Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes, 58709-58713 [2017-26619]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 239 / Thursday, December 14, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 6, 2017. Dionne Palermo, Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service. (2) Model F28 Mark 0100 airplanes equipped with Rolls-Royce Deutschland TAY–620–15 engines. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 76, Engine controls. [FR Doc. 2017–26833 Filed 12–13–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P (e) Reason This AD was prompted by a report of an engine multiple fan blade-off (MFBO) event, caused by engine fan flutter. We are issuing this AD to prevent engine MFBO events, which could lead to structural damage and possible reduced controllability of the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) The Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, 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 International Section, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i)(2) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-116-AMOCREQUESTS@faa.gov. 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. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (i) Related Information (1) Refer to MCAI EASA AD 2014–0055, dated March 7, 2014, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2017–1103. (2) For more information about this AD, contact Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone: 425– 227–1137; fax: 425–227–1149. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Dec 13, 2017 Jkt 244001 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0473; Product Identifier 2016–NM–195–AD; Amendment 39–19124; AD 2017–25–10] Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, request instructions from the Manager, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, to address the unsafe condition specified in paragraph (e) of this AD; and accomplish the action(s) at the times specified in, and in accordance with, those instructions. Guidance can be found in Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2014–0055, dated March 7, 2014. None. Federal Aviation Administration RIN 2120–AA64 (g) Required Action(s) (j) Material Incorporated by Reference DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737–100, –200, –200C, –300, –400, and –500 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that wear of the bearing plate slider bushings could cause disconnection of certain elevator hinges, which could excite the horizontal stabilizer under certain inflight speed/altitude conditions and lead to degradation of the structure. This AD requires repetitive inspections and checks of certain elevator hinges and related components, repetitive replacements and tests of the bearing plate, and related investigative and corrective actions, if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective January 18, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 18, 2018. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data 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 service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 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–2017– 0473. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 58709 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–2017– 0473; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800–647–5527) is 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: George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712–4137; phone: 562–627–5357; fax: 562–627– 5210; email: george.garrido@faa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company Model 737–100, –200, –200C, –300, –400, and –500 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2017 (82 FR 22763). The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that analysis following a special certification review of the horizontal stabilizer determined that wear of the bearing plate slider bushings could cause disconnection of elevator hinge number 4 or number 6. This disconnection could excite the horizontal stabilizer under certain inflight speed/altitude conditions and lead to degradation of the structure due to tab flutter, hinge wear, spar chord corrosion, hinge rib web chafing, hinge rib chord cracking, and inspar lower skin cracking. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections and checks of elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6 and related components, repetitive replacements and tests of the bearing plate, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct wear of the bearing plate slider bushings, which could result in heavy airplane vibration and damage and could lead to departure of the elevator and/or horizontal stabilizer from the airplane, and loss of continued safe flight and landing. E:\FR\FM\14DER1.SGM 14DER1 58710 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 239 / Thursday, December 14, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this final rule. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA’s response to each comment. Support for the NPRM Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) concurred with the content of the NPRM. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Request To Change Paragraph (g) of This AD Boeing stated that no inspections are specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, for Group 1 airplanes and requested that the reference to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, be removed from paragraph (g) of this AD. