Airworthiness Directives; Lockheed Model 1329 Series Airplanes, 38900-38905 [E8-14470]

Download as PDF 38900 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 8, 2008 / Rules and Regulations actions before further flight, as detailed in Part B of Gulfstream Alert Service Bulletin 100–55A–293, dated June 22, 2007. Accomplishment of Part B of the alert service bulletin constitutes terminating action for paragraph (f)(1) of this AD. Israel Aircraft Industries (Gulfstream) TR 15 may be deleted and unlimited use of reverse thrust is allowed per the Gulfstream Astra AFM. Note 2: Reverse thrust limitations remain in effect for Model Astra SPX and Gulfstream 100 airplanes. FAA AD Differences Note 3: This AD differs from the MCAI and/or service information as follows: Compliance Time: The compliance time required by the MCAI or service information for performing the AFM revision is immediate on receipt of this AD; however, to avoid inadvertently grounding airplanes, this AD requires performing the AFM revision within 30 days after the effective date of this AD. Other FAA AD Provisions (g) The following provisions also apply to this AD: (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Mike Borfitz, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 227–2677; fax (425) 227–1149. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service. (3) Reporting Requirements: For any reporting requirement in this AD, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements and has assigned OMB Control Number 2120–0056. Related Information (h) Refer to MCAI Israeli Airworthiness Directive 55–07–06–07R1, dated June 26, 2007; Gulfstream Alert Service Bulletin 100– 55A–293, dated June 22, 2007; and Israel Aircraft Industries (Gulfstream) Astra SPX AFM TR 8, Astra AFM TR 15, and Gulfstream 100 AFM TR 1, all dated June 14, 2007; for related information. Material Incorporated by Reference (i) You must use Gulfstream Alert Service Bulletin 100–55A–293, dated June 22, 2007, and the temporary revisions specified in Table 1 of this AD, as applicable, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, P.O. Box 2206, Mail Station D– 25, Savannah, Georgia 31402–2206. (3) You may review copies at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. TABLE 1.—TEMPORARY REVISIONS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE Israel Aircraft Industries (Gulfstream) Dated Astra SPX Temporary Revision 8 ........................................................... Astra Temporary Revision 15 ................................................................. Gulfstream 100 Temporary Revision 1 ................................................... June 14, 2007 ........... June 14, 2007 ........... June 14, 2007 ........... Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 6, 2008. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–14469 Filed 7–7–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2007–28255; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–023–AD; Amendment 39–15589; AD 2008–13–26] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Lockheed Model 1329 Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. ebenthall on PRODPC60 with RULES AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Lockheed Model 1329 series airplanes. SUMMARY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:13 Jul 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 This AD requires determining the part number on the steering cylinder assembly for the nose landing gear (NLG), determining the total flight cycles accumulated on the NLG steering cylinder assembly, repetitively replacing the assembly, inspecting for missing tow turning limit markings, and performing corrective actions if necessary. This AD results from reports of numerous failures of the NLG steering cylinder. We are issuing this AD to prevent the loss of hydraulic pressure and steering control. DATES: This AD is effective August 12, 2008. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 12, 2008. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, 86 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, Georgia 30063. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov; or in person at the PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 To the Gulfstream Astra SPX Airplane Flight Manual. Gulfstream Astra Airplane Flight Manual. Gulfstream 100 Airplane Flight Manual. Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800–647–5527) is the Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hector Hernandez, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ACE– 119A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (770) 703–6069; fax (770) 703–6097. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Lockheed Model 1329 series E:\FR\FM\08JYR1.SGM 08JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 8, 2008 / Rules and Regulations airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 2007 (72 FR 29088). That NPRM proposed to require determining the part number on the steering cylinder assembly for the nose landing gear (NLG), determining the total flight cycles accumulated on the NLG steering cylinder assembly, repetitively replacing the assembly, inspecting for missing tow turning limit markings, and performing corrective actions if necessary. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comments received. Request To Withdraw NPRM: Inadequate To Correct Unsafe Condition Faith Landmark Ministries requests that we withdraw the NPRM because it does not address the real problem with the NLG steering cylinder: Possible fatigue cracking due to machining errors during manufacture. We disagree. Based on information from Lockheed Martin, due to lack of access to this area there is no reliable inspection that can be performed in the thread relief area where the failures are occurring. The only way to do the inspection is to disassemble the actuator steering cylinder—which would destroy the cylinder. Originally the NLG steering cylinder was a life-limited part, but unknown to Lockheed Martin the life limit was removed from the Lockheed JetStar/Handbook of Operating and Maintenance Instructions (HOMI). We have determined that it is necessary to issue the final rule to reestablish a relevant life limit and to address the identified unsafe condition. Request To Remove Certain Cylinder Part Numbers as Affected Faith Landmark Ministries and Carl A. Smith request that we revise the NPRM to remove P/N JL1955–7 steering cylinder as an affected part, because there is no record of a JL1955–7 steering cylinder failure due to stress corrosion cracking. We disagree. We received reports of several more service failures of P/N JL1955–7 steering cylinders as a result of fatigue cracking in the thread relief area. Although no signs of corrosion were found in these particular failures, access to this area is difficult, and a reliable inspection cannot be performed in the thread relief area where the failures are occurring. Further, disassembling the actuator steering cylinder would destroy the cylinder. Crack growth cannot be shown and inspection intervals cannot be developed because the initial detectable crack length is longer than the critical crack length. As a result, we find it necessary to impose a fatigue-based life limit on the actuator steering cylinder. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Suggestion of Possible Batch Problem Mr. Smith and Faith Landmark Ministries suggest the possibility of a batch problem with the P/N JL1955–7 steering cylinder. Faith Landmark Ministries states that four cylinders failed within two years on Lockheed Martin airplanes that had very close serial numbers (S/N 5211, 5213, 5215, and 5218) and another cylinder failed on an airplane having S/N 5210. Mr. Smith also notes that the airplanes on which the parts experienced fatigue failures are bunched together (S/Ns 5210, 5213, 5215, and 5218). The commenters made no specific request. We have reviewed the data and have found no evidence of any batch problem with the steering cylinders having P/N JL1955–7. