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Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 737-600, -700, and -800 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 (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing Model 737-600, -700, and -800 series airplanes. This AD requires doing a general visual inspection for sealant at the interface of the upper spar fittings, strut side skins, and the fittings of the thrust reverser strut fairing on the engine struts; and applying an injection seal or silicone sponge rubber with fillet seal if necessary. This AD is prompted by a report that an injection seal in the engine strut area may not have been properly completed or installed during production. We are issuing this AD to prevent flammable fluid (such as fuel or hydraulic fluid) from leaking onto a hot engine exhaust nozzle or into the engine core fire zone, and consequently causing an uncontrolled fire or explosion.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective May 24, 2005.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the AD is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of May 24, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207.

Docket: The AD docket contains the proposed AD, comments, and any final disposition. You can examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647-5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL-401, Washington, DC. This docket number is FAA-2004-19810; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2004-NM-119-AD.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Doug Pegors, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 917-6504; fax (425) 917-6590.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The FAA proposed to amend 14 CFR Part 39 with an AD for certain Boeing Model 737-600, -700, and -800 series airplanes. That action, published in the Federal Register on December 14, 2004 (69 FR 74465), proposed to require doing a general visual inspection for sealant at the interface of the upper spar fittings, strut side skins, and the fittings of the thrust reverser strut fairing on the engine struts; and applying an injection seal or silicone sponge rubber with fillet seal if necessary.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments that have been submitted on the proposed AD. Three commenters support the proposed AD.

Request for Shortening the Compliance Time

A commenter supports the proposed AD, but requests that the compliance time of 18 months or 3,500 flight cycles be shortened. The commenter suggests that, due to the low cost of modifying an airplane, short repair time, and the potential severity of a failure, the compliance time is too long.

We do not agree with the commenter's suggestion. In developing an appropriate compliance time, we considered the safety implications and normal maintenance schedules for timely accomplishment of the required inspection and repair. Further, we arrived at the compliance time with operator and manufacturer concurrence. In consideration of all of these factors, we determined that the compliance time, represents an appropriate interval in which the engine nacelle struts can be inspected, and repaired if required, in a timely manner within the fleet, while still maintaining an adequate level of safety. Operators are always permitted to accomplish the requirements of an AD at a time earlier than the specified compliance time. If additional data are presented that would justify a shorter compliance time, we may consider further rulemaking on this issue.

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments that have been submitted, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 257 airplanes worldwide of the affected design. This AD will affect about 99 airplanes of U.S. registry. The inspection will take about 2 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the AD for U.S. operators is $12,870, or $130 per airplane.

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 Start Printed Page 20276products identified in this rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

We have determined that 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); 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.

We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

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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, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends

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

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2005-08-10 Boeing: Amendment 39-14062. Docket No. FAA-2004-19810; Directorate Identifier 2004-NM-119-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective May 24, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 737-600, -700, and -800 series airplanes, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-54-1040, Revision 1, dated August 14, 2003; certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by a report that an injection seal in the engine strut area may not have been properly completed or installed during production. We are issuing this AD to prevent flammable fluid (such as fuel or hydraulic fluid) from leaking onto a hot engine exhaust nozzle or into the engine core fire zone, and consequently causing an uncontrolled fire or explosion.

Compliance

(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.

Inspection and Corrective Action

(f) Within 18 months or 3,500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Do a general visual inspection for sealant at the interface of the upper spar fittings, strut side skins, and the fittings of the thrust reverser strut fairing on the engine struts, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-54-1040, dated November 14, 2002; or Revision 1, dated August 14, 2003.

(1) If the injection seal is found to properly seal the entire gap, no further action is required by this AD.

(2) If the injection seal is not found to properly seal the entire gap or if the injection seal is found to be missing, before further flight, apply an injection seal or silicone sponge rubber with fillet seal in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(h) You must use Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-54-1040, dated November 14, 2002; or Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-54-1040, Revision 1, dated August 14, 2003; to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The Director of the Federal Register approves the incorporation by reference of these documents in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. To get copies of the service information, go to Boeing Commercial Airplanes, P.O. Box 3707, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207. To view the AD docket, go to the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL-401, Nassif Building, Washington, DC. To review copies of the service information, go to the National Archives and Records Administration. For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/​federal_​register/​code_​of_​federal_​regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 11, 2005.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-7685 Filed 4-18-05; 8:45 am]

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