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) observed that in paragraph (g) of the proposed AD, the reference to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737– 55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, for Group 1 airplanes, is not consistent with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, which states only that Group 1 airplanes have exceeded their limit of validity (LOV) and gives no further advice. We agree with the commenters. We have removed the reference to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, from the compliance requirements specified in paragraph (g) of this AD. Request To Extend Inspections and Checks to All Hinges EASA suggested that the inspections and checks in the proposed AD be extended to all hinges because any other loose hinge could create overloading in adjacent hinges, and therefore could contribute to the failure of hinges 4 and 6. We do not agree with the commenter’s assessment. We have consulted with Boeing and confirmed the following information. Hinge fittings 1 and 2 support thrust loads only and do not have the sliding bearing plates. Therefore, these fittings do not need inspections to address the unsafe condition. Boeing’s flutter analysis shows that failure (disconnect) at either hinge 4 or VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Dec 13, 2017 Jkt 244001 6 is flutter critical. However, a failed hinge 3 or 5, with the shorter span between adjacent hinges, will have less weight relative to stiffness, such that instability does not occur. The fatigue loads on the affected Model 737 airplane elevator are not substantial. If hinge 3 or 5 becomes loose, the load increase on hinge 4 or 6 is insignificant. If hinge 3 or 5 fails, the inspection and replacement program in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737– 55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, will still detect any crack at hinge 4 or 6 before it becomes critical. In addition, the normal maintenance procedure of hinge lubrication per the Maintenance Planning Document during a C check should detect a failed hinge 3 or 5. We have not changed this AD in this regard. Request for Clarification of Group 2, Configuration 1 Instructions EASA requested clarification of the reason that paragraph (i) of the proposed AD includes no repeat instruction for Group 2, Configuration 1 airplanes, regarding bearing plate replacement. Group 2, Configuration 1 airplanes are not included in paragraph (i) of this AD, which contains requirements for repetitive bearing plate replacements and tests, because these airplanes do not have the bearing plates. We have not changed this AD regarding this issue. Certificate (STC) ST01219SE does not affect the actions specified in the NPRM. We concur with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1) and added paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01219SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a ‘‘change in product’’ alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17. Conclusion We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this final rule with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes: • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM. We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final rule. Request for Confirmation of Sufficient Access EASA requested confirmation that sufficient access exists to adequately inspect and test all areas via the methods defined. Boeing has confirmed that sufficient access exists. Additionally, Boeing has released 737–55A1099 Information Notice 01, dated May 23, 2017, to notify operators that hinge 4 inspections cannot be accomplished if existing repairs are installed in accordance with Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737–55–1059, Revision 1, dated April 6, 2016. In that case, alternative inspection procedures must be approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD. Costs of Compliance Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the Supplemental Type We estimate that this AD affects 192 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD: PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51 We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections and checks of elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6 and related components, repetitive replacements and tests of the bearing plate, and related investigative and corrective actions. 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. E:\FR\FM\14DER1.SGM 14DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 239 / Thursday, December 14, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 58711 ESTIMATED COSTS Cost per product Action Labor cost Elevator hinge high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection, loose bolt check. Horizontal stabilizer HFEC and low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection, loose bolt check. Horizontal stabilizer detailed corrosion inspection. Elevator general visual inspection for ply damage. Elevator skin tap test inspection for delamination. Elevator hinge bearing plate replacement and binding test. 15 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,275 per inspection/check cycle. $0 $1,275 per inspection/check cycle. 13 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,105 per inspection/check cycle. 0 $1,105 per inspection/check cycle. 5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 per inspection cycle. Up to 4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340 per inspection cycle. Up to 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 per inspection cycle. Up to 20 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,700 per replacement/test cycle. 0 Elevator hinge fitting HFEC inspection .. Up to 5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 per inspection cycle. $425 per inspection cycle. Up to $340 per inspection cycle. Up to $510 per inspection cycle. Up to $6,560 per replacement/test cycle. Up to $425 per inspection cycle. We estimate the following costs to do any necessary related investigative and corrective actions that would be Parts cost 0 0 4,860 0 required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of Cost on U.S. operators $244,800 per inspection/check cycle. $212,160 per inspection/check cycle. $81,600 per inspection cycle. Up to $65,280 per inspection cycle. Up to $97,920 per inspection cycle. Up to $1,259,520 per replacement/ test cycle. Up to $81,600 per inspection cycle. determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions: ON-CONDITION COSTS Labor cost Elevator hinge conditional inspections, measurements, replacements, and repairs. Horizontal stabilizer conditional inspections, replacements, and repairs. 28 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,380 ...................... 1 $0 $2,380 28 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,380 ...................... 