Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes, 87496-87499 [2016-28664]

Download as PDF 87496 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2016 / Proposed Rules (i) Exception to the Service Information Where paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–21A1203, dated June 8, 2016, 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. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS (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 paragraph (k)(1) 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 Organization Designation Authorization (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) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (j)(4)(i) and (j)(4)(ii) of this AD 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. If a step or substep is labeled ‘‘RC Exempt,’’ then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. 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. (k) Related Information (1) For more information about this AD, contact: Stanley Chen, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM–150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; phone: 425– 917–6585; fax: 425–917–6590; email: stanley.chen@faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:33 Dec 02, 2016 Jkt 241001 Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110–SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740–5600; telephone 562–797–1717; 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 November 17, 2016. Phil Forde, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–28631 Filed 12–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Examining the AD Docket 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2016–9434; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–136–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 certain The Boeing Company Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the web lap splices in the aft pressure bulkhead are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the web lap splices in the aft pressure bulkhead for cracking of the fastener holes, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 19, 2017. 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 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4702 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110–SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562–797–1717; 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– 9434. Sfmt 4702 You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 9434; 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: Alan Pohl, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; phone: 425–917–6450; fax: 425–917–6590; email: alan.pohl@ 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– 2016–9434; Directorate Identifier 2016– NM–136–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 E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2016 / Proposed Rules will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD. Discussion Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Widespread 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. This condition is known as widespread fatigue damage. It is associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. 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 airworthiness directives 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. Analysis by the DAH has determined that the web lap splices in the aft pressure bulkhead are susceptible to WFD for certain Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes. This cracking, if left undetected, could result in possible rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane. During in-service inspections of a 737–300 aft pressure bulkhead, one operator reported two cracks on the web lap splices outside the specified inspection area. Since Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes have a similar structural design for the aft pressure bulkhead, cracks could develop in the same location on these airplanes. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016. The service information describes procedures for a low frequency eddy current inspection to detect cracking of each web lap splice of the aft pressure bulkhead at the fastener row common to 87497 the stiffener, and a high frequency eddy current inspection to detect cracking of each web lap splice of the aft pressure bulkhead at the fastener row not common to the stiffener. 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 these same type designs. Proposed AD Requirements This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under ‘‘Difference Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.’’ Difference Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737– 53A1353, dated July 21, 2016, specifies to contact the manufacturer for certain instructions, but this proposed AD would require using repair methods, modification deviations, and alteration deviations in one of the following ways: • In accordance with a method that we approve; or • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD affects 693 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: ESTIMATED COSTS Labor cost Cost per product Inspections ......... sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Action 26 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,210 per inspection cycle $2,210 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:33 Dec 02, 2016 Jkt 241001 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, PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Cost on U.S. operators $1,531,530 per inspection cycle. 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 E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1 87498 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2016 / Proposed Rules 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. as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016. Regulatory Findings (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the web lap splices in the aft pressure bulkhead are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the web lap splices in the aft pressure bulkhead, which could result in possible rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane. 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. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA– 2016–9434; Directorate Identifier 2016– NM–136–AD. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Repetitive Inspections Except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016: Do a low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection to detect cracking of each web lap splice of the aft pressure bulkhead at the fastener row common to the stiffener, and a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection to detect cracking of each web lap splice of the aft pressure bulkhead at the fastener row not common to the stiffener, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016. (1) If no crack is found: Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016. (2) If any crack is found: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and (g)(2)(ii) of this AD. (i) Repair the crack before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD. Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, and specifies that action as ‘‘RC’’ (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair as specified in this paragraph. (ii) On areas that are not repaired, repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016. (b) Affected ADs None. (h) Service Information Exception Where paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–53A1353, dated July 21, 2016, 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. (c) Applicability This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737–600, –700, –700C, –800, and –900 series airplanes, certificated in any category, (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the (a) Comments Due Date We must receive comments by January 19, 2017. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:33 Dec 02, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 (j)(1) 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 Organization Designation Authorization (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 (g)(2)(i) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) of this AD 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. If a step or substep is labeled ‘‘RC Exempt,’’ then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. 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 Alan Pohl, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; phone: 425–917–6450; fax: 425– 917–6590; email: alan.pohl@faa.gov. (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110–SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562–797–1717; 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. E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 233 / Monday, December 5, 2016 / Proposed Rules Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 17, 2016. Phil Forde, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2016–28664 Filed 12–2–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2016–9433; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–159–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 MD–90–30 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of cracking in a horizontal stabilizer rear spar cap. This proposed AD would require repetitive open hole eddy current high frequency (ETHF) or surface eddy current low frequency (ETLF) inspections for any crack in the left and right side horizontal stabilizer rear spar upper caps, and repair or replacement if necessary. We are proposing this AD to prevent the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 19, 2017. 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 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:33 Dec 02, 2016 Jkt 241001 Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110–SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 562–797–1717; 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– 9433. 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– 9433; 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: Haytham Alaidy, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM–120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712–4137; phone: 562–627–5224; fax: 562–627–5210; email: haytham.alaidy@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– 2016–9433; Directorate Identifier 2016– NM–159–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 PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 87499 personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD. Discussion We have received a report of cracking in an MD–90 horizontal stabilizer rear spar cap at station XE = +/¥5.931. The affected airplane had accumulated 36,588 total flight hours and 24,975 total landing cycles. Without routine inspections, such cracks could grow to critical length before being detected. This condition, if not corrected, could result in fatigue cracking of the horizontal stabilizer rear spar upper cap, which could adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin MD90–55A018, dated June 29, 2016. The service information describes procedures for repetitive open hole ETHF or surface ETLF inspections for any crack in the left and right side horizontal stabilizer rear spar upper caps common to the elevator hinge fitting at station XE = +/¥5.931, and repair or replacement. 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. 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– 9433. Costs of Compliance We estimate that this proposed AD affects 105 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD: E:\FR\FM\05DEP1.SGM 05DEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 233 (Monday, December 5, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 87496-87499]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28664]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2016-9434; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-136-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 
certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 
series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the 
design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the web lap splices in the 
aft pressure bulkhead are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). 
This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of the web lap 
splices in the aft pressure bulkhead for cracking of the fastener 
holes, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 19, 
2017.

