Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Boeing Model 757-200 series airplanes with stowage bins installed forward of door 2 at Station 680. This proposal would require a one-time inspection to determine if a certain intercostal is installed for support of the overhead stowage bin(s) at Station 680, and follow-on actions, if necessary. This action is necessary to prevent failure of the stowage bin attachment fitting at Station 680, which could result in the overhead stowage bin falling onto the passenger seats below and injuring passengers or impeding the evacuation of passengers in an emergency. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.
Comments must be received by July 1, 2002.
Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-402-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments may be submitted via fax to (425) 227-1232. Comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2000-NM-402-AD” in the subject line and need not be submitted in triplicate. Comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.
The service information referenced in the proposed rule may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. This information may be examined at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington.Start Further Info Start Printed Page 34640
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Technical Information: John Piccola, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 227-1509; fax (425) 227-1181.
Other Information: Judy Golder, Airworthiness Directive Technical Editor/Writer; telephone (425) 227-1119, fax (425) 227-1232. Questions or comments may also be sent via the Internet using the following address: email@example.com. Questions or comments sent via the Internet as attached electronic files must be formatted in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows or ASCII text.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Interested persons are invited to participate in the making of the proposed rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they may desire. Communications shall identify the Rules Docket number and be submitted in triplicate to the address specified above. All communications received on or before the closing date for comments, specified above, will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposals contained in this action may be changed in light of the comments received.
Submit comments using the following format:
- Organize comments issue-by-issue. For example, discuss a request to change the compliance time and a request to change the service bulletin reference as two separate issues.
- For each issue, state what specific change to the proposed AD is being requested.
- Include justification (e.g., reasons or data) for each request.
Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed rule. All comments submitted will be available, both before and after the closing date for comments, in the Rules Docket for examination by interested persons. A report summarizing each FAA-public contact concerned with the substance of this proposal will be filed in the Rules Docket.
Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments submitted in response to this action must submit a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket Number 2000-NM-402-AD.” The postcard will be date stamped and returned to the commenter.
Availability of NPRMs
Any person may obtain a copy of this NPRM by submitting a request to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2000-NM-402-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.
The FAA has received a report that the airplane manufacturer's review of the support structure on Boeing Model 757-200 series airplanes in passenger-carrying configuration revealed inadequate support structure for the overhead stowage bin(s) at Station 680. Due to this inadequate support structure, the attachment fitting for the overhead stowage bin does not have an adequate load path. Under certain conditions (i.e., 9G forward acceleration with the overhead stowage bin at maximum weight), the stowage bin attachment fitting at Station 680 could fail. This condition, if not corrected, could result in the overhead stowage bin falling onto the passenger seats below and injuring passengers or impeding the evacuation of passengers in an emergency.
Explanation of Relevant Service Information
The FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Service Bulletin 757-25-0194, dated February 11, 1999, which describes procedures for a one-time visual inspection to determine if an intercostal is installed between stringers 8 and 9 at Station 680 on the left and right sides of the airplane. That intercostal would provide the support for the overhead stowage bin(s). As follow-on actions if no intercostal is installed, the service bulletin specifies a visual inspection for cracking or damage of stringer 8 and the tie rod mounting assembly, and installation of a new intercostal between stringers 8 and 9. If any cracking or damage is found during the visual inspection, the service bulletin specifies to contact the airplane manufacturer for repair instructions. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.
Explanation of Requirements of Proposed Rule
Since an unsafe condition has been identified that is likely to exist or develop on other products of this same type design, the proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin described previously, except as discussed below.
Differences Between Proposed AD and Service Bulletin
Operators should note the following differences between this proposed AD and the service bulletin:
- Though the service bulletin specifies that the manufacturer may be contacted for disposition of certain repair conditions, this proposal would require the repair of those conditions to be accomplished per a method approved by the FAA, or per data meeting the type certification basis of the airplane approved by a Boeing Company Designated Engineering Representative who has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, to make such findings.
- The service bulletin recommends that the actions therein be done “at the next scheduled maintenance time when personnel and material are available.” However, the FAA finds that such a compliance time may not ensure that the proposed actions are accomplished in a timely manner. Therefore, this proposed AD would require that the proposed actions be done within 24 months after the effective date of the AD.