1 $0 2,380 1 We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the parts for on-condition repairs. Authority for This Rulemaking sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES Parts cost Cost per product Action 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. This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Dec 13, 2017 Jkt 244001 Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to the Director of the System Oversight Division. under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Regulatory Findings Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will 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 that this AD: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, (2) Is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979), (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 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. 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): ■ 2017–25–10 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39–19124; Docket No. FAA–2017–0473; Product Identifier 2016–NM–195–AD. (a) Effective Date This AD is effective January 18, 2018. E:\FR\FM\14DER1.SGM 14DER1 58712 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 239 / Thursday, December 14, 2017 / Rules and Regulations (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability (1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737–100, –200, –200C, –300, –400, and –500 series airplanes, certificated in any category. (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http:// rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_ Library/rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e 86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a ‘‘change in product’’ alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17. (d) Subject Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a report indicating that wear of the bearing plate slider bushings could cause disconnection of elevator hinge number 4 or number 6, which could excite the horizontal stabilizer under certain in-flight speed/altitude conditions and lead to degradation of the structure, departure of the elevator or horizontal stabilizer from the airplane, and loss of continued safe flight and landing. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES (g) Actions for Group 1 Airplanes For airplanes identified as Group 1 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016: Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, do inspections and checks of the elevator and horizontal stabilizer at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6 and the replacement and test of the bearing plate at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD. (h) Inspections and Checks for Groups 2 and 3 Airplanes For airplanes identified as Groups 2 and 3 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737– 55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016: Except as required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, do the applicable inspections and checks of elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6 and related components specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(8) of this AD, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. Do all applicable VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Dec 13, 2017 Jkt 244001 related investigative and corrective actions before further flight. Repeat the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(8) of this AD thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016. (1) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6. (2) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A loose bolt check at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6. (3) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: An HFEC inspection and low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection for cracking of the horizontal stabilizer forward of elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6. (4) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A loose bolt check of horizontal stabilizer attach plates at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6. (5) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A detailed inspection of the horizontal stabilizer rear spar outer mold line, gusset plate, and inspar skin for any corrosion. (6) For Group 2, Configuration 2, and Group 3 airplanes: A general visual inspection of the elevator front spar around hinge numbers 4 and 6 for any ply damage. (7) For Group 2 and 3 airplanes: A tap test inspection of the elevator skin for any delamination at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6. (8) For Group 2, Configuration 2, and Group 3 airplanes on which elevator hinge fitting assembly 65C31307–( ) is installed at elevator hinge number 6: An HFEC inspection of the hinge fitting for any crack. (i) Repetitive Bearing Plate Replacement and Test For airplanes identified as Group 2, Configuration 2, and Group 3 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016: Except as required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, do the actions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of this AD. All applicable related investigative and corrective actions must be done before further flight. Repeat the actions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD thereafter at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., ‘‘Compliance,’’ of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016. (1) Replace the bearing plates at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6. (2) Do an elevator hinge bearing plate binding test at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6. (j) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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. (2) Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, and specifies that action as ‘‘RC’’ (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD. (k) Parts Installation Limitation As of the effective date of this AD: A horizontal stabilizer, an elevator, or a bearing plate may be installed on any airplane, provided the actions required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD are done within the applicable compliance times specified in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD. (l) Credit for Previous Actions This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737–55A1099, dated July 5, 2016. (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 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 certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (n) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANMLAACO-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, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 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 (j)(2) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (m)(4)(i) and (m)(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 E:\FR\FM\14DER1.SGM 14DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 239 / Thursday, December 14, 2017 / Rules and Regulations 58713 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. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RIN 2120–AA64 Discussion (n) Related Information Airworthiness Directives; Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Gliders We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Models ASH 25M and ASH 26E gliders. The NPRM was published in the Federal Register on September 22, 2017 (82 FR 44361). The NPRM proposed to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country. The MCAI states: For more information about this AD, contact George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712–4137; phone: 562–627– 5357; fax: 562–627–5210; email: george.garrido@faa.gov. (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737– 55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016. (ii) Reserved. (3) 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 90740–5600; telephone 562–797–1717; internet https:// www.myboeingfleet.com. (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to: http:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibrlocations.html. Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 4, 2017. Jeffrey E. Duven, Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with RULES BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:57 Dec 13, 2017 Jkt 244001 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2017–0911; Product Identifier 2017–CE–025–AD; Amendment 39–19121; AD 2017–25–07] Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau Models ASH 25M and ASH 26E gliders. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as fatigue cracks found on the exhaust silencer. We are issuing this AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective January 18, 2018. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 18, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2017– 0911; or in person at Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. For service information identified in this AD, contact Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. Segelflugzeugbau, Alexander-Schleicher-Str. 1, D–36163 Poppenhausen, Germany; phone: +49 (0) 06658 89–0; fax: +49 (0) 06658 89– 40; internet: http://www.alexanderschleicher.de; email: info@alexanderschleicher.de. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329–4148. It is also available on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA–2017–0911. SUMMARY: (o) Material Incorporated by Reference [FR Doc. 2017–26619 Filed 12–13–17; 8:45 am] Federal Aviation Administration PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Jim Rutherford, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Standards Branch, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329– 4165; fax: (816) 329–4090; email: jim.rutherford@faa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Occurrences were reported of finding cracks on exhaust silencer part number (P/N) 800.65.0001, installed on ASK 21 Mi powered sailplanes. Subsequent investigation determined that the affected part is susceptible to fatigue cracking and is also installed on other Schleicher powered sailplanes. This condition, if not corrected, could lead to heat damage in the engine compartment and to the engine installation, possibly resulting in reduced control of the powered sailplane. To address this potentially unsafe condition, Schleicher issued Technical Note (TN) ASK 21 Mi No. 11, TN ASW 22 BLE 50R No. 16, TN ASH 25 M/Mi No. 32 and TN ASH 26 E No. 19 (single document, hereafter referred to as ‘the TN’ in this [EASA] AD), to provide replacement instructions. For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires replacement of the affected exhaust silencer with an improved part and introduces installation restrictions of a part with P/N 800.65.0001]. The MCAI can be found in the AD docket on the internet at https:// www.regulations.gov/ document?D=FAA-2017-0911-0002. Comments We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the determination of the cost to the public. Conclusion We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes: E:\FR\FM\14DER1.SGM 14DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 239 (Thursday, December 14, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 58709-58713]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-26619]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0473; Product Identifier 2016-NM-195-AD; Amendment 
39-19124; AD 2017-25-10]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The 
Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series 
airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report indicating that wear of the 
bearing plate slider bushings could cause disconnection of certain 
elevator hinges, which could excite the horizontal stabilizer under 
certain in-flight speed/altitude conditions and lead to degradation of 
the structure. This AD requires repetitive inspections and checks of 
certain elevator hinges and related components, repetitive replacements 
and tests of the bearing plate, and related investigative and 
corrective actions, if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective January 18, 2018.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 18, 
2018.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, 
contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data 
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 service information at the 
FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 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-2017-
0473.

