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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 767-200 and 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 (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing Model 767-200 and 767-300 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require performing a general visual inspection to determine the part number of the I-beams of the center overhead stowage bin modules to identify I-beams having 9.0g (gravitational acceleration) tie rods attached and to determine the configuration of the center overhead stowage bin modules; and, for certain center overhead stowage bin modules, installation of support straps. This AD was prompted by the results of tests conducted by the airplane manufacturer. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of the attachment of the 9.0g tie rods to the center overhead stowage bin modules. This failure could result in collapse of those stowage bin modules, and consequent injury to passengers and crew and interference with their ability to evacuate the airplane in an emergency.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 24, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this proposed AD.

  • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically.
  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, room PL-401, Washington, DC 20590.
  • By fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

You can examine the contents of this AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., room PL-401, on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, Washington, DC. This docket number is FAA-2005-21170; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2002-NM-124-AD.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Rosanske, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 917-6448; fax (425) 917-6590.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to submit any relevant written data, views, or arguments regarding this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under ADDRESSES. Include “Docket No. FAA-2005-21170; Directorate Identifier 2002-NM-124AD” in the subject line of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of the proposed AD. We will consider all comments submitted by the closing date and may amend the proposed AD in light of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed AD. Using the search function of that Web site, anyone can find and read the comments in any of our dockets, including the name of the individual who sent the comment (or signed the comment on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You can review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you can visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Examining the Docket

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 DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the DMS receives them.

Discussion

The airplane manufacturer has notified us that, during tests it conducted, some center overhead stowage bin modules failed at 6.6g (gravitational acceleration) along the 9.0g tie rod forward bolt line. Based on the results of these tests, we have determined that center overhead stowage bin modules may not meet the 9.0g forward load requirements of section 25.561 (“General”) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.561). As a result, the center overhead stowage bin modules may collapse, causing injury to passengers and crew and interfere with their ability to evacuate the airplane in an emergency. The actions specified by the proposed AD are intended to prevent failure of the attachment of the 9.0g tie rods to the center overhead stowage bin modules. This failure could result in collapse of those stowage bin modules, and consequent injury to passengers and crew and interference with their ability to evacuate the airplane in an emergency.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0320, dated April 11, 2002. The service bulletin describes procedures for Start Printed Page 24489performing a general visual inspection to determine the part number (P/N) of the I-beams of the center overhead stowage bin modules to identify I-beams having 9.0g tie rods attached and to determine the configuration of the center overhead stowage bin modules. For I-beams having certain P/Ns and stowage bin modules having certain configurations, the service bulletin also describes procedures for installing reinforcement straps. Accomplishing the actions specified in the service information is intended to adequately address the unsafe condition.

FAA's Determination and Requirements of the Proposed AD

We have evaluated all pertinent information and identified an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on other airplanes of this same type design. Therefore, we are proposing this AD, which would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Difference Between the Proposed AD and Service Information.”

Difference Between the Proposed AD and Service Information

The service bulletin does not recommend a compliance time for accomplishing the general visual inspection to determine the P/N of the I-beams of the center overhead stowage bin modules to identify I-beams having 9.0g tie rods attached and to determine the configuration of the center overhead stowage bin modules; or for the installation of support straps for certain center overhead stowage bin modules. In developing an appropriate compliance time for this proposed AD, we considered the degree of urgency associated with the subject unsafe condition, the average utilization of the affected fleet, and the time necessary to perform the inspection and installation (13 hours, per I-beam). In light of all of these factors, we find that a 36-month compliance time represents an appropriate interval of time for affected airplanes to continue to operate without compromising safety. This has been coordinated with the manuafacturer.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 747 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this proposed AD. There are approximately 13 center overhead stowage bin modules per airplane and one I-beam per module.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourPartsCost per airplaneNumber of U.S.-registered airplanes
1. Inspection to determine P/N and configuration, per I-beam1$65None$65, per I-beam281
2. Strap installation, per I-beam12$65$816, per I-beam$1,596, per I-beam281

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.

Regulatory Findings

We have determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD 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.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that the 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. 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 proposed AD. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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.

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Boeing: Docket No. FAA-2005-21170; Directorate Identifier 2002-NM-124-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must receive comments on this AD action by June 24, 2005.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 767-200 and 767-300 series airplanes, certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0320, dated April 11, 2002.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD was prompted by the results of tests conducted by the airplane manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of the attachment of the 9.0g (gravitational acceleration) tie rods to the center overhead stowage bin modules. This failure could result in collapse of those Start Printed Page 24490stowage bin modules, and consequent injury to passengers and crew and interference with their ability to evacuate the airplane in an emergency.

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 To Determine I-beam Part Number (P/N)

(f) Within 36 months after the effective date of this AD: Perform a general visual inspection of the center overhead stowage bin modules to determine the P/N of each I-beam and to determine the configuration of each center overhead stowage bin module. Do the inspection in accordance with Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0320, dated April 11, 2002.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this AD, a general visual inspection is: “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 ensure visual access to all 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.”

(g) For any I-beam found having P/N 412T2040-29 during the inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD: No further action is required by this AD for that I-beam only.

Support Strap Installation

(h) For any I-beam found having a P/N other than P/N 412T2040-29 during the inspection required by paragraph (f) of this AD: Before further flight, do the actions in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0320, dated April 11, 2002.

(1) If the forward-most stowage bin module was inspected: Before further flight, install support straps having P/N 412T2043-101 and 412T2043-102 on the center overhead stowage bin module, in accordance with Figures 3, 4, and 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

(2) If the stowage bin module inspected was other than the forward-most stowage bin module: Before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (h)(2)(i) or (h)(2)(ii) of this AD, as applicable.

(i) For center overhead stowage bin modules having “Configuration A,” as specified in the service bulletin: Before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD.

(ii) For center overhead stowage bin modules having a configuration other than “Configuration A,” as specified in the service bulletin: Prior to further flight, install two support straps having P/N 412T2043-119 on the center overhead stowage bin module, in accordance with Figures 3, 4, and 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 3, 2005.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-9272 Filed 5-9-05; 8:45 am]

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