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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800 and -900 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 737-600, -700, -700C, -800 and -900 series airplanes. This proposed AD would require replacing the aero/fire seals of the blocker doors on the thrust reverser torque boxes on the engines with new, improved aero/fire seals. This proposed AD results from a report that the top three inches of the aero/fire seals of the blocker doors on the thrust reverser torque boxes are not fireproof. We are proposing this AD to prevent a fire in the fan compartment (a fire zone) from migrating through the seal to a flammable fluid in the thrust reverser actuator compartment (a flammable leakage zone), which could result in an uncontrolled fire.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by July 28, 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:

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:

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-2006-25001; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-079-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 a report indicating that Boeing found that on a Model 737 airplane, the upper three inches of the aero/fire seal of the blocker doors on the thrust reverser torque box extended past the metal v-blade/groove designed to serve as a firewall for the seal. The seal itself serves as a firewall between a fire zone and a flammable leakage zone in the upper region of the thrust reverser torque box. The seal is not fireproof (unable to withstand 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes) and could allow a fire in the fan compartment, which is a fire zone, to migrate to a flammable fluid in the thrust reverser actuator compartment, which is a flammable leakage zone. This condition, if not corrected, could result in an uncontrolled fire.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-78-1074, Revision 1, dated September 15, 2005. The service bulletin describes procedures for replacing the aero/fire seals of the blocker doors on the thrust reverser torque boxes on the engines with new, improved aero/fire seals. 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.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 1,595 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. This proposed AD would affect about 616 airplanes of U.S. registry. The proposed actions would take about 4 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Required parts would cost about $3,910 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the proposed AD for Start Printed Page 34026U.S. operators is $2,605,680, or $4,230 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 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.

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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.

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[Amended]

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

Boeing: Docket No. FAA-2006-25001; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-079-AD.

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by July 28, 2006.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800 and -900 series airplanes, certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-78-1074, Revision 1, dated September 15, 2005.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a report that the top three inches of the aero/fire seals of the blocker doors on the thrust reverser torque boxes are not fireproof. We are issuing this AD to prevent a fire in the fan compartment (a fire zone) from migrating through the seal to a flammable fluid in the thrust reverser actuator compartment (a flammable leakage zone), which could result in an uncontrolled fire.

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.

Replace the Aero/Fire Seal

(f) Within 60 months or 8,200 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the aero/fire seals of the blocker doors on the thrust reverser torque boxes on the engines with new, improved aero/fire seals in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-78-1074, Revision 1, dated September 15, 2005.

Previously Accomplished Actions

(g) Replacements done before the effective date of this AD in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-78-1074, dated April 7, 2005, are acceptable for compliance with the requirements of paragraph (f) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(h)(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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 5, 2006.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-9163 Filed 6-12-06; 8:45 am]

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