Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes, 9367-9370 [2016-03698]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 37 / Thursday, February 25, 2016 / Proposed Rules Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 16, 2016. Dionne Palermo, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–03996 Filed 2–24–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2011–0254; Directorate Identifier 2010–NM–180–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Proposed rule; withdrawal. AGENCY: rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Discussion The FAA withdraws a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed a new airworthiness directive (AD), which would have applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, –900, and –900ER series airplanes. For certain airplanes, the NPRM would have required a one-time inspection for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reversers, and repair or replacement if necessary. For all airplanes, the NPRM would have required repetitive inspections for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends, attach bolts, and nuts; repetitive inspections for damage of fitting assemblies, wear spacers, and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reverser; repetitive measurements of the wear spacer; and corrective actions if necessary. Since the NPRM was issued, the manufacturer notified us that an assumption regarding a failure mode of the rod ends or attachment fittings for the thrust reverser actuator used in the original safety assessment was incorrect. A new safety analysis was conducted and we determined that this issue is no longer a safety concern. Accordingly, the NPRM is withdrawn. DATES: As of February 25, 2016, the proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2011 (76 FR 15864), is withdrawn. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2011– 0254; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:27 Feb 24, 2016 Jkt 238001 and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD action, the NPRM (76 FR 15864, March 22, 2011), the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800–647–5527) is the Docket 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: Tak Kobayashi, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM–140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; phone: 425–917–6499; fax: 425–917–6590; email: Takahisa.Kobayashi@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We proposed to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) with a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for a new AD for certain The Boeing Company Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, –900, and –900ER series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2011 (76 FR 15864) (‘‘the NPRM’’). For certain airplanes, the NPRM would have required a one-time inspection for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reversers, and repair or replacement if necessary. For all airplanes, the NPRM would have required repetitive inspections for damage of the hydraulic actuator rod ends, attach bolts, and nuts; repetitive inspections for damage of fitting assemblies, wear spacers, and actuator attach fittings on the thrust reverser; repetitive measurements of the wear spacer; and corrective actions if necessary. The NPRM was prompted by reports of in-service damage of the attachment fittings for the thrust reverser actuator. The proposed actions were intended to detect and correct such damage, which could result in actuator attach fitting failure, loss of the thrust reverser auto restow function, and consequent loss of control of the airplane. Actions Since NPRM Was Issued Since we issued the NPRM, the manufacturer has notified us that an assumption regarding a failure mode of the attachment fittings for the thrust reverser actuator used in the original safety assessment was incorrect. It was originally assumed that all hydraulic actuators attached to the thrust reverser PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 9367 have the failure mode (failure of the hydraulic actuator rod end or attach fitting due to severe wear-out) addressed in the NPRM. Based on field reports and design review, the manufacturer found that certain hydraulic actuators do not have this failure mode. Based on this new manufacturer finding, a new safety analysis was conducted and we determined that this issue is no longer a safety concern. FAA’s Conclusions Upon further consideration, we have determined that the safety concern identified in the NPRM does not affect The Boeing Company Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, –900, and –900ER series airplanes identified in the NPRM. Accordingly, the NPRM is withdrawn. Withdrawal of the NPRM does not preclude the FAA from issuing another related action or commit the FAA to any course of action in the future. Regulatory Impact Since this action only withdraws an NPRM, it is neither a proposed nor a final rule and therefore is not covered under Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, or DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. The Withdrawal Accordingly, we withdraw the NPRM, Docket No. FAA–2011–0254, Directorate Identifier 2010–NM–180–AD, which was published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2011 (76 FR 15864). Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 15, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–03693 Filed 2–24–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2016–3703; Directorate Identifier 2015–NM–115–AD] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\25FEP1.SGM 25FEP1 9368 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 37 / Thursday, February 25, 2016 / Proposed Rules Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). ACTION: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 767–200, –300, and –400ER series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive external detailed and surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the outer skin for cracking around fastener heads common to the inboard fastener row of the skin lap splice. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the skin lap splice, which, if not detected, could grow and result in possible rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane. SUMMARY: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 11, 2016. 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 NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H–65, Seattle, WA 98124–2207; telephone: 206–544–5000, extension 1; fax: 206– 766–5680; Internet https:// www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. It is also available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 3703. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS DATES: Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 3703; or in person at the Docket VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:27 Feb 24, 2016 Jkt 238001 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: Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; phone: 425–917–6447; fax: 425–917–6590; email: wayne.lockett@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– 2016–3703; Directorate Identifier 2015– NM–115–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:// 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 Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site- PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as WFD. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention. The FAA’s WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved. The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by ADs through separate rulemaking actions. In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes. We have received an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to WFD. As a result of WFD analysis, the stringer S–2R skin lap splice from station (STA) 368 to STA 434 requires additional supplemental inspection beyond the inspections specified in the Boeing Model 767 airplane maintenance planning document. This condition, if not corrected, could result in cracking of the skin lap splice, which could grow and result in possible rapid E:\FR\FM\25FEP1.SGM 25FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 37 / Thursday, February 25, 2016 / Proposed Rules decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. The service information describes procedures for a detailed inspection and a surface HFEC inspection at section 41, stringer S–2R skin lap splice from STA 368 to STA 434, for any cracking, and repair. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section. 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 accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under ‘‘Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.’’ For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service 9369 information at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 3703.’’ The phrase ‘‘corrective actions’’ is used in this proposed AD. ‘‘Corrective actions’’ are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD affects 356 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Inspections ......... 3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255 per inspection cycle. $0 $255 per inspection cycle .............. 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. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Regulatory Findings 13:27 Feb 24, 2016 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: ■ 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 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. Jkt 238001 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– 2016–3703; Directorate Identifier 2015– NM–115–AD. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Cost on U.S. operators $90,780 per inspection cycle. (a) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by April 11, 2016. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to the Boeing Company Model 767–200, –300, and –400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of this skin lap splice, which, if not detected, could grow and result in possible rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Inspection and Corrective Actions At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection and a surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection at section 41, stringer S–2R skin lap splice from body station (STA) 368 to STA 434, for any cracking, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert E:\FR\FM\25FEP1.SGM 25FEP1 9370 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 37 / Thursday, February 25, 2016 / Proposed Rules Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. If any existing external repair is found in the inspection area, then the inspections in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, are not required in the area hidden by the repair, provided that the repair was previously approved by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), or by the Authorized Representative of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), or installed as specified in Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. Inspections in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767–53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, remain applicable in areas not hidden by the repair. rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (h) Exception to the Service Information Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767– 53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, specifies a compliance time ‘‘after the original issue date of this service bulletin,’’ this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD. (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Seattle 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 paragraph (i) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-Seattle-ACO-AMOCRequests@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, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes ODA that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD. (4) Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) apply. (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures. VerDate Sep<11>2014 13:27 Feb 24, 2016 Jkt 238001 (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator’s maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. (j) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; phone: 425–917–6447; fax: 425– 917–6590; email: wayne.lockett@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, WA 98124–2207; telephone: 206– 544–5000, extension 1; fax: 206–766–5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 15, 2016. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–03698 Filed 2–24–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2016–3702; Directorate Identifier 2015–NM–103–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 supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013–24– 12, which applies to all The Boeing Company Model 747–8 and 747–8F airplanes. AD 2013–24–12 currently requires repetitive ultrasonic or dye penetrant inspections for cracking of the barrel nuts and bolts on each forward engine mount, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Since we issued AD 2013–24–12, we have determined that it is necessary to mandate the installation of new barrel nuts or new inspections to adequately address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would retain the requirements of AD 2013–24–12 and SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 add requirements to install new barrel nuts at the forward engine mounts; or identify the part number of the barrel nuts, inspect affected barrel nuts for gaps of the strut bulkhead and forward engine mount, and do related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also remove airplanes from the applicability. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracked barrel nuts on a forward engine mount, which could result in reduced load capacity of the forward engine mount, separation of an engine under power from the airplane, and consequent loss of control of the airplane. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 11, 2016. 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 NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H– 65, Seattle, WA 98124–2207; telephone: 206–544–5000, extension 1; fax: 206– 766–5680; Internet https:// www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. It is also available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 3702. Examining the AD Docket You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 3702; 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 E:\FR\FM\25FEP1.SGM 25FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 37 (Thursday, February 25, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 9367-9370]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-03698]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2016-3703; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-115-AD]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

