Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes, 54856-54859 [2012-21944]

Download as PDF 54856 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 173 / Thursday, September 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Installation and Replacement Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, install aft and forward drain tubes, relocate wire bundle routing, install a new drip shield and drip shield deflectors, and replace insulation blankets, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747–25A3580, Revision 1, dated July 14, 2011 (for Model 747–400F series airplanes); or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747– 25A3581, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2011 (for Model 747–400 series airplanes). (h) Concurrent Actions For Group 1 airplanes as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747–25A3581, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2011: Prior to or concurrently with the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, seal the drain slot, install spuds, and install left- and right-side drain tubes, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747–25A3526, Revision 1, dated February 20, 2009 (for Model 747–400 series airplanes), except as specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD. (1) Steps 1 through 5 of Figure 2 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747–25A3526, Revision 1, dated February 20, 2009, are not required if work is being accomplished concurrently with the actions specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747–25A3581, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2011 (for Model 747–400 series airplanes). (2) The portion of ‘‘More Data’’ in step 8 of Figure 3 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747–25A3526, Revision 1, dated February 20, 2009, which says ‘‘Attach drain tube and strap above bead on the spud,’’ is not required. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANMSeattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (j) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Francis Smith, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety & Environmental Control Systems, ANM–150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; phone: 425–917–6457; fax: 425–917–6590; email: francis.smith@faa.gov. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Sep 05, 2012 Jkt 226001 (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H–65, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207; telephone 206–544–5000, extension 1; fax 206–766– 5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet. com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057– 3356. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 24, 2012. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–21933 Filed 9–5–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0931; Directorate Identifier 2011–NM–128–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 727– 100, 727–100C, 727–200, and 727–200F series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a structural re-evaluation by the manufacturer, which identified elements within the wing trailing edge flap area that qualify as structural significant items (SSI). This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance inspection program to include inspections that will give no less than the required damage tolerance rating for certain SSIs, and repairing cracked structure. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the wing trailing edge structure, which could result in compromised structural integrity of the airplane. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 22, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H–65, Seattle, Washington 98124– 2207; telephone 206–544–5000, extension 1; fax 206–766–5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227– 1221. 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 proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057–3356; phone: 425– 917–6577; fax: 425–917–6590; email: Berhane.Alazar@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA– 2012–0931; Directorate Identifier 2011– NM–128–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 http:// E:\FR\FM\06SEP1.SGM 06SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 173 / Thursday, September 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules 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. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Discussion In the early 1980s, as part of its continuing work to maintain the structural integrity of older transport category airplanes, the FAA concluded that the incidence of fatigue cracking may increase as these airplanes reach or exceed their design service objective (DSO). In light of this, and as a result of increased utilization, and longer operational lives, we determined that a supplemental structural inspection program (SSIP) was necessary to maintain the continued structural integrity for all airplanes in the transport fleet. Since the establishment of the SSI Supplemental Structural Inspection Document (SSID) D6–48040–1, we have received information from the manufacturer, which identified elements within the wing trailing edge flap area, which qualified as SSI. An SSI is defined as a structural part or component that contributes significantly to carry flight, ground, pressure, or control loads, and whose failure could affect the structural integrity necessary for the safety of the airplane, and whose damage tolerance or safe-life characteristics it is necessary, therefore, to establish or confirm. Uncorrected fatigue cracks in these structural elements could result in compromised structural integrity of the airplane. Issuance of FAA Advisory Circular (AC) On March 7, 2008, we issued AC 91– 56B, ‘‘Continuing Structural Integrity Program for Airplanes,’’ (http:// rgl.faa.gov/ Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/ rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/list/AC%209156B/$FILE/AC%2091-56B.pdf). That AC provides guidance material to manufacturers and operators for use in developing a continuing structural integrity program to ensure safe operation of older airplanes throughout their operational lives. This guidance material applies to transport airplanes that were certified under the fail-safe requirements of part 4b (‘‘Airplane Airworthiness, Transport Categories’’) of the Civil Air Regulations or damage tolerance structural requirements of part 25 (‘‘Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Airplanes’’) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) (14 CFR part 25), and that have a maximum gross weight greater than 75,000 pounds. The procedures set forth in that VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Sep 05, 2012 Jkt 226001 54857 AC are applicable to transport category airplanes operated under subpart D (‘‘Special Flight Operations’’) of part 91 (‘‘General Operating and Flight Rules’’) of the FARs (14 CFR part 91); part 121 (‘‘Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental Operations’’) of the FARs (14 CFR part 121); part 125 (‘‘Certification and Operations: Airplanes Having a Seating Capacity of 20 or More Passengers or a Maximum Payload of 6,000 Pounds or More and Rules Governing Persons Onboard Such Aircraft’’) of the FARs (14 CFR part 125); and part 135 (‘‘Operating Requirements: Commuter and OnDemand Operations and Rules Governing Persons On Board Such Aircraft’’) of the FARs (14 CFR part 135). The objective of the SSIP was to establish inspection programs to ensure timely detection of fatigue cracking. include inspections that will give no less than the required damage tolerance rating for each SSI, and repair of cracked structure. AD 98–11–03 R1 requires that the maintenance inspection program be revised to include inspections that will give no less than the required damage tolerance rating for each SSI, and repair of cracked structure. That action was prompted by a structural re-evaluation by the manufacturer that identified additional structural elements for which, if damage were to occur, supplemental inspections may be required for timely crack detection. The actions required by that AD are intended to ensure the continued structural integrity of The Boeing Company Model 727 fleet. Development of the SSIP In order to evaluate the effect of increased fatigue cracking with respect to maintaining fail-safe design and damage tolerance of the structure of The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 727– 100, 727–100C, 727–200, and 727–200F series airplanes, Boeing conducted a structural reassessment of those airplanes, using damage tolerance evaluation techniques. Boeing accomplished this reassessment using the criteria contained in FAA AC 91– 56B, dated March 7, 2008, (http:// rgl.faa.gov/ Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/ rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/list/AC%209156B/$FILE/AC%2091-56B.pdf), as well as Amendment 25–45, effective December 1, 1978, of section 25.571 (‘‘Damage-tolerance and fatigue evaluation of structure’’) of the FARs (14 CFR 25.571). During the reassessment, members of the airline industry participated with Boeing in working group sessions and developed the SSIP for Model 727, 727C, 727–100, 727– 100C, 727–200, and 727–200F series airplanes. Engineers and maintenance specialists from the FAA also supported these sessions. Subsequently, based on the working group’s recommendations, Boeing developed the Supplemental Structural Inspection Document (SSID) D6–48040–1. We reviewed Boeing Document D6– 48040–2, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated December 2010, which identifies SSIs within the wing trailing edge flap area that need inspection to ensure timely detection of fatigue damage. The inspection requirements identified in Boeing Document D6–48040–2, Appendix A, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, dated December 2010, are intended to be accomplished in conjunction with, not as a replacement for, the existing approved structural inspection program. Other Related Rulemaking On May 12, 1998, the FAA issued AD 98–11–03, Amendment 39–10530 (63 FR 27455, May 19, 1999), which is applicable to all The Boeing Company Model 727 series airplanes. On December 30, 1998, the FAA issued AD 98–11–03 R1, Amendment 39–10983 (64 FR 989, January 7, 1999), to revise the maintenance inspection program to PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Relevant Service Information FAA’s Determination We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance inspection program to include inspections that will give no less than the required damage tolerance rating for each SSI, repetitive inspections to detect cracks in SSIs, and repair of any cracked structure. Before any airplane that is subject to this proposed AD can be added to an air carrier’s operations specifications, a program for doing the inspections required by this proposed AD must be established. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD affects 206 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: E:\FR\FM\06SEP1.SGM 06SEP1 54858 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 173 / Thursday, September 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules ESTIMATED COSTS Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Revise maintenance program ......................... 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 ................. $0 $85 $17,510 TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Compliance with this proposed AD would be a method of compliance with the FAA aging airplane safety final rule (AASFR) (70 FR 5518, February 2, 2005) for certain baseline structure of Model 727, 727C, 727–100, 727–100C, 727– 200, and 727–200F series airplanes. The AASFR final rule requires certain operators to incorporate damage tolerance inspections into their maintenance inspection programs. These requirements are described in paragraph (c)(1) of section 121.1109 of the FARs (14 CFR 121.1109 (c)(1)) and paragraph (b)(1) of section 129.109 of the FARs (14 CFR 129.109(b)(1)). Accomplishment of the actions required by this proposed AD will meet the requirements of these CFR sections for certain baseline structure. The costs for accomplishing the inspection portion of this proposed AD were accounted for in the regulatory evaluation of the AASFR final rule. We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD. Authority for This Rulemaking Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA’s authority to issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: ‘‘General requirements.’’ Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Sep 05, 2012 Jkt 226001 Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, 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 airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA– 2012–0931; Directorate Identifier 2011– NM–128–AD. (a) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by October 22, 2012. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability (1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 727–100, 727– 100C, 727–200, and 727–200F series airplanes, certificated in any category. (2) This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections, methods, and compliance times.) Compliance with these actions is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) according to paragraph (j) of this AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required actions that will ensure the continued operational safety of the airplane. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/ Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a structural reevaluation by the manufacturer, which identified elements within the wing trailing edge flap area that qualify as structural significant items (SSI). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the wing trailing edge structure, which could result in compromised structural integrity of the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Revise Maintenance Program (1) Before the accumulation of 55,000 total flight cycles, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later: Revise the maintenance program to incorporate inspections that provide no less than the required damage tolerance rating (DTR) for each SSI listed in Boeing Document D6–48040–2, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated December 2010. The required DTR value for each SSI is identified in Boeing Document D6–48040– 2, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated December 2010. The revision to the maintenance inspection program must include and must be implemented in accordance with the procedures in Section 3.0 of Boeing Document D6–48040–2, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated December 2010; and in accordance with the procedures in Section 5.0, ‘‘Damage Tolerance Rating (DTR) System Application,’’ and Section 6.0, ‘‘SSI Discrepancy Reporting,’’ of Boeing Document D6–48040–1, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document (SSID), Volume 1, Revision H, dated June 1994. (2) The initial compliance time for the inspections is before the accumulation of 55,000 total flight cycles, or within 3,000 flight cycles after 12 months from the E:\FR\FM\06SEP1.SGM 06SEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 173 / Thursday, September 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later. (h) Repair If any cracked structure is found during any inspection specified in Boeing Document D6–48040–2, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated December 2010, before further flight, repair the cracked structure using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD. 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 24, 2012. Ali Bahrami, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2012–21944 Filed 9–5–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANMSeattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that 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. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (i) No Alternative Actions or Intervals After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used other than those specified in Boeing Document D6–48040–2, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated December 2010, unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD. AGENCY: (k) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057– 3356; phone: 425–917–6577; fax: 425–917– 6590; email: Berhane.Alazar@faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H–65, Seattle, Washington 98124–2207; telephone 206–544–5000, extension 1; fax 206–766– 5680; Internet https:// www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Sep 05, 2012 Jkt 226001 Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2012–0750; Airspace Docket No. 11–AWP–4] RIN 2120–AA66 Proposed Establishment of VOR Federal Airway V–629; Las Vegas, NV Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). This action proposes to establish a new VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) Federal airway near Las Vegas, NV, to supplement the existing route structure for aircraft navigating in an area of marginal radar coverage. This would enhance the efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS). DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 22, 2012. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001; telephone: (202) 366–9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA–2012–0750 and Airspace Docket No. 11–AWP–4 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Gallant, Airspace, Regulations and ATC Procedures Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Comments Invited Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 54859 developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA– 2012–0750 and Airspace Docket No. 11– AWP–4) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management Facility (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ‘‘Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA–2012–0750 and Airspace Docket No. 11–AWP–4.’’ The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter. All communications received on or before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the closing date for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket. Availability of NPRMs An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 1601 Lind Ave. SW., Renton, WA 98057. Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA’s Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267–9677, for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11–2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure. The Proposal The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations E:\FR\FM\06SEP1.SGM 06SEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 173 (Thursday, September 6, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54856-54859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21944]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0931; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-128-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all 
The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 
727-200F series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a 
structural re-evaluation by the manufacturer, which identified elements 
within the wing trailing edge flap area that qualify as structural 
significant items (SSI). This proposed AD would require revising the 
maintenance inspection program to include inspections that will give no 
less than the required damage tolerance rating for certain SSIs, and 
repairing cracked structure. We are proposing this AD to detect and 
correct fatigue cracking of the wing trailing edge structure, which 
could result in compromised structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by October 22, 
2012.

ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact 
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 
P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207; telephone 206-
544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced service 
information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind 
Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of 
this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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 proposed AD, the regulatory 
evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street 
address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES 
section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after 
receipt.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or 
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed 
under the ADDRESSES section. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2012-0931; 
Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-128-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 http://

[[Page 54857]]

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

    In the early 1980s, as part of its continuing work to maintain the 
structural integrity of older transport category airplanes, the FAA 
concluded that the incidence of fatigue cracking may increase as these 
airplanes reach or exceed their design service objective (DSO). In 
light of this, and as a result of increased utilization, and longer 
operational lives, we determined that a supplemental structural 
inspection program (SSIP) was necessary to maintain the continued 
structural integrity for all airplanes in the transport fleet.
    Since the establishment of the SSI Supplemental Structural 
Inspection Document (SSID) D6-48040-1, we have received information 
from the manufacturer, which identified elements within the wing 
trailing edge flap area, which qualified as SSI. An SSI is defined as a 
structural part or component that contributes significantly to carry 
flight, ground, pressure, or control loads, and whose failure could 
affect the structural integrity necessary for the safety of the 
airplane, and whose damage tolerance or safe-life characteristics it is 
necessary, therefore, to establish or confirm. Uncorrected fatigue 
cracks in these structural elements could result in compromised 
structural integrity of the airplane.