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Withdraw NPRM: Documentation Errors Faith Landmark Ministries requests that we withdraw the NPRM because of 38901 major errors in the supportive documentation and data supplied by Lockheed Martin. We disagree. The identified unsafe condition is a serious safety issue that must be corrected. Lockheed Service Bulletins 329–300, Revision C, and 329II–32–8, Revision B, both dated September 5, 2006, were cited as the appropriate sources of service information for the NPRM’s proposed requirements. The actions specified in these service bulletins adequately address the identified unsafe condition; however, these service bulletins did contain discrepancies, which Lockheed Martin has corrected in Lockheed Service Bulletin 329–300, Revision D, and 329II–32–8, Revision C, both dated October 4, 2007. Relevant changes to the service bulletins are outlined below. We have determined that it is necessary to issue this final rule in order to address the identified unsafe condition. We have revised paragraph (f) of this final rule to require the revised service bulletins, and provided credit for accomplishment of the earlier revisions. Requests To Address Service Bulletin Discrepancies Faith Landmark Ministries requests correction of certain discrepancies, as outlined below, in the service information cited in the NPRM. Lockheed Martin also stated that several operators have indicated a need for additional instructions on rebuilding the NLG steering cylinder assembly. Since we issued the NPRM, Lockheed issued Lockheed Service Bulletin 329– 300, Revision D, and 329II–32–8, Revision C, both dated October 4, 2007. These revisions address many of the problems noted by the commenters, but do not add work beyond the actions specified in the previous revision levels. The service bulletins also extend the life limits for certain NLG steering cylinder assemblies (as set forth in the Life Limits table below). REVISED JETSTAR NLG STEERING CYLINDER ASSEMBLY LIFE LIMITS Part No. 7049–T73 die forging ............................................................................................................ 7050–T7451 plate .................................................................................................................. 4340 steel bar ........................................................................................................................ ebenthall on PRODPC60 with RULES Component JL1955–5 ............................... JL1955–9 ............................... JL1955–801 ........................... We have revised paragraph (f) of this AD to require the revised service bulletins and added new paragraph (j) of this AD to provide credit for work already done in accordance with the previous revisions. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:13 Jul 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 Paragraph 2.B.(1) of the service bulletins indicates disassembling, cleaning, and inspecting the NLG steering actuator assembly per ‘‘HOMI 32.4.4.1’’ (of the Lockheed JetStar/ Handbook of Operating and PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Life limit (in flight cycles) 2,175 1,113 3,211 Maintenance Instructions), but the correct reference is ‘‘HOMI Figure 32– 26A.’’ Faith Landmark Ministries states that for nose steering system rigging instructions, paragraph 2.B.(5) of the service bulletins refers to ‘‘HOMI Figure E:\FR\FM\08JYR1.SGM 08JYR1 38902 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 8, 2008 / Rules and Regulations ebenthall on PRODPC60 with RULES 32–22,’’ but the correct reference is ‘‘HOMI Figure 32–25’’ and that paragraph 2.B.(4) should refer to ‘‘HOMI Figure 32–26A.’’ The service bulletins have been revised to correct these discrepancies. Although the revised service bulletins do not specify the HOMI, they incorporate the necessary figure and instructions. Paragraph 2.B.(2) of the service bulletins specifies to identify the replacement NLG steering cylinder assembly with a serial number in the location and method specified by engineering drawing JL–1955, Revision AE or later. Faith Landmark Ministries states that one or more JetStar operators will probably use the same serial number so that, after repair, overhaul, or replacement, multiple units could have the same identifier. Further, the commenter states that the NLG steering cylinders are not serialized, so they cannot be traced. The commenter notes that many operators, trying to comply with an earlier version of the service bulletin, installed exchanged overhauled units, which are not serialized. As a result, the cylinders are mixed within the fleet, and it is possible that some of the mis-machined cylinders are still in service. We agree that the identification of the NLG steering cylinder assembly must be clear. The revised service bulletins specify completing the identification plate to indicate compliance with the service bulletin, and to indicate new P/ N JL1501–7 or JL1501–9 for the NLG steering actuator assembly. It is our understanding that the JL1955–13 cylinder assembly (which uses the JL1955–15 cylinder) will have a serial number consisting of a vendor cage code and sequential numerical lot number beginning at –001. For example, the serial number should be 8 characters XXXXX001, where XXXXX is the vendor cage code unique to the manufacturer (vendor) and –001 identifies the lot number. The proposed serial number will tie the cylinder assembly to a specific manufacturer and lot number for traceability. As we discussed previously, we have revised this final rule to refer to the revised service bulletins. Requests for Revised Engineering Drawing Mr. Smith and Faith Landmark Ministries refer to two reports by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB): (1) The report associated with the NPRM (regarding a 1998 incident involving a Lockheed Model 1329 airplane on which the nose landing gear wheel locked sideways on landing and caused the airplane to run off the VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:13 Jul 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 runway) and (2) NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report 99–107, dated April 13, 1999. The commenters note that the Lockheed engineering drawing for the cylinder does not clearly define the machining details of this region of the cylinder, but shows a large radius without dimensions. The commenters suggest that this indicates a design problem that needs to be corrected. The commenters state that the fatigue origins were all located in a very straight circular path in the tread relief area around the inner surface of the cylinder. We infer that the commenters are requesting that we wait to issue the final rule until a revised drawing is available. We agree that the NTSB reports could indicate a design problem. Lockheed Martin examined engineering drawing JL–1955, Revision AD, dated March 10, 1978, and determined that view A on sheet 1 did not contain sufficient clarity to consistently produce the cylinder in a condition that Lockheed Martin had intended. Lockheed Martin examined the engineering drawing and found that the radius was defined but needed clarification. Lockheed Martin has prepared an engineering order against drawing JL–1955 and determined that sufficient detail now exists to consistently produce the cylinder with the intended thread relief groove. However, the revised service bulletins removed any reference to drawing JL– 1955, Revision AD or AE. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Clarify Criteria for Maintenance Personnel Faith Landmark Ministries asserts that reassembling the NLG steering cylinder should be done by qualified shop persons or overhaul specialists at an appropriately rated repair station. We infer that the commenter is requesting that we revise the NPRM to clarify the qualifications of personnel allowed to reassemble the NLG steering cylinder. As long as the actions are to be accomplished by persons prescribed in section 43.3 (‘‘Persons authorized to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, and alterations.’’) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.3), the persons authorized to perform the work required in an AD are not prescribed by the AD. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Remove Spares Prohibition Faith Landmark Ministries states that Lockheed Martin issued a JetStar Assessment, dated June 8, 2007, which reviews the history of the P/N JL1955– 7 cylinder failures due to fatigue at the PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 thread relief. This is the current configuration of most JetStars. The commenter is aware of six P/N JL1955– 7 cylinders that were built as spares. The commenter states that there is no need to remove all the existing P/N JL1955–7 NLG cylinders from service. Lockheed Martin has developed a way to examine these cylinders; Lockheed Martin inspected the six cylinders that were in stock. We disagree with the commenter’s assertion that Lockheed Martin has developed an adequate inspection for the P/N JL1955–7 NLG cylinders that would detect critical cracking. The JetStar assessment by Lockheed Martin addresses the service history of the failed cylinder along with material changes made on P/N JL1955–7, and explores the possibility of nondestructive inspections. Lockheed Martin concluded that combined ultrasonic and eddy current inspections would probably be ineffective. Lockheed Martin also considered a fluorescent penetrant inspection, provided a time interval could be calculated for continued safe flight and the cylinder could be disassembled for inspection. Based on information provided to the FAA, no available nondestructive inspection would detect a critical crack in the thread relief area where the failures are occurring because access to this area is unavailable. As stated