[[Page 9368]]


ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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

SUMMARY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 
certain The Boeing Company Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER series 
airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design 
approval holder (DAH) indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to 
widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require 
repetitive external detailed and surface high frequency eddy current 
(HFEC) inspections of the outer skin for cracking around fastener heads 
common to the inboard fastener row of the skin lap splice. We are 
proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the skin 
lap splice, which, if not detected, could grow and result in possible 
rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 11, 2016.

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 NPRM, contact Boeing 
Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 
3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, 
extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. 
You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information 
on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It 
is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by 
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3703.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-
3703; 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: Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office 
(ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-
6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: wayne.lockett@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-2016-3703; 
Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-115-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://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

    Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute 
cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. 
This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design 
attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as 
material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, 
or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or 
structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is 
general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural 
details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that 
occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a 
lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur 
in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-
site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small 
initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. 
Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise 
the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as WFD. 
As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if 
the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.
    The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became 
effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to 
prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life 
of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these 
airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and 
future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs 
establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that 
support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the 
WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV 
is approved.
    The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require 
identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show 
that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane 
reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of 
future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance 
actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by ADs through 
separate rulemaking actions.
    In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to 
propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for 
their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This 
approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides 
flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information 
development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with 
certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.
    We have received an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the skin 
lap splice is subject to WFD. As a result of WFD analysis, the stringer 
S-2R skin lap splice from station (STA) 368 to STA 434 requires 
additional supplemental inspection beyond the inspections specified in 
the Boeing Model 767 airplane maintenance planning document. This 
condition, if not corrected, could result in cracking of the skin lap 
splice, which could grow and result in possible rapid

[[Page 9369]]

decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 
26, 2014. The service information describes procedures for a detailed 
inspection and a surface HFEC inspection at section 41, stringer S-2R 
skin lap splice from STA 368 to STA 434, for any cracking, and repair. 
This service information is reasonably available because the interested 
parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by 
the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

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 accomplishing the actions specified 
in the service information described previously, except as discussed 
under ``Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service 
Information.'' For information on the procedures and compliance times, 
see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching 
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-3703.''
    The phrase ``corrective actions'' is used in this proposed AD. 
``Corrective actions'' are actions that correct or address any 
condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for 
example, repairs.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 356 airplanes of U.S. 
registry.
    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost        Parts cost     Cost per product         operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspections......................  3 work-hours x $85             $0   $255 per inspection   $90,780 per
                                    per hour = $255 per                 cycle.                inspection cycle.
                                    inspection cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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

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 airworthiness 
directive (AD):

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2016-3703; Directorate Identifier 
2015-NM-115-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 11, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Boeing Company Model 767-200, -300, and -
400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified 
in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval 
holder indicating that the skin lap splice is subject to widespread 
fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue 
cracking of this skin lap splice, which, if not detected, could grow 
and result in possible rapid decompression and reduced structural 
integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection and Corrective Actions

    At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., 
``Compliance,'' of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated 
August 26, 2014, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: Do 
a detailed inspection and a surface high frequency eddy current 
(HFEC) inspection at section 41, stringer S-2R skin lap splice from 
body station (STA) 368 to STA 434, for any cracking, and do all 
applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Alert

[[Page 9370]]

Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. Do all 
applicable corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the 
inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in 
paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 
767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. If any existing external repair 
is found in the inspection area, then the inspections in Part 1 of 
the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 
767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, are not required in the area 
hidden by the repair, provided that the repair was previously 
approved by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office 
(ACO), or by the Authorized Representative of the Boeing Commercial 
Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), or installed 
as specified in Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 
Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014. 
Inspections in Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 
Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 26, 2014, remain 
applicable in areas not hidden by the repair.

(h) Exception to the Service Information

    Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, dated August 
26, 2014, specifies a compliance time ``after the original issue 
date of this service bulletin,'' this AD requires compliance within 
the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle 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 paragraph 
(i) 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, modification, or alteration required by this AD 
if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes ODA that has 
been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. 
To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or 
alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the 
airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.
    (4) Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: For service 
information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for 
Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and 
(i)(4)(ii) apply.
    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step 
and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply 
with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, 
including substeps and identified figures.
    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted 
methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection 
program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC 
steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done 
as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy 
condition.

(j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Wayne Lockett, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; 
fax: 425-917-6590; email: wayne.lockett@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, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-
5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service 
information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind 
Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this 
material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 15, 2016.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-03698 Filed 2-24-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P