Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 727 Airplanes, 7489-7492 [E8-2354]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 27 / Friday, February 8, 2008 / Proposed Rules cost of this proposed AD to the U.S. operators to be between $560,880 and $747,840, or between $720 and $960 per product. 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 determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), 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. You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of compliance in the AD Docket. 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 FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD: Boeing: Docket No. FAA–2008–0149; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–319–AD. Comments Due Date (a) We must receive comments by March 24, 2008. 7489 Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to Model 737–100, –200, –200C, –300, –400, and –500 series airplanes, certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–38A1054, dated August 23, 2007. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from a report of a separated hose assembly for the passenger water system. We are issuing this AD to prevent a water leak into the flight deck ceiling, which could result in an electrical short and possible loss of several functions essential to safe flight. Compliance (e) Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. Replacement (f) Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the existing straightto-90-degree hose assembly for the Lavatory ‘‘A’’ water supply with a new straight hose assembly and a separate 90-degree elbow fitting, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–38A1054, dated August 23, 2007. Parts Installation (g) As of the effective date of this AD, any hose assembly part having a part number identified in Table 1 of this AD must not be used in any location that is subject to the requirements of this AD. However, those parts may be used in other locations if not otherwise prohibited. TABLE 1.—SPARE PARTS PROHIBITED FOR THIS AD Airplane group identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–38A1054, dated August 23, 2007 1 and 2 ..................................................................................................... 3 ................................................................................................................ 4 ................................................................................................................ Existing part Nos. 10–61998–430, AS4471–08–0401, or AS4471–08–0404. 10–61998–25 or 10–60871–125. 10–61998–31 or 10–60871–139. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with PROPOSALS Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (h)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, ATTN: Marcia Smith, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM–150S, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 917–6484; fax (425) 917–6590; has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using 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 Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 31, 2008. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–2353 Filed 2–7–08; 8:45 am] Federal Aviation Administration VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 Feb 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 [Docket No. FAA–2008–0151; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–347–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 14 CFR Part 39 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 727 Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\08FEP1.SGM 08FEP1 7490 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 27 / Friday, February 8, 2008 / Proposed Rules SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Boeing Model 727 airplanes. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections for any crack in the area of the elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint and for any crack or elongation inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, corrective actions if necessary, and other specified actions. This proposed AD results from reports of elongated holes and cracks found in the lugs of the attachment fittings of the elevator quadrant upper support assembly at the tip of the vertical fin. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct damage to the aft attachment lugs of the elevator quadrant support assembly that could lead to failure of the lugs. This condition could accelerate wear elsewhere in the elevator control system, which could reduce the crew’s ability to maintain safe flight. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 24, 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. 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–2008–0151; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–347–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. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with PROPOSALS Examining the AD Docket Discussion We have received reports of elongated holes or cracks found in the lugs of the attachment fittings on three Boeing Model 727 airplanes. The attachment fittings are located on the left and right sides of the elevator quadrant upper support assembly at the tip of the vertical fin. In one incident, the lug was cracked completely through. The airplanes had accumulated between 28,385 and 72,448 total flight hours and between 16,387 and 47,485 total flight cycles. Damage to the aft attachment lugs of the elevator quadrant support assembly could lead to failure of the lugs. This condition, if not corrected, could accelerate wear elsewhere in the elevator control system, which could reduce the crew’s ability to maintain safe flight. 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, Relevant Service Information We have reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727–55– 0092, dated June 4, 2007. Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin describes procedures for doing repetitive detailed inspections for any crack in the area of the elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint, repetitive detailed inspections for elongation inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, and high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for any crack inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug. The service bulletin specifies doing these initial inspections within 18 months of the date on the service bulletin. The service bulletin also VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 Feb 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 specifies repeating the inspections at intervals not to exceed 24 months, 4,000 flight hours, or 3,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, until the repair or modification specified in Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions is done. The service bulletin also describes procedures for doing corrective actions if necessary. The corrective actions, which the service bulletin specifies doing before further flight, include the following actions: • Repairing the elevator side fittings and hinge fittings as specified in Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions if any crack, or any hole diameter elongation over 0.3203 inch, is found during the inspections specified in Part 2 of the service bulletin. The repair includes oversizing the holes, fabricating new bushings, installing and in-line reaming the fabricated bushings through the entire stack-up, and installing the elevator side fittings. • Replacing the bushings with fabricated bushings if any hole diameter elongation over 0.3203 inch is found during the inspections specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. • Contacting Boeing for repair instructions if any damage is beyond the repair limits or any crack is found in the area of the elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint, during any inspection specified in Part 2 or Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. The service bulletin also describes procedures for doing other specified actions, which include the following: • Either installing the elevator side fittings and access panels and restoring the cable tension, or modifying the elevator side fittings and hinge fittings, if all of the holes are found acceptable during the inspections specified in Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions. The modification includes oversizing the holes, fabricating and installing new bushings, in-line reaming the fabricated bushings through the entire stack-up, and installing the elevator side fittings. The service bulletin specifies that the modification must be done in conjunction with the Part 2 detailed and HFEC inspections. • After the repair or modification specified in Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions has been done, doing repetitive detailed inspections for any crack in the area of the elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint and repetitive detailed inspections for elongation inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug as specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions. The service bulletin specifies doing the E:\FR\FM\08FEP1.SGM 08FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 27 / Friday, February 8, 2008 / Proposed Rules initial inspections within 24,000 flight hours or 16,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, after accomplishing the repair or modification specified in Part 3 of the service bulletin. The service bulletin also specifies repeating the inspections at intervals not to exceed 24,000 flight hours or 16,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first. FAA’s Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the(se) same type design(s). This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under ‘‘Difference between the Proposed AD and Service Bulletin.’’ Difference Between the Proposed AD and Service Bulletin The service bulletin specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways: • Using a method that we approve; or • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by an Authorized Representative for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Delegation Option Authorization Organization whom we have authorized to make those findings. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with PROPOSALS Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 401 airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $80 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD to the U.S. operators to be $64,160 or $160 per product, per inspection 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 VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 Feb 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 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 determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: 1. Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, 2. Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), 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. You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of compliance in the AD Docket. 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 FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD: Boeing: Docket No. FAA–2008–0151; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–347–AD. Comments Due Date (a) We must receive comments by March 24, 2008. Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to all Boeing Model 727, 727C, 727–100, 727–100C, 727–200, and PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 7491 727–200F series airplanes, certificated in any category. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from reports of elongated holes and cracks found in the lugs of the attachment fittings of the elevator quadrant upper support assembly at the tip of the vertical fin. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct damage to the aft attachment lugs of the elevator quadrant support assembly that could lead to failure of the lugs. This condition could accelerate wear elsewhere in the elevator control system, which could reduce the crew’s ability to maintain safe flight. Compliance (e) Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. Repetitive Inspections and Corrective/Other Specified Actions (f) At the applicable compliance times specified in paragraph 1.E. of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727–55–0092, dated June 4, 2007, except as provided by paragraph (g) of this AD: Do the detailed inspection for any crack in the area of the elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint, detailed inspections for elongation inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, and high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for any crack inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, and do all the applicable corrective actions and other specified actions, by accomplishing all of the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin, except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E. of the service bulletin. Accomplishing the repair or modification specified in Part 3 of the service bulletin only terminates the repetitive inspections specified in Part 2 of the service bulletin. Exception to Compliance Times (g) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727–55–0092, dated June 4, 2007, specifies counting the compliance time from ‘‘* * * the date on this service bulletin,’’ this AD requires counting the compliance time from the effective date of this AD. Exception to Corrective Actions (h) If any damage beyond the repair limits or any crack is found in the area of the elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint during any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727–55–0092, dated June 4, 2007, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (i)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, ATTN: Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone E:\FR\FM\08FEP1.SGM 08FEP1 7492 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 27 / Friday, February 8, 2008 / Proposed Rules (425) 917–6577; fax (425) 917–6590; has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using 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. Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 31, 2008. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–2354 Filed 2–7–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2008–0152; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–348–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 737–400, –500, –600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing Model 737–400, –500, –600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require an inspection to determine the part and serial numbers of the windshield wiper motors for the pilot’s and first officer’s windshields, and the applicable corrective action. This proposed AD results from two reports that the left and right windshield wipers stopped working in flight. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the windshield wipers in wet weather, which could result in decreased visibility for the flightcrew. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 24, 2008. ebenthall on PRODPC61 with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:33 Feb 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 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. ADDRESSES: 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: Nick Wilson, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM–150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 917–6476; 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–2008–0152; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–348–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 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD. Discussion We have received two reports that the left and right windshield wipers stopped working in flight. In one incident, the left and right windshield wiper motors stopped at the same time during a landing approach in wet weather. Investigation revealed that the power converter module for the windshield wipers was not properly soldered. Failure of the windshield wipers in wet weather, if not corrected, could result in decreased visibility for the flightcrew. Other Related Rulemaking On October 2, 2003, we issued AD 2003–20–13, amendment 39–13331 (68 FR 58268, October 9, 2003), applicable to certain Boeing Model 737–400, –500, –600, –700, and –800 series airplanes. That AD requires either modification of the wiring to the windshield wiper motors in the flight compartment or replacement of those windshield wiper motor/converters with new motor/ converters. That AD resulted from reports of the windshield motors stalling during flight. We issued that AD to prevent a reduction in flightcrew visibility due to stalled wiper motors during heavy precipitation and a period of substantial crew workload, which could result in damage to the airplane structure and injury to flightcrew, passengers, or ground personnel during final approach for landing. For certain airplanes, accomplishing the modification required by paragraph (b) of AD 2003–20–13 is acceptable for compliance with certain requirements of this proposed AD. Relevant Service Information We have reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 737–30A1057, Revision 1, dated October 31, 2007, for Model 737– 600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–30A1059, dated September 10, 2007, for Model 737–400 and –500 series airplanes. The service bulletins describe procedures for looking at the windshield wiper motors for the pilot’s and first officer’s windshields to determine the part number and serial number of the windshield wiper motors, and doing the applicable corrective action. The corrective actions include the following: • Replacing the windshield wiper motor with an improved windshield wiper motor if the part and serial numbers cannot be read, or if the part and serial numbers are listed in E:\FR\FM\08FEP1.SGM 08FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 27 (Friday, February 8, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7489-7492]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-2354]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2008-0151; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-347-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 727 Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