previously, the only way to inspect the area is to disassemble the steering cylinder—which would destroy the cylinder. However, according to the provisions of paragraph (l) of the final rule, we may approve requests for alternative method of compliances (AMOCs) if the request includes data that prove that the AMOC would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request for Information on Addressing Unsafe Condition Faith Landmark Ministries questions why Lockheed Martin did not take any action by way of an AD or similar to ensure that all the P/N JL1955–7 cylinders in the fleet were inspected for problems as soon as Lockheed Martin noticed the grouping of aircraft serial numbers experiencing steering cylinder failures or immediately after the incident that occurred in Houston in 1998, and the subsequent NTSB report. Only the FAA may initiate and issue ADs. Lockheed Martin did report the inservice failures to the FAA, and communicated with the NTSB as required. Data were gathered to enable a full assessment. The commenter made E:\FR\FM\08JYR1.SGM 08JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 8, 2008 / Rules and Regulations no specific request to change the NPRM. No change to the final rule is necessary regarding this issue. Request for Clarification of Unsafe Condition and Corrective Action Faith Landmark Ministries further questions why, when Service Bulletins 329–300 and 329II–32–8 came out in 2000, they referred only to ‘‘corrosion problems’’ and included no requirement to inspect the steering cylinder for the mis-machined thread relief that caused the failure of the steering cylinder in the 1998 incident that resulted from the unsafe condition and prompted the AD. The incident was investigated by the NTSB. Lockheed Martin was in contact with the NTSB and waiting for a final report and the actual part before they could properly make the assessment as shown in the service bulletins. The new revisions of the service bulletins issued in 2007 include an inspection of all threads for burrs or evidence of cross threading. The commenter made no specific request to change the NPRM. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue. Request To Revise Cost Estimate Lockheed Martin states that the estimated cost for the part should be $14,876.57 per airplane, but the NPRM indicated no cost for parts. We infer that the operator requests that we revise the cost estimate of the NPRM. We agree. The NPRM provided the estimated costs for the inspection only. This final rule includes the costs for the conditionally required cylinder replacement. NPRM to add ‘‘fatigue cracking in the thread relief’’ as a possible cause of the NLG steering cylinder failures. We agree with Lockheed Martin’s rationale, but the Discussion section is not repeated in a final rule so we have not changed this final rule regarding this issue. Request To Revise Lockheed Martin Address Lockheed Martin requests that we revise the NPRM to update its address. We have changed the appropriate references in the final rule accordingly. Request To Remove Life Limit Lockheed Martin indicates it plans to revise Service Bulletins 329–300 and 329II–32–8 to remove the life limit on cylinder assembly P/N JL1955–9. Lockheed Martin believes that no P/N JL1955–9 cylinders have been built, as this material will not be the preferred material for replacement steering cylinders. We disagree that the life limit on P/ N JL1955–9 should be removed. We have received no evidence indicating that this part does not have corrosion or fatigue issues, in light of the incidents that have occurred. The revised service bulletins did not remove the life limit on any of the cylinder assemblies. No change to the final rule is necessary regarding this issue. Request To Clarify Cost Estimate Four Star Int’l, Inc., states that replacement cylinders should be made available to operators at no cost. The commenter reports that an NLG steering actuator failed apparently due to stress, with no corrosion observed. Because Lockheed Martin has since identified the source of the problem, and because this operator has already paid to replace Request To Revise Description of Unsafe Condition Lockheed Martin requests that we revise the Discussion section of the 38903 the part once, the commenter contends that future parts costs should be Lockheed Martin’s responsibility. The operator made no specific request to change the NPRM. Operators are responsible for maintaining their airplanes to the type design. The FAA cannot direct payment for replacement parts by any party. Operators should discuss any issues regarding these costs with the airplane manufacturer. We have made no change to the final rule regarding this issue. Additional Change to NPRM Paragraph (g) of the NPRM specified to replace any cylinder assembly having P/N JL1955–1 or JL1955–3 with a new assembly, and paragraph (j) of the NPRM (paragraph (k) of this final rule) would have prohibited the installation of any cylinder assembly having P/N JL1955–1 or JL1955–3. (P/N JL1955–3 is a cylinder, rather than an assembly.) Since the P/N JL1955–1 cylinder assembly uses the P/N JL1955–3 cylinder, we have deleted the references to P/N JL1955–3 in the final rule. Conclusion We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of the AD. Costs of Compliance There are about 48 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD. ESTIMATED COSTS Action Average labor rate per hour Work hours Inspect for P/N ...................... Replace assembly ................. 3 2 $80 80 ebenthall on PRODPC60 with RULES 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. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:13 Jul 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 Cost per airplane Number of U.S.-registered airplanes Fleet cost $240 ...................................... 15,037, per replacement ....... 34 .............. Up to 34 .... $8,160. Up to $511,258, per replacement. Parts $0 14,877 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 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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 This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a E:\FR\FM\08JYR1.SGM 08JYR1 38904 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 8, 2008 / Rules and Regulations substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), and (3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of compliance in the AD Docket. Applicability Adoption of the Amendment (c) This AD applies to the following airplanes, certificated in any category. (1) Lockheed Model 1329–23A, 1329–23D, and 1329–23E series airplanes; serial numbers 5001 through 5162 inclusive. (2) Lockheed Model 1329–25 series airplanes, serial numbers 5201 through 5240 inclusive. Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: I PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES Unsafe Condition 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD: I (d) This AD results from reports of numerous failures of the nose landing gear (NLG) steering cylinder. We are issuing this AD to prevent the loss of hydraulic pressure and steering control. Compliance 2008–13–26 Lockheed: Amendment 39– 15589. Docket No. FAA–2007–28255; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–023–AD. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Service Information Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Effective Date (a) This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective August 12, 2008. (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. Affected ADs (b) None. (f) The term ‘‘service bulletin,’’ as used in this AD, means the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin identified in Table 1 of this AD. TABLE 1.—SERVICE BULLETINS Lockheed Service Bulletin Revision Date 329–300 ............................................................................................... 329II–32–8 ........................................................................................... D .............. C .............. October 4, 2007 ........ October 4, 2007 ........ Inspection for Cylinder Assembly Part Number ebenthall on PRODPC60 with RULES Life Limits (h) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Review the airplane records to determine the total flight cycles accumulated on the NLG steering cylinder assembly, in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. Before any steering cylinder assembly component reaches its life limit, as specified in Table 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Replace the cylinder assembly with a new assembly in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. If the steering cylinder assembly’s age cannot be positively determined from the records review, replace it within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. Thereafter, replace the cylinder assembly at intervals not to exceed the life limits as specified in the applicable service bulletin. 