To request a different method of compliance or a different 
compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. 
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.
    (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.
    (4) AMOCs approved previously in accordance with AD 96-06-05 are 
approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 7, 2007.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-22814 Filed 11-21-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P