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: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 
2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; telephone 
562-797-1717; 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-2016-9434.

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-
9434; 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: Alan Pohl, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office 
(ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-
6450; fax: 425-917-6590; email: alan.pohl@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-2016-9434; 
Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-136-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

[[Page 87497]]

will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we 
receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

    Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural 
design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage 
is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as 
a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. 
Widespread 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. This condition is known as widespread fatigue damage. It is 
associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with 
similar structural details and stress levels. 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 airworthiness 
directives 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.
    Analysis by the DAH has determined that the web lap splices in the 
aft pressure bulkhead are susceptible to WFD for certain Model 737-600, 
-700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes. This cracking, if left 
undetected, could result in possible rapid decompression and loss of 
structural integrity of the airplane.
    During in-service inspections of a 737-300 aft pressure bulkhead, 
one operator reported two cracks on the web lap splices outside the 
specified inspection area. Since Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and 
-900 series airplanes have a similar structural design for the aft 
pressure bulkhead, cracks could develop in the same location on these 
airplanes.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated July 
21, 2016. The service information describes procedures for a low 
frequency eddy current inspection to detect cracking of each web lap 
splice of the aft pressure bulkhead at the fastener row common to the 
stiffener, and a high frequency eddy current inspection to detect 
cracking of each web lap splice of the aft pressure bulkhead at the 
fastener row not common to the stiffener. 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 these same type 
designs.

Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified 
in the service information described previously, except as discussed 
under ``Difference Between this Proposed AD and the Service 
Information.''

Difference Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated July 21, 2016, 
specifies to contact the manufacturer for certain instructions, but 
this proposed AD would require using repair methods, modification 
deviations, and alteration deviations in one of the following ways:
     In accordance with a method that we approve; or
     Using data that meet the certification basis of the 
airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial 
Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have 
authorized to make those findings.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 693 airplanes of U.S. 
registry.
    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Action                       Labor cost               Cost per product       Cost on U.S. operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspections..................  26 work-hours x $85 per hour   $2,210 per inspection     $1,531,530 per
                                = $2,210 per inspection        cycle.                    inspection cycle.
                                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

[[Page 87498]]

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-2016-9434; Directorate Identifier 
2016-NM-136-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 19, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -
700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes, certificated in any category, 
as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated 
July 21, 2016.

(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 (DAH) indicating that the web lap splices in the aft pressure 
bulkhead are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are 
issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the web lap splices 
in the aft pressure bulkhead, which could result in possible rapid 
decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

    Except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD, at the 
applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated July 21, 2016: Do a 
low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection to detect cracking of 
each web lap splice of the aft pressure bulkhead at the fastener row 
common to the stiffener, and a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) 
inspection to detect cracking of each web lap splice of the aft 
pressure bulkhead at the fastener row not common to the stiffener, 
in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated July 21, 2016.
    (1) If no crack is found: Repeat the inspections thereafter at 
the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated July 21, 2016.
    (2) If any crack is found: Do the actions specified in 
paragraphs (g)(2)(i) and (g)(2)(ii) of this AD.
    (i) Repair the crack before further flight using a method 
approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph 
(i) of this AD. Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, 
dated July 21, 2016, specifies to contact Boeing for repair 
instructions, and specifies that action as ``RC'' (Required for 
Compliance), this AD requires repair as specified in this paragraph.
    (ii) On areas that are not repaired, repeat the inspections 
thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., 
``Compliance,'' of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated 
July 21, 2016.

(h) Service Information Exception

    Where paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of Boeing Alert Service 
Bulletin 737-53A1353, dated July 21, 2016, 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 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 paragraph (j)(1) 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 Organization 
Designation Authorization (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 (g)(2)(i) of this AD: For 
service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the 
provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) of this AD 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. If a step or substep is labeled ``RC Exempt,'' then the 
RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. 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 Alan Pohl, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 
1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6450; 
fax: 425-917-6590; email: alan.pohl@faa.gov.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services 
(C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740; 
telephone 562-797-1717; 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.


[[Page 87499]]


    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 17, 2016.
Phil Forde,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-28664 Filed 12-2-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P