[[Page 7490]]

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
Boeing Model 727 airplanes. This proposed AD would require repetitive 
inspections for any crack in the area of the elevator side fitting/
hinge fitting joint and for any crack or elongation inside and outside 
of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, corrective actions if 
necessary, and other specified actions. This proposed AD results from 
reports of elongated holes and cracks found in the lugs of the 
attachment fittings of the elevator quadrant upper support assembly at 
the tip of the vertical fin. We are proposing this AD to detect and 
correct damage to the aft attachment lugs of the elevator quadrant 
support assembly that could lead to failure of the lugs. This condition 
could accelerate wear elsewhere in the elevator control system, which 
could reduce the crew's ability to maintain safe flight.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 24, 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-2008-0151; 
Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-347-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

    We have received reports of elongated holes or cracks found in the 
lugs of the attachment fittings on three Boeing Model 727 airplanes. 
The attachment fittings are located on the left and right sides of the 
elevator quadrant upper support assembly at the tip of the vertical 
fin. In one incident, the lug was cracked completely through. The 
airplanes had accumulated between 28,385 and 72,448 total flight hours 
and between 16,387 and 47,485 total flight cycles. Damage to the aft 
attachment lugs of the elevator quadrant support assembly could lead to 
failure of the lugs. This condition, if not corrected, could accelerate 
wear elsewhere in the elevator control system, which could reduce the 
crew's ability to maintain safe flight.

Relevant Service Information

    We have reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-55-
0092, dated June 4, 2007. Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of 
the service bulletin describes procedures for doing repetitive detailed 
inspections for any crack in the area of the elevator side fitting/
hinge fitting joint, repetitive detailed inspections for elongation 
inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, and high 
frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for any crack inside and 
outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug. The service bulletin 
specifies doing these initial inspections within 18 months of the date 
on the service bulletin. The service bulletin also specifies repeating 
the inspections at intervals not to exceed 24 months, 4,000 flight 
hours, or 3,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first, until the repair 
or modification specified in Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions 
is done.
    The service bulletin also describes procedures for doing corrective 
actions if necessary. The corrective actions, which the service 
bulletin specifies doing before further flight, include the following 
actions:
     Repairing the elevator side fittings and hinge fittings as 
specified in Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions if any crack, or 
any hole diameter elongation over 0.3203 inch, is found during the 
inspections specified in Part 2 of the service bulletin. The repair 
includes oversizing the holes, fabricating new bushings, installing and 
in-line reaming the fabricated bushings through the entire stack-up, 
and installing the elevator side fittings.
     Replacing the bushings with fabricated bushings if any 
hole diameter elongation over 0.3203 inch is found during the 
inspections specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of 
the service bulletin.
     Contacting Boeing for repair instructions if any damage is 
beyond the repair limits or any crack is found in the area of the 
elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint, during any inspection 
specified in Part 2 or Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of the 
service bulletin.
    The service bulletin also describes procedures for doing other 
specified actions, which include the following:
     Either installing the elevator side fittings and access 
panels and restoring the cable tension, or modifying the elevator side 
fittings and hinge fittings, if all of the holes are found acceptable 
during the inspections specified in Part 2 of the Accomplishment 
Instructions. The modification includes oversizing the holes, 
fabricating and installing new bushings, in-line reaming the fabricated 
bushings through the entire stack-up, and installing the elevator side 
fittings. The service bulletin specifies that the modification must be 
done in conjunction with the Part 2 detailed and HFEC inspections.
     After the repair or modification specified in Part 3 of 
the Accomplishment Instructions has been done, doing repetitive 
detailed inspections for any crack in the area of the elevator side 
fitting/hinge fitting joint and repetitive detailed inspections for 
elongation inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug 
as specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions. The service 
bulletin specifies doing the

