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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 767-300 Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

This document proposes the adoption of a new airworthiness directive (AD) that is applicable to certain Boeing Model 767-300 series airplanes. This proposal would require a general visual inspection for clearance between the corners of the A1 galley and the aft pressure bulkhead, and corrective actions, if necessary. This proposal would also require modification of the A1 galley. These actions are necessary to prevent interference of the A1 galley with the radial stiffener on the aft pressure bulkhead, which could result in fatigue crack propagation. Fatigue crack propagation could lead to possible rapid decompression of the airplane or to damage and/or interference with the airplane control systems that pass through the bulkhead and consequent loss of control of the airplane. This action is intended to address the identified unsafe condition.

DATES:

Comments must be received by November 17, 2003.

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ADDRESSES:

Submit comments in triplicate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Airplane Directorate, ANM-114, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2003-NM-125-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056. Comments may be inspected at this location between 9 a.m. and 3 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: 9-anm-nprmcomment@faa.gov. Comments sent via fax or the Internet must contain “Docket No. 2003-NM-125-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 or 2000 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Suzanne Masterson, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 917-6441; fax (425) 917-6590.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

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 2003-NM-125-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. 2003-NM-125-AD, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports indicating that interference between the top corners of the A1 galley and the radial stiffener on the aft pressure bulkhead could damage the aft pressure bulkhead structure of certain Boeing Model 767-300 series airplanes. It was discovered in production that for certain A1 aft galleys, the dimensions exceeded the design dimensional envelope by three inches. Investigation revealed that the top corners of these A1 galleys could cause interference with the radial stiffener on the aft pressure bulkhead. This condition, if not corrected, could result in fatigue crack propagation, leading to possible rapid decompression of the airplane or to damage and/or interference with the airplane control systems that pass through the bulkhead and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

Explanation of Relevant Service Information

The FAA has reviewed and approved Boeing Service Bulletin 767-53A0102, Revision 1, dated April 24, 2003, which describes procedures for performing a general visual inspection for clearance between the corners of the A1 galley and the aft pressure bulkhead, and corrective actions, if necessary. The corrective actions include completing a detailed inspection for damage to the insulation and aft pressure bulkhead structure and repairing damage if detected. This service bulletin also describes procedures for modifying the A1 galley. Accomplishment of the actions specified in the service bulletin is intended to adequately address the identified unsafe condition.

Boeing Service Bulletin 767-53A0102, Revision 1, refers to BE Aerospace Service Bulletins 25-30-0079, dated April 22, 2002; and 25-30-0080, dated April 22, 2002; as additional sources of service information for accomplishment of the modification for Model 767-300 series airplanes.

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 Boeing service bulletin described previously, except as discussed below.

Differences Between Proposed Rule and Service Bulletin

Operators should note that, although the Boeing service bulletin specifies that a modification be made if the A1 galley clearance is less than 1.0 inch, this proposal would require the mandatory modification of the A1 galley. The FAA has determined that, because the A1 galley is removable and may be installed on other Model 767-300 series airplanes, all affected A1 galleys should be modified.

Operators should also note that, although the Boeing service bulletin specifies that operators may contact the manufacturer for repair instructions if damage exceeds the conditions covered in the Structural Repair Manual, this proposed AD would require operators to repair those conditions 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 FAA to make such findings.

Changes to 14 CFR Part 39/Effect on the Proposed 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. Start Printed Page 56593

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 5 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The FAA estimates that 1 airplane of U.S. registry would be affected by this proposed AD, that it would take approximately 8 work hours per airplane to accomplish the proposed inspection and modification, and that the average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact of the proposed AD on the U.S. operator is estimated to be $520 for that 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. 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 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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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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:

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PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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]

2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive:

Boeing: Docket 2003-NM-125-AD.

Applicability: Model 767-300 series airplanes, line numbers 754, 761, 767, 775, and 776; certificated in any category.

Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously.

To prevent interference of the A1 galley with the radial stiffener on the aft pressure bulkhead, which could result in fatigue crack propagation, leading to possible rapid decompression of the airplane or to damage and/or interference with the airplane control systems that pass through the bulkhead and consequent loss of control of the airplane; accomplish the following:

Inspection

(a) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD, perform a general visual inspection for clearance between the corners of the A1 galley and the aft pressure bulkhead, per the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 767-53A0102, Revision 1, dated April 24, 2003.

Note 1:

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 from within touching distance unless otherwise specified. A mirror may be necessary to enhance visual access to all exposed surfaces in the inspection area. This level of inspection is made under normally available lighting conditions such as daylight, hangar lighting, flashlight, or droplight 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.”

Corrective Action: Detailed Inspection

(b) If, during the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this AD, the clearance between the corners of the A1 galley and the aft pressure bulkhead is found to be less than 1.0 inch, before further flight, perform a detailed inspection for damage to the insulation and aft pressure bulkhead structure, per the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0102, Revision 1, dated April 24, 2003. If any damage to the insulation or cracking in the aft pressure bulkhead is detected, before further flight, repair the damage and/or cracking per the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin, except where the service bulletin specifies to contact the manufacturer for repair instructions if damage exceeds the conditions covered in the Structural Repair Manual. If damage exceeds the limits specified in the Structural Repair Manual, before further flight, 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.

Note 2:

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.”

Concurrent Modification

(c) Before or concurrent with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this AD, modify the A1 galley, per the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 767-53A0102, Revision 1, dated April 24, 2003.

Note 3:

Boeing Service Bulletin 767-53A0102, Revision 1, refers to BE Aerospace Service Bulletins 25-30-0079, dated April 22, 2002; and 25-30-0080, dated April 22, 2002; as additional sources of service information for accomplishment of the modification for Model 767-300 series airplanes.

Actions Accomplished Per Previous Issue of Service Bulletin

(d) The applicable actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD per Boeing Service Bulletin 767-53A0102, dated November 21, 2002, are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions specified in this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance

(e) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, Seattle ACO, FAA, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD.

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Start Printed Page 56594

Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 24, 2003.

Ali Bahrami,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-24848 Filed 9-30-03; 8:45 am]

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