Issuance of FAA Advisory Circular (AC)

    On March 7, 2008, we issued AC 91-56B, ``Continuing Structural 
Integrity Program for Airplanes,'' (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory--
and--Guidance--Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/list/AC%2091-56B/$FILE/
AC%2091-56B.pdf). That AC provides guidance material to manufacturers 
and operators for use in developing a continuing structural integrity 
program to ensure safe operation of older airplanes throughout their 
operational lives. This guidance material applies to transport 
airplanes that were certified under the fail-safe requirements of part 
4b (``Airplane Airworthiness, Transport Categories'') of the Civil Air 
Regulations or damage tolerance structural requirements of part 25 
(``Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Airplanes'') of the 
Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) (14 CFR part 25), and that have a 
maximum gross weight greater than 75,000 pounds. The procedures set 
forth in that AC are applicable to transport category airplanes 
operated under subpart D (``Special Flight Operations'') of part 91 
(``General Operating and Flight Rules'') of the FARs (14 CFR part 91); 
part 121 (``Operating Requirements: Domestic, Flag, and Supplemental 
Operations'') of the FARs (14 CFR part 121); part 125 (``Certification 
and Operations: Airplanes Having a Seating Capacity of 20 or More 
Passengers or a Maximum Payload of 6,000 Pounds or More and Rules 
Governing Persons Onboard Such Aircraft'') of the FARs (14 CFR part 
125); and part 135 (``Operating Requirements: Commuter and On-Demand 
Operations and Rules Governing Persons On Board Such Aircraft'') of the 
FARs (14 CFR part 135). The objective of the SSIP was to establish 
inspection programs to ensure timely detection of fatigue cracking.

Development of the SSIP

    In order to evaluate the effect of increased fatigue cracking with 
respect to maintaining fail-safe design and damage tolerance of the 
structure of The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 727-100, 727-100C, 
727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes, Boeing conducted a structural 
reassessment of those airplanes, using damage tolerance evaluation 
techniques. Boeing accomplished this reassessment using the criteria 
contained in FAA AC 91-56B, dated March 7, 2008, (http://rgl.faa.gov/
Regulatory--and--Guidance--Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/list/AC%2091-
56B/$FILE/AC%2091-56B.pdf), as well as Amendment 25-45, effective 
December 1, 1978, of section 25.571 (``Damage-tolerance and fatigue 
evaluation of structure'') of the FARs (14 CFR 25.571). During the 
reassessment, members of the airline industry participated with Boeing 
in working group sessions and developed the SSIP for Model 727, 727C, 
727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes. Engineers 
and maintenance specialists from the FAA also supported these sessions. 
Subsequently, based on the working group's recommendations, Boeing 
developed the Supplemental Structural Inspection Document (SSID) D6-
48040-1.

Other Related Rulemaking

    On May 12, 1998, the FAA issued AD 98-11-03, Amendment 39-10530 (63 
FR 27455, May 19, 1999), which is applicable to all The Boeing Company 
Model 727 series airplanes. On December 30, 1998, the FAA issued AD 98-
11-03 R1, Amendment 39-10983 (64 FR 989, January 7, 1999), to revise 
the maintenance inspection program to include inspections that will 
give no less than the required damage tolerance rating for each SSI, 
and repair of cracked structure. AD 98-11-03 R1 requires that the 
maintenance inspection program be revised to include inspections that 
will give no less than the required damage tolerance rating for each 
SSI, and repair of cracked structure. That action was prompted by a 
structural re-evaluation by the manufacturer that identified additional 
structural elements for which, if damage were to occur, supplemental 
inspections may be required for timely crack detection. The actions 
required by that AD are intended to ensure the continued structural 
integrity of The Boeing Company Model 727 fleet.

Relevant Service Information

    We reviewed Boeing Document D6-48040-2, Supplemental Structural 
Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated December 
2010, which identifies SSIs within the wing trailing edge flap area 
that need inspection to ensure timely detection of fatigue damage. The 
inspection requirements identified in Boeing Document D6-48040-2, 
Appendix A, Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 
Airplanes, dated December 2010, are intended to be accomplished in 
conjunction with, not as a replacement for, the existing approved 
structural inspection program.

FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant 
information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is 
likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require revising the maintenance inspection 
program to include inspections that will give no less than the required 
damage tolerance rating for each SSI, repetitive inspections to detect 
cracks in SSIs, and repair of any cracked structure. Before any 
airplane that is subject to this proposed AD can be added to an air 
carrier's operations specifications, a program for doing the 
inspections required by this proposed AD must be established.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 206 airplanes of U.S. 
registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed 
AD:

[[Page 54858]]



                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
               Action                        Labor cost           Parts cost        product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Revise maintenance program..........  1 work-hour x $85 per                $0              $85          $17,510
                                       hour = $85.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Compliance with this proposed AD would be a method of compliance 
with the FAA aging airplane safety final rule (AASFR) (70 FR 5518, 
February 2, 2005) for certain baseline structure of Model 727, 727C, 
727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes. The AASFR 
final rule requires certain operators to incorporate damage tolerance 
inspections into their maintenance inspection programs. These 
requirements are described in paragraph (c)(1) of section 121.1109 of 
the FARs (14 CFR 121.1109 (c)(1)) and paragraph (b)(1) of section 
129.109 of the FARs (14 CFR 129.109(b)(1)). Accomplishment of the 
actions required by this proposed AD will meet the requirements of 
these CFR sections for certain baseline structure. The costs for 
accomplishing the inspection portion of this proposed AD were accounted 
for in the regulatory evaluation of the AASFR final rule.
    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide 
cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed 
AD.

Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: ``General 
requirements.'' Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with 
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing 
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator 
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within 
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition 
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),
    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (4) Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or 
negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria 
of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, 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 
airworthiness directive (AD):

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2012-0931; Directorate Identifier 
2011-NM-128-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by October 22, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 
727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes, 
certificated in any category.
    (2) This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance 
documents to include new actions (e.g., inspections, methods, and 
compliance times.) Compliance with these actions is required by 14 
CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, 
altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, 
the operator may not be able to accomplish the inspections described 
in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 
91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative 
method of compliance (AMOC) according to paragraph (j) of this AD. 
The request should include a description of changes to the required 
actions that will ensure the continued operational safety of the 
airplane.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association 
(ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a structural re-evaluation by the 
manufacturer, which identified elements within the wing trailing 
edge flap area that qualify as structural significant items (SSI). 
We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the 
wing trailing edge structure, which could result in compromised 
structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Revise Maintenance Program

    (1) Before the accumulation of 55,000 total flight cycles, or 
within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever 
occurs later: Revise the maintenance program to incorporate 
inspections that provide no less than the required damage tolerance 
rating (DTR) for each SSI listed in Boeing Document D6-48040-2, 
Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, 
Appendix A, dated December 2010. The required DTR value for each SSI 
is identified in Boeing Document D6-48040-2, Supplemental Structural 
Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated 
December 2010. The revision to the maintenance inspection program 
must include and must be implemented in accordance with the 
procedures in Section 3.0 of Boeing Document D6-48040-2, 
Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, 
Appendix A, dated December 2010; and in accordance with the 
procedures in Section 5.0, ``Damage Tolerance Rating (DTR) System 
Application,'' and Section 6.0, ``SSI Discrepancy Reporting,'' of 
Boeing Document D6-48040-1, Supplemental Structural Inspection 
Document (SSID), Volume 1, Revision H, dated June 1994.
    (2) The initial compliance time for the inspections is before 
the accumulation of 55,000 total flight cycles, or within 3,000 
flight cycles after 12 months from the

[[Page 54859]]

effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

(h) Repair

    If any cracked structure is found during any inspection 
specified in Boeing Document D6-48040-2, Supplemental Structural 
Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, Appendix A, dated 
December 2010, before further flight, repair the cracked structure 
using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified 
in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(i) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of 
this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may 
be used other than those specified in Boeing Document D6-48040-2, 
Supplemental Structural Inspection Document For Model 727 Airplanes, 
Appendix A, dated December 2010, unless the actions or intervals are 
approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance 
with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested 
using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 
CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local 
Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending 
information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the 
attention of the person identified in the Related Information 
section of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-Seattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov.
    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.
    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be 
used for any repair required by this AD if it is approved by the 
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization 
(ODA) that 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.

(k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Berhane Alazar, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft 
Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 
98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6577; fax: 425-917-6590; email: 
Berhane.Alazar@faa.gov.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 
P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207; telephone 
206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced 
service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 
Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the 
availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 24, 2012.
Ali Bahrami,
Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-21944 Filed 9-5-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P