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-2017-
0473; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments 
received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office 
(phone: 800-647-5527) is 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: George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount 
Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5357; fax: 562-627-
5210; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company 
Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The 
NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2017 (82 FR 22763). 
The NPRM was prompted by a report indicating that analysis following a 
special certification review of the horizontal stabilizer determined 
that wear of the bearing plate slider bushings could cause 
disconnection of elevator hinge number 4 or number 6. This 
disconnection could excite the horizontal stabilizer under certain in-
flight speed/altitude conditions and lead to degradation of the 
structure due to tab flutter, hinge wear, spar chord corrosion, hinge 
rib web chafing, hinge rib chord cracking, and inspar lower skin 
cracking. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections and 
checks of elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6 and related components, 
repetitive replacements and tests of the bearing plate, and related 
investigative and corrective actions if necessary.
    We are issuing this AD to detect and correct wear of the bearing 
plate slider bushings, which could result in heavy airplane vibration 
and damage and could lead to departure of the elevator and/or 
horizontal stabilizer from the airplane, and loss of continued safe 
flight and landing.

[[Page 58710]]

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this final rule. The following presents the comments received on the 
NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM

    Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) concurred with 
the content of the NPRM.

Request To Change Paragraph (g) of This AD

    Boeing stated that no inspections are specified in Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, for 
Group 1 airplanes and requested that the reference to Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, be 
removed from paragraph (g) of this AD.
    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) observed that in 
paragraph (g) of the proposed AD, the reference to Boeing Alert Service 
Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, for Group 1 
airplanes, is not consistent with the Accomplishment Instructions of 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 
21, 2016, which states only that Group 1 airplanes have exceeded their 
limit of validity (LOV) and gives no further advice.
    We agree with the commenters. We have removed the reference to 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 
21, 2016, from the compliance requirements specified in paragraph (g) 
of this AD.

Request To Extend Inspections and Checks to All Hinges

    EASA suggested that the inspections and checks in the proposed AD 
be extended to all hinges because any other loose hinge could create 
overloading in adjacent hinges, and therefore could contribute to the 
failure of hinges 4 and 6.
    We do not agree with the commenter's assessment. We have consulted 
with Boeing and confirmed the following information.
    Hinge fittings 1 and 2 support thrust loads only and do not have 
the sliding bearing plates. Therefore, these fittings do not need 
inspections to address the unsafe condition.
    Boeing's flutter analysis shows that failure (disconnect) at either 
hinge 4 or 6 is flutter critical. However, a failed hinge 3 or 5, with 
the shorter span between adjacent hinges, will have less weight 
relative to stiffness, such that instability does not occur.
    The fatigue loads on the affected Model 737 airplane elevator are 
not substantial. If hinge 3 or 5 becomes loose, the load increase on 
hinge 4 or 6 is insignificant. If hinge 3 or 5 fails, the inspection 
and replacement program in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, 
Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, will still detect any crack at 
hinge 4 or 6 before it becomes critical. In addition, the normal 
maintenance procedure of hinge lubrication per the Maintenance Planning 
Document during a C check should detect a failed hinge 3 or 5.
    We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request for Clarification of Group 2, Configuration 1 Instructions

    EASA requested clarification of the reason that paragraph (i) of 
the proposed AD includes no repeat instruction for Group 2, 
Configuration 1 airplanes, regarding bearing plate replacement.
    Group 2, Configuration 1 airplanes are not included in paragraph 
(i) of this AD, which contains requirements for repetitive bearing 
plate replacements and tests, because these airplanes do not have the 
bearing plates. We have not changed this AD regarding this issue.

Request for Confirmation of Sufficient Access

    EASA requested confirmation that sufficient access exists to 
adequately inspect and test all areas via the methods defined.
    Boeing has confirmed that sufficient access exists. Additionally, 
Boeing has released 737-55A1099 Information Notice 01, dated May 23, 
2017, to notify operators that hinge 4 inspections cannot be 
accomplished if existing repairs are installed in accordance with 
Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-55-1059, Revision 1, 
dated April 6, 2016. In that case, alternative inspection procedures 
must be approved in accordance with the procedures specified in 
paragraph (m) of this AD.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

    Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing the Supplemental 
Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE does not affect the actions specified 
in the NPRM.
    We concur with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of 
the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1) and added paragraph (c)(2) to this 
AD to state that installation of STC ST01219SE does not affect the 
ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for 
airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a ``change in product'' 
alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not 
necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
this final rule with the changes described previously and minor 
editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM.
    We also determined that these changes will not increase the 
economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final 
rule.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, 
dated October 21, 2016. The service information describes procedures 
for repetitive inspections and checks of elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6 
and related components, repetitive replacements and tests of the 
bearing plate, and related investigative and corrective actions. 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.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 192 airplanes of U.S. registry. We 
estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