- The service bulletin specifies a visual inspection for cracking or damage of stringer 8 and the tie rod mounting assembly, if no intercostal is installed between stringers 8 and 9 at Station 680. The FAA has determined that the procedures for this inspection constitute a “detailed inspection.” Therefore, the proposed AD identifies the inspection for cracking or damage as a “detailed inspection” and Note 3 of this proposed AD defines such an inspection.
There are approximately 403 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 219 airplanes of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD.
The proposed inspection would take up to 2 work hours per airplane (1 work hour per side of the airplane), at the average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the inspection proposed by this AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be up to $26,280, or $120 per airplane.
The cost impact figure discussed above is based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the proposed requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this proposed AD were not adopted. The cost impact figures discussed in AD rulemaking actions represent only the time necessary to perform the specific actions actually required by the AD. Start Printed Page 34641These figures typically do not include incidental costs, such as the time required to gain access and close up, planning time, or time necessitated by other administrative actions.
Should an operator be required to do the proposed installation, it would take up to 2 work hours per airplane (1 work hour per side of the airplane), at the average labor rate of $60 per work hour. Required parts would cost approximately $1,310 per airplane. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the installation proposed by this AD is estimated to be $1,430 per airplane.
The regulations proposed herein 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. Therefore, it is determined that this proposal would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.
For the reasons discussed above, I certify that 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); and (3) if promulgated, 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. A copy of the draft regulatory evaluation prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39End List of Subjects
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:Start Part
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:
Boeing: Docket 2000-NM-402-AD.
Applicability: Model 757-200 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as listed in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-25-0194, dated February 11, 1999, and having stowage bins installed forward of door 2 at Station 680.
This AD applies to each airplane identified in the preceding applicability provision, regardless of whether it has been modified, altered, or repaired in the area subject to the requirements of this AD. For airplanes that have been modified, altered, or repaired so that the performance of the requirements of this AD is affected, the owner/operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance in accordance with paragraph (d) of this AD. The request should include an assessment of the effect of the modification, alteration, or repair on the unsafe condition addressed by this AD; and, if the unsafe condition has not been eliminated, the request should include specific proposed actions to address it.
Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.
To prevent failure of the stowage bin attachment fitting at Station 680, which could result in the overhead stowage bin falling onto the passenger seats below and injuring passengers or impeding the evacuation of passengers in an emergency, accomplish the following:
(a) Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do a one-time general visual inspection to determine if an intercostal is installed between stringers 8 and 9 for support of the overhead stowage bin at Station 680, on the left and right sides of the airplane, as applicable, according to Boeing Service Bulletin 757-25-0194, dated February 11, 1999. If an intercostal is installed on each side that has an overhead stowage bin at Station 680, no further action is necessary.
For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is defined as: “A visual examination of an interior or exterior area, installation, or assembly to detect obvious damage, failure, or irregularity. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or drop-light, and may require removal or opening of access panels or doors. Stands, ladders, or platforms may be required to gain proximity to the area being checked.”
(b) For each side of the airplane that has an overhead stowage bin at Station 680 but no intercostal installed: Before further flight after the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, do a one-time detailed inspection for cracking or damage of stringer 8 and the tie rod mounting assembly, and install a new intercostal between stringers 8 and 9, according to Boeing Service Bulletin 757-25-0194, dated February 11, 1999.
For the purposes of this AD, a detailed inspection is defined as: “An intensive visual examination of a specific structural area, system, installation, or assembly to detect damage, failure, or irregularity. Available lighting is normally supplemented with a direct source of good lighting at intensity deemed appropriate by the inspector. Inspection aids such as mirror, magnifying lenses, etc., may be used. Surface cleaning and elaborate access procedures may be required.”
Repair of Cracking or Damage
(c) If any cracking or damage is found during the detailed inspection required by paragraph (b) of this AD: Before further flight, and before installation of the intercostal, repair per a method approved by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA; or per data meeting the type certification basis of the airplane approved by a Boeing Company Designated Engineering Representative who has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make such findings. For a repair method to be approved, the approval must specifically reference this AD.
Alternative Methods of Compliance
(d) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used if approved by the Manager, Seattle ACO. Operators shall submit their requests through an appropriate FAA Principal Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Seattle ACO.
Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Seattle ACO.
Special Flight Permits
(e) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.
Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 8, 2002.
Kalene C. Yanamura,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 02-12068 Filed 5-14-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P