14:13 Jul 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 1329–23A, 1329–23D, 1329–23E. 1329–25. Inspection for Tow Turning Limit Markings (g) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect to determine the part number (P/N) on the steering cylinder assembly for the nose landing gear (NLG). A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number can be conclusively determined from that review. Replace any cylinder assembly having P/N JL1955–1 with a new assembly before further flight in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. VerDate Aug<31>2005 Affected airplanes Parts Installation (i) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Perform a general visual inspection above the NLG doors to detect missing tow turning limit markings, in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. If any markings are absent, restore/ apply markings before further flight in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: ‘‘A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.’’ (k) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install on any airplane a NLG steering cylinder assembly that has P/N JL1955–1. Credit for Actions Done per Previous Version of Service Bulletins (j) Accomplishment of the actions specified in Lockheed Service Bulletin 329–300, Revision C, dated September 5, 2006, or 329II–32–8, Revision B, dated September 5, 2006, as applicable, before the effective date of this AD, is acceptable for compliance with the corresponding requirements of this AD. PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (l)(1) The Manager, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, ATTN: Hector Hernandez, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ACE–119A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 450, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (770) 703–6069; fax (770) 703–6097; 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. Material Incorporated by Reference (m) You must use Lockheed Service Bulletin 329–300, Revision D, dated October 4, 2007; or Lockheed Service Bulletin 329II– 32–8, Revision C, dated October 4, 2007; as applicable, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of E:\FR\FM\08JYR1.SGM 08JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 131 / Tuesday, July 8, 2008 / Rules and Regulations this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, 86 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, Georgia 30063. (3) You may review copies of the service information incorporated by reference at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to http:// www.archives.gov/federal_register/ code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 13, 2008. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–14470 Filed 7–7–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2007–0184; Directorate Identifier 2007–NM–140–AD; Amendment 39–15575; AD 2008–13–12] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 737–100, –200, –200C, –300, –400, and –500 Series Airplanes ebenthall on PRODPC60 with RULES SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing Model 737–100, –200, –200C, –300, –400, and –500 series airplanes. This AD requires various repetitive inspections for cracking of the upper frame to side frame splice of the fuselage, and other specified and corrective actions if necessary. This AD also provides for an optional preventive modification, which terminates the repetitive inspections. This AD results from a report that the upper frame of the fuselage was severed between stringers S–13L and S–14L at station 747, and the adjacent frame at station 767 had a 1.3inch-long crack at the same stringer location. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the upper frame to side frame splice of the fuselage, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the frame and adjacent lap joint. This reduced structural integrity can increase loading in the fuselage skin, which will 14:13 Jul 07, 2008 Jkt 214001 Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// 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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800–647–5527) is the Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; telephone (425) 917–6447; fax (425) 917–6590. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: VerDate Aug<31>2005 accelerate skin crack growth and result in decompression of the airplane. DATES: This AD is effective August 12, 2008. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 12, 2008. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207. We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to certain Boeing Model 737–100, –200, –200C, –300, –400, and –500 series airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2007 (72 FR 63831). That NPRM proposed to require various repetitive inspections for cracking of the upper frame to side frame splice of the fuselage, and other specified and corrective actions if necessary. That NPRM also provides for an optional preventive modification, which would terminate the repetitive inspections. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comments received. Requests To Clarify Certain Paragraphs Boeing, Southwest Airlines (SWA), United Airlines (UA), and the Air Transport Association (ATA) on behalf of its member UA, ask that certain PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 38905 language in certain paragraphs of the NPRM be clarified, as follows: Boeing states that the intent of paragraph (h) of the NPRM is unclear, and the conditional statement could be misinterpreted. Boeing notes that the statement ‘‘the structure that has been damaged is not covered in the structural repair manual’’ (SRM) will likely be interpreted differently by each airline. Boeing adds that this frame area is relatively complex with a frame splice, stringer clips, and, in some cases, a shear tie in the area of the repair. Boeing states that only specific SRM repairs can be used to fix the frame in this complex area; for that reason, the referenced service bulletin specifically lists the SRM sections that can be used, and recommends contacting Boeing if the existing repairs are not per these sections. Boeing notes that there are other frames and general formed section repairs in the SRM that operators could have used that may or may not work for this area; for those cases or others that may not have been repaired in accordance with the SRM, Boeing would like to evaluate them for structural adequacy. Boeing believes the intent of paragraph (h) is to cover this situation, except to refer to paragraph (j) of the NPRM instead of contacting Boeing. Boeing recommends that paragraph (h) be rewritten as follows: ‘‘If during the accomplishment of the corrective actions required by paragraph (f) of this AD, for airplanes for which a repair has previously been accomplished, if the repair is not per the 737–400 SRM 53–00–07, Figure 201, Repair 1, or 737–500 SRM 53–00–07, Figure 201, Repair 1, or 737–300 SRM 53–00–07, Figure 201, Repair 1, or 737– 100/200 SRM 53–10–4, Figure 1, as applicable, before further flight, repair in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.’’ ATA states that UA indicates that the term ‘‘structural repair manual,’’ as specified in paragraph (h) of the NPRM, should be replaced with ‘‘Service Bulletin 737–53A1261 Part III.’’ We agree that paragraph (h) of this AD should be clarified; there are many repairs for this structure specified in the SRM that could be installed which may not adequately address the unsafe condition. Therefore, we have changed paragraph (h) for clarification, as follows: ‘‘For airplanes on which a repair has been previously accomplished: If, during accomplishment of the corrective actions required by paragraph (f) of this AD, it is found that the repair was not done per the Boeing 737–100/200 SRM 53–10–4, Figure 1, or the Boeing 737– 300/400/500 SRM 53–00–07, Figure E:\FR\FM\08JYR1.SGM 08JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 131 (Tuesday, July 8, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 38900-38905]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-14470]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2007-28255; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-023-AD; 
Amendment 39-15589; AD 2008-13-26]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Lockheed Model 1329 Series Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain 
Lockheed Model 1329 series airplanes. This AD requires determining the 
part number on the steering cylinder assembly for the nose landing gear 
(NLG), determining the total flight cycles accumulated on the NLG 
steering cylinder assembly, repetitively replacing the assembly, 
inspecting for missing tow turning limit markings, and performing 
corrective actions if necessary. This AD results from reports of 
numerous failures of the NLG steering cylinder. We are issuing this AD 
to prevent the loss of hydraulic pressure and steering control.

