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Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 757 Series Airplanes Powered by Pratt & Whitney Engines

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This amendment supersedes an existing airworthiness directive (AD), applicable to certain Boeing Model 757 series airplanes, that currently requires modification of the nacelle strut and wing structure. This amendment reduces a certain compliance time in the existing AD. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent fatigue cracking in primary strut structure and consequent reduced structural integrity of the strut. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Effective October 16, 2003.

The incorporation by reference of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0034, Revision 1, dated October 11, 2001, as listed in the regulations, is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of October 16, 2003.

The incorporation by reference of certain other publications, as listed in the regulations, was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 13, 2000 (65 FR 59703, October 6, 2000).

ADDRESSES:

The service information referenced in this AD may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, PO Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. This information may be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, Rules Docket, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dennis Stremick, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 917-6450; fax (425) 917-6590.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) by superseding AD 2000-20-09, amendment 39-11920 (65 FR 59703, October 6, 2000), which is applicable to certain Boeing Model 757 series airplanes, was published in the Federal Register on June 18, 2003 (68 FR 36499). The action proposed to continue to require modification of the nacelle strut and wing structure. The action also proposed to reduce a certain compliance time in the existing AD.

Comments

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. No comments were submitted in response to the proposal or the FAA's determination of the cost to the public.

Conclusion

The FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed.

Changes to 14 CFR Part 39/Effect on the AD

On July 10, 2002, the FAA issued a new version of 14 CFR part 39 (67 FR 47997, July 22, 2002), which governs the FAA's airworthiness directives system. The regulation now includes material that relates to altered products, special flight permits, and alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs). Because we have now included this material in part 39, only the office authorized to approve AMOCs is identified in each individual AD. However, for clarity and consistency in this final rule, we have retained the language of the NPRM regarding that material.

Change to Labor Rate Estimate

We have reviewed the figures we have used over the past several years to calculate AD costs to operators. To account for various inflationary costs in the airline industry, we find it necessary to increase the labor rate used in these calculations from $60 per work hour to $65 per work hour. The cost impact information, below, reflects this increase in the specified hourly labor rate.

Cost Impact

There are approximately 317 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 278 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected by this AD. Since this AD will merely reduce the compliance time for certain actions required by AD 2000-20-09 (Service Bulletin 757-54-0036), it will add no additional costs, and will require no additional work to be performed by affected operators. The current costs associated with AD 2000-20-09 are reiterated in their entirety (as follows) for the convenience of affected operators:

It will take approximately 800 work hours per airplane to accomplish the required modification of the nacelle strut and wing structure described in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0034, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts will be provided at no cost by the airplane manufacturer. Based on these figures, the cost impact of this required modification on U.S. operators is estimated to be $14,456,000, or $52,000 per airplane.

It will take approximately 26 work hours per airplane to accomplish the actions described in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0027, Revision 1, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts will be provided at no cost by the airplane manufacturer. Based on these figures, the cost impact of these required actions on U.S. operators is estimated to be $469,820, or $1,690 per airplane.

It will take approximately 90 work hours per airplane to accomplish the actions described in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0036, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Required parts will be provided at no cost by the airplane manufacturer. Based on these figures, the cost impact of these required actions on U.S. operators is estimated to be $1,626,300, or $5,850 per airplane.

The cost impact figures discussed above are based on assumptions that no operator has yet accomplished any of the requirements of this AD action, and that no operator would accomplish those actions in the future if this 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. These 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.

Regulatory Impact

The regulations adopted herein will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, Start Printed Page 53497or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, it is determined that this final rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (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); and (3) 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 final evaluation has been prepared for this action and it is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained from the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

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Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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

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[Amended]
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2. Section 39.13 is amended by removing amendment 39-11920 (

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2003-18-05 Boeing: Amendment 39-13296. Docket 2001-NM-370-AD. Supersedes AD 2000-20-09, Amendment 39-11920.

Applicability: Model 757 series airplanes powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, line numbers 1 through 735 inclusive, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

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 (e) 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 fatigue cracking in primary strut structure and consequent reduced structural integrity of the strut, accomplish the following:

Restatement of Requirements of AD 2000-20-09:

Modifications

(a) Modify the nacelle strut and wing structure on both the left and right sides of the airplane, in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0034, dated May 14, 1998; or Revision 1, dated October 11, 2001; at the later of the times specified in paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this AD.

(1) Prior to the accumulation of 37,500 total flight cycles, or within 20 years since the date of manufacture, whichever occurs first. Use of the optional threshold formula described in paragraph I.D. of the service bulletin is an acceptable alternative to the 20-year threshold.

(2) Within 3,000 flight cycles after November 13, 2000 (the effective date of AD 2000-20-09, amendment 39-11920).

(b) Except as provided by paragraph (d) of this AD: Prior to or concurrently with the accomplishment of the modification of the nacelle strut and wing structure required by paragraph (a) of this AD; as specified in paragraph I.D., Table I, “Strut Improvement Bulletins,” on page 5 of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0034, dated May 14, 1998; accomplish the actions specified in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0027, Revision 1, dated October 27, 1994; and Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0036, dated May 14, 1998; as applicable; in accordance with those service bulletins.

Repair

(c) If any damage to airplane structure is found during the accomplishment of the modification required by paragraph (a) of this AD; and the service bulletin specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Prior to further flight, repair in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA; or in accordance with data meeting the type certification basis of the airplane approved by a Boeing Company Designated Engineering Representative (DER) who has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make such findings. For a repair method to be approved by the Manager, Seattle ACO, as required by this paragraph, the approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

New Requirements of This AD

Modification

(d) Modify the nacelle strut (including replacing the upper link with a new, improved part and modifying the wire support bracket attached to the upper link) in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0036, dated May 14, 1998, at the earlier of the times specified in paragraph (d)(1) or (d)(2) of this AD.

(1) Prior to or concurrently with accomplishment of the modification of the nacelle strut and wing structure required by paragraph (a) of this AD.

(2) Prior to the accumulation of 27,000 total flight cycles (for Model 757-200 series airplanes) or 29,000 total flight cycles (for Model 757-200PF series airplanes), or within 2 years after the effective date of this AD, whichever is later.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(e) 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.

Note 2:

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

(f) 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.

Incorporation by Reference

(g) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions shall be done in accordance with the following Boeing service bulletins, as applicable:

Service bulletinRevision levelDate
Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-00271October 27, 1994.
Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0034OriginalMay 14, 1998.
Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-00341October 11, 2001.
Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0036OriginalMay 14, 1998.
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(1) The incorporation by reference of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0034, Revision 1, dated October 11, 2001, is approved by the Director of the Federal Register, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) The incorporation by reference of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0027, Revision 1, dated October 27, 1994; Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0034, dated May 14, 1998; and Boeing Service Bulletin 757-54-0036, dated May 14, 1998; was approved previously by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 13, 2000 (65 FR 59703, October 6, 2000).

(3) Copies may be obtained from Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, PO Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

Effective Date

(h) This amendment becomes effective on October 16, 2003.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 29, 2003.

Vi L. Lipski,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-22701 Filed 9-10-03; 8:45 am]

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