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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 767 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.

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Boeing Model 767 airplanes. This proposed AD would require repetitive measurements of the rudder and elevator freeplay, repetitive lubrication of rudder and elevator components, and related investigative/corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD results from reports of freeplay-induced vibration of the rudder and the elevator. The potential for vibration of the control surface should be avoided because the point of transition from vibration to divergent flutter is unknown. We are proposing this AD to prevent excessive vibration of the airframe during flight, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 27, 2006.

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.
  • 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.

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

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dennis Stremick, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, Start Printed Page 64161601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055-4056; telephone (425) 917-6450; 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 in the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number “FAA-2006-23818; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-228-AD” at the beginning 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 received 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 may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov.

Examining the Docket

You may 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 Docket Management System receives them.

Discussion

We have received reports of freeplay-induced vibration of the rudder and the elevator on Model 767 airplanes. Excessive corrosion and wear of components and/or interfaces allow excessive freeplay movement of the control surfaces and can cause excessive vibration of the airframe during flight. The potential for vibration of the control surface should be avoided because the point of transition from vibration to divergent flutter is unknown. When divergent flutter occurs, the amplitude of each cycle or oscillation is larger than the last one and the surface can quickly reach its structural load limits. Excessive vibration of the airframe, if not corrected, could result in loss of control of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-27-0197, dated October 27, 2005 (for Model 767-200, -300, and -300F series airplanes); and Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-27-0198, dated October 27, 2005 (for Model 767-400ER series airplanes). The service bulletins describe procedures for repetitive measurements of the rudder freeplay and the elevator freeplay for each of the three power control actuators (PCAs) that move the rudder and elevator. If the freeplay exceeds certain specified limits, the service bulletins describe procedures for doing applicable related investigative and corrective actions. Related investigative actions include doing a general visual inspection for wear of the affected components such as the rudder and elevator hinge bolts, bearings, and bushings; elevator and rudder hinges; and hinge bearings, reaction links, hanger link bearings, and rod end assemblies. Corrective actions include repairing or replacing the affected part if necessary and repeating the freeplay measurement and any related investigative and corrective actions until the maximum freeplay is within acceptable limits. The service bulletins also describe procedures for repetitive lubrication of the rudder and elevator components such as the rudder and elevator hinges; and rudder and elevator PCA reaction links, hanger links, and rod end assemblies. The service bulletins note that, if the freeplay measurement and a lubrication cycle are due at the same time, the freeplay measurement must be completed before the lubrication. The repetitive interval for the lubrication varies depending on the type of grease used. 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. For this reason, 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 the Service Bulletins.”

Difference Between the Proposed AD and the Service Bulletins

Operators should note that, although the Accomplishment Instructions of the referenced service bulletins describe procedures for submitting inspections results to the manufacturer, this proposed AD would not require that action.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 979 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. No parts are necessary to accomplish either action.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hour $Cost per airplane $Number of U.S.-registered airplanesFleet cost $
Freeplay measurement865520, per measurement cycle423219,960, per measurement cycle.
Lubrication27651,755, per lubrication cycle42342,365, per lubrication cycle.

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. Start Printed Page 6417

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 and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

Start Part

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]

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

Boeing: Docket No. FAA-2006-23818; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-228-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by March 27, 2006.

Affected ADs

(b) None

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all Boeing Model 767-200, -300, -300F, and -400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from reports of freeplay-induced vibration of the rudder and the elevator. The potential for vibration of the control surface should be avoided because the point of transition from vibration to divergent flutter is unknown. We are issuing this AD to prevent excessive vibration of the airframe during flight, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

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.

Service Bulletin References

(f) The term “service bulletin,” as used in this AD, means the Accomplishment Instructions of the following service bulletins, as applicable:

(1) For Model 767-200, -300, and -300F series airplanes: Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-27-0197, dated October 27, 2005; and

(2) For Model 767-400ER series airplanes: Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-27-0198, dated October 27, 2005.

Repetitive Measurements

(g) Within 18 months after the effective date of this AD: Measure the rudder and elevator freeplay. Repeat the measurement thereafter at intervals not to exceed 12,000 flight hours or 36 months, whichever occurs first. Do all actions required by this paragraph in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

Related Investigative and Corrective Actions

(h) If any measurement found in paragraph (g) of this AD exceeds any applicable limit specified in the service bulletin: Before further flight, do the applicable related investigative and corrective actions in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

Repetitive Lubrication

(i) Within 9 months after the effective date of this AD: Lubricate the rudder and elevator components specified in the service bulletin. Repeat the lubrication thereafter at the applicable interval in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD. Do all actions required by this paragraph in accordance with the applicable service bulletin.

(1) For airplanes on which BMS 3-33 grease is not used: At intervals not to exceed 3,000 flight hours or 9 months, whichever occurs first.

(2) For airplanes on which BMS 3-33 grease is used: At intervals not to exceed 6,000 flight hours or 18 months, whichever occurs first.

Concurrent Repetitive Cycles

(j) If a freeplay measurement required by paragraph (g) of this AD and a lubrication cycle required by paragraph (i) of this AD are due at the same time or will be accomplished during the same maintenance visit, the freeplay measurement and applicable related investigative and corrective actions must be done before the lubrication is accomplished.

No Reporting Required

(k) Although the service bulletins referenced in this AD specify to submit certain information to the manufacturer, this AD does not include that requirement.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(l)(1) 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.

(2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office.

(3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair required by this AD, if it is approved by an Authorized Representative for the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Delegation Option Authorization Organization who has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 30, 2006.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-1686 Filed 2-7-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P