[[Page 7491]]

initial inspections within 24,000 flight hours or 16,000 flight cycles, 
whichever occurs first, after accomplishing the repair or modification 
specified in Part 3 of the service bulletin. The service bulletin also 
specifies repeating the inspections at intervals not to exceed 24,000 
flight hours or 16,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all relevant 
information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is 
likely to exist or develop in other products of the(se) same type 
design(s). This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions 
specified in the service information described previously, except as 
discussed under ``Difference between the Proposed AD and Service 
Bulletin.''

Difference Between the Proposed AD and Service Bulletin

    The service bulletin specifies to contact the manufacturer for 
instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD 
would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:
     Using a method that we approve; or
     Using data that meet the certification basis of the 
airplane, and that have been approved by an Authorized Representative 
for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Delegation Option Authorization 
Organization whom we have authorized to make those findings.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 401 airplanes of 
U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours 
per product to comply with this proposed AD. The average labor rate is 
$80 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this 
proposed AD to the U.S. operators to be $64,160 or $160 per product, 
per inspection 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 determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism 
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would not 
have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship 
between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed 
regulation:
    1. Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866,
    2. Is not a ``significant rule'' under the DOT Regulatory Policies 
and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), 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.
    You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of 
compliance in the AD Docket.

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 FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new AD:

Boeing: Docket No. FAA-2008-0151; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-
347-AD.

Comments Due Date

    (a) We must receive comments by March 24, 2008.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

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

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from reports of elongated holes and cracks 
found in the lugs of the attachment fittings of the elevator 
quadrant upper support assembly at the tip of the vertical fin. We 
are issuing this AD to detect and correct damage to the aft 
attachment lugs of the elevator quadrant support assembly that could 
lead to failure of the lugs. This condition could accelerate wear 
elsewhere in the elevator control system, which could reduce the 
crew's ability to maintain safe flight.

Compliance

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

Repetitive Inspections and Corrective/Other Specified Actions

    (f) At the applicable compliance times specified in paragraph 
1.E. of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-55-0092, dated 
June 4, 2007, except as provided by paragraph (g) of this AD: Do the 
detailed inspection for any crack in the area of the elevator side 
fitting/hinge fitting joint, detailed inspections for elongation 
inside and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, and 
high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for any crack inside 
and outside of the holes in the clevis and in the lug, and do all 
the applicable corrective actions and other specified actions, by 
accomplishing all of the applicable actions specified in the 
Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin, except as 
provided by paragraph (h) of this AD. Repeat the inspections 
thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E. 
of the service bulletin. Accomplishing the repair or modification 
specified in Part 3 of the service bulletin only terminates the 
repetitive inspections specified in Part 2 of the service bulletin.

Exception to Compliance Times

    (g) Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-55-0092, 
dated June 4, 2007, specifies counting the compliance time from ``* 
* * the date on this service bulletin,'' this AD requires counting 
the compliance time from the effective date of this AD.

Exception to Corrective Actions

    (h) If any damage beyond the repair limits or any crack is found 
in the area of the elevator side fitting/hinge fitting joint during 
any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing Special Attention 
Service Bulletin 727-55-0092, dated June 4, 2007, specifies to 
contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair 
the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures 
specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (i)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 
ATTN: Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, 
1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone

[[Page 7492]]

(425) 917-6577; fax (425) 917-6590; has the authority to approve 
AMOCs for this AD, if requested using 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.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 31, 2008.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-2354 Filed 2-7-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P