DATES: This AD is effective August 12, 2008.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of August 12, 
2008.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, 86 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, 
Georgia 30063.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://
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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The address for the 
Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is the Document Management 
Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hector Hernandez, Aerospace Engineer, 
Systems and Equipment Branch, ACE-119A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft 
Certification Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 
450, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (770) 703-6069; fax (770) 703-
6097.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to 
certain Lockheed Model 1329 series

[[Page 38901]]

airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on May 24, 
2007 (72 FR 29088). That NPRM proposed to require determining the part 
number on the steering cylinder assembly for the nose landing gear 
(NLG), determining the total flight cycles accumulated on the NLG 
steering cylinder assembly, repetitively replacing the assembly, 
inspecting for missing tow turning limit markings, and performing 
corrective actions if necessary.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. We considered the comments received.

Request To Withdraw NPRM: Inadequate To Correct Unsafe Condition

    Faith Landmark Ministries requests that we withdraw the NPRM 
because it does not address the real problem with the NLG steering 
cylinder: Possible fatigue cracking due to machining errors during 
manufacture.
    We disagree. Based on information from Lockheed Martin, due to lack 
of access to this area there is no reliable inspection that can be 
performed in the thread relief area where the failures are occurring. 
The only way to do the inspection is to disassemble the actuator 
steering cylinder--which would destroy the cylinder. Originally the NLG 
steering cylinder was a life-limited part, but unknown to Lockheed 
Martin the life limit was removed from the Lockheed JetStar/Handbook of 
Operating and Maintenance Instructions (HOMI). We have determined that 
it is necessary to issue the final rule to re-establish a relevant life 
limit and to address the identified unsafe condition.

Request To Remove Certain Cylinder Part Numbers as Affected

    Faith Landmark Ministries and Carl A. Smith request that we revise 
the NPRM to remove P/N JL1955-7 steering cylinder as an affected part, 
because there is no record of a JL1955-7 steering cylinder failure due 
to stress corrosion cracking.
    We disagree. We received reports of several more service failures 
of P/N JL1955-7 steering cylinders as a result of fatigue cracking in 
the thread relief area. Although no signs of corrosion were found in 
these particular failures, access to this area is difficult, and a 
reliable inspection cannot be performed in the thread relief area where 
the failures are occurring. Further, disassembling the actuator 
steering cylinder would destroy the cylinder. Crack growth cannot be 
shown and inspection intervals cannot be developed because the initial 
detectable crack length is longer than the critical crack length. As a 
result, we find it necessary to impose a fatigue-based life limit on 
the actuator steering cylinder. We have not changed the final rule 
regarding this issue.

Suggestion of Possible Batch Problem

    Mr. Smith and Faith Landmark Ministries suggest the possibility of 
a batch problem with the P/N JL1955-7 steering cylinder. Faith Landmark 
Ministries states that four cylinders failed within two years on 
Lockheed Martin airplanes that had very close serial numbers (S/N 5211, 
5213, 5215, and 5218) and another cylinder failed on an airplane having 
S/N 5210. Mr. Smith also notes that the airplanes on which the parts 
experienced fatigue failures are bunched together (S/Ns 5210, 5213, 
5215, and 5218).
    The commenters made no specific request. We have reviewed the data 
and have found no evidence of any batch problem with the steering 
cylinders having P/N JL1955-7. We have not changed the final rule 
regarding this issue.