[[Page 58711]]



                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Cost on U.S.
             Action                     Labor cost          Parts cost     Cost per  product       operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elevator hinge high frequency    15 work-hours x $85 per              $0  $1,275 per          $244,800 per
 eddy current (HFEC)              hour = $1,275 per                        inspection/check    inspection/check
 inspection, loose bolt check.    inspection/check cycle.                  cycle.              cycle.
Horizontal stabilizer HFEC and   13 work-hours x $85 per               0  $1,105 per          $212,160 per
 low frequency eddy current       hour = $1,105 per                        inspection/check    inspection/check
 (LFEC) inspection, loose bolt    inspection/check cycle.                  cycle.              cycle.
 check.
Horizontal stabilizer detailed   5 work-hours x $85 per                0  $425 per            $81,600 per
 corrosion inspection.            hour = $425 per                          inspection cycle.   inspection cycle.
                                  inspection cycle.
Elevator general visual          Up to 4 work-hours x                  0  Up to $340 per      Up to $65,280 per
 inspection for ply damage.       $85 per hour = $340                      inspection cycle.   inspection cycle.
                                  per inspection cycle.
Elevator skin tap test           Up to 6 work-hours x                  0  Up to $510 per      Up to $97,920 per
 inspection for delamination.     $85 per hour = $510                      inspection cycle.   inspection cycle.
                                  per inspection cycle.
Elevator hinge bearing plate     Up to 20 work-hours x             4,860  Up to $6,560 per    Up to $1,259,520
 replacement and binding test.    $85 per hour = $1,700                    replacement/test    per replacement/
                                  per replacement/test                     cycle.              test cycle.
                                  cycle.
Elevator hinge fitting HFEC      Up to 5 work-hours x                  0  Up to $425 per      Up to $81,600 per
 inspection.                      $85 per hour = $425                      inspection cycle.   inspection cycle.
                                  per inspection cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary related 
investigative and corrective actions that would be required based on 
the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number 
of aircraft that might need these actions:

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                    Action                                 Labor cost               Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elevator hinge conditional inspections,         28 work-hours x $85 per hour =              1 $0          $2,380
 measurements, replacements, and repairs.        $2,380.
Horizontal stabilizer conditional inspections,  28 work-hours x $85 per hour =              1 $0           2,380
 replacements, and repairs.                      $2,380.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the parts for on-
  condition repairs.

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.
    This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the 
Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by 
FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is 
normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but 
during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the 
authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes to 
the Director of the System Oversight Division.

Regulatory Findings

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will 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 that this AD:
    (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive 
Order 12866,
    (2) Is not a ``significant rule'' under DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979),
    (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.

Adoption of the Amendment

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

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2017-25-10 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19124; Docket No. FAA-
2017-0473; Product Identifier 2016-NM-195-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective January 18, 2018.

[[Page 58712]]

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -
200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in 
any category.
    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) 
ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/
rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) 
does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by 
this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is 
installed, a ``change in product'' alternative method of compliance 
(AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the 
requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

(d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 55, Stabilizers.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report indicating that wear of the 
bearing plate slider bushings could cause disconnection of elevator 
hinge number 4 or number 6, which could excite the horizontal 
stabilizer under certain in-flight speed/altitude conditions and 
lead to degradation of the structure, departure of the elevator or 
horizontal stabilizer from the airplane, and loss of continued safe 
flight and landing.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Actions for Group 1 Airplanes

    For airplanes identified as Group 1 in Boeing Alert Service 
Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016: Within 120 
days after the effective date of this AD, do inspections and checks 
of the elevator and horizontal stabilizer at elevator hinge numbers 
4 and 6 and the replacement and test of the bearing plate at 
elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6, and do all applicable related 
investigative and corrective actions, using a method approved in 
accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this 
AD.