Request To Withdraw NPRM: Documentation Errors

    Faith Landmark Ministries requests that we withdraw the NPRM 
because of major errors in the supportive documentation and data 
supplied by Lockheed Martin.
    We disagree. The identified unsafe condition is a serious safety 
issue that must be corrected. Lockheed Service Bulletins 329-300, 
Revision C, and 329II-32-8, Revision B, both dated September 5, 2006, 
were cited as the appropriate sources of service information for the 
NPRM's proposed requirements. The actions specified in these service 
bulletins adequately address the identified unsafe condition; however, 
these service bulletins did contain discrepancies, which Lockheed 
Martin has corrected in Lockheed Service Bulletin 329-300, Revision D, 
and 329II-32-8, Revision C, both dated October 4, 2007. Relevant 
changes to the service bulletins are outlined below. We have determined 
that it is necessary to issue this final rule in order to address the 
identified unsafe condition. We have revised paragraph (f) of this 
final rule to require the revised service bulletins, and provided 
credit for accomplishment of the earlier revisions.

Requests To Address Service Bulletin Discrepancies

    Faith Landmark Ministries requests correction of certain 
discrepancies, as outlined below, in the service information cited in 
the NPRM. Lockheed Martin also stated that several operators have 
indicated a need for additional instructions on rebuilding the NLG 
steering cylinder assembly.
    Since we issued the NPRM, Lockheed issued Lockheed Service Bulletin 
329-300, Revision D, and 329II-32-8, Revision C, both dated October 4, 
2007. These revisions address many of the problems noted by the 
commenters, but do not add work beyond the actions specified in the 
previous revision levels. The service bulletins also extend the life 
limits for certain NLG steering cylinder assemblies (as set forth in 
the Life Limits table below).

       Revised Jetstar NLG Steering Cylinder Assembly Life Limits
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Life limit  (in
           Component                  Part No.          flight cycles)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
7049-T73 die forging...........  JL1955-5..........                2,175
7050-T7451 plate...............  JL1955-9..........                1,113
4340 steel bar.................  JL1955-801........                3,211
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We have revised paragraph (f) of this AD to require the revised 
service bulletins and added new paragraph (j) of this AD to provide 
credit for work already done in accordance with the previous revisions.
    Paragraph 2.B.(1) of the service bulletins indicates disassembling, 
cleaning, and inspecting the NLG steering actuator assembly per ``HOMI 
32.4.4.1'' (of the Lockheed JetStar/Handbook of Operating and 
Maintenance Instructions), but the correct reference is ``HOMI Figure 
32-26A.'' Faith Landmark Ministries states that for nose steering 
system rigging instructions, paragraph 2.B.(5) of the service bulletins 
refers to ``HOMI Figure

[[Page 38902]]

32-22,'' but the correct reference is ``HOMI Figure 32-25'' and that 
paragraph 2.B.(4) should refer to ``HOMI Figure 32-26A.'' The service 
bulletins have been revised to correct these discrepancies. Although 
the revised service bulletins do not specify the HOMI, they incorporate 
the necessary figure and instructions.
    Paragraph 2.B.(2) of the service bulletins specifies to identify 
the replacement NLG steering cylinder assembly with a serial number in 
the location and method specified by engineering drawing JL-1955, 
Revision AE or later. Faith Landmark Ministries states that one or more 
JetStar operators will probably use the same serial number so that, 
after repair, overhaul, or replacement, multiple units could have the 
same identifier. Further, the commenter states that the NLG steering 
cylinders are not serialized, so they cannot be traced. The commenter 
notes that many operators, trying to comply with an earlier version of 
the service bulletin, installed exchanged overhauled units, which are 
not serialized. As a result, the cylinders are mixed within the fleet, 
and it is possible that some of the mis-machined cylinders are still in 
service.
    We agree that the identification of the NLG steering cylinder 
assembly must be clear. The revised service bulletins specify 
completing the identification plate to indicate compliance with the 
service bulletin, and to indicate new P/N JL1501-7 or JL1501-9 for the 
NLG steering actuator assembly. It is our understanding that the 
JL1955-13 cylinder assembly (which uses the JL1955-15 cylinder) will 
have a serial number consisting of a vendor cage code and sequential 
numerical lot number beginning at -001. For example, the serial number 
should be 8 characters XXXXX001, where XXXXX is the vendor cage code 
unique to the manufacturer (vendor) and -001 identifies the lot number. 
The proposed serial number will tie the cylinder assembly to a specific 
manufacturer and lot number for traceability. As we discussed 
previously, we have revised this final rule to refer to the revised 
service bulletins.

Requests for Revised Engineering Drawing

    Mr. Smith and Faith Landmark Ministries refer to two reports by the 
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB): (1) The report associated 
with the NPRM (regarding a 1998 incident involving a Lockheed Model 
1329 airplane on which the nose landing gear wheel locked sideways on 
landing and caused the airplane to run off the runway) and (2) NTSB 
Materials Laboratory Factual Report 99-107, dated April 13, 1999. The 
commenters note that the Lockheed engineering drawing for the cylinder 
does not clearly define the machining details of this region of the 
cylinder, but shows a large radius without dimensions. The commenters 
suggest that this indicates a design problem that needs to be 
corrected. The commenters state that the fatigue origins were all 
located in a very straight circular path in the tread relief area 
around the inner surface of the cylinder.
    We infer that the commenters are requesting that we wait to issue 
the final rule until a revised drawing is available. We agree that the 
NTSB reports could indicate a design problem. Lockheed Martin examined 
engineering drawing JL-1955, Revision AD, dated March 10, 1978, and 
determined that view A on sheet 1 did not contain sufficient clarity to 
consistently produce the cylinder in a condition that Lockheed Martin 
had intended. Lockheed Martin examined the engineering drawing and 
found that the radius was defined but needed clarification. Lockheed 
Martin has prepared an engineering order against drawing JL-1955 and 
determined that sufficient detail now exists to consistently produce 
the cylinder with the intended thread relief groove. However, the 
revised service bulletins removed any reference to drawing JL-1955, 
Revision AD or AE. We have not changed the final rule regarding this 
issue.

Request To Clarify Criteria for Maintenance Personnel

    Faith Landmark Ministries asserts that reassembling the NLG 
steering cylinder should be done by qualified shop persons or overhaul 
specialists at an appropriately rated repair station.
    We infer that the commenter is requesting that we revise the NPRM 
to clarify the qualifications of personnel allowed to reassemble the 
NLG steering cylinder. As long as the actions are to be accomplished by 
persons prescribed in section 43.3 (``Persons authorized to perform 
maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, and alterations.'') of 
the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 43.3), the persons authorized 
to perform the work required in an AD are not prescribed by the AD. We 
have not changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Request To Remove Spares Prohibition

    Faith Landmark Ministries states that Lockheed Martin issued a 
JetStar Assessment, dated June 8, 2007, which reviews the history of 
the P/N JL1955-7 cylinder failures due to fatigue at the thread relief. 
This is the current configuration of most JetStars. The commenter is 
aware of six P/N JL1955-7 cylinders that were built as spares. The 
commenter states that there is no need to remove all the existing P/N 
JL1955-7 NLG cylinders from service. Lockheed Martin has developed a 
way to examine these cylinders; Lockheed Martin inspected the six 
cylinders that were in stock.
    We disagree with the commenter's assertion that Lockheed Martin has 
developed an adequate inspection for the P/N JL1955-7 NLG cylinders 
that would detect critical cracking. The JetStar assessment by Lockheed 
Martin addresses the service history of the failed cylinder along with 
material changes made on P/N JL1955-7, and explores the possibility of 
nondestructive inspections. Lockheed Martin concluded that combined 
ultrasonic and eddy current inspections would probably be ineffective. 
Lockheed Martin also considered a fluorescent penetrant inspection, 
provided a time interval could be calculated for continued safe flight 
and the cylinder could be disassembled for inspection.
    Based on information provided to the FAA, no available 
nondestructive inspection would detect a critical crack in the thread 
relief area where the failures are occurring because access to this 
area is unavailable. As stated previously, the only way to inspect the 
area is to disassemble the steering cylinder--which would destroy the 
cylinder. However, according to the provisions of paragraph (l) of the 
final rule, we may approve requests for alternative method of 
compliances (AMOCs) if the request includes data that prove that the 
AMOC would provide an acceptable level of safety. We have not changed 
the final rule regarding this issue.

Request for Information on Addressing Unsafe Condition

    Faith Landmark Ministries questions why Lockheed Martin did not 
take any action by way of an AD or similar to ensure that all the P/N 
JL1955-7 cylinders in the fleet were inspected for problems as soon as 
Lockheed Martin noticed the grouping of aircraft serial numbers 
experiencing steering cylinder failures or immediately after the 
incident that occurred in Houston in 1998, and the subsequent NTSB 
report.
    Only the FAA may initiate and issue ADs. Lockheed Martin did report 
the in-service failures to the FAA, and communicated with the NTSB as 
required. Data were gathered to enable a full assessment. The commenter 
made

[[Page 38903]]

no specific request to change the NPRM. No change to the final rule is 
necessary regarding this issue.

Request for Clarification of Unsafe Condition and Corrective Action

    Faith Landmark Ministries further questions why, when Service 
Bulletins 329-300 and 329II-32-8 came out in 2000, they referred only 
to ``corrosion problems'' and included no requirement to inspect the 
steering cylinder for the mis-machined thread relief that caused the 
failure of the steering cylinder in the 1998 incident that resulted 
from the unsafe condition and prompted the AD.
    The incident was investigated by the NTSB. Lockheed Martin was in 
contact with the NTSB and waiting for a final report and the actual 
part before they could properly make the assessment as shown in the 
service bulletins. The new revisions of the service bulletins issued in 
2007 include an inspection of all threads for burrs or evidence of 
cross threading. The commenter made no specific request to change the 
NPRM. We have not changed the final rule regarding this issue.

Request To Revise Cost Estimate

    Lockheed Martin states that the estimated cost for the part should 
be $14,876.57 per airplane, but the NPRM indicated no cost for parts.
    We infer that the operator requests that we revise the cost 
estimate of the NPRM. We agree. The NPRM provided the estimated costs 
for the inspection only. This final rule includes the costs for the 
conditionally required cylinder replacement.

Request To Revise Description of Unsafe Condition

    Lockheed Martin requests that we revise the Discussion section of 
the NPRM to add ``fatigue cracking in the thread relief'' as a possible 
cause of the NLG steering cylinder failures.
    We agree with Lockheed Martin's rationale, but the Discussion 
section is not repeated in a final rule so we have not changed this 
final rule regarding this issue.

Request To Revise Lockheed Martin Address

    Lockheed Martin requests that we revise the NPRM to update its 
address. We have changed the appropriate references in the final rule 
accordingly.

Request To Remove Life Limit

    Lockheed Martin indicates it plans to revise Service Bulletins 329-
300 and 329II-32-8 to remove the life limit on cylinder assembly P/N 
JL1955-9. Lockheed Martin believes that no P/N JL1955-9 cylinders have 
been built, as this material will not be the preferred material for 
replacement steering cylinders.
    We disagree that the life limit on P/N JL1955-9 should be removed. 
We have received no evidence indicating that this part does not have 
corrosion or fatigue issues, in light of the incidents that have 
occurred. The revised service bulletins did not remove the life limit 
on any of the cylinder assemblies. No change to the final rule is 
necessary regarding this issue.