(h) Inspections and Checks for Groups 2 and 3 Airplanes

    For airplanes identified as Groups 2 and 3 in Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016: 
Except as required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, at the applicable 
time specified in paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016, do 
the applicable inspections and checks of elevator hinge numbers 4 
and 6 and related components specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through 
(h)(8) of this AD, and do all applicable related investigative and 
corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 
1, dated October 21, 2016, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of 
this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective 
actions before further flight. Repeat the actions specified in 
paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(8) of this AD thereafter at the 
applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 
21, 2016.
    (1) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A high frequency eddy current 
(HFEC) inspection for cracking of the elevator hinge numbers 4 and 
6.
    (2) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A loose bolt check at elevator 
hinge numbers 4 and 6.
    (3) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: An HFEC inspection and low 
frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspection for cracking of the 
horizontal stabilizer forward of elevator hinge numbers 4 and 6.
    (4) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A loose bolt check of 
horizontal stabilizer attach plates at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 
6.
    (5) For Groups 2 and 3 airplanes: A detailed inspection of the 
horizontal stabilizer rear spar outer mold line, gusset plate, and 
inspar skin for any corrosion.
    (6) For Group 2, Configuration 2, and Group 3 airplanes: A 
general visual inspection of the elevator front spar around hinge 
numbers 4 and 6 for any ply damage.
    (7) For Group 2 and 3 airplanes: A tap test inspection of the 
elevator skin for any delamination at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 
6.
    (8) For Group 2, Configuration 2, and Group 3 airplanes on which 
elevator hinge fitting assembly 65C31307-( ) is installed at 
elevator hinge number 6: An HFEC inspection of the hinge fitting for 
any crack.

(i) Repetitive Bearing Plate Replacement and Test

    For airplanes identified as Group 2, Configuration 2, and Group 
3 in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated 
October 21, 2016: Except as required by paragraph (j)(1) of this AD, 
at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' 
of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated 
October 21, 2016, do the actions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and 
(i)(2) of this AD, and do all applicable related investigative and 
corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 
1, dated October 21, 2016, except as required by paragraph (j)(2) of 
this AD. All applicable related investigative and corrective actions 
must be done before further flight. Repeat the actions specified in 
paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD thereafter at the applicable 
time specified in paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated October 21, 2016.
    (1) Replace the bearing plates at elevator hinge numbers 4 and 
6.
    (2) Do an elevator hinge bearing plate binding test at elevator 
hinge numbers 4 and 6.

(j) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, 
dated October 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.
    (2) Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 
1, dated October 21, 2016, specifies to contact Boeing for repair 
instructions, and specifies that action as ``RC'' (Required for 
Compliance), this AD requires repair before further flight using a 
method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in 
paragraph (m) of this AD.

(k) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD: A horizontal stabilizer, an 
elevator, or a bearing plate may be installed on any airplane, 
provided the actions required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD 
are done within the applicable compliance times specified in 
paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD.

(l) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in 
paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed 
before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service 
Bulletin 737-55A1099, dated July 5, 2016.

(m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 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 certification office, send it to the attention of 
the person identified in paragraph (n) of this AD. Information may 
be emailed to: [email protected].
    (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, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 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 (j)(2) of this AD: For 
service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required 
for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (m)(4)(i) and 
(m)(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

[[Page 58713]]

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.

(n) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact George Garrido, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 
3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-
5357; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected].

(o) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-55A1099, Revision 1, dated 
October 21, 2016.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (3) 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-
5600; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.
    (4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport 
Standards Branch, 1601 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA. For information 
on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 4, 2017.
Jeffrey E. Duven,
Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-26619 Filed 12-13-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P