Request To Clarify Cost Estimate

    Four Star Int'l, Inc., states that replacement cylinders should be 
made available to operators at no cost. The commenter reports that an 
NLG steering actuator failed apparently due to stress, with no 
corrosion observed. Because Lockheed Martin has since identified the 
source of the problem, and because this operator has already paid to 
replace the part once, the commenter contends that future parts costs 
should be Lockheed Martin's responsibility.
    The operator made no specific request to change the NPRM. Operators 
are responsible for maintaining their airplanes to the type design. The 
FAA cannot direct payment for replacement parts by any party. Operators 
should discuss any issues regarding these costs with the airplane 
manufacturer. We have made no change to the final rule regarding this 
issue.

Additional Change to NPRM

    Paragraph (g) of the NPRM specified to replace any cylinder 
assembly having P/N JL1955-1 or JL1955-3 with a new assembly, and 
paragraph (j) of the NPRM (paragraph (k) of this final rule) would have 
prohibited the installation of any cylinder assembly having P/N JL1955-
1 or JL1955-3. (P/N JL1955-3 is a cylinder, rather than an assembly.) 
Since the P/N JL1955-1 cylinder assembly uses the P/N JL1955-3 
cylinder, we have deleted the references to P/N JL1955-3 in the final 
rule.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
the AD with the changes described previously. We also determined that 
these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or 
increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

    There are about 48 airplanes of the affected design in the 
worldwide fleet. The following table provides the estimated costs for 
U.S. operators to comply with this AD.

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Average
                                 Work      labor                   Cost per     Number of U.S.-
           Action               hours     rate per    Parts        airplane        registered       Fleet cost
                                            hour                                   airplanes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspect for P/N.............          3        $80         $0  $240...........  34.............  $8,160.
Replace assembly............          2         80     14,877  15,037, per      Up to 34.......  Up to $511,258,
                                                                replacement.                      per
                                                                                                  replacement.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will not have a

[[Page 38904]]

substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), and
    (3) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    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, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

0
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, 
the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new AD:

2008-13-26 Lockheed: Amendment 39-15589. Docket No. FAA-2007-28255; 
Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-023-AD.

Effective Date

    (a) This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective August 12, 
2008.

Affected ADs

    (b) None.

Applicability

    (c) This AD applies to the following airplanes, certificated in 
any category.
    (1) Lockheed Model 1329-23A, 1329-23D, and 1329-23E series 
airplanes; serial numbers 5001 through 5162 inclusive.
    (2) Lockheed Model 1329-25 series airplanes, serial numbers 5201 
through 5240 inclusive.

Unsafe Condition

    (d) This AD results from reports of numerous failures of the 
nose landing gear (NLG) steering cylinder. We are issuing this AD to 
prevent the loss of hydraulic pressure and steering control.

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.

Service Information

    (f) The term ``service bulletin,'' as used in this AD, means the 
Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service bulletin 
identified in Table 1 of this AD.

                                                               Table 1.--Service Bulletins
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Lockheed Service Bulletin               Revision                         Date                                  Affected airplanes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
329-300..............................  D.....................  October 4, 2007....................  1329-23A, 1329-23D, 1329-23E.
329II-32-8...........................  C.....................  October 4, 2007....................  1329-25.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inspection for Cylinder Assembly Part Number

    (g) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect 
to determine the part number (P/N) on the steering cylinder assembly 
for the nose landing gear (NLG). A review of airplane maintenance 
records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number 
can be conclusively determined from that review. Replace any 
cylinder assembly having P/N JL1955-1 with a new assembly before 
further flight in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

Life Limits

    (h) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Review 
the airplane records to determine the total flight cycles 
accumulated on the NLG steering cylinder assembly, in accordance 
with the applicable service bulletin. Before any steering cylinder 
assembly component reaches its life limit, as specified in Table 1 
of the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service 
bulletin, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, 
whichever occurs later: Replace the cylinder assembly with a new 
assembly in accordance with the applicable service bulletin. If the 
steering cylinder assembly's age cannot be positively determined 
from the records review, replace it within 30 days after the 
effective date of this AD, in accordance with the applicable service 
bulletin. Thereafter, replace the cylinder assembly at intervals not 
to exceed the life limits as specified in the applicable service 
bulletin.

Inspection for Tow Turning Limit Markings

    (i) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD: Perform 
a general visual inspection above the NLG doors to detect missing 
tow turning limit markings, in accordance with the applicable 
service bulletin. If any markings are absent, restore/apply markings 
before further flight in accordance with the applicable service 
bulletin.

    Note 1: For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection 
is: ``A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, 
installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or 
irregularity. This level of inspection is made from within touching 
distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to 
ensure visual access to all surfaces in the inspection area. This 
level of inspection is made under normally available lighting 
conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or 
droplight and may require removal or opening of access panels or 
doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain 
proximity to the area being checked.''

Credit for Actions Done per Previous Version of Service Bulletins

    (j) Accomplishment of the actions specified in Lockheed Service 
Bulletin 329-300, Revision C, dated September 5, 2006, or 329II-32-
8, Revision B, dated September 5, 2006, as applicable, before the 
effective date of this AD, is acceptable for compliance with the 
corresponding requirements of this AD.

Parts Installation

    (k) As of the effective date of this AD, do not install on any 
airplane a NLG steering cylinder assembly that has P/N JL1955-1.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (l)(1) The Manager, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
FAA, ATTN: Hector Hernandez, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and 
Equipment Branch, ACE-119A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification 
Office, One Crown Center, 1895 Phoenix Boulevard, Suite 450, 
Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (770) 703-6069; fax (770) 703-
6097; 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.

Material Incorporated by Reference

    (m) You must use Lockheed Service Bulletin 329-300, Revision D, 
dated October 4, 2007; or Lockheed Service Bulletin 329II-32-8, 
Revision C, dated October 4, 2007; as applicable, to do the actions 
required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference of

[[Page 38905]]

this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, 86 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, 
Georgia 30063.
    (3) You may review copies of the service information 
incorporated by reference at the FAA, Transport Airplane 
Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the 
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information 
on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or 
go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_
regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 13, 2008.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-14470 Filed 7-7-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P